Tuesday, January 8, 2013

organize our….kitchen

We're back again with our new year's cleaning challenge. This week is the kitchen. I decided to tackle a few smaller tasks because you can't really reorganize the entire kitchen, especially in an apartment.
First on the list was the corner cabinet. When I started it looked like this:

It's not the most horrible thing I have ever seen, but it is definitely not clean or functional. And so everything must come out. Like any good organizing project, I needed to start with a clean slate.

 After everything was taken out of the cabinet, I set to work sorting things into like piles and getting rid of as much extra packaging and unneeded items as I could. In our apartment, we have no room to waste space.

  (the popcorn bucket was obviously not in that cabinet, it just happened to be on the counter)
Once I had everything out of the cabinet, I checked my laundry closet area to see what kind of empty baskets I had already. I was not going to buy anything for this quick project, but if I already had the baskets, they might as well get used.

I started putting things back in, one shelf at a time, with the most used items on the bottom two shelves since I'm such a shortie.

The top shelf holds some left over ice packs and all the excess medications- prescription and over the counter.

The next shelf down holds zip lock bags and refills for our febreeze noticables. I buy them when they are on sale or I have a coupon, so I do have a little stockpile going on, but nothing too crazy.

By the third shelf, we are starting to get to some of the more commonly used items. Starting on the left we have sandwich size zip lock bags. They didn't fit nicely with the ones above, and they are used more often so they got moved down a shelf. That little white basket holds my blood sugar meter and extra blood sugar test strips. Next to the basket is the handy single dose tylenol packets (great for tossing in your purse!) Next to that are the large bottles of tylenol that are too tall to fit on the bottom shelf. Oh yeah, and some random white shoe polish that we were told to use to cover up marks on our walls, but clearly they are not the same color.

 The bottom shelf holds more everyday stuff. The big basket on the left holds all sorts of medicines- cough, cold, allergy, things like that. In the middle are cough drops, green tea, a generic Mio, and my asthma medicine. The small basket on the right holds kool-aid packets and all of our single crystal light, propel, etc packets. This basket was actually in here before.

In the process of putting everything back in, I managed to get rid of some more excess packaging. So here is the completed pile of excess that I removed from the cabinet.

 And here is an overall afterwards snapshot:

Much more organized and user friendly. It makes finding the snack size bags, niquill, or grape propel much easier!

I must have been in the cleaning mood after I finished that cabinet because I moved right on to the top of the microwave, which lives directly below this cabinet.

It literally took me like 2 minutes. All I had to do was get rid of what didn't belong there, and tidy up what did belong there.

Much better :)
All that remained was a tidy basket full of randoms (really its the bottom of a cereal box covered in scrapbook paper and mod podge), phone book, and current coupons for food places.

Next I moved over to the other side of the kitchen, to the refrigerator. We have a little midget apartment sized fridge which is mega lame! But I got distracted when I started my project and forgot to take a before picture. So just imagine that the containers on the left are back in the fridge on the right. Just toss 'em in there anywhere.

And a peek at what's going on in the door. Nothing too exciting there, so not much to be changed.

And just for fun, a peek at the jam packed freezer... I think I mentioned it before. I have no idea how everything is crammed in there, but I know it needs to be re-evaluated, but that isn't happening until its a little less stuffed. I'm all for organization, but not right after someone goes grocery sale crazy.


So first thing I did was emtpy the shelves and give them a good cleaning with my favotie Method kitchen cleaner. I know our fridge has not been cleaned since we moved in, in August. So in reality its really not that bad, but still gross. I also gave the wire racks a good wipe down.

After everything was clean, I started putting things back in. Essentially everything went in the same place since I already had a basket system going and that was working well. 

I didn't do much in the door besides wipe down a few containers, like the ketchup. Nothing was expired, so we were good over in condiment world.

As an after thought, I did decide to label my baskets. Much cuter. I had another basket that matched, and I was going to add it back in, but I didn't want things to get too cramped. So I stayed with 4 baskets-which explains the double function basket on the bottom shelf.

The bottom shelf holds the beverages- white milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, V8, yogurt, soy milk for body by vi shakes. In the condiments and snacks basket we have crescents, gravy, velveeta, cheese dip, and cream cheese spread.

The next shelf up holds our lefovers- only the current ones made it through, although they really need a date on them. My memory of when I put something in there really cannot be trusted. Also on this shelf are our very common condiments - sour cream, chip dip, and margarine. Since I've been sick I added in a row of powerade to recover and hydrate.

And the top shelf is home to more baskets. On the left is the fruit basket, presently only holding apples, with the caramel stored in front of the basket. The center basket is the cheese, and is stuffed full since it was on sale, but don't worry it will get eaten quick! And the basket on the left is meats- mainly lunch meat and bacon. If I am defrosting meat or saving fresh from the store ground beef, it does not go in this basket. I set it inside of a plastic bowl- I don't want any nasty dripping in my fridge.
I think cleaning out the fridge is something I am going to add to my weekly cleaning checklist. And I want to do better about putting a date on the leftovers that I stick in there. We are really good about not letting them go to waste usually. But after Christmas our work schedules were all messed up and I wasn't taking lunch to school everyday so they got a little out of control. But now we're back to our normal schedule and hopefully can keep the fridge under control.

I have a few other tasks I would like to get done in the kitchen (food cabinet, tupperware cabinet), we'll see if I can get them finished in time to update before the link party ends.


  1. I got into the habit of "moving or throwing out" one item in the fridge each morning when I woke up, in addition to a weekly purge. Now the fridge looks super, all the older stuff is where I can easily see it, and no scary things any more!

  2. I like that idea Heather! Daily fridge maintenance! Bring the oldest (but still good) stuff to the front, and loss anything that's past it's prime.