Organization = Love

With January quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to get a head start on some de-cluttering around the house. January is most famous for being a month of resolutions and fresh starts, and nothing says “fresh start” to me more than an organized home. We tend to hold on to so many physical “things” that keeping those “things” in line is often a struggle for many. See: Hoarders. I was motivated by the following - just taunting me as it lay there on the coffee table.

Game on. I set my sights on my first target. The kitchen cabinets. Well, what lies behind the kitchen cabinets, to be specific. Sure, the contents are hidden from passerby by pretty white doors, but I know what a hot mess it behind those doors and had to get everything straightened out. Being organized seriously helps me sleep better.

Was I easily motivated? Yes. I tend to thrive in structured environments.

Did it get worse before it got better (like it always does)? Yes. Half way through, the kitchen looked like a bomb went off. Shoulda woulda coulda taken a picture of that.

Did I get tired? No. I’m a freak of nature that way. Matt literally had to tell me to get in bed. I could have worked all night.

In the end, I straightened out all of the cabinets and we now have a slightly modified storage solution to learn in the kitchen. It shouldn’t take to long to get accustomed to everything in it’s new spot, seeing as I was the main cabinet organizer and I am the main chef in the house, too. :) Some of the cabinets were especially messy, and I’m about to share them with you. If you’re wondering, my main reason for sharing is for you to either feel better about yourself and your ridiculously organized kitchen essentials OR for you to be motivated by my organizational prowess (only you know in which category you belong).

I started with the easiest mess first. It’s a bottom cabinet that was storing everything from lunch boxes to wedding flutes, with a few small appliances thrown in for good measure.

Now, it stores only our small appliances. The most frequently-used appliances sit in the front and the infrequently-used appliances are in the back. Genius, I know. Yes, our ice cream maker is in the front. What of it?

I thought the cabinet that holds our mugs, wedding china and wine glasses would be the next easy choice. “Thought” being the operative word, seeing as the middle shelf collapsed halfway through, breaking a couple of glasses. Oops. Here is where we stood pre-collapse. Looking back, I suppose that middle shelf was loaded down just a bit.

After I cleaned up the mess, i corralled the good mugs and removed a bunch of old, chipped mugs. The non-matching (but in good condition/of sentimental value) mugs are in the back now, and the china is sitting pretty on the bottom shelf. #hindsightistwentytwenty

Onward and upward. The “spice cabinet” is a tiny sliver of a cabinet that sits to the right of the sink and it was next on my list.

I disposed of the spices that were expired and/or unused and pulled out what remained, setting them on the counter. Mixed in with the good spices were random wine corks (which I save for a project down the line) as well as some tea. Now, stay with me here, because it’s going to get crazy. The spice cabinet is no longer the spice cabinet. Bam! I made it into my own personal tea cabinet. Don’t worry, I’ll show you where the spices ended up. Yes, I decided that I deserve my own tea cabinet. Matt raised a brow, but I love it. Besides, he has his mancave. Surely, I can have one tiny cabinet to myself.

The first three cabinets weren’t really a challenge, because their level of “hot messiness” was soooorrrt of under control. The final two cabinets I’m sharing with you are the bad ones — the cabinets I throw anything and everything into to get it off my kitchen counter. Guilty.

After a short while, we were back in business with a neat cabinet that stores most of my baking pans, some thermoses, the mandolin and food scale.

Sigh. Last but not least, I give you the cabinet that turned out to be the future home of my cooking spices. I am surprised I found anything I needed in the cabinet, given it’s state of disarray.

I present to you, the baking cabinet cleared out and lined up neatly, with the spices tiered directly above my main prep space - what a novel idea!

Did I mention the spices were tiered? Oh right, I did. Did you catch that?

I used a box and lid I had leftover from a Christmas gift that seemed to be the right size. It’s not perfect, but then again, it didn’t cost me anything, either.

Not too shabby.

I can’t believe I let those cabinets and shelves get so out of hand, and I know what my mother is thinking: “I can’t believe she shared those cabinets publicly!” Ha. Just keeping it real.

I feel ahead of the game, and because we use these cabinets day in and day out, I know it will make our lives a little easier. Lord knows it will be easier to find my white pepper or ground nutmeg. As a bonus to getting so organized in the kitchen, I rid the house of a ton of random kitchen stuff we never use (either donated to Goodwill or thrown out if it was in bad shape) and it makes me feel lighter and cleaner.

Are you guys excited for the fresh start that January brings? Are you planning any organizational tears through your own homes? Do tell. I’m definitely just getting started on the de-cluttering around here.

Oh, and if you have any New Year’s resolutions, share those, too! I don’t normally make them, but I’d love to hear yours! Maybe I’ll get motivated to make my own.

Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

#Before & After