Taking Back My Kitchen…{part one}

Taking Back My Kitchen…{part one}

Inspired by Michelle’s post and Money Saving Mom..I decided to clean up my kitchen!  It really wasn’t terrible…but we cook three meals, too many snacks, and home school in our kitchen every day, so I thought any space we could clean up and clear up would be great!

I started with the pantry…since I am a couponer I {thankfully} have a full pantry, but I have to work to keep it organized so I can utilize all that I have acquired!  I cleared up some space by getting rid of some pans on the floor I wasn’t using…fancy cheesecake pans and jello molds.  I also found some food items we weren’t using…baby food, extra pasta… and put them in a box to donate to our local Ronald McDonald House.

Before

After

Do you see my chocolate chips…they are my favorite pantry item!

 

My hubby found some big food storage containers last year and we use them to buy flour, sugar, rice, beans, etc. in bulk!  And the lids seal tight and keep the kids out:)

I found a shoe organizer at a thrift store last year and put it on the back of the pantry door to hold measuring cups/spoons and other small kitchen doo-dads.

I also try to keep only one section of the panty with open items…if it’s full, we don’t open something else until there is room.  It seems to reduce waste!

I also cleaned up my spice cabinet.  I buy in bulk, so I have found the easiest way to keep it fresh and organized is with plastic containers.

What are your ideas for keeping it all organized??

{Check out part two!}

11 Responses »

  1. I never thought to put my bulk spices in that kind of container. Great idea! I just refill my tiny bottles a million times and it’s a pain.

    My favorite improvement I’ve made is that a bought a small “lazy susan” at Amazon and it’s inside my cupboard with the basics I use every time I bake: Baking powder, soda, vanilla, toothpicks, and a mug with measuring spoons. It saves a lot of digging time.

  2. We don’t even have a pantry and I’ve always envied those that do. Yours look fabulous! What a great job you’ve done. I hope you’re as proud of yourself as I am. Love, Grandma

  3. Some people have a knack for organizing stuff. I’m not among them. I’m not a complete slob, but my space will never be Sunset-Magazine material. I guess the way I explain my middlin’ position is – when things finally get too messy, to out of hand even for ME, then I go on a tear. Results are usually pretty good. For a day…
    All that to say, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions that I can easily recognize and pass on, but I often don’t follow my own advice. And part of what I learned was gleaned from the frequent moves during my divorced years. Seems like every time I moved, I had to give up a little more, leaving me with a little less to deal with.
    I also helped Jan move her parents a few times, and all their stuff… including a box of pipe fittings that were purchased before Truman was president. Jan’s Dad always talke about this box of high quality fittings that cost less than $2 when he scrounged them… and how they’d cost more than $75 today. Part of the reason for my forked tongue is because I managed to refrain from telling him that he’d probably spent $200 moving them back and forth across the country and California!.
    Which brings me to Point #1 for organizing. It’s easier when there’s less of it!!! Duh! But, every time I moved, I had less to move, less to organize, and what little I had left was that much easier to find.
    If you are in position to notice, when homes are staged, either for selling or for Photo-show, they are more sparse than crowded. I leave it to you to find the message in that.
    Problem with that is – people buy stuff, and we loathe getting rid of it. This is especially true when you try to economize. If you are the Coupon Queen who knows how to squeeze blood out of every penny, the best way to do that is bulk. Thus, we have Costco and Sam’s!!
    So, there’s your conundrum… having less is easier to organize, but it’s cheaper to buy in larger quantities.
    Which brings me to point 2. Since I hate to organize and do the cleaning up, what saves me (when I plan and remember) is the simplest of rules: put it back, NOW.
    Areas where I best put this into practice… when I’m the one in our kitchen, my biggest contribution to Jan is rinsing things off as I go, and either washing or putting into dishwasher when things are simmering. Depending on what I’m cooking, I either rinse them as I go before leaving them in the sink, or I set up for soaking. Dried-on foods are SO much harder to clean. Also, especially when I’m measuring things out, I do better if I set up all the items I need on the counter, to be sure I don’t leave out a critical ingredient. Then, as I measure my way through each item, it gets put away as I go. (This is really important when Jan set up the items, and I’m doing the cooking. If I don’t put it back where it came from, I find out!) For some reason, it just seems easier to “put away as I go” than to clean up when I’m through. Now if I can only remember to practice doing what I know…

    So there’s my 2-cents’… Have less; Put it back away NOW.

    PS – YOU 2 Moms are terrific!!!

  4. Pingback: » Taking Back My Kitchen…{part two} A Lighter Journey

  5. Do have any posting anywhere on how to cook all those pinto beans? I really want to start doing it myself instead of canned (I cannot take salt) but don’t know how to start. Thanks!

  6. I also like the spice containers – so simple and they look nice too.

    I am also a couponer – with the mass amounts of things we can acquire (so inexpensively) it can be difficult to find creative ways of storing it all – you did great.

    I love that stash of chocolate chips!!!

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