Once upon a time we bought a house and painted the kitchen cabinets TURQUOISE.
I have yet to regret that decision.
Actually, it may be one decision I regret the least.
However, inside of those beautiful turquoise cabinets was a mess.
As I accumulated bottles and cups and such for Blythe, I just sort of threw them in here. Yikes. So I started emptying everything.
It is at this point that it is easy to panic. Your countertops are full of things you haven't seen in ages, and it somehow cripples you with a fear that you will never know how to put things back or what things to throw away. Am I right?
But it is at this point you must press on.
I didn't have a budget for this organization day…meaning I scrounged around my house for any empty container I could find. I located a few baskets here and there and if I couldn't contain it it got pitched.
I have found that that is the key-- contain, contain, contain. It is so much easier to organize and STAY organized when you can easily grab a basket and get what you need, instead of standing on a chair and craning into the back recesses of a dark cabinet.
I put all my coffee goods in one basket, and other drink mixes and teas in another.
I got rid of old plastic cups we no longer needed, and found small baskets to keep lids to water jugs and thermoses handy.
Granted, I have a lot of cabinet space in my kitchen, but once I was organized and purged I had an entire cabinet free! Woo hoo!
Then it was time to hit up my spice drawer and my cooking utensil drawer.
I didn't take a before picture of the utensil drawer for some reason, but just picture utter and complete chaos, the kind that requires you to hold your breath and stand on one leg just right in order to wiggle the drawer shut. [However, I will admit that I felt better when my friend, who is a nurse, told me she found a syringe in her kitchen drawer. Which begs the question: what is the weirdest thing you've found in one of your kitchen drawers? Not the junk drawer, but an actual kitchen drawer. I'll report the winner here later :)… the winner being the weirdest, obviously.]
I again rummaged through what I had and located several smaller baskets. I tried to separate the utensils into groups that made sense to me.
Then I tackled that crazy spice drawer. Yikes.
It was bad, you guys.
The first thing I did was lay everything out on the counter. There were some spices I had three or four jars of, all at varying levels of used-up-ness.
Then I threw out anything that I knew I had had since we were first married. Five years is probably a decent amount of time for the life of a spice [not to be confused with the spice of life…]. Then I combined half used jars of the same spice, kept a few reserves of the ones I use a lot, and then pedaled off the rest to other unsuspecting spice drawers in other homes.
Then it was time to arrange. I had a few different containers I wanted to use, and arranged things according to size and frequent use.
[By the way, I still have all the jars that were pre-labeled and given to me, filled with spices no less, from my Aunt Wanda as a wedding gift. It was an amazing gift, and as I organized this drawer…it kept on giving!]
It's amazing what this drawer alone has done for my sanity.
I'm over here throwing spices into dishes left and right now, just because they are easy to get to: "Cumin? Bring it on! Parsley? Why not? Garlic Salt? Of course!"
[And now none of you want to sample any of my dishes :)]
|before and after.|
I am happy to report that I actually did all of this back in June, and if I went and took a picture of each drawer and cabinet again, they look essentially identical to these pictures. It really is amazing what a little attention, some containers, and organization can do to your sanity and your space.
Do you have any great "systems" that you use in your kitchen area? You should probably share with all of us. And if your answer is, "My cooking lady puts everything back neatly when she finishes up with the dishes," then we don't want to hear from you. :)