Big Plans – the Sunday report

31 Jan

I slept late today, and then I read a weepy book in bed. Meanwhile, Fraser had been busy building a little IKEA Hajdeby shelving unit. These are basically the poor man’s Expedit, as they are not double-sided and aren’t finished as nicely – but they were on special a month or so ago for $25 each, so I got 2 with the idea of putting them near the back door. This was not part of Phase 1, 2 OR 3 but a whole nother project.

I’ve put a cut here as there are many photos behind it, and because most of you won’t be interested in the super ultra nitty-gritty of furniture and empty rooms etc. Click if you want to see it all.

To my surprise (and relief), it actually fits really well under the lip of the bench. When we moved here, I thought that I would use that area as a brekky bar, but I think it’s safe to say 14 years down the track that if we haven’t done it yet then we won’t ever.

Beside it on the left is the wire drawer unit I use for the girls’ school clothes. I’m contemplating moving these into their own bedrooms, but there’s something very convenient about knowing exactly what is clean and ready to be worn. At the moment, this has some plastic containers from the spare room “pressie” cupboard as I still need to clean it out. Longer-term, this will have picnic blankets, shopping bags, bike helmets on top, tea towels in the red basket. Maybe gum boots and umbrellas – things that don’t have an obvious home anywhere else in the house. At $25, it was a steal. And today, that spare shelf is going to be filled with games.

As Brian requested, here are a bunch more photos to doccument progess so far. I’m a bit ashamed of them all, as they make the house look really really awful – every free bit of surface is occupied at the moment.

Let’s start with what was the linen cupboard but is now the food cupboard. Some space left in here now, which is good as there are lots of things needing a home, at least temporarily.

For those keeping track, this is opposite the previous little shelving unit, facing towards the kitchen. I had these cupboards built in around 2000 and they really have been super-useful. I’m a little sorry that we saved money by not getting any back on the shells, just the plaster wall behind, but not sorry enough to want to re-do them.

I’m not sure why we have so many tins of food, as we don’t really use a lot of tins. Maybe that’s why there are so many – every so often, I feel the need to stock up and then I go and buy some, which we never use. Fraser quite likes tinned soup, and he and the girls like tinned spaghetti. I use tinned tomato soup and also use tinned beans, corn and pineapple when cooking. That’s probably it, though. And the bottles of marinade have been there for a long time – another one of those occasional shopping urges. “Oh my, I must go buy some marinade,” I will tell myself, “That will be good for cooking with” – and then I don’t. Today, I am telling myself that I must go buy some marinadable (if there is such a word) meat.

Anyway. The right hand side of this cupboard was already a food cupboard, but was being overtaken by bedlinen, which occupied the whole other side. I have downsized it a bit, so I now have (stored temporarily in 3 large plastic tubs)

  • 4 sets of sheets per child
  • 4 sets of sheets for our bed/the spare bed (that works out to 2 per bed, I tell myself, so it doesn’t count)
  • Fewer random pillowcases
  • Only about half a bajillion tea towels. I threw out all the ones that WEREN’T either my own souvenirs or souvenirs of a friend’s visit to Green Gables.

The rest of the food came from the Other Food Cupboard, in the kitchen. This is a very deep cupboard that was never very practical for food because things (read: tins of soup and bottles of marinade) tended to move to the back and never be seen again. I managed to empty it yesterday and loaded it up with all the dishes etc from the big ugly buffet unit in the dining room. (By the way, can anyone tell me the difference between a buffet and a sideboard? I have always used sideboard for the short one and buffet for the big tall one but I have a sneaking suspicion that I have that the wrong way around). I think it works better for dishes, although it’s a shame I couldn’t get any of our everyday plates in there as well. I did get rid of one dinnerset last year (found more of it while cleaning out the cupboards, which I have packed up for the op shop) but I think Fraser is justified when he  suggests that we might possibly have TOO MANY DISHES. The problem is, they’re all special – the blue green & white was a wedding gift, the big white plates were a birthday gift from Fraser, the plates on top of them are something my mother knew I would be thrilled to own (although I haven’t quite worked out why, yet), and the little irregular-shaped plates I bought at a sale because they are too too too adorable. And some of the platters are nice (especially the wooden one, which someone gave us for our wedding) and others are made of cut glass, which I loathe and Fraser adores. Gaahhhh.

Oh, and there is a plate with a drawing Otto did at creche.

I realise that I need to learn to Throw Things Out. And one day, I will.

This is the buffet/sideboard/wall unit thingo that they came out of. My mum bought it for us at auction for $35 and it has been very useful, but it is well past its time.

I’ve cleaned the glasses out of one side, and the plates etc out of the base, but all the bits that collect dust (and booze) are still there. I guess that’s what is going to fill the rest of the food cupboard, at least for now – because everything along that wall has to go. It will be covered with Billy bookshelves to keep our games safe.

Plan for the low sideboard (or is it a buffet?) is to swing it around to sit in front of the French doors, currently covered by the game shelves you can see to the right of the photo. Actually, it might go altogether – it would be nice to have the full-length doors – but that seems too much to hope for, at least right away.

Here’s the rest of the disaster that was once our dining room. We’ve been dumping things on the table and chairs and hoping they would magically store themselves. No luck so far and I think it might be time to give up on that particular hope.

I reassure myself that everything always gets worse before it gets better.

Here’s where the glasses went – into my china cabinet. The cupboard at the bottom of it is empty still. More booze?

Blech. I need to stop blogging and start working!

Here – very quickly – are some more photos.

Bigster’s room – currently both girls’ room. Wardrobe built, with 3 shelves and a door still to go (and we need to attach it to the wall properly). Next step is to move out Otto’s bed, move Biggie’s over there, move out old drawers and wardrobe, then build 2 wall units in here.We can probably do that ourselves if needed – no need to attach them to the walls, so we can consider this room Mostly Done But Still A Big Mess.

Here’s the room, showing the old chest of drawers and the cardboard packing from the wardrobe all over the floor.

There’s Biggie’s wardrobe, as done as it’s going to be today, and ready to get some clothes …

Voila. Big props to Fraser who essentially built this one on his own. But the important question is, does IKEA trump lego?

Spare room – soon to be Otto’s haven (except the bit near the door)

This is where all the IKEA boxes were delivered yesterday.


These bookshelves all held games. The first is 4′ wide, the other two are 3′ wide, as is the cupboard you can see at the back. These are nearly ready to go out – the last shelf will come back inside later, painted pink for Otto’s new room.

I’ll take updates tonight, to see how far we have come. Goal for today is to clear the rest of the spare room and also to clear what’s left in the dining room.

Oh yeah – and to get the girls ready for the start of the new school year tomorrow – and Fraser going back to work – and me with meetings for two separate projects.

The insanity continues.


Posted by on January 31, 2010 in decluttering, house


5 responses to “Big Plans – the Sunday report

  1. Fraser

    February 1, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I do not like tinned spaghetti. That is only the girls. Soup yes, spaghetti no 🙂

  2. Duncan

    February 1, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Wow. I had no idea the spare room was so big (assuming its the room I’m thinking of).
    Even full of Ikea boxes it looks more spacious than I remember it.

    • Melissa

      February 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      It’s always been full – and has always had stuff at the other end of the room as well, to make it look ever so much shorter.

  3. Friendless

    February 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Moving house was essentially a 3 month long second job for us. We used two skips to get rid of stuff we didn’t need, and spent $7000 at IKEA and two or three weeks to assemble all that furniture. Then we realised we were very very tired.

    • Melissa

      February 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      Yeah – and we’re not even moving. We already filled 1 skip before we left … suspect there will be time for another soon.


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