New Stuff=Organizing Opportunities!

February 14, 2010

Week 7

Hello friends!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you are recognizing those you love and the special people in your life in a special way today.  I have spent mine helping my hubby-to-be nurse his hangover/lack of sleep from his bachelor party last night….so romantic!  Actually, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  I feel like it is more of a stress than an enjoyment.  I feel the same way about NYE.  All the hype and often a let down.  I have watched so many friends stress out about who they are going to spend these holidays with and what they are going to go.  I will tell you a little secret…..these days are just like every other day, you are just charged a lot more for things like flowers, candy, dinner, and alcohol.  There is so much hype and expectation that surrounds these dates that I have seen too many people in tears by the end because things did not pan out like they hoped.  On these kind of holidays I think it is most important that we take time to let the important people in our lives know how special they are to us!  Enough of my sappy soap box diatribe!

So as many of you know, my work on my OM did not goes as planned last week as I spent much of it down for the count and hurt.  Who knew something that looks so pretty and fluffy could hurt me so much.  I guess that is why there are terms for different types of snowfalls, “heart attack snow, widow maker snow, etc.”  Not so pretty now, huh?  Anyways, I am thrilled to say that I am BACK and ready to rumble….no, I will not be wrestling, but I would love to think of a catchy wrestling name for myself.  It would have to involve something with my elbows since they are seriously dangerous weapons…hmmm, I will have to think about this.

I digress though.  It is back to ORGANIZING this week people!  I had lots of downtime last week so I have been thinking of all sorts of nifty things we can over the next several weeks.  I am really itching to do some serious spring cleaning, but since we just got a foot of snow this week, I think that will have to wait until spring officially arrives.  Have no fear, I have plenty of fun in store for us until then.  This week we are going to tackle the kitchen!!  I love my kitchen, not only because we got fabulous new stainless steel appliances (which are so lovely and pain to clean btw), but because I LOVE to eat!  How did your work on your fridge go?  Are you finding it easier to manage what you have and what you need my arranging your items by category?  I hope so!  This week we are going to build off of that theme and tackle our cabinets!

The inspiration for this week came to me after I completely rearranged our cabinets to get rid of old stuff and make space for our fabulous new dishes, serving items, etc. that Jeremy and I have received at our showers so far.  I am IN LOVE with our new stuff.  We love entertaining and having people over and I am so happy to have the necessary items needed for hosting a simple bbq or a fabulous soiree!  Once the weather warms up, I cannot wait to have a bbq on our rooftop deck!  As I began cleaning out our cabinets that held our dishes, I decided why stop there when I can go through all of our cabinets and do some much needed organizing.  Jeremy and I moved into our townhouse this past July.  When you first move in somewhere new it can initially be difficult to decide where you want to keep everything so you just start putting stuff in places to get it out of the boxes.  As we spent more time in our home and lots of time in the kitchen, we have realized that our initial set-up may not have been the most functional for our cooking/baking needs in the kitchen.

When Jeremy and I first moved in together last winter it took awhile to get into a groove of figuring out how we each operated and what we needed to do to live in harmony….the answer, knowing I am always right!  Ha, I am kidding.  I would love to think that, but Jeremy will quickly point out that is not true in any way, shape, or form.  It quickly became evident that we operated very differently in the kitchen.  There was NO organization whatsoever in Jeremy’s kitchen.  I am not exaggerating.  I found an Iron Man DVD in the same cabinet as Crisco….what?!?!  I believe that everything in a kitchen (or any room for that matter) has its place.  I do not like clutter…shocking, I know!  I had a really difficult time understanding why Jeremy had to keep every appliance he owned on the small amount of counter space there was.  He said it was because a kitchen is supposed to be functional and by having his appliances out, they were ready to be used when needed.  I too believe a kitchen should be functional, but the Kitchen Aide mixer that gets used a couple times a month does not need to be out all the time.  So when we moved into our townhouse in July it gave up the opportunity to reorganize things.

As I mentioned before, I hate when kitchen counters are covered in appliances and clutter.  Aside from our toaster and coffee maker, there are no appliances we use on a daily basis and therefore should be put away.  For awhile Jeremy was on a morning smoothie kick so he kept the blender on the counter (as much as I hated it)….remember, relationships are about compromise)).  When the kick wore off, the blender went away.  Now that we are one month away from getting married, we are getting all sorts of fantastic new stuff and we are so excited to use it.  We have lived in our home long enough to know how we need our kitchen set-up in order to be functional and clutter free!  Everyone is going to organize their kitchens differently, but I think it is important to keep some things in mind when organizing:

* Like Jeremy’s says, kitchen are meant to be functional.  Your set-up should reflect a way that enables you to use your kitchen in an effective manner.

* Try to group like items together in cabinets or drawers and according to their appropriate need in the kitchen.  You don’t want to keep all of your stove top cooking items across the way from the stove, keep them in close proximity so they are easy to grab while cooking.

*Keep items you use most frequently in the front of cabinets and at a reachable height.  If you use a certain bowl all the time, it makes no sense to put it on the top shelf where you have to climb on a chair to get it each time.

*Keep your cooking utensils in a container or a drawer for easy access.  All of our spatulas, spoons, and other cooking utensils are in a stainless steel container next to the stove.  As much as I hate clutter, these are necessary to keep out in order to prevent my dinners from burning while I fetch them out of a drawer.

*If you live alone, you are able to set-up your kitchen however you want!  If you have a roommate, significant other, or spouse, involve them in the set-up process.  If you do more of the baking and your partner does the cooking, talk about the ways to organize the cabinets and drawers to best suit both of your needs.  If you do the eating and your partner does the cooking, let them have the majority of the say in how things are to be arranged.  You don’t want to go hungry because they can’t find anything.

*Try and organize by category.  Just like the fridge, I find that having a system for organizing your cabinets really helps in finding things you need to use to cook, seeing what you have so you don’t waste money, and using what is available so it does not spoil.  We have a set of our cabinets dedicated to our daily cooking needs; cereals, making lunches, rice and pastas for dinner, snacks for entertaining, etc.  We also have a cabinet for all of our baking supplies; flours, sugars, powders, Crisco, baking pans, etc.  Not only does it keep things organized, but it saves us time.  We don’t spend so much time looking for certain ingredients while we are cooking, we know exactly where everything is.  It also helps with clean-up because you know everything has its own space to be put away.

This week’s task provides a great opportunity to do inventory to see what you have, what you need, and what you should get rid of (AKA donate).  We were able to box up 2 large boxes of dishes and 3 separate boxes of various utensils and kitchen items that we no longer needed, used, or had been replaced by new stuff we received.  It was quite a process, but a very satisfying one!

Tonight, start with a task list.  Write down what areas you are going to tackle and when this week.  Don’t try and do everything in one night.  Remember, the key to sticking with this is taking it one step at a time.  Do not overwhelm yourself.  This will take some work, but you will feel great when you finish!!

I will be checking in each day and posting photos of how we reorganized our kitchen!  Think of it as practice for spring cleaning!  Happy Valentine’s Day my friends.  You make my heart smile  just by reading this blog! (This is where Jeremy laughs at me and rolls his eyes!)





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