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More Organizing Ideas

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And here's how it looks now. Yay, I can finally find everything!

Here's what I did ...

First ...

Before pulling everything out, I stared longingly at this space and planned out how I was going to make better use of it.

Being centrally located, directly above our most valuable work space, I decided to limit this cupboard to items which we tend to use most frequently.

I also had to figure out how I was going to go about tackling this project and decided that I was going to work on one cubby space at a time so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed and end up with food covering my entire dining room table. This way, if I got tired, I could leave other cubbies until later on without a giant mess being left out.

Next ...

Cubby by cubby, I got to work. I was shocked at how much stuff I was able to remove (and by how much grime had accumulated).

Anything expired went in the garbage. I was surprised to find not one but two stale boxes of cookies and even expired stevia packets, which we never, ever used, by the way.

Anything we don't actually like to eat got chucked. There were a few items partially used which we didn't like the first time and just never went back to, so why were we keeping them? In the garbage they went!

Anything that didn't belong. I tend to keep anything that's meant for meal making, like pasta sauce or tuna, in our make-shift pantry these days. So I'm not sure why I had a bottle of stir-fry sauce and a few other like items in this cupboard. It just didn't make sense to check this cupboard first every time I wanted to make a meal and then check the pantry. Now when it's meal time I know that I only have one place to check for items, keeping things simple.

Then ...

I re-designated each area within this cupboard with more appropriate categories.

From bottom to top, I now have ...

  • spreads

  • toppings

  • herbal tea

  • tea / coffee

  • nuts

  • treats / snacks

Once I started pulling things out and keeping like with like, I was truly amazed by how many hot drinks we have! As a true tea lover, I'm thrilled that now I can see them all together on one shelf, front and center, also making it a cinch to offer an assortment to guests and without the embarrassing mess.

Things that we probably want to access less often (like treats) were best kept high up, while more messy items (like peanut butter) stayed within easy reach at the bottom.

Also ...

Anything that I decided I wanted to keep in this space was given a good wipe-down while the surfaces of the cupboards also received the same. They sure needed it!

The surface of the bottom shelf was looking pretty worse for ware, so a little bit of contact paper made a world of a difference. The top two shelves are above eye level, so I saved myself the trouble of doing those. Hopefully, nobody really tall will be peaking in our cupboard!

(click the right-arrow on the photo below to see the change)

Finally ...

I thought that a few organizing items could help me out, so I purchased just a couple of things to wrangle up all of the stuff that I was keeping.

  • a lazy Susan or "turntable" to give easier access to the spreads

  • a couple of round storage containers for a few of the teas which I usually buy in bulk

  • a rack stand or two to add a little more vertical space

  • of course, I added a few labels too

An added bonus ...

After making room in the cupboard, I was now able to move the butter off of the countertop and onto the lazy Susan in the cupboard, freeing up even more valuable space on our central countertop.

(click the right-arrow on the photo below to see the change)

Total cost:

$8.49 shelf liner (Home Hardware)

$6.99 lazy Susan (Home Hardware)

$3.50 rack stand (Dollarama)

$1.25 x rack stand (Dollar Tree)

$1.25 x 2 cylindrical storage containers (2-pack - Dollar Tree)

$1.25 tall storage container

= $23.98

Sadly, I paid nearly three times as much for one of these rack stands from Dollarama before, later, finding it much cheaper at Dollar Tree. It really does pay to shop around!

With just a little bit of cleaning and some strategic rearranging, a much tidier and organized cupboard space was created, making it more visually pleasing and far easier to find everything! Let's just hope it stays that way. ;)

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