Reno Diaries: The Understairs Cupboard

Yesterday I wrote this post about why we have to stop the big plans for the house for the time-being. Instead, each Wednesday there’ll hopefully be a post with a mini house project that’s been ticked off the list.

Our understairs cupboard has long been in need of a bit of TLC. It is quite literally falling apart and every time I drag something out of it another bit of plaster falls off the walls. That said, any major repair job is not high on a list of priorities and one day it may merge into a downstairs toilet.

Since we moved in its basically been like Monica’s cupboard in Friends, the dumping ground for anything and everything that doesn’t have a home somewhere else. It’s so full of unorganised junk that we can never find what we need and it’s covered in bits of dry dog food and mud from long walks.

understairs cupboard

understairs cupboard

understairs cupboard

So last night I decided to tackle it when I got home from work. Pete was out with his Dad watching football and I thought it would be a nice surprise when he got home (this is as exciting as life gets after 10 years together ;))

Taking everything out, it was sorted into three piles: items that were going back in since we use them regularly; items that needed to be thrown out (there ended up being an entire bin bag full of those!) and items that belong in the garage, at least for now. Once everything was out, the cupboard got the hoover treatment.

clean understairs cupboard

And then the brainwave! We had an old shelving unit in the garage that had come with us from our previous home in Forest Hill, where we’d bought it as a shoe rack to go in the little utility room. It had spent some time upstairs in this house whilst we were renovating the office and then we didn’t know what to do with it so popped it in the garage.

tidy understairs cupboard

tidy understairs cupboard

I didn’t know if it would fit but it’s absolutely perfect and now means we can stack shoes, buckets, cleaning things and it’s all easy to get to and easy to find. There’s also even room for the hoover so we don’t have to keep dragging it down from the spare room. This first mini project has turned out great, now I just need to find a replacement catch for the one that’s broken on the door and it will be good as new.

Do you have any little projects that you’re either ploughing through or putting off?

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  1. July 15, 2015 / 6:30 pm

    I’ve had a right good nosey through your blog, it’s lovely. I would love shutters, I’m going to do a home post about my window treatments soon because I’m looking for inspiration. I really wish I could use Pinterest ha! Your new windows are gorge. I love to get stuck into tidying cupboards and I really miss not having one under the stairs xx

    • Lins
      July 15, 2015 / 7:36 pm

      Thanks so much Lisa for your lovely words! I wish we could win the lottery, I wouldn’t move at all but just leave for 6 months and get all things done we want to 🙂 It’s great being able to share blog inspiration, I look forward to more of your posts X

  2. July 15, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    Our cupboard under the stairs in a total glory hole. It goes back a long way and things just get hurled to the back and never seen again. Well done on doing such a good job! We had mice in our cupboard a couple of years ago, but you probably don’t want to hear about that…. There is so much in our house that I’m currently putting off, but the biggest problem that needs tackling is our decaying back porch. #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      July 16, 2015 / 11:15 pm

      You know I half expected to find some kind of creatures in the cupboard but not even so much as a spider. That porch sounds challenging! x

  3. mummyofboygirltwins
    July 15, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    What a transformation! So tidy! You just have to keep it that way now!! Great project and one that we have just done too – as we’re moving home. Ours was RAMMED literally full of things….oooooops! Thanks for linking up, much appreciated 🙂 Jess xx


    • Lins
      July 15, 2015 / 10:33 pm

      You know I almost feel the cupboard sighing with relief that it can finally breathe. Glad to know I’m not the only with a hoarding space 😉 Is moving day this Friday? So excited to see you settle in to the new home X

  4. July 15, 2015 / 10:23 pm

    Oh my god, we soooo need to do this! Our cupboard is just full of empty boxes and all the utility stuff. If I open the door, everything falls out! A shoe rack is a great idea – you’ve defo inspired me 🙂 #HomeEtc
    Sabrina xx

    • Lins
      July 15, 2015 / 10:34 pm

      Thanks so much Sabrina that’s a lovely thing to say! Just a day in and it already feels like having that extra organisation is making life SO much easier! X

  5. July 15, 2015 / 10:27 pm

    This may not be the prettiest post in the world but I love it. This kind of thing makes me SO happy!!

    The inordinate feeling of JOY when you finally manage to sort out something that’s been driving you bananas for so long is fabulous. I have such a cupboard. And I know how happy I’d feel if mine looked like the one in your pictures!!! 😉 Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro |

    • Lins
      July 15, 2015 / 10:31 pm

      LOL yes that’s exactly right!! There is so much that’s ugly in this house but little by little we’ll restore it all and give it back the love after years of neglectful owners. Thanks so much for hosting as always X

  6. July 15, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    So we have been in our new house for two weeks and I’ve already crammed full the cupboard under the stairs. I keep telling myself it’s just a temporary measure and I will find a real home for everything….. maybe…! You’ve inspired me to do something about it! I have so much to do elsewhere first though, to make space for the things that will come out of that cupboard! Eek! Thank you for the inspiration though, the shelves are genius x

    • Lins
      July 16, 2015 / 11:10 pm

      Oh Kiran I feel your pain and excitement all rolled into one! I think moving house is so overwhelming you can often be left wondering which way to turn. Thrilled for you X

  7. July 16, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    It is so therapeutic when you do something like this isn’t it? I need to tackle the cupboard on our landing! We made a list last weekend of the decorating projects we need to do. Soon hopefully…

    • Lins
      July 16, 2015 / 11:08 pm

      Goodness and don’t those lists go on and on? No sooner do I cross something off than the list than it’s replaced by another 10 things X

  8. July 17, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    Blimey, Lins, that’s made a heck of a difference. Good thinking! I have a similar cupboard that I basically push everything in to and hope that the door doesn’t give way. I know I need to tackle it at some point but keep putting it off. One day! 😉

    • Lins
      July 19, 2015 / 10:49 pm

      I think what I’ve learned from this post is that we all have a “naughty” cupboard and it isn’t necessarily filled with cheeky food treats 😉 Really glad I did it, as mundane a chore as it was, it’s made life a lot easier X

  9. Lucy
    July 20, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    I think your idea of doing mini projects is brilliant! A great way to keep motivation going whilst working towards your bigger goals. The cupboard looks like it should be easier to navigate now everything has a proper place. Looking forward to reading the next project 🙂

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