Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


Leave a comment

The next big thing in space saving design

Space-saving design is incredibly popular as it helps people get more out of their home. If you save space, then each room has more room to breathe and looks far less cluttered and compact. Not only does this improve a room’s functionality, but it also improves its aesthetic appeal. When space is tight – as it has been in so many of my previous homes – making the most of the space you have is extremely important. No wonder Ikea does so well!

This folding table turns into a storage cabinet

In this blog post, I’m discussing the next big thing in space-saving design. What’s the growing trend right now that everyone’s crazy about? For many, it’s this idea of transformable furniture. Furniture that looks like one thing, and then transforms into another thing to serve a different function. Yes, it’s the “robots in disguise” of the 21st century! This saves so much space in the home, as you get one object that can do two or three different things. As such, instead of having two or three pieces of furniture, you only need one. Transformers rock!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may have seen one of these space-saving cabinets in action because I gave one a thrifty makeover as a ‘baking station’ in my own kitchen. It’s kitchen cabinet that folds downwards to become a table for someone to sit at and eat their breakfast in the morning. A genius space-saving design that’s ideal for someone in a small studio apartment. There’s no doubt that transforming furniture is the next big thing in space-saving design. All of these examples are so smart, and it’s exciting to think what other things we’ll see in the near future.

Dining Room Coffee Table

Continue reading “The next big thing in space saving design” »


Leave a comment

Household goals – keeping my home neat & organised

Starting the new year with the intention of keeping my home clean and organised has been very motivating goal for 2017 so far. A jolly good tidy-up at the start of January really helped, as did finding a home for all the lovely gifts I received over Christmas. However, I’ve found that after just a few weeks of trying to keep up with all the mess, it has become difficult to do and I often ‘forget’ about it. Then I find that even more stuff has piled up on top of the original pile. Uhoh! The trouble is that I haven’t really got round to sorting out any specific strategies or routines for organising my stuff. I can’t fight it any more. I need new storage, and that’s all there is to it. There are a whole range of different products that I could buy, systems that I can put in place and even new routines that will help me to have an organised and tidy home, yet I’ve resisted so far. But not any longer – so today I’m sharing a few ideas on how to can introduce certain things to your home to help clear the clutter!

The Kitchen

I’ve found it’s best to focus on one room at a time, as different rooms will require different processes and organising strategies. That sounds so official, doesn’t it?! The kitchen is a great room to start with, as it can often be the one room that needs the most work when it comes to getting organised. My kitchen is one of the most used rooms within the home; not just for preparing and cooking meals, but dining, socialising and even working too. One of the best ways to start a kitchen de-clutter is to give your fridge and cupboards a deep clean. Throw away any items that are past their use-by date, wipe the surfaces clean and add some kind of sorting system. Having certain cupboards for specific foods or products will make your life much easier (eg, pans in the cupboard nearest the oven), as well as making the kitchen look much neater.Recycling is another task you can incorporate into your kitchen to keep your home organised. We go through so many plastic, glass and cardboard items every week, and having a recycling system in place will help you filter through these items neatly, whilst keeping the kitchen organised too. There’s nothing worse than a build-up of glass bottle on the side, waiting for that fortnightly trip to the tip!

DIY Peg bag sewing project + carrier bag dispenser

Continue reading “Household goals – keeping my home neat & organised” »


8 Comments

My Little Vintage Caravan – My storage article in Caravan Magazine

Wooo my little vintage caravan has made it into the June issue of Caravan Magazine. My little blue Sprite is becoming quite the celebrity in the touring world! I’m excited to share the article with you today and show off my little renovation project again.caravan magazine cassiefairy alpine sprite camper trailer makeover renovation project-2So here it is: a double-page spread! In the article I discuss the progress of my caravan makeover and how difficult it had been to find storage that would fit. Aside from my very tiny desk (which had a pastel pink makeover and a patchwork interior) I couldn’t find any storage cupboards that would even fit through the door of the caravan. Even if I could have manoeuvred a chest of drawers in through the window, most items of furniture are too deep for the narrow space in the caravan. A standard piece of furniture would stick out too far into the centre of the caravan and cause a bottleneck into the space. I needed a space that I could use for crafting, cutting out patterns and sewing, so I didn’t want to fill up all the room with furniture.caravan magazine cassiefairy alpine sprite camper trailer makeover renovation project-4That said, I did need storage. Somewhere to store my fabrics, ribbons, books, paperwork, buttons and bobbins – along with my Maneki Neko collection of course. So what was the solution? Why, children’s furniture, of course! It’s smaller and more narrow than conventional furniture so it fits in the limited space nicely. Plus, it’s flat-pack furniture so I could take it into the caravan in pieces and construct it in-situ. I wrote all about my new caravan storage solution on my blog so have a read, check out all the photos and let me know what you think of this idea.caravan magazine cassiefairy alpine sprite camper trailer makeover renovation project-5And if you get hold of a copy of Caravan Magazine this June, please let me know what you think of my first article too. It’s also online at OutandAboutLive.co.uk so you can have a read of the full article there too. It’s very exciting for me, and I’d love to know what kind of a response it’s had so please get in touch by leaving me a comment below or by tweeting me @Cassiefairy. caravan magazine cassiefairy alpine sprite camper trailer makeover renovation project-6


Leave a comment

Utility rooms – Making the most of a small space

We could all do with a bit more room, couldn’t we? I know I personally need much more room – or perhaps far fewer things! Okay, okay, I could have a clear out, minimise my stuff and move onto a narrowboat, but even then I think I’d find a few important things that I’ll need to store, no matter where I live. And these tend to be the cleaning, washing and pet feeding bits ‘n’ pieces you need on a daily basis. The things you’d find in a utility room. And when you don’t have a utility room, these are the things that clutter up your kitchens, living rooms, garages and sheds. While I don’t mind a bit of mess, I still like everything to have a place, somewhere I can put it away and breathe a sign of relief that my home (and life!) is in order once again. And that’s where a utility room comes in.

My dream utility room and mud room

Whether you’ve got a back kitchen, a dedicated utility room or just a large cupboard, the most important thing about making the space in a utility area work for you is planning an excellent layout, with storage built in. With just a few ingenious ideas, some sensible (wipe-clean!) material choices and a couple of great storage solutions you can create a utility room to be proud of. It’ll solve all your problems with clutter and mess (yes, I’m sure!) and it can look great too. I’ve gathered some examples of inspirational utility spaces – I won’t call them rooms, because some are just nooks or cupboards – and wanted to share some top-notch storage ideas with you today.

High cupboards keep the floor space of a small utility room clear so it feels more spacious

1. It doesn’t have to be big

Just having a dedicated space to store your cleaning stuff, to house your washing machine or to keep your outdoor gear is reason enough to turn a small cupboard space into a utility area. An alcove, a nook, under the stairs or in the kitchen; wherever you put it, the utility “room” will keep all your mess and clutter in one place and can be neatly closed away when you’re not using it. I love this washing room (above), tucked away in a cupboard. It takes up almost no room at all yet has enough storage for all your cleaning products and room for the washing machine and tumble-dryer.

Great ideas for pet food storage and even a living space for your dog.

Continue reading “Utility rooms – Making the most of a small space” »


Leave a comment

Cost-saving ideas for setting up your own business

Fancy setting up a business of your own? Do you daydream of sleek white offices or cute boutique shops where you’re the boss? Perhaps you’ve got amazing skills in crafting, sewing or design and everyone keeps telling you that you should do it as a job. Or maybe you’ve been working in an industry for so long that you know it inside out and just know that you could do a better job working for yourself. If you’ve been thinking about setting up a business there are plenty of things to consider long before you take the plunge and I’d love to chat through a few of these with you today.

setting up an online retail business from home

image source

Setting up your online store

These days many business start out online and grow their customer base before requiring a physical store. So if you’re thinking about creating a website, I’d definitely recommend doing your research before buying a domain, a hosting plan, e-commerce package or site-building software. Some are more user-friendly than others – so you’d be able to design the website yourself and save money – while some might have hidden charges for future updates or for adding more data storage as your business grows. An easy way to dip your toes in is to list your products on already-established retail sites such as Etsy, Folksy, Not On the High Street or even Ebay. You’ll pay different fees for selling via these sites but it may be less expensive than setting up your own e-commerce site and customers will be able to find you more easily.

The internet is THE best place to promote your business so use all the free resources to get your name out there. You definitely want to link a blog to your e-commerce site, because the regularly updated content on a blogroll is great for SEO and will help increase your ranking on Google. There are plenty of free social media platforms you can use to promote your business – think Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ etc.etsy tips for starting a business online

image source

Save money with better storage

Finding ways to save money should be one of the focuses of every business manager and owner. When it comes to providing adequate storage for a business, this can be a cost-saving measure in its own right. All sorts of costs drop as a result of increased capacity in storage or a more rational approach to keeping stored items in good order. First of all, handling errors are minimised by staff when storage is laid out well. They tend to be able to find the components they need or able to fulfil customer orders more rapidly. This means greater productivity which, in turn, means you need fewer staff, thus saving money.

In addition, well laid-out storage of paper records, stock and goods-out areas means that mistakes are made less frequently. Having to fix something that has gone wrong is so much more costly to businesses than getting it right first time! High-quality storage improves efficiency, leads to better customer fulfilment and reduces costs year on year.packaging ideas for online retail business

Minimise processing costs

There will always be costs associated with businesses who are retailing online, as you need to get the product to the customer quickly and in great condition. So shopping around for suitable suppliers of low-cost boxes, packaging, tape, tissue paper, packing materials and anything else you need to pack up an order (ribbons and personalised stickers are a cute touch) is essential. It might be easy to stick with the first company you speak to, but if you’ve got a quote from one supplier, why not get in touch with a couple more to see if they can match or beat the price. You may find it beneficial to stick with a local company – even if a national brand DOES end up being a littler cheaper – because you’ll probably be able to get in touch with them more easily, develop good business relationships (perhaps there’s something you can do for them?) and if you need something in a hurry you can actually go straight to them to physically pick up a box of tape etc.

Delivery companies also should be compared before you start selling online, so that you know how much you should be charging for P&P. You could end up losing money if you just pluck a delivery charge out of the air! Postage costs vary wildly so it’s a good idea to pack, weigh and measure your product and then get quotes for the delivery. It could very well be easier to pop to the local post office each day, but if you’re sending out high volumes of products each day, perhaps having one courier collect all the parcels from you at once would be more convenient – and cheaper!packaging ideas for small online retail business

image source

Continue reading “Cost-saving ideas for setting up your own business” »


2 Comments

DIY interiors project – colourful cupboards

Want to inject a bit of colour into your room but don’t want to commit to a complete wall-to-wall makeover? Can I suggest painting the inside of your cupboards instead? It’s interior design on a very ‘interior’ scale – the inner walls of your storage to be exact! It allows you to add splashes of fun colours without changing your entire room scheme and adds a sense of surprise to other rather dull storage solutions.

You can have a perfectly calm and serene neutral palette on all four walls, but when you open up those cupboard doors BAM! You’re hit with a fresh burst of zesty colour. It’s guaranteed to brighten up even the dullest morning (and wake you up!) if you open your workday wardrobe and sunshine yellow or bright sky blue is waiting for you. I’ve spotted examples of bright turquoise paint being used inside kitchen units on A Beautiful Mess blog and architect George Clarke used different citrus colours inside his children’s cupboards on Amazing Spaces.

Colours can define uses – each child having their own colour storage and taking responsibility for it, for example – and cupboard doors can be opened (or removed altogether!) to bring colour into the room and change the ambience of a space. Bright colours surely equal party time, do they not?! As you only need a small tin of paint for decorating cupboard spaces it’s a purse-friendly interior design project (keep an eye out for reduced tins in crazy shades!) and you can be adventurous with your colour choices. It’s definitely a design feature that I want to do lots of in my new home and I tried out the technique inside an old bedroom storage cupboard with a pop of pink…

Continue reading “DIY interiors project – colourful cupboards” »


4 Comments

Tuesday Shoesday – Space saving shoe storage

Earlier this year I started to sort out my clutter. It was an absolute necessity, as I was moving house and I didn’t want to take all the accumulated clutter with me. Plus, I knew that I would have much less storage space so some of my belongs either had to go to the charity shop (which a lot did!) or be storage away safely so that I could get to them again at a later date. To cut a long story short, my shoe cupboard was one of the first casualties. Not only could I not fit all my shoes into my new wardrobe but I couldn’t even fit the cupboard itself into the house! What’s a girl to do??tuesday shoesday ultimate shoe storge cabinet g plan bookshelf unit-8A lot of my shoes were safely boxed up and have been in storage over the past couple of months, but the only trouble with this is that I have to plan ahead if I want to wear a particular pair of shoes. There’s nothing like rummaging through unlabelled boxes of shoes two days before you want to wear them to put you off the idea. Ahh, I’ll just wear my boots again…

Anyway, I’ve recently been researching ways to bring my shoe collection back into the home, and that means creating small space storage solutions. So I took to Pinterest a found a few ideas that I thought are well-worth sharing with you today. I’m not sure which I’ll use just yet, but it’s a step in the right direction! shoe storage for small spaces

1. Stacking triangle storage boxes from A Piece Of Rainbow

These boxes are simply one piece of cardboard folded into triangles and stacked up to make the most of the space at the bottom of the wardrobe. By making the triangle box the same depth as the cupboard you can store each pair of shoes in one triangle – one shoe behind the other. This allows you to find the shoes you want at a glance – time saving as well as money-saving! It also means you can grow your collection by simple making another box whenever you buy a new pair of shoes and adding it to the stack. And don’t forget that the spaces in between the boxes are storage space too!ladder shoe storage diy ideas

2. DIY shoe ladder from Design Sponge

Even if you’ve not got much space in your hallway or bedroom, you can probably still fit a narrow ladder against the wall. This DIY ladder has slightly deeper rungs so has the depth for a pair of shoes. If you’re storing shoes for the whole family, this ladder lends itself to having kids shoes at the top and bigger pairs of shoes can sit nearer the bottom of the ladder where there’s more space for them to overlap the rungs between the ladder and the wall. And don’t forget that space underneath the bottom rung of the ladder – that’s valuable floor storage space too!

Shoe-storage-projects

Continue reading “Tuesday Shoesday – Space saving shoe storage” »


Leave a comment

Operation organise! The never-ending battle to keep my desk tidy

Whether you’re working in an office environment or you’ve got your own personal space at home, keeping your work area neat can sometimes be a tricky task. I know I struggle to keep that stack of paperwork under control! Throw in numerous cups of tea and lunch at my desk and things are starting to look pretty messy by the end of the day. As the saying goes, a tidy desk makes for a tidy mind, so if you’re keen to organise your workstation, you could take the following suggestions into consideration.coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-6Invest in savvy storage solutions

Unless you have access to suitable storage, it’s likely you’re going to struggle when it comes to keeping your workstation and office organised. From cupboards and filing cabinets to drawers and shelving, there are a whole host of convenient and useful furnishings that can bring order to your work area. To keep your immediate workstation tidy, you could invest in an office desk with inbuilt drawers or you could position a mobile pedestal underneath. It made a real difference to me when I made a desk out of a chest of drawers (see my desk DIY project) because I suddenly had somewhere to stash away everything that was making the top of my desk untidy. Having storage solutions like this within such close proximity to your workspace should make it easier for you to maintain an orderly and clear working environment.

Ditch the paper and go digital

If you find that your desk is often covered in piles of paperwork, or your shelves are looking rather precarious with massive box-files balanced on them, you could benefit from going digital. Instead of having physical copies of your documentation, you could choose to scan and store them on your computer. There are a wide variety of software and hardware options available which allow you to store files where you can access them easily; I invested in personal ‘cloud’ storage so all my files are on a hard-drive on the shelf and I can access them via wifi from any device. Ditching the paper to digitise is not only a good way to save space and reduce cluttering, but it’s great for the environment too.coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-8Create an effective filing system
While digitising your paperwork is an easy way to rid your workspace of unnecessary clutter, you’re likely to have some important documentation that you simply need to keep. For paper-based items that you can’t be without, you could create an effective filing system. Whether you choose to use a filing cabinet or a hard-backed folder, keeping them labelled is the key to having well-organised paperwork. Alphabetising or ordering your paperwork by importance could make it easier for you to refer to a particular piece of documentation quickly and easily.

Schedule tidying time into your routine
So that your office looks smart and neat at all times, you might benefit from scheduling some tidying time into your daily routine. When was the last time I cleaned my keyboard? I literally can’t remember, which is pretty gross. I’m going to finish writing this post and then clean it straight away! From wiping down your desk to organising your drawers, making the effort to clean, tidy and declutter every day will help you maintain a well-kept workspace. You could try doing this at the end of the day so you can enjoy a clear office every morning and start work with a fresh mind.coffee table styling for work tea and romantic evening-9Taking some of these tips on board could help you create and maintain a tidy and organised working environment. What do you think of these ideas? What do you do to keep yourself tidy and organised at work? I’d love to hear your tips so please leave me a comment below, and if you’ve found this post useful please share it with your friends by using the sharing buttons below or by pinning one of my photos onto your Pinterest boards. Thanks!


2 Comments

Kitchen storage ideas & my pantry makeover

kitchen interior design storage idea pantry inspiration before and afterOne of the things I love about old houses are the little nooks and crannies you can use for extra storage. The cupboard under the stairs is always a winning spot and some old kitchens have a pantry cupboard. Our home didn’t have a pantry but we desperately needed one! The kitchen is so small that we only have one full base unit, two half base units and two cupboards on the wall above. Needless to say there wasn’t always room for food and crockery in the cupboards! kitchen interior design storage idea pantry inspiration-12

We had a look around at other spaces we could use to store our kitchen bits ‘n’ pieces and decided that the adjoining coal cupboard needed a makeover. Even though it was grubby and dark, we decided it was silly to leave it as wasted space when all it needed was a bit of decorating. So, after my husband got rid of any creepy crawlies, I set to work with some masonry paint.

It didn’t take long (or much quantity of paint) to make a real difference to the space. Once each wall was painted we added a piece of board to the floor in order to stick down some low-cost vinyl tiles. Hubby made a shelf with curve cut out of the middle to allow us to step inside the cupboard and reach the higher shelves and attached batons to the wall to support it.kitchen interior design storage idea pantry inspiration-25 kitchen interior design storage idea pantry inspiration-3 kitchen interior design storage idea pantry inspiration-4 kitchen interior design storage idea pantry inspiration-9 kitchen interior design storage idea pantry inspiration-12 Continue reading “Kitchen storage ideas & my pantry makeover” »


5 Comments

My little vintage caravan – DIY display cabinet makeover

You can never have too much storage, right? Especially if you’re like me and you’re forever picking up cute little thingmebobs at car boot sales and love to receive little trinkety gifts from friends. But that does mean that I have a lot of ‘things’ yet don’t really have anywhere to keep them.diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-16diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-14 No, I can’t just have a clear-out and get rid of them; everything I’ve kept has a memory attached to it and I want to cherish my belongings and the happy times that came with them. The only thing I don’t want to do is pack my precious items away in boxes. Even though this might be a neater solution than having bits and pieces on every surface, I want to actually see them and enjoy them daily. So what’s the solution? More storage of course!diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-17 diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-19Okay, there’s only so much space in my little vintage caravan and, to be honest, it’s all rather awkward. Conventional cabinets just don’t seem to fit, and there always seems to be a wheel-arch or a window that needs to be worked around. So this week I’ve finally found something that fits in the space and gives me the display solution I need.diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-8 diy display cabinet makeover for vintage caravan_-18 Continue reading “My little vintage caravan – DIY display cabinet makeover” »

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close