There has always been this somewhat secret spot in our kitchen that I tried to avoid getting in any photos. Not because it’s an ugly space, but because I had never taken the time to organize it. It housed our cookbooks, loose recipes, our drill (?), and our too-small recycling bin. And, there would often be a recycling-overflow situation going on in the bottom two shelves. See what I mean?

Well, after doing our mini kitchen makeover (see that here), I thought it was high time to do something about this small space. I emptied it, took out all the shelves, taped out the sides…

…and gave it a couple coats of the fun lime green paint left over from our office makeover.

To make better use of the space, I took some of our baking goods out of our pantry (which was also overflowing), grabbed these jars from the dollar store, labelled them (like I did for this project) and filled them up. Now these items are easily at hand, look kinda cute, and freed up a bunch of space elsewhere in our small kitchen.

I still have all of my cookbooks and recipe cards in this space, but I switched out the level of the shelves so that they could all fit in one nook.

And the basket? It’s one from IKEA that we’ve had for years. It doesn’t look like much but it is stuffed to the brim with random house improvement stuff that we like to keep at hand (most of our tools and similar stuff live in our garage). Sneaky, sneaky.

And that too-small recycling bin? Replaced by two white bins (also from the dollar store). Now our recycling is automatically separated into paper vs. glass/plastic and starts to overflow way less often. It’s still not ideal to have our recycling out in the open (I would so much rather have it tucked away in a cupboard), but when you don’t have a lot of space, you have to get creative.

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Sure, they aren’t magazine-worthy styled shelves, but they are practical and SO much better than we had before. Plus the pop of granny smith green just makes me happy. Not bad for a half-day project and less than $10 (paint already owned).

On a different note, a huuuge thank you to Barbara from hodge:podge who featured me in her ‘So Canadian, Eh’ series this past weekend. You can check out the feature here. And, if you haven’t been there before, be sure to browse through Barbara’s blog for a bunch of inspiration and eye candy!

So that’s it for today. How about you guys? Do anything fun over the weekend? Any home improvement projects? Do tell.