Tuesday, December 1, 2009

'Tis the season... for obsessively organizing!

Last year I had a minor nervous breakdown just after Christmas. Not an annual thing, surprisingly. But

two children of toy-receiving age + doting relatives and friends = lots of clutter - finding room for all the new toys and clothes

Did you see how I cleverly turned that into a math equation?

To be honest, I can't even remember what we did with all the toys last year, but I feel like we donated some of the older toys and handed down some things to friends. And even then, we stored some unopened toys in the garage to be reintroduced throughout the year. (One toy actually just made it's debut last month!)

I don't know if it is due to last year's angst or what, but this year the clutter and organizing anxiety has begun even before packages have started accumulating under the tree. Even before we HAVE a tree!

My current obsessive focus is the kitchen. Our new kitchen has lots of cabinet space. Much more than our old house. And we do actually have a pantry, which we didn't have before. But the problem is that while the pantry is spacious, it is akwardly shaped for food storage. The shelves are square, which means they are much deeper than a typical cabinet. They are the same depth as our refrigerator. Nice for cereal, oatmeal and dry staples storage. Not so nice for canned goods and all the little things that you would want to put in a pantry. So, it has been a struggle to keep it organized, and I'd love to come up with a system for utlizing this space better. (I've been half heartedly looking for lazy susans but everything I've seen is either way too small or just slightly too big.)

So disorganized feeling pantry has led to a smaller goal of organizing my dry staples so that I don't have bags of wheat flour, white flour, sugar, dry beans, grains, etc. thrown on to the shelf.

And now I have a secondary obsession - a distracting obsession from the first obsession: I can't stand our dirty and gross spice rack. (This actually started because of the clutter in the herb/spice/tea/hot chocolate/etc. section of our kitchen.) It isn't a bad spice rack, really, but it spins and there is something about how it is put together that makes it really difficult to clean it. And the spice bottle tops have a texture, which makes them hard to clean too, unless I want to empty 18 spice bottles into ??? and throw them in the dishwasher.  And I don't want to have a greasy and dusty spice rack sitting out on my cabinet for all the world (and myself) to see on a regular basis. Gross.

I'm taking my first step to tackle these issues, and Thank you, Cyber Monday, for your assistance! I did a little sale shopping online yesterday and have found the solution to at least part of my problem. I think step two will be to get some of those white wire shelves to divide the big cabinets up a little bit.

Anyway, my new kitchen "toys". Happy birthday to me, a few weeks early!

My dry staples will be so happy!

Spice rack-tastic!

Extra spice jars!

It's probably pretty obvious at this point, by my excitement, that I don't spend money on myself very often. I am really looking forward to having a well organized kitchen!


  1. Have you seen those shelves for canned goods? They look like stair steps but in miniature. I have those in my pantry and now I can actually see what is in the cans! I don't think they save space, but they sure make my pantry more organized!

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