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 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.
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.
Junk Drawer, Newly lined with pretty green paper.
The Pantry Before-- please play shark music...so 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!
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 here....so 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!
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 ~