"Perfectionism is slow death." Hugh Prather

Do you believe that perfection will make you happy? Do you subject others to your ridiculous standards? Do you "do nothing" because it won't be perfect? This blog is in dedication to the ridiculous lengths I go to in search for perfection, and the insanity I encounter along the way.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Organizing: The forward and back stroke

It has come to my attention...I think I say this a lot, that I may have done a few things right in organizing my home.  But be assured, I will ALSO reveal the bleeding sores as well, lest you think I have it all together.  Now, I live in about 1000 square feet with a clown of a husband and 2 toddlers.  So we are not talking about serious minded people trying to help me manage the mess around here.  Well, he IS currently vacuuming the house, as it should be, right ladies!  If you live in a 5,000 square foot house and still have clutter, shame on you.  I would KILL for another closet or drawer!  This is organizing on a BUDGET.  No Container Store Elfa Systems, no Closet Made.  Real people, using some bought, some recycled items to get control.  I also show some handy little tools worth an little investment.
First lets go to the kitchen.

Let me tell you, I have been here over 5 years and JUST figured this one out.  That's how I roll.  5 years of frustration, 10 minutes of consideration, Voila!  I want built ins SO BAD, but it is not happening, so this is what I have done.  The most commonly used items are next to the stove.    Pots have been stacked on the other side.  I have a lot of pots.

I installed this at the sink, I CONSTANTLY use these items.  If you have metal measuring spoons, they can go here as well.  If you have a more open kitchen and this would be in plain view, put it inside a cabinet.

I know, I know, why complain when I take up all that space with coffee stuff.  I have no excuse, I LOVE COFFEE!

I finally broke down and bought Corelle,  It stacks, and stacks.  And MOSTLY indestructible.  Just don't throw it into the sink in frustration.  Don't ask.  I also bought plastic cups (cringe) and they stack too.  As well as the little tupperware lazy susan that it empty because they are all molding in the fridge lol

This is MED CENTRAL though some other items are creeping in.  When you have toddlers it is a constant trip to the medicine cabinet.  Oh, right, I DON'T HAVE A MEDICINE CABINET.  So I put it in the kitchen.  Anything you ingest will be here.   Along with a flash light and that clear folder is common recipes.  That is is a work in progress.

OK, ready for a reality check?  This is the junk drawer.  Very aptly named.  Phone books, Church directories, pens, extra reading glasses etc.  And then EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF JUNK I CAN"T FIND A HOME FOR!  So it ends up looking like this.

Here's a break for some KITCHEN STUFF that has made life in the kitchen a little quicker.  These are what you see on the cooking channel.  I got these from Pampered Chef.  There are little work horses.  They measure up to 1C, so you can pour liquids directly into them for marinades and they come with lids so you can shake what's in it or store in the fridge.  I am baking cookies for Valentines (a later blog) and I put all the ingredients in separately that go together.  I have a bad habit of getting ahead of myself and dumping things together to soon when you are supposed to cream the butter and sugar etc.....these have been great and I use them ALL the time.  It makes things a bit more orderly and I can get bigger containers off the counter.  Very critical when you have a SMALL kitchen.

This is just a little favorite of mine that I got at World Market.  I originally had planned on getting rid of all my other coffee cups, this would be tidier....alas, I am terminal.

Next is BAKING organization.  I have used a combination of store bought, yard sale and recyclable items such as pasta sauce jars to get things in order.  Here we have baking supplies. I store these all together.

Next are DRY GOODS.  Specifically grains...  

...and pasta.  I store these in white tubs that act as "drawers".  The other handy little bin is from Tupperware.  Can you tell I have a lot of stay at home mom friends?  It is for potatoes.  I got tired of them sprouting in my good serving bowls.  I need another one for potatoes.  You are not supposed to mix them in storage.  Betcha didn't know THAT!  Or maybe you did...

I almost forgot this little baby!  This is my SPICE DRAWER.  I bought the jars at World Market for .99.  Then labelled them!  I have a whole cabinet full of spices (not in these jars, that would not be economical) but these are my most used.

These are compulsively bought flours from when I think I am going to try to bake Spelt bread or something.  To keep them from going rancid, I put them in mason jars in the freezer.  I cut out the front of the bag and any instructions and affix it to the jar with a rubber band or tape to inside of lid.  Otherwise you you end up with unidentified items you have no idea how to use even if you DID know what it was!

Ready for another little dirty secret?  The coup de gras (sp?), the den of unmanageables yet to be mastered.  This is an office we built into our garage.  So far it has been nothing but a storage unit.  This is my side, I will spare you and my husband the humiliation of showing you his side.  This is all my craft things, various textiles, books on decorating....and then, baby things?  Random, right?  There is a contest in here somewhere I know it.  I am trying to formulate how I can reward someone for rescuing me from this.

Honorable Mention goes to....
The garage!  This is RIGHT outside the entrance.  I have to pass this to get to my laundry...like I need anything to keep me from doing THAT!  These are all items going to the Resale shop.  Except the tub, from Halloween...and the paper goods, from Christmas...

This is the view from the washer dryer!  Just in case you can't see BEYOND the other pile...and here concludes the have's and have not's of organizing!

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