Yay! Summer has finally arrived! Sunny days! Laundry! Lovely, warm, sunny days with temperatures in the low 20s! Fun with our furbaby Jade in the garden (even though I can't throw her ball for her for taffy :) downside though.... haven't been able to breathe properly for the past couple of nights because the house has been so humid even with the windows open. Counting blessings here though honeys, doesn't matter, we've waited too long to not enjoy it, so yay Summer :)
Do you remember our budget kitchen makeover a few months ago? There are no words for how differently (and better) our kitchen works now, or for how much I adore that new unit Hubby fitted :)
Wonderful as it is though, I knew it could work better. In particular, the newly fitted double cabinet Hubby had fitted under the new worktop. I'll explain.
The new double cabinet we bought for our kitchen makeover came from Ikea. The cabinet was perfect! It was exactly the right size for the space we were working on, we were able to buy a matching Ikea worktop, which again was a perfect size & length for the space. It all went together like a dream. We found an ideal little trolley at Argos which completed the makeover and even now, months later, I still walk into the kitchen just to look at it. I love our kitchen :)
So what's the problem then Rosie? I hear you ask :) Well, while it's been working wonderfully, I knew it could be even better. The cabinet (and worktop) we bought came from a range called FYNDIG, which we'd definitely recommend if, like us you're on a tight budget.
The cabinet is supplied with one shelf. Not a problem I thought, and bought some of the Ikea Variera shelf inserts. We used these to make better use of the cabinet height. It was a great way to store the assorted packs of re-sealable bags, ice cube bags (love those) steam fresh bags, napkins and baking accessories like baking tins, liners etc.
These little shelf inserts are white metal, available in two sizes, very pretty and are supplied with tiny screws, so they can be connected. If you're curious honeys, you can see details at these links: the small Variera shelf insert & the larger Variera shelf insert.
The shelf inserts worked really well but I found that I felt a little cheated, not being able to use the full capacity of the right side of the cabinet. I decided I'd like another full depth shelf, as we had on the left hand side of the cabinet. I so wish I could tell you that having had this thought, I just whittled one up out of left over wood, but Ms DIY I'm not I'm afraid :)
Hubby said once that I'm the idea person, and I'm happy with that :) I do take bits of paper to Hubby and say "how can we do this?" and bless him he just makes whatever it is happen :) So, off I went to Hubby and said I'd like another shelf and, as you do, we first looked on the Ikea website to see if we could buy another shelf for the Fyndig cabinet.
Not finding the shelf listed online, we asked a member of staff on our last visit. He couldn't find a part number for us, and explained that they'd need a part number to order it for us. Not to be beaten, bless him, Hubby did this.....
He carefully cut a new shelf to the right specifications from, you guessed it, MDF. Knowing that his wife would be irritated beyond the realms of reason though by a shelf that doesn't blend naturally into the cabinet, he then also covered the new shelf with a white wood effect Fablon (sticky backed vinyl.) Doesn't it look great honeys?
It's not a perfect match, because it is a white wood effect vinyl, rather than the plain white of the Fyndig cabinet but we didn't have plain white vinyl and it does look so much better than just being plain MDF so I love it! Thank you Hubby sweetheart x
Problem solved then, right? well no. Having cut a new shelf for me Hubby discovered that the little shelf support pins he had, such as the ones you'd use in a flat pack bookcase? were too big to fit in the little holes in the Fyndig cabinet!
Disaster! All that work! All for naught! Hubby however doesn't give up that easily, bless his wee cotton socks :) He remembered what the Ikea staff member had said about a part number for the shelf. Off we went back to the Ikea website, looked up the Fyndig cabinet page again and sure enough, there was a link to a PDF document. This PDF is the same as the booklet supplied inside the pack when we bought it, but as is the way we hadn't kept it. Didn't seem any point once the cabinet was installed and we are trying to de-clutter :)
Thanks to the PDF, we found a part number for the little support pins and I sent an email to Ikea asking if we could please buy a pack of them, explaining why we needed them. Well, the lovely folks at Ikea outdid themselves! If they weren't already my favourite store (and officially my happy place :) well then this would do it :) A few days later we received a little white plastic baggie in the mail, inside was a pretty "with compliments" card and the much needed support pins! Thank you Ikea, you rock!
So, with the missing pins in hand Hubby finally fitted the shelf :) Yaaaaay! Success! The two little screws connecting the top two small Variera shelf inserts to the bottom two of the tall tower that had originally been in that side of the cabinet were removed. The shelf inserts were then placed back into the cabinet in exactly the same position as we already had the same shelf inserts on the other side of the cabinet. That done, and with Hubby at work and our furbaby Jade happily napping, I set about the fun part, organizing the cabinet :)
As you can see below honeys, the new upper shelf on the right side of the cabinet has, like the shelf alongside, the larger of the shelf inserts with one smaller insert attached on top. I organized them like this....
I'm loving it! I used a medium sized plastic container to store my little hand mixer (and its various attachments) and it slides neatly under the larger shelf insert. It's so easy to just reach in and grab the container now when I want to use the mixer.
The other two smaller inserts have now found a new home underneath. On what is now the lower shelf of the right hand side of the cabinet and which is now home to our large serving bowls and the Pyrex casserole dish we've had forever that I use to make fish pie in :) The top of the smaller inserts is perfect for storing my spare (unopened) packs of Istad bags.
I am almost obsessed with these beyond wonderful bags. They are genuinely amazing and have so many uses all around the house. In the kitchen I use them in the freezer & in the fridge, I use them to corral small objects in my "stuff" drawer (like those tiny spoons for fruit, jelly or yoghurt that are great for packed lunches.) In the craft room I'm currently using them for sewing appliques, safety pins & buttons, and Hubby uses them to store little things like screws, bolts etc. Love them :)
Also stored on these little shelf inserts are a travel "click lock" mug & bowl I bought for Hubby to take to work with him, useful for transporting soup, noodles etc. To the side of the shelf inserts are our snack trays and a larger size of the two round glass work top savers you can see under the glass casserole dish.
Over to the other side of the cabinet then honeys :) The top shelf of the left hand side of the cabinet also has two of the Variera shelf inserts, one of the larger broader ones & one of the smaller on top. They now look like this...
It looks busy doesn't it honeys? I can literally put my hand on anything I need immediately and I've used one of the shelf dividers I actually bought to use upstairs in the bedroom for sweaters. Here it's being used to organize my various (non Istad :) bags, such as ice cube bags (these are great, fill with water, pop into freezer and hey presto! ice cubes :) steam bags for veggies, fish bags for either oven or microwave cooking, it goes on :) now they're all in one place, ready to grab & use. Joy!
The shelf divider keeps them in place and doesn't have to be attached to the shelf. It simply slides onto the shelf snuggly and stays there because there is a lower bar which sits under the shelf and allows it to stay upright and in place.
Behind this collection of very useful items are the following (numbered on the photo to help recognise them):
1 Two new rolls of baking parchment.
2 A box of waxed sandwich bags.
3 A box of latex gloves, as I said honeys, I hate getting my hands icky!
4 A clip sealed box containing muffin cases for baking.
5 A quiche baking tin & a red ceramic heart shaped plate.
6 A pretty red box containing an even prettier ceramic cake slice :)
7 A matching set of pretty cake forks :)
8 A pack of silicone coated paper loaf tins liners, I love these :)
9 A box of ice cube bags & sandwich bags.
10 My icing set with its assorted nozzles etc, stored in a plastic container.
11 Two packs of large round silicone coated paper liners for baking dishes.
12 Three boxes of Istad boxes, currently in use, one box in each size.
So lots there honeys but all easily accessible. It makes me smile just to look at it. If I could just get the rest of our home organized the way this cabinet now is, oh my, that would be wonderful!
Directly under this organizational smile maker is the lower shelf which is home to my favourite cookbooks and baking sheets such as muffin & cupcake trays, cooling rack & pizza trays.
Yes, I like Gordon Ramsay's cookbooks :) I hadn't realized how much till I was editing these photos :) His recipes are a joy because they're so easy to use and I always feel like I've made something worth cooking when it's done. Also among my favourites here, there is a wonderful book of gorgeous Southern recipes, which was a gift from a dear friend (thank you Francine, love you xx) This book is amazing! I so love it! You can find details here honeys.
Behind the cookbooks there is, like the other side of the cabinet, two of the small shelf inserts. On these inserts are three small sandwich boxes and a plastic container which is home to my cookie cutter collection :) Between the baking trays and the cabinet wall is a cake box. I keep a couple of these handy because I like to bake something special for the staff at our Doctor's surgery and take it with me when I have an appointment. They work so hard & are such lovely people, they deserve a treat just to thank them for all they do.
Well, dear ones. Below you can see before & after photos of this much loved kitchen cabinet.
Left hand side, top shelf: A recipe index filing box, designed around the character of "Maw Broon" of the legendary Scottish D.C. Thompson comic strip "The Broons." The Broons (& "Oor Wullie") were childhood favourites growing up, as with all Scots. Ask any Scot about getting an annual at Christmas and their eyes will glaze over with nostalgia :) We all have happy memories of colouring in the (printed in black & white) annuals after reading them :) I digress :) just across from the recipe index card box are two pretty glass bottles. If you make your own sauce it's nice to serve it from a pretty bottle don't you think?
Right hand side, top shelf: only item added to this shelf is a container of crumble topping, used to make yummy apple or rhubarb crumbles :)
Right hand side, bottom shelf: added to the front of this shelf are two large containers of Jade's Iams (dry dog food) and a magazine holder which is home to rolls of aluminium foil, baking parchment, cling film etc. This just seemed like a tidy way of keeping them organized, ready to reach in and grab when needed.
That's it honeys, any thoughts? Do you have any hints & tricks for organizing cabinets? Have you blogged about it? Why not leave a link in the comments section below and share? Well dear ones, I have to go get organized for work. I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of smiles & hugs with friends. Till next time, hugs always xx