Yeah...that usually lasts until January 2nd at 2pm. But...not this year. I really feel called to be a much better steward of our money and time by organizing key areas in our house. That would be....most of the house. The good news is, I have conquered something that has had the upper hand over me for years. I am not a born organizer. I love to be organized, but man, is it work!! When we moved here 6 1/2 years ago, I was ginormously pregnant with this little pipsqueak.
You know you want to see those before photos, right? It is amazing what can hide in cabinets...I felt so guilty as I pulled out so many things that had been stuffed back on very deep pantry shelves. So much was out of date, and many things were thrown away.
It looks like a mug shot, doesn’t it? Guilty....
Hand me the scalpel, this is going to be painful....
And then I found something way more emotionally evocative than oatmeal two years out of date.....
Looks like a cap of some kind....I mulled through my memory rolodex, trying to figure out why I was so emotionally keyed up over this tiny cap. Yes! It was the cap that we had to use in plugging Lily’s trach over three years ago, this was the judge who ruled either yes or no if she could get her trach out. While it was plugging her trach, she had to breathe on her own, through her mouth and nose, and stay pink and happy as she did it. I’m saving this memento....it holds a lot of meaning for us.
There are two parts to my pantry, the food side and the pharmacy side. We specialize in airways here, so most of this on the left side is the daily regime for asthma and allergies. We had a few baskets that random things were thrown in, and most of the daily meds were in loosely placed in “groups”. So after I got the food side cleaned out, I still had to deal with the medicine side. It took me basically two long afternoons into early evening to get this one space cleaned out. Wow...
So now everyone has their own bin, labeled with their name. Other meds are placed by grouping and labeled. The labels are from the Martha Stewart/Avery line at Staples. I also have our battery and a few flashlights in there as well. The key here is to have bins that are clear and accessible. I have never labeled anything like this in my life. Most labels I have written are, “Last piece of cake belongs to Peter” hastily written on a napkin next to a crumbly piece of cake. This labeling thing is my eureka moment. I want a labeler now....I finally get the addiction.
Several kitchen trash bags out to the garage later...and I have a labeled, organized pantry and med area.
I buy some things like rice, flour and sugar in larger bags, which have always been swimming down below under the shelves...but that area gets so dusty and dirty as people walk by from the garage, I wanted to get them off the floor and into the pantry. I found 1/2 gallon Ball Jars at Walmart. They are perfect for storing dried goods. I see you yawn.....”Yeah, Diana, we’ve known 1/2 gallon Ball Jars for years.” I told you this is not something that comes naturally for me!!
I used washi tape and a permanent marker to label everything. No more, “Where is the brown sugar??” I love washi tape, and plan on getting something prettier than what is here, but that is for another day and a trip to Michael’s.
I know this is getting long, but I have to show you what I did with my spice area. It was like a your worst closet that falls out on you every time you open it....every day....why did I wait so long to do this??
This has always been a reach for me to get, since I am a shorty, and it’s up over the appliance garage.
It ended up being a much bigger project because I had to rearrange a few other cabinets that have needed organized as well. I use my big mixing bowls several times a week, and always had to get the step stool out....but no more falling spices, no more climbing ladders...
I grouped all of the main spices by: baking, spicy/chili, and savory. It is all at my fingertips now, with the mixing bowls right above where I can reach on my tippy toes.
My eyes have been opened, the onion peels yanked off....organization is a good thing. In my usual impatient way, I’m ready to get the entire house organized like....now....but this is something that will take several months. I’m excited! How about you? Do you have that ONE area that you use all of the time but just haven’t made it work for you?
Now I feel better prepared to menu plan, which in turn does save us money. With the obscene amount of food I had to throw away that was past due...I am in this to stay organized now. No more waste!! Washi tape and permanent markers are now part of my tools in the kitchen. I’ve started marking leftover containers in the fridge with dates on washi tape. The grand thing about washi tape is that it peels off so easily from containers, who knew??
The best part is....I can close the door on my pantry and I don’t have Costco size cumin falling on me whenever I try to get cinnamon. Hurray!! Victory!!