Friday, November 9, 2012

Another desperate attempt at organization

I miss my old kitchen.

It was nothing fantastic, but it was new and, as much as you could say that tiny little kitchen was designed, it was designed for functionality and usefulness. This kitchen...well, it's the same as every other kitchen in this floorplan in my subdivision, so I'm guessing it was not as much designed for functionality as it was for cheapness in bulk. I will say, though, they built it to last back then. It's 45 years old and just now starting to fall apart. My family is hard on stuff.

Anyway, I have a remodel planned. We're apparently never moving again, or at least not until one or two kids have moved out and I can justify buying a three-bedroom house since that's what literally 90% of the inventory in our price range is. But this remodel is huge. Major. Live-wthout-a-kitchen-for-months major. Something that big is not going to come cheap, so it's a few years off. (I really hope it's only a few, I really really do.) Until then my plan is to keep trying to organize things so I can stave off that total nervous breakdown just a bit longer.

So here is the latest attempt. Before:

Like the rest of my house, there's lots of stuff that doesn't belong there. Almost everything on top of the microwave cart, in fact. The crockpot is sitting out because putting it away is a huge pain, so no one ever does it. And I don't mean we're too lazy to; I mean the lower cabinet doesn't really have room for it so putting it away means taking out multiple things and just kind of cramming them back in. We use it enough that dealing with that isn't worth it.

Wildflower seeds, cookbooks and recipes piled up, bags, broken stuff. A cornucopia of junk.

The beginnings of an after:

I cleared off the top of the microwave cart and moved the cereal containers up there. Not only do we not use them very much, but I don't really want them being at eye level with the kids because then they plow through it all in two days. The metal ice bucket used to hold fast food sauce packets--ketchup, hot sauce, etc. It gave everything a weird plastic taste, though, so I moved those out and filled it with crayons. That gray box holds paper, so I put it down there, too, and called this the art center. There's a box of acrylic paints that goes in the middle, but it's just in a cardboard box right now. I'd like to find something prettier.

Cookbooks and recipe box lined up nicely. We never use these, but they have sentimental value and take up very little space, so I keep them. I should scan the cards, though.

The bottom of the microwave cart.

I wouldn't say these are used any different number of times than the appliances that got to stay in the lower cabinet next to the microwave cart; these were just the ones that fit best, I suppose. These are kind of big, so it's nice to have an open space. There are holes for a top shelf in there, but I need to get a piece of wood cut for that. The brackets are in and you can see that the Foreman grill, at least, wouldn't fit under there with another shelf, so maybe I'll leave it out for now.

The very underutilized pantry before. Great shot, I know.

Another pantry before. My dream is to move the broom, steamer, etc somewhere else so we can actually put three more shelves in and use this for a good amount of food storage, instead of just paper bag and freezer paper storage.

After. It's not much, but since we have so few cabinets for food storage, every little bit helps. I'm also trying to build a bit of a winter storm stockpile. We got off easy last year, which makes me assume this winter's going to be terrible. Plus it's nice to be able to grab an extra from the cabinet and just restock later instead of going without until the next grocery trip. I will admit that I got a little overexcited about building up this storage at first, but I've evened out now.

Of course, all this organization is helpful, but it doesn't clean up after my children. Or my husband. Or me.

Darn.

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