Thursday, May 17, 2012

Organizing My Kitchen

I've spent some time lately organizing my kitchen.  It looks ok on the surface most of the time -

{no, it doesn't look this clean all of the time}

But lurking behind the cabinet doors is a little bit of a mess.  And I wanted to fix that.  I started with my fridge.  And I forgot to take before pictures.  :-)  But, let's just say it wasn't good.  After a couple of hours (oh yes, I took every drawer and shelf out, scrubbed them, and put it back together), I had this - 

So. Much. Better.  But to get here, I was ruthless.  I tossed out a lot of old stuff that had been hiding behind every day items.  For some reason, we had a lot of salad dressing.  And a lot of it was expired.  It went.  And I discovered that we had doubles of some things - like mustard.  Weird.  But when I'm not organized, I don't know what I have and I buy stuff we don't need.

Cleaning out the fridge was a great way to take inventory.  And to stock up on stuff that we actually need.  And having extra room made it so much easier to put the new groceries away (instead of that Tetris-like balancing game we usually play).  Oh, and it made room for more bacon.  :-)

After I tackled the fridge, it was time to move on to the pantry.  I showed you what it looked like before - 

Just a mess.  So, once again, I brought the garbage can over and began purging.  There was some waste in here also, but not too much.  It just needed to be neatened and organized.  I spent some time throwing stuff out, washing the shelves, and organizing what remained.

Much better.  So, while I was at it, I decided to tackle a couple of cabinets.  I started with my spice cabinet.

I tossed some old spices and organized what was left.  I'm still not sure why I have kept our old toaster on the top shelf.  I haven't used it in years.  But I keep telling myself that I may need it someday.  You know, if I get a beach house or something...  Anyhow, here's the after - 

Ok, so you know how I'm kinda cheap frugal?  Well, as much as I love those beautifully organized pantries and spice cabinets I find on Pinterest, I didn't want to spend any money organizing the inside of my cabinets.  I just don't see the point.  I mean no one else will ever see them (well, except all of you).  But, I wanted a way to make it easier to see all of my spices.  So, I got creative.  I actually used two spaghetti boxes, taped together, to make a shelf in the back of my cabinet.

And that's how I raised the jars in the back of the cabinet.  I planned to use some gift wrap on the boxes to dress them up a bit, but I never got around to it.  They serve their purpose.  And cost me nothing.  :-)

The last cabinet that I cleaned out was our medicine cabinet.  

This is an odd shaped (triangular) cabinet that we have stuffed our medicines in.  None of us actually take much unless we are really sick (and even then, we would rather tough it out).  So, many of these were expired.  And the purge began.

Take note of the large Simpson's cup.  That's where we dump our loose change.  Classy.

So, there you have it.  A more organized kitchen.  And I didn't spend a penny.  Woohoo!   Don't you just love when you can easily find things?  I know I do.  Now, if I can just maintain all of this...