Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
There are times when the amount of STUFF I have in my house really bothers me. Being a low income person tends to make me into a hoarder. Often times I’m afraid to let go of something for fear I might need it and I won’t have the funds to replace it.
When the clutter and piles start to bother me I go on a cleaning spree getting rid of everything I think I can possibly do without. Usually this feeling of being overwhelmed by STUFF happens when I’m stressed.
Yesterday I was having trouble with my quilting machine and decided it best to just quit and go clean something for awhile. I started cleaning out one of my kitchen cabinets. This is the one I cleaned.
It doesn’t look like much in there but that’s the problem. I see a lot of wasted space and what is in there must be moved around to get what I want from the back. One of the shelve brackets broke a few years ago and I hadn’t replaced it. Until now.
I finally (5 years later) fixed the shelf and was able to move all the canning lids to the shelf. There was even enough room to put both Tattler lids and regular lids on the shelf. That cleared up space in my storage room. The jars in front originally had pickle beets in them. Its easy to move a jar to reach the lids behind.
The bottom shelf still bothered me. Its clean and organized but a lot of wasted space. The kitchen gadgets in a can (lower left corner) bothered me most. I don’t mind using a can but I needed more than that.
I remembered something I read in the Tightwad Gazette Magazine a long, long time ago. That was before it became a book. I thought maybe I had all the right stuff and sure enough I did. I needed a couple of round pie pans, some jars, and a bunch of marbles.
I checked to see how many jars would fit into the pan. Five empty peanut butter jars fit comfortably. I could have used canning jars as they are the same size. Plastic just happened to be handy.
I put all the marbles I had into the other pan. Like this.
Set the pan of jars on top. Ta Da, an instant turn table for free.
I’m able to put many more items in the turntable which empties space in my gadget drawer. It fits nicely in the cabinet too.
Next the other side of the cabinet bothered me. Too much wasted space. I want one of those hanging shelves that attaches to an existing shelf but that will have to wait for funds. I had to remove the measuring cups on the door because they were hitting the shelf and the door wouldn’t close. I’ll move the hooks lower.
I pulled out one of my many plastic containers and put that in the cabinet to hold more STUFF. Now it doesn’t feel like wasted space and I can get to the things in the back by simply pulling out the container.
There is still room for more inside the container and the turntable. I’m putting a hanging shelf on my thrift store list. Those things show up there every now and then. Umm… maybe Dollar Tree has them. I’ll check there too.
How’s that for a “make do and mend” project? Sometimes the low incomed must be creative.