Saturday, September 13, 2008

That under the sink cupboard

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. We are finally seeing some sun again here in the UK. I hope it lasts!

I have some before and after pictures to share with you of my 'under the sink cupboard'. It wasn't completely disgusting to begin with, but there was no order, and if I needed a new sponge I'd have to dive in and rummage around hoping there weren't any mice. So, I unpacked everything (rule no 1. if you're going to tidy a cupboard). Then I threw away what we no longer needed, got rid of the bucket that was taking up too much space and I bought two cheap containers - one for my sponges and cloths, the other one is for all those bin bags and other plastic bags, including used plastic shopping bags. So here are my before and after photos:


Still the same stuff, just arranged better, and no unnecessary containers. The thing that made the biggest difference is how I took all our used plastic supermarket bags, and folded them small. First off I'd like to say that I have the best of intentions when it comes to plastic supermarket bags - I have two cotton string bags that can hold loads. But unfortunately I do sometimes forget to take them with me. However, it is handy to have some spare supermarket bags around (and by some I mean a maximum of 10-15 at any time, nobody needs 100s of plastic bags unless you run a shop). I use spare supermarket bags when we run out of doggy poop bags, or to take treats with to work. I even use spare plastic bags as small rubbish bags. But I also can't stand seeing lots of crumpled up bags stuffed in a cupboard. This solution of folding bags works a treat - I was shown this in South Africa where people now have to pay for supermarket bags, thus everyone saves them. Maybe you already know this trick, so skip the next bit if you do... but if you don't, I hope you find this as handy as I do. They fold up to just the right size so that you can pop a few in your handbag next time you go to the supermarket. Now that is not so un-environmentally friendly after all! :)

Step 1 & 2: Take a plastic supermarket bag and flatten it out neatly on a work surface.

Step 3: Take the edge closest to you and fold it over by about 2 inches.
Step 4: Repeat the folding in the same direction until your bag is folded into a long strip - fold in the bag handles and squash them down so that they lay flat.

Step 5: Now fold the right hand edge over at a 45 degree angle so that the side edge is now lined up with the top egde.
Step 6: Fold up along the 45 degree angle that you've just folded (you're just rolling the bag over to the left as you go).

Step 7: Repeat step 6 until you have a bit left at the end.
Step 8: Now tuck the loose end into a previously folded edge.

Oh gosh - I hope that makes sense, this was a bit harder to explain than I thought. My husband knows this fold because apparently they use to fold their crisp packets like this at school - maybe you did too? But let me know if you'd like me to post a video instead.

Have a great Saturday evening and Sunday, I'll try and post again on Wednesday.


Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

oh i love that fold technique although admit to being a bit baffled at first until i read about the crisps folding and light dawned!!! thank you linencupboardhusband for the hint :-) your cupboard looks so empty I must admit to being guilty of having every known cleaning product on the market in mine but had a big clear out recently - i must take some pictures!!
Lesley x

The Vintage Kitten said...

Oh the dreaded under the cupboard sink. Mine looks abit like your first picture. I store the pet food in mine so I no longer store cleaning products there and the carrier bags used to annoy me so I bought one of those material tube things that hangs up. B&Q charge for carriers. I use them as small bin bags too, alot more hygienic than having a larger bin. Great post again. Mandy

Judy said...

OMG it looks like a different cabinet altogether. I love the fold and although I don't have a lot of plastic bags I'm going to try it. I think you did a good job explaining and showing. Mine all go for kitties when I clean the litter box. I clean it twice a day because I have 2 kitties so my bags don't add up too fast. I'm usually trying to find some. I also take my own bags when I shop at certain stores.

Mary said...

We use that same fold (or a very similar one) to fold the American flag. (We teach this to the girls at summer camp.)

I guess my prior method of scrunching the bags is out of the question now.

MelMel said...

Very neat!! i love it!
I bought a betterware under the sink tidy thing....makes things so much more streamlined!
Sadly Darcy did not appear.....all wet and wonderful.....Olly did offer to throw himself in...but as he has had a bad cold...i let him off! bless him!

We have one CK carrier bag holder, just incase a plastic bag sneaks into the house...i use them pretty much the same way as you....we also have an a fine collection of ECO bags from the Tesco and unicorn that westore in the boot of the car so we never forget them and i have a CK fabric bag that i carry in my handbag so i always have a shopper with me.......i like to think i'm quite organised..mmmmmm sometimes!!

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Wow... your under the sink cupboard looks so much better!
Two weeks ago... I had a go cleanning my plastic containers cupboard and was amazed to find how many I had, and must of them didn`t even had a lid.
It just come to show that a good tidy up... its always necessary!
Now its so much less stress... when I need to find a containner...with its lid...

By the way... I love the way that you show us to fold the bags!
How cool is that!
Debbie Moss

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Never thought of folding the recycled plastics. But you did it exactly as our young boys used to fold paper to make footballs for a little school boy game. Enjoyed your blog. Also...sadly the schweschwe quilt wasn't mine, but one I saw at the quilt show. I hope to make one, if my things ever make it here from South Africa.

Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

hi - have tagged you to do the 6 strange/quirky facts about yourself :-)
have a look on my blog
Lesley x

Country Bliss said...

Thats a great way to fold bags, they always take up so much space and I feel guilty for throwing them away. My cupboard under the sink is always getting in a mess, I buy far too many products!

Ivy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ivy said...

Your post are magic!
I love the grocery bag fold tutorial. Have a great day!

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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