Sunday, January 29, 2017

52 Weeks to an Organized Home: Kitchen Drawers and Cabinet Organization (Week 2)

Last year I wanted to do the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home challenge. I did Week 1 (Kitchen Sink and Counter Top) and then stopped. There was too much going on with the sale of my parents' home and trying to clean it out before the end of February.

So, this year I'm going to attempt this challenge again. Week 2 focused on kitchen drawers and cabinet organization. Next to my office (at home), this is the most difficult room.

Some of the drawers have just been a dumping ground for small items.

Junk drawer - before.

Junk drawer -after.

Others have held a hodge-podge of items.

Second drawer - before.

Second drawer - after.

Some drawers had items in them that belonged in other drawers.

Third drawer - before.

Third drawer - after.

What I found was that because there was no system of organization, there were often duplicate items. Like in this drawer pictured below, there were 3 boxes of Saran Wrap and 2 boxes of foil.

Fourth drawer - before.

Fourth drawer - after.

In the process of organizing the drawers, I donated items that we no longer needed and were in good condition - like a rolling pin, some flashlights, cookie cutters, pans, bowls, and many other kitchen items.
Under the kitchen sink - before (top) and after (below)

In other cases, I was able to combine like-items (e.g., cleaning supplies, spices). For other items - like room deodorizer - I put them around the home where they would be most needed. There's no reason why I need four room deodorizers under the kitchen sink, for example.

With some cupboards, there wasn't too much of a change - it's just a bit more organized. For instance, the cupboard with the plates, cups, bowls, and salt/pepper shakers - there wasn't a lot that I tossed or donated. With the exception of several sets of salt/pepper shakers, we use all the items in the cupboard.

Since we eat all our meals (for the most part) at home, it's necessary to have a lot dishes (or what I consider a lot of dishes).

Cupboard with dishes - before (above) and after (below).

Same thing with the silverware drawer - not much change.

Silverware drawer - before (above) and after (below).

One of the cupboards I was dreading doing was the one that has water bottles, coffee/hot beverage holders, bento boxes, a kitchen scale, cookie makers, large plates, and tons of plastic ware.

We must have accumulated over 20 water bottles and easily double that amount of plastic ware. My parents would keep Cool Whip and frosting containers to freeze applesauce and soup. I was keeping lunch meat containers - because they were uniform in size and perfect for holding leftovers.

The challenge was - I kept accumulating and not recycling. Until today. Got rid of two bags of containers and over half of the water bottles! Now there's significantly more space. There's also specific areas for things (e.g., water bottles on the lower shelf on the right side; bento boxes on the lower shelf on the left side).

Cupboard with plastic ware and cups - before (left) and after (right).

The other cupboard that I put off until today because it felt so overwhelming was the one that held baking items. Also found more plastic ware that I recycled.

This cupboard was a hodge podge since I added a lot of items from my mom and dad's house when I was clearing it out at the end of 2015 through February 2016. My parents had much nicer bake ware than I did, so my goal was to replace what I had with what they had. Instead, I just put everything in the same cupboard.

Today, I donated the items that were in good shape of mine that I no longer wanted. I kept my parents' items. Any items that were damaged, were tossed. As I look at the after picture, it still looks like there's a lot in the cupboard. However, everything that's in it - I will use. It would be nice to have just a bit more cupboard space so I could arrange things a bit more orderly. Oh well...

Baking items - before (left) and after (right).

Another cupboard that became disorganized holds measuring cups, coffee, filters, teas, and candy. By taking everything out and rearranging it (as well as tossing what we no longer will use), it freed up space and it became easier to see what we have on hand.

Beverages and measuring cups cupboard before (left) and after (right).
Next are two drawers that have a variety of utensils. The first drawer has the items that I use frequently. There are a lot of knives and measuring spoons - partly because they include many from my parents' home and also because we cook a lot. I didn't get rid of too much from this drawer. Rather, I just organized it a bit better (e.g., all the knives are in one compartment).

Kitchen utensils - before (above) and after (below).

The second drawer with kitchen utensils was packed and had a lot of items that we rarely use. By getting rid of a lot of the items, there's much more space now.

Kitchen utensils - before (above) and after (below). 

I never took a picture of this cupboard before I cleaned it. Suffice it to say, it was a disaster. There were way too many pans, lids that didn't match anything, pots that were missing handles, and vegetables that were overflowing their containers.

Below is the result of organizing the cupboard. I put a cookie cooling rack over the potatoes, onions, and garlic holders to create an extra "shelf" for the saucepans. In that way, they aren't sitting on top of the fry pans.

This is the other cupboard that I didn't take a "before" picture of - only an "after" picture. Sophia and I worked on this one at the end of December when she wanted to donate 16 items to the food shelf in honor of her 16th birthday.

We found quite a few items to donate to the food shelf and, in the process, organized the remaining items. This has stayed like this for almost a month now. It's great! We know exactly where everything is and what we have on hand.

The last cupboard that falls into this task is the cupboard over the refrigerator. It's kind of an odd, awkward shelf in that I can't reach it without a stepstool. So, things I don't use frequently are in it: canning good, mole bombs, and lighter fluid.

When cleaning some of the other cupboards, I found more canning items. So, those things came to this shelf. Now, everything is in one location. I know what I have - and what I need next year when I start canning again.

Shelf over the refrigerator - before (above) and after (below).

What a tremendous relief to have this project done! I was determined to get this done by the end of the month...and I did. Now...onto the next project.

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