The key to organizing anything

I don’t know if it is 

(a) finding space for the new things received at Christmas

(b) packing up Christmas decorations inspires a through cleaning or

(c) a new year makes you realize all the things that are driving you crazy that you’ve been ignoring for months.

Whatever the cause, this time of year I get the itch to purge, organize and clean.  And, like giving a mouse a cookie, one thing leads to another and another and another.  In this case, making breakfast for the kids led to putting up some dishes which led to me working on this…..Image

This is the only “before” picture I took because, I wasn’t planning to do this project.  I have two large, deep drawers in my kitchen that I use to store my plastic storage containers and cups.  And it was a mess.  And one of my biggest “this drives me crazy!!” issues is when I can’t find a lid to go with a bowl.  So, it was time to organize.  

Now, I am going to tell you the secret to organizing anything—drawer, closet, pantry—it doesn’t matter.  You aren’t going to like it.  You are going to try and talk your way out of it.  But, I am telling you, if you really want to get something organized you HAVE to do this first.  You have to take EVERYTHING OUT.  Everything.  Take every single item out of the drawer (or closet, or pantry, etc).  Once everything is out, you need to clean the interior.  In this case, I used a damp cloth to wipe out the interior of the drawers.  

The next step is to sort the items you just removed.  In this case, I started by matching bowls to lids.  Any bowls that didn’t have lids or any lids that didn’t have bowls was set to the side.  The bowls that were paired with the matching lids were grouped according to size.  (I have several that are the same size and use the same lids).  Then I used a Sharpie to label each bowl and corresponding lid, i.e. I wrote a “2” on the bowl and a “2” on the matching lid, so that when I am looking for the lid that fits I just look for the matching number/letter.      ImageImage

Image  Image Well, that little project led to this…Image    Image   those containers are my large ones that I use for things like soup, that 30 lb watermelon my husband brings home in the summer, etc.  I did the same with these, matching up the lids to the bowls and then restacking them.  And, since I was in the cabinet, I went ahead and went through all the spices too.  (I figured if the expiration date was 2011–it was pretty safe to assume they could be thrown away)Image  Image  Then, once those were done, I felt that I ought to do the other large drawer that holds all the plastic cups.  Image  Thermal coffee cups on the right, cups that have lids in the center, and the far left is plastic cups that don’t have lids.  In the back, on the left are the lids for those cups in the center and on the right are thermoses for the boys’ lunches.  And then, since I was in the kitchen, I decided to go ahead and tackle the pantry.  For the first time, since we moved in 8 years ago, I took every single thing, from the top shelf to the floor, out of the pantry.  The boys helped with this one.  We sorted and grouped.  We poured packages into clear storage containers. Put categories of items into containers and labeled them.  And finally, put things back in the pantry.  ImageImageImageImage  On the top shelf I put things that we don’t use often like extra pitchers, odd shaped cake pans, etc.  The floor of the pantry is where I store my large containers of flour and sugar, lunch boxes, a basket that I use to corral plastic utensils, cups, and paper goods.  And that rather large and overflowing box of candy there on the bottom shelf?  That is what my children got over Christmas.  I am waiting for them to go back to school so that I can slowly get rid of it.   All totaled it took about 3 hours to get the two drawers, two cabinets, and pantry done.  And, I had a lot of trash to be hauled out afterwards.  But, boy was it worth it!!

Blessings friends,

Tracey

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