Spring is here and the closet pedantic is back in form.

Nothing says Spring like a frosty mug of Hoegaarden in the sun.

I am well known for being a bit distracted. Back in the day I could walk into my home for 2 min. be ready to walk back out and irrevocably lose my keys in those 2 mins. Somewhere along the line this has ceased to happen as regularly as it once did. Now though I have a desperate problem with twisting numbers around particularly times and dates. Most irritating is the fact that it’s the important events that escape me most often. Things like laundry time, job interviews, start times for the classes I teach and birthdays.  The Man asks me on a regular basis when his birthday occurs. My face scrunches up and I say to myself, ok get it right this time. And as always I say the 6th. Fail! It’s the 7th. I blame Swedish. Sjätte, sjunda sounds to alike for me to separate.

This gives one the impression I am very disorganized. But, I am not really. Just in certain contexts. If you were to look at my closets and kitchen cupboards you would think I was verging on Howard Hughes pedantic’s. If you were to ask The Man he would say I am just plain mean about it. I have learned not to peer into his closet or to fold and organize it for him. I leave his scrunch and shove alone. But, I can’t say my patience stretches that far when it comes to finding coffee cups hidden among the pots and pans.  A bit of high pitched complaints and a few swear words usually follow.

So here are some hints on how to keep your kitchen easily organized.

Organizing behind doors is my thing.

Laundry Pins

My favorite! Laundry pins. Forget the expensive seal your bag clips that you never use because they are too hard to get closed once you get it around the top of your bag. Laundry pins work spectacularly! Plus they are cheap, cheap, cheap. I do suggest you use the wood ones rather than the plastic. The plastic just don’t have the same strength.

You can keep an open bag of potato chips for months and still keep the crunch. The key is to get the air out. Fold the top corners in. Then roll down until you get to what ever is in your bag. Then clip.

I use these on all my open bags/baggies. Simple and easy.

Baskets

I use baskets to organize my cupboards in my kitchen and everywhere else in my house. In my cupboard at the moment I have one for pastas, one for beans and one for miscellaneous food products. Makes it easy to find what you need without digging through your cupboard making an even bigger mess. Spices and a bouillons are kept near the stove in a small basket I can quickly file through. My spice jars that I think are to ugly to be seen I also put in one basket so instead of rifling through the shelf I just pull it out and have a look. I am all about efficiency!

I use this in my medicine cabinet. In the shoe cupboard, I have one for laces and shoe inserts and one for shoe cleaning products.

Jars

I love jars. They come in all shapes and sizes! They are great for flours and grains, nuts, seeds, homemade pestos, salsa’s, croutons you name it. They can be bought second hand for nothing or you can splurge and buy them at your favorite design store. I save old mustard and honey jars too.

Pretty Asian tea tins. Yeap can’t pass those up.

Pantry

I have lived in some pretty bizarre and small places in my time where maximizing space is essential. I sound like Martha. I find it something of a fun challenge to figure out ways to hide and organize yet still keep it all easily accessible. Especially in the kitchen.

You need to live in a place for a bit to really get a feel for it. But there are some basic ways of keeping things organized no matter where you are.

Like items

Keeping like items together. All of my dry baking goods are on the same shelf. Flour, corn meal, baking soda etc. Rices together. I like to work with size of the package, as well as, how often do I use it. Should it be up front or in the back? Tin goods are organized as well by what they are  tomatoes together, canned beans together… On the other side of the shelf you will find peanut butter and canned apricots things i don’t use a lot but still need. I have an exotic foods section.

At the moment my pantry is very fixed. I can’t move the shelves to the height I want so I have to work with sizes as well. Tall bottled items are all together at the top, grouped together by what they are. All vinegars are standing next to each other, soys are next to each other. Yes, I have more than one kind. You get the picture. Oils also next to each other. Exotics like fish sauce together.

The shelf below house the medium sized bottles and jars.

I have a basket of beans, a basket of pasta and a basket with misc exotic items.

Spices are kept together as much as possible. I keep them over the oven,which technically isn’t the best as they get warm and lose their sting. But, it’t he space I have. The spices in bags and small boxes are in baskets, the regular spices are in jars on the spice rack.

WHY? So that I can quickly find what I need. I can tell anyone who asks, where is the… and I can honestly say next to the green can of…Sounds weird huh. It’s really just basic organizing. Once you have worked out the basics it is easy to keep it maintained. So really it’s just a one time deal with the odd lets tidy it up a bit inbetween.

The kitchen is my work space and I like it organized so I can be efficient and not be left with burned rice while I search for the ketchup. Did I say ketchup? I don’t know anything about no ketchup.

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