Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Using acrylic CD or DVD case as bookend

When I organise things inside my house, I try to strike the right balance between visual pleasantry and practicality. If everthing is behind closed doors, it might look streamlined and cool. Yet if I need to make more than 2 actions to pick up objects which are used daily or several times a day, I will start leaving them on the floor and surfaces. Because it is too much! When I have to leave things in view, I try my best so that those object look pretty.

Here, I have been using an empty cardboard box as a bookcase/bookend.

I organised the books and replaced the cardboard box with an aclyric CD case. I like using aclyric CD and DVD cases as bookend. They are clean, shiny and won't slip like the usual letter L shaped bookends. This particular CD folder is from Muji and it is about 8 pounds. A bit pricey...

I use empty cardboard boxes such as cereal boxes to organise things around my house. They are free, so I modify it as I like and when they get tired I replace them without hesitation. Here, I organised one of my son's toy box.

If you look closely, you can see that I had drawn pictures of the toys inside of the box.

Like this. It is a little difficult draw on the bottom of the box, but it doesn't have to be presise as it is not on view. If you can make out what it is, that is enough.

The box is for this toy piano.

I placed all the toys where they should go.

The box in situe. The outside box is from Muji.

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Monday, 30 March 2009

Separating two stuck glasses

Our flat is very small and my father-in-law described it as 'A shoe box size flat'. But I was so happy as it is a huge improvement from our previous flat. According to my father-in-law, that one was 'A postage stamp size flat.'

Anyway, our small flat has a small kitchen with limited cupboard space. We have to stack up mugs and glasses to save space. The other day, one glass got stuck inside another! So predictable! (Then why did you do it...) I am not sure if oiling them or soaping them also works, but what I used was ice, water and vapour from boiling water.

Step 1
Place several ice cubes in the inside (top) glass and half fill it with cold water.

Step 2
Boil some water in the kettle and open the lid. Be careful so that you don't burn yourself! Place the bottom half of the two stuck glasses over the boiling water. It's best to avoid letting the glasses touch the water as it might cause them to crack.

Lift the glasses out of the hot steam after waiting a couple of minutes. With one hand, hold the ouside (bottom) glass using a tea towl or an oven glove. Then with the other hand, gently lift the inside (top) glass. They should separate without much force.

What I hoped and I think actually happned was, the air in the outside (bottom) glass espands with heat and the inside (top) glass itself contracts with the cold. Maybe I could separate the glasses by simply warming the outside (bottom) glass, I am not sure. If it happens again, I will test that. Meanwhile, I now use kitchen paper to separate my stacked glasses and the next time I go out buying glasses, I'll make sure I choose the ones designed for stacking.

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Sunday, 29 March 2009

Organising your kitchen cupboard

I have re-organised some of my kitchen cupboard as I often found my self wasting time seaerching for ingredients. Here are the results.

This cuppoard is situated left side of my cooker. I used to have two of the pale blue plastic baskets you can see here. Small packets were on top of each other and it was difficult to find what I needed. I bought an add on shelf and three plastic containers with handles from Lakeland to place on top of the add on shelf. I also added empty cereal boxes to make partitions so that things stay in position.

The blue plastic basket situated on the bottom shelf holds heavier things like dried noodles, cous cous and rice. Under the add on shelf, I placed boxed and flat objects. The three plastic containers holds only light things and they also have handles, so they are still accesible without strain even though its in a high position.

This cuppoard is situated on the right side of my cooker. On the top shelf, I used to keep flour in its original paper bag as I wanted minumum hassle. But the paper bags are not that strong are they? Sometimes it got torn and leaked the contents over my worktops. Disaster!

So relactantly, I bought some plastic containers from Ikea to keep sugar and various kinds of flour. I labeled them using some post-it notes. The bad thing is that each container doesn't hold whole bag of content. So I am keeping the remains in the original paper bag behind the containers. I am using a card board box to keep those so that I can also place some stock of seasonings on top.

On the bottom shelf, I keep my herbs and spices on a rotating shelf from Lakeland. I have some space on the left, so I keep bottled oils and seasonings there. I made sure that there is enough space over the bottles, so that I can lift and bring out the ones from the back.

I keep breakfast cereals, tinned food, teas, coffees, snacks and sweets in the other cupboard which I will show later.

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Saturday, 28 March 2009

Re-using a pretty tissues box

I live with two young children and use a lot of tissue paper to wipe thier face or to pick up spilled cornflakes etc. I use toilet paper instead of tissue paper because it is cheaper! Yet toilet paper doesn't look very pretty in the living room. One day I came up with this cover up idea. The good thing is that it is free as I am re-using an Ella Doran look Sainsbury's 60 Scented white tissues box. It is so easy. Give it a try!

This is a shop sold tissues box. The size is about 12cm x 12cm x 12cm.

The same thing is shown the vent side up.

Cut three sides as shown. Then create one or two tabs as shown. Turn over the tabs and staple them in place. Here, my first tab in the middle was too short and didn't work as a latch. Some mistakes do not matter though. This side will be the bottom and it won't be visible.

Close up of the tab which works as the latch.

Take a roll of toilet paper. Mine is the cheapest Sainsbury's own brand one. It is smaller than the regular brand and it fits well with in the box. I recommend pulling the paper from the middle for easy access. Think of a ball of knitting yarn... To remove the middle paper holder, squash the roll once horizontally, then squash again vertically. That way, you can bend the paper holder as shown and you can pull it out easily.

Set the middle paper hoderless toilet paper in the box you adopted. Voila!

The result looks 1000 times better than a bare toilet roll.

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