Nearly a year ago, we installed a new set of cupboards along a section of the kitchen wall that used to be a big mess. I fully intended to write about the project, but got wrapped up in my craft room and never got around to it.
Since the kitchen is on the agenda for the second week of the New Year’s Organizing Revolution, it’s the perfect time to evaluate what has been working and what hasn’t.
I am very happy with the cabinet that holds the mixing bowls, measuring cups, colanders and cookie cutters. I have had zero trouble keeping it organized, and I’m glad I invested a few dollars in Command hooks to hang the measuring cups inside the door.
I am also glad that we splurged on the pantry cabinet. It holds all of my baking ingredients, pastas, dry beans and the dehydrator. Unfortunately, it had become overstuffed and disorganized. I took everything out, and wiped down the shelves and the canisters. I even took 30 seconds to tighten up the handles on the canisters that have been bugging me for over a year!
Then I started purging. Since I couldn’t see into the ceramic canisters, most of them were empty. They were the first things to go (into the donate box). I tossed anything that I hadn’t used since the pantry was installed, and then I used my thermal printer to make labels for everything. I really wanted to use chalkboard labels, but that would have meant spending money and waiting for them to arrive in the mail. Cheap, instant gratification won.
The cabinet above the pantry was a quick fix. The crock pots live there, but since 2 were in use, it was easy to wipe down the shelves and tidy up. I tossed out a bunch of old snack foods that had been forgotten up there (my chickens have been eating very well this week), and moved the hand mixer over by the stove. After wiping the shelves, I put empty egg cartons and potluck-only items on the top shelf and it was done.
I’ve re-arranged the baking pan cabinet several times. Hanging the cooling racks on the door had helped a little, but it just wasn’t enough. I purged the bread tube pans that I’ve never used, and decided to put the cookie sheets in the drawer under the stove (where I purged a cast iron griddle that doesn’t get along with my stove top, and the broiler pan that I never, ever use). Once those were gone, there was plenty of room in the cabinet for the pans that were left. I’d like to think that I’ve purged enough to keep what’s left under control.
The kids’ dish cabinet wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. The egg cartons didn’t need to be in there, and neither did the painting supplies. I also pulled out most of the plastic drink cups, half of the big bowls, and the cheap popsicle (why does spell check hate every possible spelling of that word?) molds. I haven’t yet found a container for the parts to the ice cream maker and the nice popsicle mold, but they’ll stay on that same shelf. I never could have gotten rid of this stuff if the girls hadn’t been out “helping” their dad work calves.
The coffee/tea/thermos cabinet has been over-full and irritating from the beginning. I generously offered The Husband one whole cabinet of his very own for his vitamins, snacks and coffee
crap stuff, but it had to all fit in that one cabinet. Once The Husband’s stuff was in its’ own cabinet, I was able to straighten out the medicinal teas and thermoses, and there was enough room left for baking mixes.
The small cabinet on the end had been holding my stemware, glass teapots and my china plates. Once I purged a set of overly large goblets that I’d never liked, I was able to move the plates and stemware into the china cabinet where they belonged. That left room for my Velata warmer and one whole empty shelf.
The counter top didn’t need too much attention beyond putting a few things away. I moved the owner’s manuals to the office file cabinet and used their basket to contain muffin pans in the lower cabinet. The Husband put the super-tall thermoses in his coffee cabinet, and I will purge cookbooks one day soon, but that will be part of my recipe binder project.
The last thing to be dealt with was the top of the cabinets. By purging a few things, taking the excess egg cartons to basement storage, and moving the lunch bags into the dish closet, I was able to display things that are worth looking at above the cabinets: my teapots and large Royal Ruby pieces.