So this is the week that I didn't post a new recipe because I blew everything else off to organize my kitchen. And that all started because my husband started reorganizing the garage, and it was partly a domino effect and partly a result of me not wanting to help him that I started my own project. (Decluttering an area has to be my own idea. Anyone else relate to this?)
So, here is how it went down. Usually, I can only tackle one teeny tiny area at a time. This is part of the reason why I don't like to help my husband with his projects, because he likes to haul everything out and start with a clean slate, and this just makes me feel so overwhelmed. But the pantry was so badly disorganized, that I couldn't make heads or tails of where to begin and end. So it all came out, and then the good stuff had to go all back in.
I did enlist my boys to help me for about 30 minutes each, but that was only a fraction of the time it took me. I forgot to take before pictures, which might be a bit disappointing for the purpose of this blog post, but then again, who wants to remember how bad it really was? I don't! In fact, that was my strongest motivator: once I got into the thick of things, there was no way I was going to live with the mess any longer. So the pantry got done.
And then that led to the reorganization of all my drawers and cupboards, because I started to feel like nothing was housed in the place that it was most functional. And if you move one thing, you need to move another, and pretty soon, the whole kitchen was rearranged. And that's the reason for post-it notes all over the place, so that my kids know where to find things and put things back.
So what has all this reorganizing taught me? Here are my key takeaways:
Are Clear Pantry Storage Containers Worth Buying?:
Yes and no. If you're spending an arm and a leg for them at retail prices, they might not be worth it. But if you scan your discount stores like Marshalls, Ross and T.J. Maxx, or buy them in bulk at big box stores, they are much more affordable.
Decanting bulk good or other packaged foods into clear containers helps you to bring clear visibility to what you have in stock. I plan to completely empty a container before refilling it so that I always have a fresh supply of food in the container, and the bottom doesn't become leftovers on top of leftovers.
How to organize cupboards and drawers:
Not only does it make sense to put items you use closest to the places you'll be using them, but it also makes sense to put heavy items in the bottom cupboards and lighter items on top. I used to have many heavy casserole dishes and pyrex bowls in my upper cabinets, and it was always tricky to carry them down without breaking them.
I also have deep corner cabinets. These used to be filled with various plastic items and bowls to make use of all the space. However, I've learned that it's much more convenient to store drinkware and pitchers in these cabinets, so you aren't having to reach into the back very often.
I'll be adding more pictures to this post soon. Meanwhile, if you have fun organizing tips, we'd love to hear them in the comments below!