Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Cabinetalanche: noun.  The avalanche that happens because your kitchen cabinets are such a mess, whenever you try to take anything out, lots of things fall out.

I suck at cabinet organizing.  I'm usually so bored and exhausted by the time I'm doing the dishes, I just shove things in without much of a care about where it goes.  Well, except glass.  I'm careful with that.  Most people would call this laziness mixed with perfectionism ("I'm not going to put this away properly because...look at this mess!  What's the point?  It will take me forever to fix it!"), and the result is this:
Oh, the horror!  Oh, the shame!

Today, I sat down on a big fluffy towel in front of my pots cabinet and cleaned it.  I'm going to tell you how I did it.  If you are struggling with the same thing, maybe it will help.

1.) Check your space.  Do you have an underutilized cabinet?  I realized I had this one little one next to the stove that I never used.  I opened it and you know what?  It was full of phone books.  I kid you not.  Full.of.phone books.  Anyway, I cleaned out all the phone books and decided to use it for the smaller/thinner items that I rarely, but not never use.  If you have such an underutilized space, go clean it out and prep it.
See this dusty cabinet?  I totally forgot it even existed.
2.) Start removing things from the cabinet.  You don't have to do the WHOLE cabinet if it is on the large side.  A section or shelf at a time is fine.  As you pull things out, put them into piles 3 piles: things you use often, things you rarely (but not never) use, and things you will never use again/broken items/trash.

3.) Wipe down and dry shelves.  I used some of my infused vinegar cleaner.

4.) Throw out any trash and broken items.  This includes small appliances that you are never going to fix!  I found a broken coffee grinder, part of a food processor that broke years ago, the carafe to a coffee maker that I haven't owned in years...  Shut up!  Don't judge me!  Anyway, for items that are still good but you never use, you can donate them if you wish.  Everything else gets tossed.

5.) Place seldom used items in the underutilized space, if you have one.  If you don't, skip this step.

6.) Carefully stack and organize your often used items, and place them in the cabinet.  You want these close together so everything is right where you need it, without being so crammed that you can't remove just one thing.

7.) Now you have to figure out what you will do with the seldom used items, if you don't have an extra cabinet.  Hopefully you now have enough room in your newly-organized cabinet that you can put them off to the side.  I actually did this with some seldom used items that didn't fit in the former phone book cabinet.

And now, the reveal!
Ta-Da!  Wait...it looks like it might be time to finally change the contact paper that was probably put in 3 owners ago.
The hardest part is to keep it this way.  I'll admit that I usually clean out these cabinets around every 6 months to a year, but that is clearly not enough, especially since I found a ton of broken things in there.  I think I need to reorganize about every 2 weeks.  The very next time I was doing the dishes, I caught myself just shoving a pan in there and had to stop, backtrack, and do it properly.  I fully admit that this sort of thing does not come naturally to me.

As a final note, Husband, who does most of the cooking (I do the baking), came home, opened the cabinet, and said, "WOW!"  Warm fuzzies.

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