Monday, August 8, 2016

One Thing Leads to Another...

It all started with the spiralizer.  One single thing that was the breaking point with trying to fit everything in my kitchen cabinets, which led to a quick spin through Pinterest, which led to this:
Paco says "I not know whut going on heer.  I just making sure my cookies are safe."

And it actually looked worse, but I didn't think to take pictures when I was knee deep in all the stuff pulled out of my cabinets.  We've been in this house for over 16 years now, and while I've moved my dishes and glasses around in the upper cabinets, much of this has stayed exactly as as it was since June of 2000, when we moved in and I unpacked everything.

But that spiralizer sent me over the edge - I wanted to put it away, but have it somewhere easily reachable...only problem was, my cabinets were full.  So after looking at Pinterest, I realized pretty quickly that the biggest problem was my pantry.  The shelves are really deep, and despite having a three-tiered shelf organizer, I still lost things in the dark recesses:
What is in here?  Who knows!  It's a treasure hunt on any given day...

And then I longingly remembered my can pantry in our first house - the shelves in that one were the depth of a box of cake mix, so you could see everything.  Between that and Pinterest, my wheels started turning, and I decided to move the pantry food (well, most of it) to one of my upper cabinets.  Now, I will say that this was fairly painless because I don't keep a lot of staples on hand, plus with just Jeff and I living here, I don't have a ton of food like I used to back when our kids were younger, so I was able to make it work.

Before:
I tried to put the spiralizer here, but I'd had to remove several things, plus it barely managed to fit, as you can see.

After:
I can reach the lower two shelves; the third shelf is for extras, and the fourth shelf necessitates me climbing on a chair to reach, but it's for baking, and we all know that doesn't happen very often around here.

You might notice that none of the bottles of oil and vinegar made it to that cabinet.  I was going to leave them where they were, but then I remembered the very crowded corner cabinet:
Yes Paco, that's the one.

I took everything out of this cabinet and moved all of the oils and vinegars (turns out, I had more than I realized, thanks to everything being so high before):
Oooh!  I liked this!  And I still had the bottom shelf open, so I moved the baking and canning supplies there:
Well look at that.  Pinterest-worthy?  Not really, but it made me happy.

By the way, the canning supplies, along with a big Tupperware tub of flour came from this cabinet:
Wait, you can't see those items?  Yeah...this was the cabinet of doom.  The one where I had to grab something and quickly close the door before anything fell out.  My secret shame.

No more shame now:
There is a blender hiding behind the mixer, but that's it - ahhhh.  

I had a lot of coffee and tea items, so I decided to centralized them with the pitchers we use for making iced tea.  It would have been nice to put the coffee items above the coffee makers, but that cabinet houses the coffee mugs along with our regular drinking glasses, and there wasn't enough room.

Before:
The water bottles went into a basket in the pantry - looks like a lot of them, but we use 3-4 on our Saturday long runs, plus Jeff takes one to work each day.  

After:
Anyone care for a drink?

I even straightened out my pots and pans (which really need a good culling, but I wasn't in the mood for that):
To look at this, you'd think I cook a lot.  I don't...but I could, if I wanted to.

And I now have one cabinet that is mostly bowls:
All of my rectangular baking dishes are behind the yellow/green stack of bowls.  And look - there's empty space!  It's a miracle.

The pantry now looks like this:
I ended up buying a deeper shelf rack to hold the long boxes of foil and plastic wrap (hanging from the lowest shelf).
The spiralizer that started this entire process now has an easy-to-reach spot.  I purchased the wire basket for the water bottles, as well as the little blue tub that is holding our hydration tablets and running fuel.  

Except for Jeff not being able to find anything (which isn't that unusual, really), this has worked out really well.  In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that the drawer where the boxes of foil and plastic bags came from is now a mess, housing a lot of the gadgets and kitchenware from the cabinet of doom, and some of that stuff has also been relegated to the closet in our guest bedroom (mostly the party decorations - why were they taking up space in the kitchen?).  I also packed up one covered Pyrex baking dish and two travel coffee mugs for Goodwill, and tossed some expired food items from the pantry.

I'm pretty amazed that I managed to move everything around and make the kitchen more usable.  As with anything (running, dieting, knitting), sometimes it just takes looking at it from a different angle, or with a different goal, to see a possible solution.  And then, of course, taking action to make the change happen.  When I was in the middle of this, I had a couple moments of despair - what had I begun - but I stepped back for a minute, had a glass of water, and then dove back in...and there you go.  A fresh take on my kitchen, in less than a day.

22 comments:

  1. OOOOOooooo, it looks great! I need to do the same thing - so many gadgets and bakeware and junk, and I still have to leave my ninja and kitchen aid on the countertop.

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  2. I need to do this. Actually I need to do a complete purge of my house, which I think I can tackle this weekend while my son recovers from his surgery.

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    1. You may have a moment of regret while in the midst of the purge, but you'll be so glad you did it, when you are finished!

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  3. Wow looks great!

    And you got me thinking too. I have a corner cabinet too, I keep my pans there. But all my spices and oils are in an upper cabinet and I keep them in baskets but it's always searching in which basket which is. Now I'm thinking of moving everything from that cabinet to the corner cabinet. Maybe I can use a drawer cabinet for my pans and move stuff from there to the upper cabinet. I am going to look into this because it is a great idea, it only has to fit in my kitchen.

    Thanks for the idea!

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    1. I'm telling you, just looking at it from a different perspective is really helpful...can't wait to hear what you end up doing!

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  4. I have reached the point where I've stopped buying gadgets because I no longer have anywhere to store them. My kitchen doesn't really have much flexibility and I'm already using 3 huge shelves in the garage for stuff we use but not every day (i.e. the George Foreman grill, the Crockpot, etc.).

    Even as I read this and kept thinking what great changes you made, I thought of my kitchen and well, all the cabinets are the same so I think I've just confirmed there's no helping it.

    But yours looks great!

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    1. Believe me, I think thrice about buying any new gadgets (hence, why that spiralizer sat in my cart for so long) just because of all the stuff I have gotten rid of over the years. Although, there IS an avocado cutter/slicer by OXO that I want...

      My crockpot lives in the garage on a permanent basis, along with a giant turkey roasting pan, cutting board, and other things that I use very rarely. They do not merit taking up precious kitchen space!

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  5. Nicely done! After having years of small, disorganized city kitchens, I was VERY deliberate when unpacking everything when we moved in last year. Terry thought I was nuts for spending so much time unpacking and organizing the kitchen, but I spend so much time in there that I wanted it just right. It's amazing how good it feels to be able to find things! :)

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    1. I totally understand why you did that. Sounds like your kitchen is a zen place for you now. :)

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  6. Looks wonderful! There is something to be said about hiring an organizer unless you are willing to do the work. Nice job!

    I have a junk drawer that moved with us some how. We were looking for a bottle opened the other night and I said it was in the junk drawer (I think) and John said "I don't consider that a junk drawer".

    Okay, well he now has to find anything we are looking for.

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    1. Well now I am curious as to what John thinks IS a junk drawer!

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  7. When I moved my kitchen, I purged ruthlessly. There have been a couple of times I think of something I gave away, but mostly I have everything I need. Nowadays I'm pretty careful about buying anything new. I like those hanging shelf racks--I will keep those in mind for the future. I know exactly what you mean about the despair in the middle, but don't you feel great with a new kitchen?! It looks fantastic. LOL on Jeff getting lost in the kitchen. P.S. Where is the dog food?

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    1. This is 32 year's worth of marriage-acquired stuff, so naturally there is a lot of things, and a lot of sentiment attached to said things. I know you're not supposed to do that, but when I look at a set of bowls and remember who gave them to me at my bridal shower, how would I ever purge them? Not that I want to, anyway...I just need for most stuff to have a proper place.

      Dog food is in a cute mini trash can in my office. Paco has to have an audience when he noshes, and when I had his dish in the kitchen, he practically starved because I didn't go in there often enough, LOL.

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    2. Oh that is so funny about Paco needing an audience. Sophie is slightly embarrassed at the way she wolfs her food down. Don't tell Paco.

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  8. Oh I have kitchen envy!! This was my #1 project to do this summer and I still haven't done it. I desperately need to clean out my utensil draw!
    Lol about Jeff not being able to find stuff. For the first year or so of our marriage Scott would ask me were stuff is or where it belongs and I would tease him that I needed to make him a map of our kitchen!

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    1. OOH, I saw a thing where they put dividers in a utensil drawer at a diagonal...looked very cool and would help with the longer items, but not sure if it was a permanent thing or you could remove it.

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  9. WOWZERS!!!! That is, as my Dad would say "a good job, jobbed". The kitchen looks so organized!!!

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    1. Thanks, and I like how your Dad turned that phrase. :)

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  10. Ahh, it must feel so good to have it so much more organized and to get the stuff out of there that you weren't using! Bravo!!! I love doing projects like that! I've organized my kitchen cabinets three times in the last year (two moves, re-did some of the second move) and when you finally get it right and get the flow going, it's so great! :)

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