Friday, 23 December 2011

Ahh...organized kitchen cupboards

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     Is it normal to feel like you're nesting again when you're getting ready to go back to work after being on mat leave? I remember just before  Mya was born I went nuts trying to get things organized, cleared out, put away and cleaned. My nesting instinct kicked in like crazy when I was pregnant. But now that I'm only weeks away from going back to teaching, I feel this incredible urge to get literally everything in place and organized once again. I don't know if it's the stress of jumping back into kindergarten half way through the school year, or the stress of leaving my baby at daycare (which isn't going too well, by the way). The ladies looking after her are wonderful, but she just cries and cries. I now know what a mothers broken heart feels like. But either way, I for some reason am in a panic to try to get a million things organized and ready before Jan 9th.   

     I love organization. I love everything about it. Especially when it goes from chaos to pure, perfect order. It just feels so good when everything has a place.  I wish that more of my house was organized, but what I've learned is that it's easier to just pick one space and start with that (otherwise it all seems far too overwhelming and you'll just end up staring at your chaos, grabbing a bag of chips and plopping down on the couch and doing nothing at all). So, I decided that my first priority was to pick the most chaotic spot in my house and start with that...I wish I had 'before' pics to show you how bad this cupboard was before I got my hands on it. Anyways, the point is that it was bad. And now it's beautiful!!! As Terry said (when he came home from work that day and found me finishing up this job..."Who on earth has cupboards that look like this? Really? I love you!"). I love how much he loves the crazy things that I do.

Anyways, here is how I did it:

1) I took literally everything out of this cupboard and organized it on my counter into piles (so all of the tea and coffee in one pile, all of the snacks in another, all of the canned goods in another, etc).

2) I then grabbed my measuring tape and measured the length and width of the cupboard to make sure that I bought the correct size containers for all of the food.

3) By looking at my various piles of food on the counter I determined (generally) what kind of containers I needed to buy and then headed to Dollarama. Yes, Dollarama...that's where I got ALL of these containers (minus the mason jars and mega huge pickle jar that my chocolate chips are now in that I already had in my basement).

4) After finding all that I needed in terms of containers, I started making my labels. I was so tempted to make pretty pink girly labels..but then thought of my poor hubby and decided that he probably wouldn't appreciate opening this cupboard every day to see more pink (having a girl baby means that your house really much explodes with pink I went with black, white and green instead). And yes, Terry really did appreciate it...he tells me every day).

5) To make my labels I just went into Word and typed out the different categories (snacks, sauces & seasonings, tea, pasta, etc). I then used my paper cutter and cut them out into rectangles, and backed them with green paper. For the big containers I decided they needed a little something more, so I used my Martha Stewart circle cutter and cut out my black and white designer paper into circles for each container. Then, the thing that holds them all together....PACKING TAPE. I love this stuff. Once the labels are all glued together and ready to go, take packing tape and place the tape completely over each label and push it down onto the container in order to keep it attached.

    (p.s. packing tape is also awesome if you need to laminate something small. If I was making these labels to hang off of these containers, which means that they have the possibility of getting ripped by little hands, I would have placed packing tape on each side--like a tape sandwich--and then cut off the excess tape on the sides of the label and voila..laminated!..kinda). Anyways, by using packing tape these labels won't get wrecked, which is awesome.

      Now, the real test once you've done something like this is whether you can KEEP it organized like this. And so far, we absolutely have. I also have a stellar husband who loves that I do things like this since he's an organized kinda guy to, so he doesn't ruin my hard work by putting the chips back in the coffee basket. Thanks Terry!

I put all of my baking supplies up top. I'd suggest using what containers you already have at home to save some money--like these Mason jars. But I also splurged and spent the big $2 each on these awesome long containers-that I laid flat since I don't have the height up on the top shelf- where I now put my brown sugar, icing sugar, etc. 

Look! My beloved cereal even has a home..I love looking at these containers every morning instead of boxes.

I made a point of buying all white containers, just to make it look like they all coordinated even though they were different types of containers.

So in total, I spent about $25 in buying these bins and organizing the whole cupboard. And to be honest, it's the best $25 I've spent in a long time. I love flinging this cupboard open every day and seeing such order. Now I just have to move onto the rest of my house. I'll keep you posted.


  1. I will be doing this this week, exactly what I was looking for!

  2. So glad to hear!! Good luck! :)


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