Monday, January 30, 2012

January~ Organizing Adventure

At the beginning of the year I shared that one of my new years resolutions for the blog and in my personal life for 2012 was major organizing! I was very much inspired by this post at iheartOrganizing to get my house in shape and decided that I would take each month of 2012 and focus on one area at a time. So January was kitchen month. Here is what happened, what I learned and how it turned out.

STEP ONE-Taking Pictures

The Kitchen

So the kitchen is a work in progress, we are in the middle of tearing stuff down, repainting and this summer redoing the cabinets, so I thought this would be a great place to start.

The first step in addressing the kitchen was figuring out what I really had, I took pictures of all my drawers, cabinets, inside the fridge you name it! Im embarrassed to admit, but I learned through these pictures that Im more disorganized then I thought and I have a major problem not utilizing my space properly. The worst was my spice cabinet and pantry, a total pile of garbage and completely nonfunctional. For a family of five and having a tiny kitchen space, having organization is essential for daily living.

PS- sorry these pics aren't the greatest, I used my iPhone camera-next month I promise Im digging out the Nixon for some great pictures!!

STEP TWO- Laying everything out. 

Next I cleared everything out- working on a cabinet or drawer at a time- so I wouldn't become overwhelmed. I placed everything on a table to start the purge process and began to sort. The first question I asked myself: Do I use it? Followed by: Do I need it? When was the last time I used it? After answering these questions, I placed items into a keep, donate and trash pile. 

After recycling things for other uses around the house, I wound up purging 253 items out of the kitchen. GASP!! Now most of this stuff was Cookbooks, cheap Tupperware bowls and lids, expired spices, utensils and appliances I never use. My biggest purge was the Food Sealer, something that worked like crap, took up to much space and really annoyed me. 

The biggest shocker during this process was seeing how many wine glasses and coffee cups I had (over 150) and realizing I wasn't using hardly any of them. I cleared out an entire cabinet (which is now baking storage) of coffee cups and purged about a third of the wine glasses.

STEP THREE- Making it Pretty

Next I cleaned everything. I sanitized and vacuumed out all the drawers and cabinets. Relined everything with pretty contact paper and rearranged everything that made sense for a functional kitchen. I wound up loving my new arranged spice cabinet and my baking drawer.

Spice Cab-Before:

Spice Cab-After:

More of my favorite turn outs:

Junk Drawer, Newly lined with pretty green paper.

The Pantry Before-- please play shark awful!!!
Over the course of a few weeks with everyone just throwing stuff wherever the pantry begins to resemble an episode of hoarders, thankfully its all organized now and looking much better!

Pantry After:
Now every shelf has a theme and I even made the third shelf for packing lunches- all the lunch boxes, water bottles and travel mugs are morning time runs much smoother rather than me screaming "Where is everything" and stressing myself and the kids out.

My Favorite Drawer turn out was this one, I call it the Cookie & Pie Maker drawer...Love it!

Glass and Coffee Cabinet:

This cabinet (below) was once filled with wine glasses!! For someone who drinks wine maybe once a year, that was ridiculous! Now this serves as the coffee/tea cabinet, the shelves are really deep so everything fits in very nicely. I also learned this month that I was not storing my medicine properly- it was in a basket sitting with all my spices....not good, now I didn't go all crazy buying new stuff, I just placed the Advil, cold medicines and nasal sprays in a pretty box and placed them as far away from the stove as possible. Haven't figured out what Im doing with the vitamins, but at least it looks nice and organized.

I even busted out the label maker and got label-happy!! This picture is part of the bakers cabinet, which was filled with all those coffee cups, now I have more room in the pantry and all my baking necessities are here.

Who is that...? Its Flashlight, our naughty kitty!

All in all it was a very good month, my kitchen is much more organized and functioning well. I do have a few more organizing things to purchase but otherwise organized kitchen accomplished.

Products I purchased this month

I purchased the iHome, Soda Rack and Mixing bowls all from Amazon. The iHome was my favorite purchase and it was a Christmas present so that made it even better...the best thing about it is I can now listen to my audiobooks while Im organizing stuff straight from my iPod, it has great sound and works as my docking station. I also love love love my new mixing bowls. Everything else I purchased from my local Target and Walmart. The most practical item I purchased was my set of Microfiber dish towels, these things are awesome and all the old dishrags got recycled for cleaning rags under the sink.

The entire process was very fun, I loved seeing how less stuff created more function. I even got rid of one set of dishes (who needs three sets??) In the summer after the cabinets get painted white (everyone thinks Im nuts to do this, but who cares its my kitchen..and Im doing it) I will be investing in a buffet to hold my set of fancy ~only use at Thanksgiving time~ dishes to help create even more space!

Why Buy the Cow?

I even managed to sneak in a freebie read for my Why buy the Cow Challenge. I read , Organize for a Fresh Start by Susan Fey West. For me this was not a very practical book to gain inspiration since I was looking for visual stimulation. Susan focuses more on the emotional aspect of organization and hiring a coach...or therapist. For sure Im working on all my Monica closets but I feel no attachment to any of my items, besides some picture albums, stuff is just.....STUFF, so in the end this book really didn't help me in my organizing adventure. Props for it being free on Kindle.

~It's all about Simplifying ~


  1. Wow! You go girl! It allll looks amazing. *high five* I'm a huge minimalist/purger.

  2. Seriously, I'm hiding this post from Hubs because he is always on my case about organizing the kitchen, LOL! Seriously, my spice cupboard is out of control awful. It's mixed with my baking cupboard and everytime I organize it, my 5 year old gets into it and *reorganizes* it. She says she is "cleaning" it, but it really just makes it so I can't find anything and things of the same size end up in the same place.

  3. OMG. Your kitchen is gorgeous! Is that the middle of tearing it down? I'm soooo embarrassed by mine then!!! Lol!

  4. Juju- Im taking on a whole new outlook this year of less is best...that includes my books, home items and my butt...:D

    @Jen-HAHA- well my kitchen is now tip-top organized but it took me month to get it looking can do it girl- its much easier to bake and cook now that everything looks appealing.

    @Ashley- LOL- yeah different parts of the house are in stages of updates, the kitchen still has new trim and casings needing to be put up, and new doors down that hallway.......the entire house when we moved in was all was a nightmare!!!

  5. WOW!!!! GO YOU! We gutted our kitchen not too long ago, so I had to go through this same process. I was amazed at some of the things that came out of our cabinets o_O. Nothing like finding food that expired 4 years ago. Super. Your kitchen looks amazing Tina, job well done!

  6. T, you amaze me! I'm espeically impressed with the Junk Drawer. Mine is so crammed with, well, junk that I can hardly open it. And I don't even want to think about all the coffee cups I have to get rid off. But it would be more effective use of the space if I did. *sighs*

    Very proud of you and your efforts because they paid off in a big way.

    And I didn't realize there was an emotional aspect to organizing. LOL

  7. Wow...that looks amazing!!!! I really need to do the same!!

    PS I think white on the cabinets will look fabulous! With dark floors, walls, ceiling and woodwork, the white cabinets will break it up and make the space look bigger and brighter!

  8. PS.. I need to get my fiance to let me purge beer mugs and wine glasses...he came with at least two dozen of each and we rarely use 2-4 on holidays only!!! They take up both of the small cabinets above my stove and sink!

  9. @Jenny- Thanks...its small but I make it as pretty as I can...:D And ps- I found a pack of Nutter Butters in the pantry that looked like they came from the 80's....

    @Missie- haha, yeah its actually a very deep physiological issue, some people just cant let go of trash or stuff, things become like pieces of them and letting it go creates anxiety and stress, its very sad. Thank goodness I can trash my crap and just walk away.

    Heidi- Ill be there ASAP

    @Melissa- I cant wait to do the cabinets and thats exactly why Im doing it, to create the illusion of a bigger kitchen and more light to break up the crazy log cabin feel I got going...:D

  10. closets and cabinets shrink in embarrassment. If I find the strength to tackle them I'll let you know. lol

  11. I love love love this post! Your kitchen looks great and may have even motivated me to get into mine and purge. My problem in the kitchen area is that both my husband and I have things that belonged to each of our grandmothers. Neither of us are willing to give them up...sigh! But the junk drawers(yes there are multiples) can been cleaned out. Love the vacuuming idea too! Great job! Looking forward to seeing what comes next!
    Julie @ My Only Vice(name soon to be changed!)

  12. FYI, My blog name has now changed to:
    My Favorite Pastime

    Julie(formerly My Only Vice)

  13. Looks amazing! I love cleaning out/organizing. But my problem is that I often throw away things that I don't have any use for at the time, but then end up needing them later!


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