I have a confession. I have a cabinet that is out of control. My mother-in-law refers to this cabinet as the Abyss. Or maybe it was the forsaken cabinet. No one wanted to go into it because things would come tumbling out. It was so bad that we would just open the cabinet and shove something in and hope you could get the door closed…quickly! I justified it by saying that it was odd shaped things that just couldn’t fit together neatly. I just know you have a cabinet like it, too, so I am happy to make you feel better about yourself knowing the ‘organizer’ has a cabinet like this! But, something had to be done.
I did not have a client today and was working in my kitchen and thought this is the day to tackle this cabinet! Here are the steps AND photos to show you how to organize your own cabinet:
Take a before photo:
As you pull out each item sort it into categories. Mine were simple: round, square/rectangle, other! Here is the round pile:
When you have everything out wipe down the cabinets. Take a picture to see what empty space looks like:
Purge each pile. Go through the rounds and ask yourself, “Have I used this in the last 6 months? Do I love it? Is it broken? Does it work? Could I live without it? Could it reside elsewhere?” I’ll show you my “Leaving the kitchen” pile at the end.
Decide what will be in the cabinet. I decided that all round items will reside in this cabinet! Pretty sophisticated, huh!? Since my justification was that things didn’t fit together this would solve the problem! I did keep the 2 bread pans in here, though, because they go with metal cookware. Here is the after:
I still had to find space for the square/rectangular items. So I went to another cabinet…really, this is the only other cabinet that is out of control. My excuse: I have 4 kids and lots of those water bottles that just don’t fit well anywhere! 🙂 Remember to take a before picture so you can embarrass yourself in front of the world! Here is mine:
I sorted as I took all the items out. I washed down the entire cabinet, relined the bottom shelf and decided this cabinet would hold all the square/rectangular items and the bottom would be only for the stand-up items using this organizing product that I love:
Be sure to take an after photo! Here is the after photo of cabinet #2 (ahhh, it makes me happy!):
Here is another cabinet that I tidied up because I needed to find a place for a few more items that got displaced in the process!
- I used a rectangular Tupperware to hold the water bottles. If it doesn’t fit we can’t keep it! This is the “Setting Limits” step in my SPASM acronym. Read more here and here.
- My girls went through the crafts that we stored in this cabinet and purged a lot and will store a few things down in their school room. The other things fit in the two tubs at the bottom.
- I purged my medicines and relabeled them cough/cold/allergies, band-aid/first-aid and pain medicines and I keep these in the bins towards the top.
You never know what you will find. Here was a Christmas gift that was unopened and lost in cabinet #1:
While I was in the kitchen I whipped up these Lazy Cake Cookie Bars that I found here on Mary Carver’s Giving Up on Perfect blog. I had been wanting to try them and was going to wrap a few up to give to the neighbors as a thank you gift. Then, I found this thank you tin in the top of my cabinet! I cut the bars out with a circle cookie cutter and loaded the tin and took it over to the neighbors!
Here is what will be leaving my kitchen! Most are donations but a few of the crafts may go downstairs. Everything here is either broken (my colanders), I don’t use (like the salad spinner that I HAD to have and the clay bread warmers I got as a wedding gift!) or I don’t love enough to find the space for!
The final step is to maintain. I guess I need to work in the kitchen more often, make some bars to give away and PLAN to spruce up a drawer or cabinet each time I bake! That is the secret to maintaining – tie maintenance to something you already do!
Now, what cabinet will you organize? Send me pictures!!