Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week # 2 Results - Organized Home Challenge - Kitchen Drawers & Kitchen Cabinet Organization

Sometimes change is painful, even when the change is positive.  Speaking specifically in terms of kitchen cabinets and drawers, inertia had definitely taken a toll on them.  Life as we know it has changed, and the process for this week's challenge had become uncomfortable.

Week #2 Organized Home Challenge:  Kitchen Drawers and Kitchen Cabinets
Were there many obstacles?  Yes, more than I realized.  Was I ready to give up?  Heck no.  The stumbling blocks just meant that we were headed in the right direction.  The more sacrifices made, the sweeter the taste of the victory.

Lower Cabinets Clutter
My kitchen cabinets and drawers were a disaster area.  Proportionally, they weren't quite a nuclear event.  But they were definitely somewhere in the area of hazardous waste material.

The war had commenced between me and The Nothing

Atreyu, where are you?

This part of the challenge will not become my Neverending Story .

Upper Cabinets Clutter

Speaking of war, guess which one the USA was involved in the last time these cabinets and drawers were all cleaned and organized?
Junk Drawer #1 Clutter.  Wonder what year the Mr. Jim's Pizza coupon expired?
 Need a hint?  It was somewhere in the time frame between the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, and probably before George W. Bush was President.

Junk Drawer #2 Clutter.  How long ago were tomato seeds sold for 55 cents?
There were four grocery bags full of junk in the junk drawers.  Who knows how long it had been since they were cleaned out?  I must care about this, even if it matters more to me than to anyone else.  Discouragement may prevail for a moment here and there, but quitting is not an option.

Recycling Bags and Bakers Rack Clutter.  Why did we need two of these?
That was part of the purpose of taking this challenge to the public.  Declaring it to the world means no going back, right?  I promise you this, if you think you can, you can.  If you think you can't, then you're already halfway there. Neither rain, sleet, snow, nor dark of night will stop me now.  A few things might interfere and slow my progress, but nothing will make me give it up.  Not the stress of being behind schedule on finishing this each week so I can post it...

Lower Baking and Decorating Drawer Clutter
...or influenza...

Lower Mixer Drawer Clutter
...or the IRS...

Before Wrap Drawer Clutter
...or kids moving back home...or kids moving away...

Lower Hot Pad and Dish Towel Drawer Clutter
...or emergency room visits and outpatient surgeries ...

Upper Baking Dish and Junk Food Cabinet Clutter.
...or car accidents...(Fortunately our daughter PUMPKIN is okay except for a bad bruise.  What about the car?  Have you ever heard of Honda Heaven?)

Knife Drawer Clutter

...shall stop me from finishing this week's challenge, no matter how long it takes.

Taylor's advice for her Week #2 Organized Home Challenge: Kitchen Drawers and Kitchen Cabinets was clear and concise:

"The key to this challenge is to break it up into smaller chunks if you begin to feel overwhelmed, so I've tried to do this in the action steps below."

I mean she hit the proverbial nail on the head.

"It also helps to keep in mind the overall purpose of organizing your kitchen cabinets and drawers. It is not to make them beautiful, and ready for a magazine cover although if they are afterwards that is great. Instead, the purpose of organizing this area of your home is to allow you to easily access what you need for cooking or other kitchen activities when you need those items. With that in mind you can make good decisions about functionality and organization to suit your family's needs without making more work for yourself than you need to."

That made perfect sense to me.  Break it up.  Think of the purpose of the kitchen and where you need and use certain things.

Silverware Drawer Organized

Silverware drawer was in the right spot, but it needed help.  I used some empty plastic spice jars and lids as sub-dividers.  They worked pretty well between my built-in wooden drawer dividers.  Because the lids are the screw-on type, they adjust a to get a bit shorter or longer, which was just perfect for my purpose here.  I hadn't made it to the store to buy the contact paper yet to line the drawers, so I used some leftover Charlie Brown and Snoopy Christmas wrapping paper for drawer liners and spice jar wrap.  What do you think?  Too cheesy?  I kind of like it.

Baking Drawer Organized

The hand mixer is now in the same drawer with the cookie cutters, pastry board, measuring cup, silpat sheets, and rolling pin.  It is right there by the counter top space where we normally mix cookies, cakes, bread dough, etc.

Disposable Dinnerware Drawer Organized
One thing I noticed about getting stuff organized is this:  You realize what you have and don't have.  For example, I had three full boxes of disposable forks, knives, and spoons.  Why?  I don't really know the answer.  I have learned that I have double and triple of some things for no apparent reason.  On the other hand, there were things needed that weren't purchased.  Conclusion?  Getting organized and staying that way will save me money.  What we need will be purchased and we won't waste as much money, time, and space buying and storing stuff we don't need.

Party Drawer Organized
 I got rid of a lot of  unneeded stuff during this section of the challenge.  I also created a party drawer.  Hey I had three brand new bright plastic tablecloths in different colors, a Happy Birthday Banner, and three or four different colors of crepe paper, plus all those free forks and napkins from Rosa's Cafe.  Yes, Taco Tuesday is one of our favorite things to celebrate.  Following Taylor's advice, this drawer is one of the lower ones that is not quite as easily accessible as the silverware drawer, because we don't use it as often.

Knife Drawer Organized
Honestly, I haven't cleaned this drawer in years.  The Cutco Knives are thirty years old, and still get used and cleaned regularly.  The drawer and the knife holders?  Not so much.  Pumpkin figured out how the holder units actually disassemble and reassemble.  We sprayed a little vinegar and water on them, put them in the dishwasher, and voila.  Just like new!  She even found the missing knife blade that had slipped in the holder and wouldn't come out.  (Yes, I forgot it was even in there.)  Cutco guarantees them for life, even against abuse.  I can get the handle replaced or a new knife for half price.  By the way, the Cutco Hunting Knife and Cutco Fish Filet Knife do not belong in the Kitchen Knife Drawer.

Wrap Drawer Organized

The Wrap and Bag Drawer was pretty easy.  It had been recently organized and just needed a touch up and some new Contact paper.

Kitchen Linen Drawer Organized
The Cup Towel and Hot Pad Drawer needed help.  It was in the right spot, but had too much clutter.  Here it is with less junk and new Contact Paper liner.

Upper Plastic Dishes Cabinet Organized
Wow, we had way to many plastic cups and mismatched plastic food keeper tubs and lids.  Finally parted with the old Micro Bake oven the girls used years and years ago, too.  I will use the Magic Bullet to make smoothies more often now.  Kept some measuring cups here too.  We do use them in this zone between the sink and the stove. 

Junk Drawer Organized

I don't think we needed two junk drawers.  How do you like my Dollar Tree pink wrapping paper as a drawer liner?  When we do put some junk in here, I've got a couple of storage container options to keep it organized.

Can Opener, Ice Cream Scoop, Cheese Slicer, and Dry Measuring Cup Drawer

Junk drawer number 2 was right next to the refrigerator and in the center of our food cabinets.  We don't really have a pantry.  Following Taylor's advice, we put the ice cream scoop and the cheese slicer here close to the refrigerator.  Also the canned goods are all over here, so it was time to move the can opener over here.  Finally, the flour and sugar is here, so the dry measuring cup is in here too.  Just makes so much more sense than having all of these things on the opposite side of the kitchen like we did before.  I think the pink paper looks cute with the white divider bins and the ice cream scoop.

Baking Dish and Mixing Bowl Cabinet
I finally got all the food out of this cabinet.  For some reason, all the snack cakes, cookies, and snack crackers ended up over here.  This is nowhere near the rest of the food cabinetry.  Now this has neatly stacked glass baking dishes, mixing bowls, and up top are drink cups for when the grandchildren visit and a specialty brownie pan.  I like it much better.  What do you think?

Much credit is due to my daughter PUMPKIN and my husband for their help and support with this blog, particularly during all the excitement since my last post.  They are wonderful people.  PUMPKIN moved away from home for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  Her timing was perfect, and she is the happy recipient of many of the items that have been 'decluttered' from this house.  She really needed the extra dishes, hot pads, dish towels, laundry detergent, assorted groceries, silverware, pots and pans, George Foreman Grill, and an extremely cool transparent pink, blue, and green acrylic set of salt and pepper shakers.

So excited to share more good news. Cupcake Mumma has been busy with the Challenge too!  Here is a link to her post for Week #2 Kitchen Drawers and Cabinets Before .  This woman is so awesome.  Here is the link to her results for Week #2 Kitchen Drawers and Cabinets After.  Cupcake, you have inspired me all over again.  <<hugs>>

I'd love to hear about any of you who are ready to take the plunge and follow along with The 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.  Please keep me posted if your plugging along with us, or if you are new and just starting.  I will gladly share your progress on this blog.

Just remember, don't get discouraged.  Even if you get behind, just keep moving forward.  Nobody is perfect, right?  I'm still behind, but hope to post the results for Week 3: Organize Pantry, Spices, and Food Storage Areas very shortly.


  1. Nice job! That must feel great. Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks Kim. Your encouraging words are music to my ears

  3. Your banner photo is stunning! Love your blog!


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