Over the past couple months, as the larger areas of our home have finally taken shape and we really start using them as we have only dreamed of in the years since moving in, I have been especially mindful of the tiny little workhorses that help each room function, or have made our lives easier, or maybe just do their job so well while looking very good–that’s all we want, right? Here are several of our favorite small task masters around our home.
Chris’s Spice Drawer is not seen very much except by him, but man it makes him happy and it just works so well. He has tried a lot of different spice jars before landing on these 3oz Aluminum tin ones. Chris really prefers a screw-on lid for spices (so there’s no popping off the lid and there goes all the spices inside, too!) and the window on top works for this shallow drawer in our Ikea kitchen. While he can identify the spices pretty easily just by looking in the window, he labeled them with clear labeling tape and it’s the cherry on top.
Our Butter Bell is not something I ever thought would make it to the blog, but here I am professing my love to this tiny container that keeps our butter soft and fresh. We have this one, but I love this marble one (under $20!) and a cute one under $10. Trying to spread hard butter is useless. I grew always keeping the butter tray in the fridge, while Chris grew up keeping it in an upper cabinet. And now, we keep it in a cute container on the counter and we’re both really happy with that. Also, that over the counter butcher block from Ikea is another one of our favorite little workhorses and it’s under $10! We use it all day long.
The Valet Hook in our laundry room was a last minute addition and it has improved the functionality of the space 100 fold. It’s perfect for those things that I like to hang dry or while we have a nice counter space to fold, a lot of our tops get hung and to have a spot to hang them right away is nice. The bar folds into the wall when not in use, but you’ll almost always see something there if you come over.
Mail Sorter–You could say my whole desk is a small workhorse, but this rhino letter sorter has actually saved my sanity. Anytime a bill, invoice or letter comes in that needs my attention, I (or whoever gets the mail) put it in my rhino and it’s basically my physical inbox. The farther to the left, the more immediate the attention is and when I’ve completed the task, I put it in the small white letter box on the top shelf to be filed. It’s the heart of my little desk and it’s ridiculously cute, too.
Junk Mail Catch All–In the same room, under the coffee table, I put this wicker tray to serve as a catch all for all the mail that isn’t urgent, i.e. all the magazines and catalogs that end up in our mailbox that I love to wind down with. Maybe this shallow basket doesn’t have a huge function in our household, but I have found if everything has a place–even the “junk mail”–our whole house runs better and stays cleaner.
Toilet Paper Holder–The silliest and most important job in the hall bath goes to this small bamboo canister. I tried a couple different storage options to keep extra t.p. handy. I used to keep a wire basket on top that fit 3 rolls, but it just looked unattractive to me. This canister holds and hides a single roll fits perfectly–which is exactly the number of spare rolls needed at any given time. Three cheers for attractive toilet paper storage!
A Sturdy Step Stool–The last mighty helper in our house goes to this simple step stool from Ikea. We originally got it thinking it would be provide easy access to the sink for our girls to wash their hands before dinner, etc.. But I’m so surprised how often we all use it to reach high shelves in the pantry, to change out a lightbulb in a pinch. Greta has started unloading the dishwasher as a part of her chores and she can easily move it around to put plates and glasses away on the open shelving.
So while there are a lot of BIG things we wouldn’t want to live without in our home, these small things seem to keep our house humming. Are there little work horses in your place, too?
ps. If you missed this morning’s post, this week’s podcast is live and it’s a good one!