Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring cleaning and organizing

I had a problem. In my kitchen. I could never find anything, things were crammed in random places, and there were a few cabinets I was afraid to open for fear of stuff falling out. I'm not sure how it happened... but it was ugly.

Sidebar: Even though I haven't mentioned it in a while, I'm still working on completing the Young Women's personal progress program. As a leader, I technically only have to do the three required experiences for each value and three (i think?) ten-hour projects. But I'm actually really enjoying it and getting a lot out of it and I do think it's helping my girls that I'm doing it too, so I'm trying to do the whole program instead of the leader-abbreviated version.

In any event, one of the options listed for Choice and Accountability ten-hour projects is:
Choose to be more orderly in your home by completing a cleaning or organizing project. Record in your journal how doing this helped you in other areas of your life.
What wonderful motivation to do something I badly needed.

I broke it down into three steps and I've actually only finished the first two (I have about 2.5 hours left to go and that'll be in the craft room). But I'm so excited about the difference already that I had to share! I'm loving my kitchen now that it's easier for find things.

Step 1: Re-arrange and organize
This is a cabinet I used to dread opening because pot lids would fall everywhere. Adding just one lid rack changed everything and gave me so much more space!

Same deal with the pans. All laying on top of each other, all crammed into a too-small cabinet in the island. I swapped spots with another cabinet and now all bowls and such are here and all pans are....

here! Add some large standing racks and it's now much easier to find what I want and grab without disturbing everything else.

 Prior to this, I had baking stuff crammed everywhere. Cookie cutters in various drawers. Cupcake liners spilling out of cabinets. Gel dyes all over the place (and frequently tipping over, staining my white cabinets). So out with the spices and cookbooks, and in with a dedicated cabinet for baking! With small plastic bins (with lids!) from Target, I've organized spatulas and knives; dyes, sprinkles, and decorating tips; and cookie cutters. Mess is contained and organized. Thank goodness.

Cookbooks moved into the pantry (for now...):

And spices moved into what used to be a junk drawer.... (junk, be gone!)

Step Two of my project was all about the spices. As I was moving them to this drawer, I discovered I had three oreganos, two nutmegs, two garlics, two gingers, and several others. The problem? I could never see if I had something, so I just bought another one. And the baggies? I started buying some spices from the bulk section of HEB because I didn't need large quantities of it and then realized... hey, this is so much cheaper! One of those spice bags cost me about 30 cents and would probably have been $2-3 if I'd bought the little McCormick Jar. I decided to re-organize everything into uniform containers, throw out the plastic bottles, and start buying just from the bulk section as needed. So the drawer got a makeover....
Transfer in progress....
Yes, I realize there are two garlics. Some spices that I use a lot got two jars to keep me from running out faster.

These cute little 4 oz. containers came from Specialty Bottle and were 70 cents each. I ordered 35 and they fit perfectly in that drawer. Heads up - shipping is $10! So it's better to order more or you'll pay more on shipping than you did on the actual tins.

Next up: The dreaded craft room. Stay tuned.

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