Friday, June 01, 2012

organizing

It seems I have talked a lot about organizing in the recent past.  I have been doing it.  We've been successful with some of our changes.  Other changes are taking a bit to stick, but I am determined for them to work.  Sometimes it's the small things that we change that can really make an impact.  I decided to rearrange my kitchen.  We've had our things in the same spots since we moved here, almost 6 years ago.  I decided to change things up to see if it would be a benefit to us.  One change was to move all of our plates/bowls/cups/silverware onto our metal wire rack, that resides right next to our dishwasher.  This means that 75% of the items coming out of the dishwasher can be put away without ever having to take more than a half a step.  I put our pots and pans into the cupboard where our dishes used to reside.  That gave them twice the space that they had before.  I always hated trying to tame the  pot monsters!  Take one pot out and a tower of others would come crashing to the floor.  Now there is plenty of room for them.  Plus I separated our cookware tops.  Trying to weed through them (among the monster pots) became overwhelming at times.  So those have their own drawer.  Easy to access, without having to rummage through everything to get to what I am looking for. 

I also had a battle with my spices and herbs.  I have about 30 glass jars (mostly mason jars with some peanut butter jars) filled with various herbs (medicinal).  I also have a largish group of spices that I buy at BJ's, so they are extra large.  I originally had the herbs in a cupboard.  Whenever I needed an herb I would have to resort to taking out most, if not all, of the glass jars to get to what I was looking for.  Since I was making various healing teas I couldn't keep all of my needed herbs in the front row.  I had seen this cute idea on another blog ( I wish I could find it to give her credit, hopefully in time, I'll update if I find it).  This woman put all of her cooking spices into the small mason jars (1/2 pint size) and put pretty labels on the top of the lids.  With the pull of the draw she could see all of her spices at once.  This was a neat idea.  But not practical for our situation.  Number one, we are seriously lacking drawers in our kitchen.  Number two, we go through a lot of spices and it's not practical to put them into small jars, still having to find a place for the bulk containers to reside.  So I found a solution that worked for us.  I moved all my bulk spices to my pantry.  They are lined up alphabetical.  They don't all quite fit, but it's the best I could do.  Behind the spices is another row of spices, these are extras of what is on the front line.  As for those 30 jars of herbs....I made some of my own labels with pretty paper.  The woman who I got this idea from just glued her paper to the top of the metal lid.  This would NOT work for our family.  They would  be in ruins in 72 hours.  So I laminated them, making it easy to clean off.  Instead of gluing them to the lid they manage to stay in  place with the metal ring, even when I go to open the jars.  If one happens to forget it's place, it's a breeze to just slip it back in, but this is rare.  Below you can see my set up.

Labeling my shelves leaves no excuse to all of the readers in our house as to where everything goes.  Let me just say that shopping day would leave my pantry a mess with everyone just throwing things in there willy nilly.



My bulk spices.  I do still keep some smaller spices in the original cupboard.



The bulk herbs.  For the peanut butter jars, as seen in the front, a bit off to the left, I just taped the label on.  Saoirse had great fun helping me with this project!  Since these are on a lower shelf I can see at a glance all of my herbs.  So picking the one I need at the moment is a snap.



A close up of a couple of lids.  Looks like I need to give them a brushing off.  The good thing though, is that they are being used!  And, yes, we have 'goat vitamins' :-).  It is an herbal mix for their health.  We get them from a site that makes only food grade remedies for goats.  So the humans in the family can use them too.

3 comments:

Bethany @ Homesteader Kitchen said...

I love how you did the lids! Really adds a nice flair to them.

Kirsten- The Foreign Domestic said...

I definitely need to do something like this with my spices. Great idea!!

HomeschoolMama said...

Beautiful! I love organizing. I find it very helpful to have a place for everything, so we can put everything in it's place. Your lids and labels are lovely.

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