Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cleaning & Organizing the Kitchen

I mentioned last week that I'm attempting to join in with a weekly challenge this year to get the house organized.  I jumped in at Week 2's Challenge, Cleaning my Pantry.  It was quite a workout at 40 weeks pregnant!

The third challenge was Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers.  The task is self-explanatory I believe.  It included all of the cabinets, drawers and the junk drawer.

Except we only have 3 drawers in our kitchen.  We designated one for silverware, one for small kitchen gadgets, and one for dishcloths/potholders and the like.  That means we don't have a designated "junk drawer" and that means our junk ends up everywhere else in the kitchen.

It's husband's fault.  Can I say that??  I think I blamed him for the mess in the pantry last week!  He's got a habit of just tucking things away out of sight in random kitchen cabinets, especially when we're speed cleaning for unexpected company . . . and if I don't go behind him later and put it away or throw it away, it just builds and festers and grows.

It didn't help that we just came off the busy holiday season, a birthday squeezed in there, and I was very pregnant and diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at the end.  It was to the point that I just didn't care.  The drawers weren't too bad, but the cabinets made us cringe every time we opened them.  It looked like an episode of Hoarders.

This challenge came after Eloise was born.  I figured I'd start with something easy, and see how far I could go.

The Drawers
I started with the drawers.  They were messy and unorganized, but there wasn't as much junk to weed out.

The first drawer was the silverware drawer.  I pulled everything out, washed the tray and put things where they belonged, since some things actually were in the wrong drawer.

In the third drawer, buried under a bunch of junk and dishtowels, I found two boxes of silverware The Husband had purchased on clearance.  Well I freed up a lot of space in that bottom drawer by actually opening them.

Elliott replaced everything for me.  :)

Drawer two:  I pulled out all of the cookie cutters that landed here, because they have their own box.  I got rid of the extra set of measuring cups that had missing pieces, and some random/duplicate utensils, and threw away some random junk.

It doesn't really look any cleaner/organized, but I do know what's in here now!

The third drawer, which I don't have before/after pictures was the one that got the biggest overhaul.  Pulling out two boxes of silverware helped, and I pulled out a bunch of wooden spoons that my husband tried to "save" the last time I purged.  They hadn't been touched in months, so they have to go.  Now it's just dishcloths, towels, a couple aprons and pot holders.  And some cheesecloth.

The Cabinets
I waited several days to start this.  Of course, post-baby, I had more mobility now for getting up on a step stool, but the task was daunting.  I'm about to get real up in here, and you more organized/minimalist/neat freak readers will probably pass out on me . . .

You can't even tell this cabinet was supposed to be for glasses.  I told you it got ugly.  There's candy canes galore, medicine baskets, scented wax for the warmers . . . and lots of other random junk.

Now?  Candy gone.  Batteries to the basket in the utility room.  I went through the medicine a little, but I'll tackle it full force another time--I just wanted it put up in my bathroom out of sight/reach of the little people.  Well, I left my prenatal vitamins so I would remember to take them.  I left the k-cups and the coffee grinder here, because the Keurig is right below.

Then I tackled another cabinet.  You can probably tell this one was for dishes, but it was overrun with junk as well.

More candy purged, the big green storage container thingy (for lack of a better term?) was moved to a better spot.  It's not ours, someone at my husband's work sent peanut butter fudge home {and it was delicious!} but he doesn't see this person daily so we have to get it back to them.  The random stuff was put where it belongs, and the dishes were organized.  I also found our sea salt!

I can't remember the last time we've cleaned these cabinets.  It's been that long!  As if you couldn't tell.

I did get to one last cabinet.  It is a lower cabinet, and it's where we keep the "kid friendly" dishes so that the boys can get water and snacks independently.  It also has storage containers, and about a bazillion storage bags that my husband the stockpiler bought on sale.  It's basically things I don't think will shatter everywhere if the toddler drags it all out, because let's face it . . . those little cabinet locks are more trouble than they're worth.  (Unless it's cleaning supplies!)

This cabinet was a little easier.  I matched the lids to containers, because some people--not me--put them away without matches.  I put all the unmatched lids into a bag, wondering what could have possibly happened to their matches.  I put a few things in the donate box.  I stacked and organized.  Hopefully my kitchen helper will be able to get things in here more easily now.

I also pulled out a ton of these little juice bottles.  When we go on road trips, the husband grabs these for the kids as a treat, and they end up coming home with us.  They use them occasionally for water, but I'm thinking tomorrow the boys will be tasked with weeding through them.

I finished the cabinet after the family went to bed, with most of the lights off, hence the drastic change in color.

I still have 4 cabinets left.  Ugh.  The pots and pans cabinet, the cleaning supplies under the sink, the small appliance cabinet, and the cookbook/school cabinet.  They mostly need straightened up.  I hope.  I think I will probably spread them out over the next week or two so I can still get them done, but tackle the other challenges as well.

The next challenge is Fridge, Freezers and Floors so that should be . . . interesting.

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  1. Your cabinets are looking great! Don't worry about trying to finish them immediately. Sometimes it's just get a little bit done that helps make life a tad bit easier. Having a new baby is wonderful.

    1. Thanks for your kind words! It really was so refreshing to get up this morning and see those clean cabinets!

  2. You did amazing with those cabinets! Doesn't it feel great to open up a cabinet door and see everything neatly put away. (Ok. Maybe that's just me that gets excited about little things like organized dishes.)