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Downsizing. Again!

We have been living in our small rental for nearly six months now, and although we downsized a lot when we moved here, we realize that we have been enjoying a luxury of space that will not be available in the laneway home.

For instance, even though the kitchen is tucked into a corner of the main living room, the rest of the room is large enough to hold a small dining table and two chairs, a sofa and armchair, a coffee table, set of shelves, and TV cabinet, plus several large plants.

Our new home will have less than half the room.  The kitchen will be larger, with more built-ins and counter space.  But we will lose the table and chairs and will eat at the counter with these stools (except in white)


DH picked them up yesterday and they are ready to go.

The kitchen counter will have to be kept spotless and clutter-free.  That’ll be easier with the built-in microwave and the appliance garage, like this one:

ApplianceGarageNote the electrical outlet within the garage — we’ll have that as well.

Plus the garbage, compost and recycling will be tucked out of sight in a pull-out drawer under the sink.

And we are thinking a lot about how to get every square centimeter of use out of the kitchen.

Back in our old kitchen, I stored spices on two turntables in an upper cupboard.  Although in principle it was a good idea, when you needed a spice it was always in the centre of the circular turntable, which meant moving spice bottles around a lot, and some would fall off onto the counter, and some would fall off into the back of the cupboard and stop the turntable from moving.  It was not an ideal situation, and it drove DH nuts as little bottles would cascade out of the cupboard onto his cooking projects.

So we asked for, and got, a nice pull-out drawer with shelves that fits in right beside the stove.  Something like this:

SpiceDrawerWith adjustable shelves.  We would store the spices on the shelves, but we wanted a method to store the spices in uniform containers that we could identify from above, as we would be seeing them from above when we pulled out the drawer.

So I got a bit crafty.  We buy our martini olives in short, cylindrical jars.  When we empty the jars, instead of putting them in the recycle bin, I recycle them as spice jars.  Some chalkboard paint on the side makes a label that I write the name on with a white pen.  And a dab of the same paint on the lid allows me to write the name there, too.


Problem solved inexpensively and while saving the planet from more glass.

Now on to the next dilemna.  Do we need that container of ladles, spoons, etc. beside the stove?  Or should they be stored in a drawer?

About ladywholivesdownthelane

Starting the adventure of building a laneway house in the real-estate jungle of Vancouver, BC

3 responses »

  1. Hi Pat, love your idea to re-use jars for spices and add chalkboard paint as labels…thanks! Will start doing that for MG’s bags of spices cluttering our cupboard:)

    • The jars we use hold almost exactly the amount in one of the store’s bulk bags. BTW, the chalkboard paint works fine — but not with chalk. I had to get a white pen from Michael’s to write on them. If I change the contents, I just paint over the label again.

  2. I have lived in a camper for 9 years. After downsizing, our eating habits changed dramatically. I now only use 2-4 spices.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.


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