Secondhand buys and my hideous pantry

No one could ever call me a minimal. I buy all sorts of things I like because they are cheap, I will say though I don’t do it often…just occasional trips nowadays when I am looking for something in particular. This time I was searching for more jars and also bottles suitable for fruit liqueurs. It always happens that I see other people’s pre-loved treasures and feel I would like to love them too – or I see other people’s junk and think I could use it somehow. (I will not show you a photo of our spare room full of stuff to go back to op-shops but instead we will gloss over the fact Wendy buys stuff for which she has no use for sometimes because it was very cheap!)

Anyway, these jars cost 50c – $1 each and is the only way I will ever buy jars. I have bought whole boxes full for $1 before but these were all needed for some reason. See that lovely big bottle, it’s an old whiskey one with a screw on lid – $1!!


Wicker hamper $5


Large flour bin was $10, this will last my lifetime.


Roger’s buy, a pig cookie jar – $2


2 wooden containers for $1, I have no idea where these will go/fit!


And this for $5. Now…this will be a winter project (well, that’s the plan) I have a weird thing for boxes, wee drawers etc, have them all over everywhere. This took my fancy, it’s about knee high but pretty ugly as is. What potential lies here though!! Watch this space for a beautiful decoupaged piece – or, you could see it in a future post on purging my home and a rant about all the junk I have collected and the need for it to be gone!Image

Β We have been here 7 years and have always despaired of the pantry. Much of it is hidden behind the wall, it’s never been finished (the house is 40 years old!) and is full of wasted space.Β Image

In fact it’s the ugliest pantry you will ever see πŸ™‚ and there is little other storage in the kitchen. These brackets in front were very quickly put up after the first earthquake when everything felt out – they are not normal pantry fittings I know πŸ™‚ They have not come down because we still get the occasional one 6 months later. You see my problem here though ay!? I would like something nice and something functional. Roger is going to be taking this front wall down and building all new shelving, which IS a bit concerning because I get to view his unfinished projects every time I go into the garden. He assures me though that he does realise the importance of a job done quickly, and done in it’s entirety, when in the kitchen.


I cannot believe I have just shown the whole world my crappy pantry! The door normally stays firmly shut πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

But I will be so happy to see it gone and something workable in it’s place. That dishwasher does not go (top photo) and will be gotten rid of to use the space. Much as I would’ve liked another it’s not going to happen, they use too much power.


38 thoughts on “Secondhand buys and my hideous pantry

  1. RT says:

    I love those wooden containers! Given the chance, I would have snapped them up, too. Be sure to give us a before and after on those ugly drawers, will you?


  2. I love everything you bought and If I had been in the shops before you, you would now have more space . . . πŸ™‚ I LOVE things others have loved (or I like to imagine they loved their belongings); new things have no ‘soul’, so new is mostly reserved for techie stuff like computers that need to actually work πŸ˜‰

    Those drawers have a lot of potential. I love small drawers, too, as does my Mum; we have a couple of IKEA sets each . . .

    You won’t believe this, but I like your pantry, too . . . although I can see why you might want a new one that is more customized to your needs. Still . . .

    So now you know you are not the only crazy lover of second-hand items.

    I’m glad you shared, even though I do understand the anxiety of doing so. I ought to share photos of the living room (lounge) here . . . makes your pantry look lovely! Thanks, Wendy. ~ Linne


    • You are right there Linne, new things have no soul. I have always loved old things rather than new stuff. I think the drawers have alot of potential, whether I get around to fulfilling it is another thing πŸ™‚
      You like my pantry? I don’t mind the outside, I love that I even have a pantry but it’s so impractical for the amount of space it takes. There’s no room for preserving, that has to go downstairs in a disused room.


  3. I forgot to mention; my Mum was born in the Chinese Year of the Pig and at one time had a lovely collection. But when she felt she had enough, people kept buying her pig stuff, ’til she had nowhere to display it all. So she’s downsized that collection now. But I’ll show her the cookie jar; she’ll love it! You are so lucky we live on another continent! πŸ˜‰ ~ L


  4. You are a woman after my own heart, Wendy. I, too, buy things from op shops and garage sales that I generally don’t need – but every now and then one of the things I buy is a real gem and saves us a fortune. For example, I recently bought a small, solid, shabby creme bookcase to hold wool in what is slowly becoming my craft room. It cost $5 and looks great! So buy away, I say! Love those jars and bottles and can’t wait to see what you do with the drawers and your pantry. Very exciting! xoxoxoxoxox


    • πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ We get everything cheap and it saves us an absolute fortune. Our latest TV and cabinet cost $10, I have 3 beautiful old feather eiderdowns for $5 each, preserving pot $5 etc – everything we own is secondhand and bought cheap…but I do tend to collect stuff we don’t need because it’s too cheap not to buy lol. I do have an awful lot of stuff waiting to go back to op shops πŸ™‚
      I can’t wait to see what we do with the drawers and pantry too!! Thanks xxx


  5. The best place to get funky bottles for free is to head to your local pub (or your nearest pub if you don’t frequent pubs – we don’t either πŸ˜‰ ) and ask them to keep their used spirit bottles for you. You can end up with some amazing bottles for free and you are doing them a favour as they don’t have to fill up their recycling bin so quickly (or skip as most of them use these days).

    LOL! I was just sitting here wondering what on EARTH would possess someone to design a container that said “Ears” on it until I looked at the image and realised that there was a very ornate “P” in front of those ears πŸ˜‰ (We won’t even talk about the “arsley” πŸ˜‰ )

    I adore that small map cupboard and am imagining all of the wonderful things that you could do with it πŸ™‚ Until Roger the supreme master of all handiwork gets around to your pantry why don’t you take a bit of paint to that wooden beam and tart it up? You could get Pauline around and she could sprinkle some of that magic Pauline twinkly stuff over the results and you may just not want another pantry πŸ™‚

    My pantry sucked heartily. It had a corner bit inside it, you couldn’t walk into it or reach anything up the back and so we took a saw to it and fixed it. Of course, now there isn’t a lot of space in it for putting anything and I had to appropriate the old broom cupboard and the middle wardrobe as additional pantries but whatchagonnadoeh?! πŸ˜‰ Hugs from one hoarder to another…Linnie (queen of the collectors) has already given you a wordy hug and we are all envious to the back gills of your gorgeous finds…I wish we could find stuff like that locally!


    • That is a great idea re the bottles. we have a pub just down the road so I will do just that, good thinking!!

      I love my Ears and Arsley containers lol. I have a dyslexia when it comes to signage, advertising…anything written big. I get all sorts of random words from them until I sort it in my mind and sometimes if I haven’t got a second look at something I have been left wondering what the hell it meant by….??!! So, I related to this lol

      I’m not sure that a twinkly beam in my pantry would change my views about it, I’m sure both Roger and Pauline could do their stuff well but I would still have half a pantry unusable, twinkly or not πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      We have an old laundry downstairs we use as a larder (put heaps of shelves in) plenty big enough but it also gets all sorts thrown in there and holds recycling, vacuum cleaners etc – not the most satisfactory place to store food but all there is.

      Hoarders unite! I can do cheap, but I can’t do minimal.


      • Same here…I border on turning into my parents and there is only Steve between me and a house full of junk πŸ˜‰ “Its NOT junk, I might be able to use that some day!” πŸ˜‰ I reckon that a bright twinkly plank from Pauline is worth 2 in the bush! πŸ˜‰


      • Lol. Roger has a friend who IS a hoarder in every sense of the word, he is utterly compulsive and his house and property are full of junk. I had to put the hard word on Roger about a year after we came here…..he showed potential of becoming the same!! Combined with moi, it could get really, really bad. Awareness of the potential is the key here lol


      • You are right there! Our crazy American drug addled hippy mate IS a hoarder. He has a whole house on his property that he has filled with garbage “just in case” and any garbage that we throw out he insists on taking to this derelict house of hoard. His own house is relatively clean and uncluttered so I reckon he is like Dorian Grey πŸ˜‰ I only hoard amazing, wonderful things like bowls and glass jars and things that make me happy πŸ™‚ Some might say that I have a few too many bowls but then “some” shouldn’t be nosing around in my bowl cupboard should they? πŸ˜‰ True hoarding is the ultimate in mean. Hoarders just don’t want to share and want EVERYTHING for themselves. They say it is a mental thing and that they can’t control their compulsions but I reckon there comes a time when they just cross a line…”am I going to own every bloody thing in the world? Yup…damned RIGHT I am!” and they just go at it with urgency and a complete disregard for anyone else from that point forwards. You watch those hoarding shows (well I do) and they are all selfish old buggers who will do anything that they can to grab onto and keep hold of their “preciouses”…some do it with money, some for power and some just hoard. Its all the same… “MINE DON’T TOUCH!” πŸ˜‰ That’s how I know that I am not a true hoarder. If you want something that I have (so long as it isn’t my vitamix… PLEASE don’t ask me for my vitamix!) you can pretty much have it. Generosity is good for you. If you give out (pay forward) you receive what you need in return. What goes around comes around. It’s a fundamental truth that hoarders just don’t get and so they lead small lives because of it.


      • That’s very true. We also will give anything to anyone if we have it…and often do πŸ™‚ Roger kept buying small tents for say $5 because they were cheap. We haven’t got one left, all have been taken by very happy free customers….same with wet weather gear etc. I didn’t “get it” to begin with but do now πŸ™‚ I will give stuff away but didn’t buy thing especially to give away one day. I watch those hoarder programs too, in fact have worked with one. Terrible state of mind, terribly unhappy people but yep, can be very miserly. You wonder where that comes from, what led to it. In saying that Roger’s mate is very happy-go-lucky and also happy to give stuff away but man, oh, man, what a compulsion and what a state his properties are – I say properties because landlords don’t take kindly to his hobby.

        Off for my weekend away, have a good one πŸ™‚


      • Oh yes… you are off to a concert! Enjoy it to the max, enjoy that close proximity to the sea and make sure to collect some sea glass and shells for posterity (hoarding πŸ˜‰ )


  6. I would kill for that tiny drawer – it is perfect for my Create Joy room and therefore will be perfect for your create joy room too and may be the inspiration to get you going on some really cool arty type projects [when Winter comes of course!]

    I love all your finds – you could tart up those tins too if you wanted – or you might like ‘ears’ and ‘arsley’ πŸ™‚ I roared when I read that comment! [Narfie7 is obviously awfully tired, it is way past her bed time and she’s been on my blog writing copious comments]

    I think you deserve a fabulous pantry, all straight shelves and nicely laid out – and painted too or covered with something that you really like and doors that allow easy access, not that great lump of 4 x 2 holding the ceiling up…. all yours and Rogers hard work in growing and preserving your foodstuffs must be rewarded with a storage place that can be flung wide open for the wonder and amazement of any Tom, Dick or Harriet who wander past ……. “Look” you will say “Look at what we have flung together this past summer” And you will feel all lovely and proud just as you should πŸ™‚ xoxo


    • I wondered what on Earth you were on about the Ears and Arsley lol, she’s a character πŸ™‚

      I love that wee drawer set too, I am thinking it will end up down in my craft/art room. The only problem with it is will cost a bit to get wee drawer handles for it.

      I think I deserve a nicer pantry too πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ The present one makes no sense at all, it’s the worst designed pantry I have ever seen. It’s one of those jobs we have always talked about doing but never got around to, I’d quite like to have preserving actually in the kitchen πŸ™‚ xxx


      • You know you could think outside the square with the handles. I once made some plaited coloured string into handles for a set of drawers and it looked quite pretty and worked a treat. You could make your own paper beads and string them for handles – they are really strong and won’t break if you make them properly. You could use chain, wire, buttons, tassels, pom-poms ….. the list of could’s is endless πŸ™‚


  7. That little set of drawers is so cute, okay cute as in potential. I can’t wait to see how you change it. I love the bottles you found and that flour tin is amazing. I wouldn’t use it in the kitchen if I found it I would store yarn or other crafts in it.

    I showed my bathroom pictures so your pantry made me smile. I think we all have one spot in our homes that we want to cringe at. Hope you show your new pantry when Roger completes it.


    • Yes, the pantry is cringe material lol. I will be glad to be rid of it as it is.

      The little set of drawers I am thinking I will either decoupage or paint and cover the drawers with nice scrapbooking papers…it has heaps of potential for something very pretty I think πŸ™‚


  8. Oh how I wish you lived next door to me! I would be the first one trailing behind you on your next hunt!!! I love all your stuff, and I don’t think your panty is horrible:-) It is a Quarteracrelifestyle panty! I love these types of posts where you share your ideas of all the ‘things’ you plan to do with “stuff” you find. It inspires me!!
    For the past 25 yrs I have practiced “voluntary simplicity” which does not mean minimal-lol. It means to simplify + that is going to be different for everyone. I will never be a minimalist because I have the creative spirit in my soul-lol. I love “trash to treasure” creations for myself or to give to others.
    Great post!:-)


    • Hi Robbie πŸ™‚ I am glad you enjoyed my post πŸ™‚

      We do live pretty simply but yes, will never be minimal. This is something we both had in common when we met, we both love to fossick second hand places and find cheap little things. When we lost stuff in the quakes it wasn’t value that concerned us (honestly it truly is cheap stuff) but it was the experiences and memories of finding little treasures that we sorry about. I am a bit of a nester! We go through periods of thinking we will find a shack with more land, and may even still do this one day but we would have trouble downsizing the things we love.

      We do have good clean outs where stuff will go to thrift shops though, we haven’t got there recently but are not stingy about giving back πŸ˜‰ We don’t hit malls and department stores though, ever. I haven’t been into town for years, as far as I get is the thrift shops at the end so I think we don’t do too bad πŸ™‚ xx


      • I HATE shopping, so I don’t even go to stores. I do go to the grocery store for odds and ends. I just am not a shopper, but I love a good garage sale/thrift store. My daughter got me the best salad spinner at the Goodwill! She paid a dollar + I love it. Those things are expensive. It was my favorite Christmas gift that year!!!
        Material things mean nothing to me, but I agree it is the experience or just the “process” of creating something from nothing!


      • You sound just like me!! I am so pleased to read of others out there, especially other women, who hate shopping! Material things mean nothing to me either, in fact the dearer something is the less I am likely to like or enjoy it. Anything expensive is unnecessary to me. If I can turn junk into useful or pretty I am a happy girl πŸ™‚


      • like I said you need to be my neighbor!:-) but I am so grateful you are my cyber neighbor, so we can celebrate we are not alone in the world! I often wondered what was wrong with me since I hate shopping-LOL. My mother could hardly get me to a store when I was a kid. My poor daughters would want to go shopping and I HATED it-lol. I was glad my last child was a son, and he hates shopping too:-)


      • I agree so much about downsizing:-) I enjoy creating and I have a lot of projects going on that require space, for example, my daughters old room is my green house-lol. It is filled with trays of all my cole crops that will go out in a few weeks. Then I start my tomatoes , peppers etc. I also grow for other people, so they can enjoy growing food. I also have space to create which is filled with projects I never seem to get done at this time of year. I am so busy growing plants from seeds that I don’t have time to be creative. late fall/early winter best time-so I totally get what you mean about downsizing. I also love all my used books that I sit and read:-)


      • Well that all sounds like very wise uses for space to me! I am looking for to some downtime in winter so I can get to creating, I am feeling very sorry for myself at present, no time for anything but food production and work – but it is seasonal and I can keep in touch with all things garden through others’ blogs πŸ™‚


      • Oh boy ain’t that the truth! We all are looking in awe at your bounty, but it is a lot or work. We have below zero weather tonight -14 with -30 wind chill…crazy winter. I am eager to get out there, but am enjoying reading your blog and seeing your beautiful food + garden!!!


  9. Averil says:

    We sound like peas out of the same pod, but wait crazy lady could that dishwasher be kept cleaned and used as temporary storage, eg jams dishes even after all it is designed to house them, until your flash new pantry arrives I did it with an upright freezer worked great


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