Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Joy of Plastic Canvas

Oh, holiday aftermath, how much work you create!  I'm finally starting to get my new stuffs put away.  We go for useful stocking stuffers in my family which typically means kitchen reorganization time for me.  You would think that I could just trade out new for old.  Ha!  That would mean things stayed where they were supposed to.  But, since the kitchen needs it anyway, I figured I may as well get on with the reorganizing.  The first thing I encountered was my favorite drawer in it's usual state of chaos.  This particular drawer holds my most frequently used small tools.  Stuff like measuring cups and spoons, can openers, and veggie peelers live there.  And, like most things in my house, it has gotten progressively more and more out of hand as time goes on.  This is what happens when you wage continual battles with entropy.  Entropy always wins.  It's that "they care, we don't, they win" thing that Douglas Adams went on about.  Also, I'm lazy and have never put any manner of drawer organizer in my favorite drawer.  Stuff just slides about.  It makes entropy happy but makes finding anything harder than it should be. 

This is the sort of problem that I like.  The solution is a simple one which I have used many times and it will make everything much neater with the added bonus of being not at all time consuming to accomplish.  I could, of course, go out and buy some drawer organizers.  This would work and I might have done something like that too, except for one little thing.  I have a glut of plastic canvas.  I got a giant box of it with my grandmothers crafting effects and I've been finding interesting uses for it ever since.  I did all my bathroom drawer organization with plastic canvas and I've used to to contain things in my sock drawer.  Then there's my dishwasher pellet container.  I'm quite proud of that one, actually.  I started using Finish tablets in my dishwasher when Cascade turned against me (Cascade is crap now, btw.  If you're wondering why your stuff suddenly got all cloudy with a weird film, there's your answer).  The box the Finish pellets come in is inconveniently big and cardboard so leaving it under the sink is iffy at best.  My disposal has turned against me before and soaked everything underneath it and, despite it having been fixed, I no longer trust it.  Next problem is that the pellets are small so I couldn't just put them in my storage thingy without them falling through the bars.  So I made a little insert for the storage thingy and it holds my dish pellets where I can get at them easily.

I have no idea why I love my little soap pellet holder so much, but I do.  Isn't it grand?  Back to the drawer though.  Some quick measurements and I'm off! It doesn't take much to do which is why I like it so much.  Plus it costs me nothing but time and not much of that. 

 This is the mess I was starting with.  Everything everywhere.  I took out everything, wiped the drawer, and then put the things I wanted in that drawer back in their relative positions.

Once the bits were laid out I could make a sketch of what I was going for with measurements so I could be sure the end result would fit.

Then it was on to building.  Mark, cut, assemble.

Once I got each bin made, I laid them out and sewed them together for extra stability.

Once everything was together I could put it in the drawer and set to filling it up.  Not everything wound up going where I expected it to, but the overall plan held together well enough.

And this is why I firmly believe that there very few storage issues that can't be solved with some manner of crafting.  Plastic canvas can do some pretty amazing things.  For instance, I needed something washer-like when I rehung my pet net.  The cup hooks I had installed the net with pulled out of the wall and they're too skinny and short for me to try wall anchors with them.  So, I found some nice long screws and built a 'washer' that I could use to keep the pet net from falling off the end of the screw.  Voila!  Instant solution.

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