I am in a constant war with my kitchen cabinets. Every time I reorganize, it seems it will work smoothly but in a very short time I find myself staring at a pile of bags, cans and jars that have no real home. The best part is when things tumble from the shelves and I am trying to catch this and that before it crashes on the floor started all manor of chaos. In addition to the general mess, I found myself buying double of various ingredients simply because I couldn't see or find them. Here is a honest view of my cabinets before I organized them:
In my on-going quest to become a more organized person, I've found that if everything has a home- sometimes a home within a home- it saves me time and eliminates the majority of the stress clutter creates. To bring this concept into my cabinets, I've placed small baskets on each shelf and organized them by food types. Baking ingredients are in their own baskets, then there are spices, grains, pasta, etc.
Since organizing can be a daunting task, I wanted to break it down into steps. So, here is how I tackled my cabinet makeover:
- Take everything out of the cabinets and set it out on a table or counter so you can see it all.
- Sort everything so that like items are together.
- Throw away anything that is expired (those spices you've had for 5 years have to go) or too stale to use.
- Wipe down the shelves in the cabinet.
- Put your items into baskets that are easy to pull off the shelves (not too heavy and not too big- I found mine at Target). Group like items in the same basket (if you use more than one basket for a specific category of ingredients make sure to keep them on the same shelf).
- Put the most used (and preferably the healthiest) items on the bottom shelf and the least used at the top of the cabinet. Try to minimize the amount of stuff you place in the way back where you can't see it. The more visibility the better!
- Place a small notepad and a pen in the cabinet or attach to the cabinet door. When you run out of a pantry staple, write it down so you have a list ready when you go grocery shopping.
- If you want to get SUPER detailed, you can write the names of spices or other ingredients that sit below the top of the baskets. Use a Sharpie and write the name on the lids so they are visible without removing every item from the basket.
And that's it! It took me about an hour and a half to organize my cabinets. It sounds like a lot of time, but in the end it is saving me tons of time and money to have a more organized system in place. I still have more corners of my kitchen that need work, but this was a great place to start!
What are your favorite organizational tips? Or, what is your most difficult place to organize in your house?