Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gardening and kitchen-ing

I know it's Tuesday.

And I've already done 3 posts relating to last weekend.

However, we managed to squeeze so much into last Friday through Sunday that I'm hoping you'll forgive me for staying with those days for just one more post.

You see, in addition to new camera purchasing (and playing), a long (and free) train trip, and vegan chocolate biscuit construction, there was some gardening and kitchen reorganizing.

The gardening was to add flowers and colour to what is mostly vegetables / herbs and greenery:

The total cost of this, for the pots and the flowers, was under $40. I think I have over $40 worth of pleasure from the resulting scene, so I'm quite happy. Now I just have to make sure I don't kill them (I have very little flower experience!)

The kitchen reorganizing was the latest in my ongoing attempt to streamline our pantry. For someone who likes things to be organised, the state of my baking shelf (the lowest shelf in the pantry, perfect for stacking up and over-crowding) is somewhat embarrassing. In truth, it is constantly on the verge of exploding.

This is a relatively good day...

The rest of the pantry is fairly well organised on shelf-stackers and similar organising systems, but they don't seem up to the task when it comes to this shelf.

As I first mentioned here, I wanted to utilise Ikea to come up with a solution. The end of our U-shaped kitchen had a completely empty wall just perfect for shelves or racks, and I ended up deciding on an 80cm Grundtal rail with hanging shelf and spice rack.


And after:

I am very, very, very happy with this new arrangement. My baking shelf is still quite chaotic, but I keep catching sight of the new shelves and jars and smiling to myself - and there are definitely fewer bags of dried fruit and nuts (etc) thrown at the back of the pantry. I am extremely grateful to Mr Bite for his drilling efforts in getting the rail in, especially as he hit brick about 1cm into the wall. Apparently drills don't just cut through all surfaces with ease. Who knew?

The small jars contain crushed peanuts, pine nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, carob powder, currants and raisins, with the empty one being reserved for goji berries. They're things I either use infrequently or in small doses, making the small jars a good match. The two large jars have dates and raw almonds, which I use more often. 

I can also fit an additional 4 small jars into the 3-level rack if I want to, as the little jars can fit on the shelves sideways.

The cost for this task? About $80 for the full set of Ikea components, jars included. Not a trivial sum, but one that again seems worthwhile for the benefits in organisation and in enjoyment.

Now I just need to make sure I don't re-fill my new pantry space with yet more baking paraphernalia.

Have you had any recent house or garden entertainment? Or do you have any solutions for my exploding pantry?


  1. Oh, it looks beautiful! Please come and make my awful furniture-less gross apartment equally pretty! :P

    P.S. I'm spinning my 48-hour Moruya trip into four posts, so you and me? Peas in a pod ;)

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE those planter buckets :) So very colourful!

  3. Kari I love your Ikea'ing! It's what I want to do too, too scared to open my pantry in case I'm buried and never found again :)
    Your pots and colour look fantastic! I love your rainwater tank bed too.

  4. Here's to like-minded stretching out of enjoyable weekends :D

    I would love to Ikea-rise and/or flower-ise your apartment :) If it makes you feel better though, when I moved out of home and into my current place, I didn't have a sofa for about 3 months (and after that my parent's bought me one!) and I didn't have a TV for at least 6 months. It's only after nearly 3 years that I finally have most of the essentials...and admittedly now some non-essentials too!

  5. Thanks Lisa! I was really quite happy to find them (especially as they were cheap). Colour really can make a big difference!

  6. Thank you :) And I'm very glad I'm not alone in the exploding pantry territory!

    The rainwater tank beds are still my favourite part of the courtyard I think - in part because they hold my vegetables, but also because they were such an easy way to get a vegetable patch into a courtyard! Bunnings can be very helpful :)

  7. That really does make me feel better! I might be moving soon; bit nervous about the decision to make. Furnitureless or a house with pretty much no space for my things amidst the old-days-esque items?!

  8. Organizing systems are worth the money, in my opinion. You really do feel better when your living space is not so chaotic! We bought some (really cheap) spice racks at the grocery store that helped clear out a lot of shelf space and I love them!

  9. I think we're like-minded :) It really makes a difference when things are organised!

  10. Ooh, tricky. And moving in itself is challenging enough really. I hope you find a good match, irrespective of the furniture situation (I think either scenario could be made to work!) :)

  11. My pantry solutions a while back were lazy susans but they haven't really worked. Some of the stackers that I have are great with maximising use of space. But my pantry needs a spring clean right now! Getting shelves above our stove in front of the fan was our best kitchen use of space. I have spent many hours in rented kitchens dreaming about what we would do if we owned it - so it is great to have been able to do some work on this kitchen to make it more the sort of space I love to spend time in. Love your garden too - it looks great!

  12. My pantry looks like a whole bunch of cranky elves busy themselves with the night time activity of messing everything up... a lot! It's a one day soon job.
    Love the look of your garden and all its pots.

  13. Thanks Johanna - and I am now a firm supporter of shelves too. I am already imaging other places shelves could go, but I think I'll wait a while to let Mr Bite recover from this round of drilling efforts :P I am grateful to own the walls and thus be able to do such things.

  14. Hearing that others have similarly disorganised pantries makes me feel so much better. I like the elf explanation too. Not our fault at all!


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