42. Before and After: IKEA Expedit Hack

A great idea for all the expedits I have in the house.

The Craft Queen

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of The Home Depot, and this post contains affiliate links to homedepot.com.  I am not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. If I claim or appear to be an expert on a certain topic or product or service area, I will only endorse products or services that I believe, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Hey, remember back in September when I showed you a sneak peek of the IKEA Expedit shelving system makeover?  It’s FINALLY finished!

To refresh your memory, this is what I started with:

ikea expedit
Now, I am happy to present you with the final product!

Boom goes the dynamite:

ikea expedit hack
I cannot…

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The Spice Must Flow

Dune is a ridiculous book. Don’t hate on me for saying it. I only read the first book, so maybe in the sequels it gets less “odd.” I am not honestly sure. It is probably the perfect book for the sci fi lover who likes out there works like Dune and Octavia Butler. But, seriously. It was so ridiculous in parts that it made me giggle uncomfortably. The movie with Sting did not help much. Even if it was true 1980’s in all it’s glory.

That being said, the book has some seriously kick-ass quotes and the sand worms are awesome. I decided that the, “The Spice must flow,” is the quote for my spice wall. I have a lot of spices, some of which I have never used. But it is like tools, eventually you get around to using it for something. Besides, it gives me a chance to go out and make odd dishes for the hell of it. The moral of this story is “Must have many odd spices.”

I decided to make a wall of spice. I still want to get a picture of a sand worm instead of the cooking picture. But you get the point.

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Remember, “Fear is the mind killer.” Or whatever…

An Ode to My Mezzaluna

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This is just a brief post to describe the wonders of the Mezzaluna. I love it so much I wrote a haiku:

The Mezzaluna

It is shaped like the half moon

refrigerator 

You get the idea.

I learned about this wonderful cooking tool while going to school in Italy, I had to make dinner for 25 people and did not have a knife. I sliced pounds and pounds of carrots, celery, basil, and fish with this baddy.  It is shaped like a half moon and the user uses a rocking gesture to cut. I think it is originally used as a tool for cutting a chiffonade of herbs. However, I find that it is freaking awesome at cutting food for a toddler. And, it is fun. Much better than slice, slice, slice. I would do the quick chop, chop, chop. But I did not go to culinary school and I would like to keep all my fingers.

 

The Mess and Fight Club

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

You learn about yourself in every moment of the day. For good or bad we are always evolving. When you move from one place to another, you learn even more about yourself. When you move from one state to another, it is a true test of self. You have to touch and make judgement calls about every single item that you own. It is exhausting and adds stress already compounded on the big move. I hate moving. I mean true hate here…

In our American culture it is always, “more, more, more.” Buy this and you will fill the void that is a gaping maw in your life.  Eat this and you will feel good about yourself. It really is a bunch of bullshit. A bunch of bullshit that I was and still to some extant am still acceptable to. I admit it. I am of the Ohhhhhh shiny. When we moved to Portland from Las Vegas, we had so much crap that our three bedroom apartment looked like this. Every room, every space all the way up to the vaulted ceilings.

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I wished many times to just turn it all into a big bonfire

I ate cup o’ noodles for a long time because the apartment was wall to wall boxes, I could not cook. You cannot put stuff away when there are wall to wall boxes. You can just pull up a comfy box and sit and stare at another box.  I am not a hoarder, but I sure as hell looked like one.

 

 

“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”                                                   Fight Club

Stuff controls everything. It is just stuff!  At that point I was too scared to get rid of much stuff. “What will happen if I don’t have this perfect little thing?”  This was a good wake up call, and living in this was even better. I now am almost phobic of clutter. Even though the house we currently live in now is still cluttered. It is much better, and a constant work in progress.

I set out to halve what I own each year. Take a close look at the items and figure out if they actually bring many any sort of joy or pleasure. If they do, I’ll keep. If they don’t they get passed on to goodwill. Additionally, I decided that I am done buying stuff retail and I will get much of what I need from second hand stores or the goodwill. It has been wonderful, if not a bit scary thing to confront and do. Wholly and completely liberating. I started with my clothes. I used to have two full closets of clothes, as well as many bunches gathering dust and insects in the garage. I went through, sorted and I now have 1/2 a closet and a dresser. Seriously that’s it. I figure I need to only buy things that make me want to twirl from now on. That is few and far between.

I am a book hoarder. I love the written word, the smell and feel of a book. There is so much power contained inside something small. It is a heady thing to hold in your hand. Then again it might be a crap romance book so your results may vary. Generally, books I keep are amazing . I have way to many amazing things. They got to go. First rule, if it is a trade paperback I give it to the library. If it is something I want for my collection it needs to be honored and be in hardback. Second rule, I have a finite amount of space and my collection needs to fit inside that space. It also can’t look like crap and dishonor the books. (I know. Weird.. weird) I made a list for myself of my absolute hands down favorites, you can find this list here. 6 star books This list has some of the books I find irresistible. Lately it has been trying to find hardback Dresden Files at the goodwill. Basically treasure hunting! I am now down to one and a half bookcases. Still a half to much, but it is a work in progress.

Future plans wise, I am going to copy all our important paperwork that does not need to be an original copy and store in on Amazon. This goes the same with pictures. They are protected and I can print and keep them safe. That gets rid of a lot of space.

I consider this goal to be a work in progress, but the feeling I get when I get rid of stuff is pretty awesome. I am not a minimalist yet, but I can see the allure. I’ll let you know when someone calls me austere.  Teehee