It was quite a week around here. I’ll spare the gory details and just say I got sick. So as you can imagine, I didn’t quite get as much accomplished on the kitchen as I had planned.
But that’s life, right? And Project Simplify is nothing if not about regular people and everyday households, so that’s why this week’s before and after is very much a Normal Life Edition.
I’ve also had a whole variety of kitchens in the past 10 years. 11, to be exact. And I’ve only really loved one of them (the one from our home overseas). I tell you this because if you’re not crazy about your kitchen, I know what that’s like.
We’re also moving soon (to a house a half mile away), so I’m more concerned with curbing clutter than about setting up a workable cooking environment right now.
Still, there are a few things I like to do with my pantry. Here ‘s what I did this week.
First things first—I pulled out everything from the pantry, one shelf at a time.
And then I honestly didn’t change a thing about our bottom shelf. Well, I take that back—I moved the bag of rice on top of the Crock Pot.
I didn’t have too much food to throw out. It was just a mess.
I rearranged some shelves and reassigned a few items to other places.
I’m a huge fan of glass jars and other see-through containers for food storage. There’s no need to buy new containers — when your pickles and salsa run out, wash out the jars and use those.
Not only will things be more stackable and stand up straighter, they’ll look prettier. I’m a fan of a pretty-looking pantry.
I mention in my book that my mother-in-law is known for not labeling her jars, so it’s often hard to tell what’s baking soda and what’s baking powder (though she always knows, of course). Do yourself a favor, and label your items well, especially those in repurposed jars.
I got this idea from my friend Rachel—label a glass jar with a dry erase marker, then affix Scotch tape on top. The tape will keep it from smearing off, and when you’re ready to relabel, simply peel it off—the marker comes off with it.
Before, there was no rhyme or reason as to why I had things in places. It was a catch-all.
Now, there’s a bit more logic.
I like to put my ingredients — spices, grains, beans, and the like — at eye level, where I can easily use them.
A lot of our cans were still in their original Costco-sized boxes. Drove me bananas.
I consolidated all the canned goods on to the same shelf, and I corralled our individually-wrapped teabags in a plastic school box.
I used these Lazy Susans for my cans, found at a local thrift store.
All our snack items are stored up high, making it more of a conscience decision to grab them. It’s also more difficult for the kids to see stuff there.
I keep any extra supplies—a second bag of powdered sugar; the baking soda refill—in the area above the fridge.
We also keep all our coffee supplies—beans, grinder, syrups, mugs, and the like—in its own section of the kitchen. There’s a canister of loose-leaf tea as well, along with wine supplies. It’s our Drink Station.
And of course, I had every intention of taking a photo of our spice area—it’s in a separate cabinet near our stove. I didn’t need to change anything there, so I accidentally forgot to show you. I will sometime in the future.
All in all, not bad. My less than savory health prevented me from doing the fridge and a few other cabinets I had in mind, but such is life and all is grace. I’ve got time to do that soon.
I did, however, manage to take a photo of Reed’s silverware organizing work.
Now it’s your turn!
You’re welcome to focus on this hotspot at any time, of course, but if you’d like to be entered to win this week’s giveaway, you have until Saturday (tomorrow) at 11:59 p.m. PST to submit your before-and-after photos.
You absolutely don’t need to do as many photos as I have here—a simple before shot of a room, followed by its after, is great. And as a reminder, if you don’t have kids at home, you’re welcome to do your own personal belongings.
Ten randomly selected participants in this week’s hotspot will win a copy of the Joy the Baker Cookbook! Celebrate your newly organized kitchen by noshing on one of her delectable recipes. Joy is a gem, and so is her work. You don’t want to miss this book.
Head here to share your photos and to see everyone else’s!
How does your kitchen feel after your work this week?