After a week of squeezing in bits of organizing time whenever I could find them, at last, the majority of my kitchen organization is done!
I'm trying to follow Org Junkie's Monthly Round-Up this year, using my Fridays (which are my household projects days) to work on organizing projects. Since I didn't get going until over halfway through February, I didn't have enough time to really get the kitchen exactly how I want it (sorry, no pictures of the fridge scattered with random photos of friends and family and my 3 year old's drawings and letter magnets, or of my incredibly cluttered cutlery drawer- I will unfortunately have to save those projects for another time) .
But, I'm eager to show you the pictures of what I did accomplish!
Here's the link for the "before" pictures.
And here are the after pictures:
First, I tackled my forlorn spice rack and basket of spice bags. I washed each and every jar and lid , wrote new labels for all of the jars, threw out any unidentifiable or ancient spices, filled the jars with the spices I use most often, and neatly put the extras and rarely used bags and jars back in the spice basket in the cupboard.
Next, I added two plastic baskets to my coffee/tea/towels cupboard. I'm not used to not having a decent sized drawer for towels, but this kitchen doesn't have one, so I solved the problem by using this basket for them instead (the washcloths I keep in one of my drawers because they fit much easier). I also used a basket to hold all of my smaller boxes of tea, so they're not always tumbling onto each other and leaping out of the cupboard when the door is opened.
In the pantry, I re-containerized (is that really a word?), to get rid of a lot of the bags of stuff that were in there. Every container got new labels, so I know that what it says is really what's in there. I added the green basket on the bottom for onions, potatoes, squash, etc. (can you tell I need to go shopping?), and the white basket in the middle for canned goods (which I don't use too many of, but it's nice to have them contained). I tried to really keep like with like (all grains, all beans, all baking, all extra stock I'm not using yet, etc.).
The baking/spice cupboard mostly just got rearranged, cleaned, and the items re-grouped. The spice basket (the brown, lower basket) still looks full, but it's just got bags of extra spices for refilling the jars. I added a small yellow basket in behind the sugar bowl, to hold food coloring, mint extract, birthday candles, etc.
The tupperware/bowl cupboard lost many of it's single inhabitants (ie. containers without lids and vice versa). All of the lids are now stored in the white container (behind which are a couple lesser used containers and bowls). I also used another little yellow basket to store all yogurt container lids, and I neatly stacked all the containers to the right side.
Down below, there used to be a huge (and I do mean huge!) wad of plastic and paper bags. In one of the videos Laura linked us to for the round-up, there was a scene where an organizer was helping her brother with his kitchen, and you see her pulling bag after bag after bag after bag out of a cupboard, and I laughed at that "silly man" when I watched it. Last night, I was greatly humbled as I pulled bag after bag after bag after bag out of my cupboard. But now, they're all (well, minus the 20 I recycled!) tucked neatly in that right, plastic thingamabob on the bottom, which is from Ikea (I think it's about $5- I bought it years ago), which my hubby kindly installed for me.
The recipe book cubby received a new friend- a wide, solid glass vase with some clear rocks and a candle, to be used as a book end. All of my books were continually falling down, making the shelf look just terrible. Now, they actually stay standing up- miracle of miracles! And, I added a little bin to the top of the fridge which will serve to hold miscellaneous papers, mail, etc. until I can create a command central like Laura posted about yesterday.
And, I wasn't planning to organize my freezer, but I just got so excited, I couldn't help myself! Before, it was chaos, pure and simple.
After, I added the large basket on the right, which holds frozen veggies and meat. To it's left (which you can't really see) is one of those little divider shelf thingys that allow you to add an extra shelf to your cupboard, etc. So I've got tupperware containers with frozen food (like spaghetti sauce I made with a deal I found on organic tomatoes) on top of, and under the shelf. In front of the shelf is berries, for smoothies. The door now holds baby food, coffee and juice, bread crumbs and yeast, a bit more neatly than before. And I cleaned the freezer- whohoo!
The total cost: $5!
I took inventory of what I had and might need last Friday, after being inspired by kitchen organizing videos. I found several good baskets and containers that I had forgotten about in my garage. I also tried to make better use of the few organizational items I already had. Then I went to the Dollar Store, and spent $5 buying the two larger white baskets (freezer and pantry), the medium sized white baskets (tea and towels) and the two small yellow baskets (lids and small baking items).
Alright, on to the dining room...