Monday, February 6, 2017

What the week holds, and the rest of January kitchen declutter

I finished up the January declutter challenge, (except for one more project involving wine storage) which was all about the kitchen.
Week 3 was all about cabinets - under the cooktop is where I have pans and lids.  I pulled everything out, wiped the shelf liner with windex, and organized it all as I put it back.  Mostly, my method was "like items together".
Bakeware was next - easy.  It lives under the oven and was pretty well organized.  Just needed some wiping down.
For the canned food part of the challenge, I cleaned out the entire pantry.  {Along the way I built a couple of wine racks from IKEA and I will show that on Wednesday.}  Our pantry doesn't get too out of control or cluttered.  Mostly because I only buy groceries once a week and I buy what we will be eating fairly soon - I don't stock up.  However, I did toss some stuff that I figured was too old - instant rice and old cereal.  Blech.
Next on the list was organize spices.  I know that technically you aren't supposed to store spices close to the stove, but that's where I use them, so I leave them in this small cabinet.  On the bottom shelf is a lazy Susan that belonged to my MIL, the middle shelf is large spice containers and oils, and the top shelf holds a thermometer and a basket of over-the-counter meds.
Over the range hood is another small cabinet with mostly Christmas mugs, and other items Hubby holds dear, including coffee mugs from various scout camps.
The cupboard shelves were also easy - I have to purge them a couple times of year.  There are only two wine drinkers here so what is up with all those wine glasses?  Some of them will probably go, but for now they fit.
Coffee cups live in this cabinet near the coffee pots.  The ones on the top shelf don't get used often, but I face them out so I can enjoy the photos on them.  The middle shelf is Hubby's coffee and tea, the bottom shelf has hot chocolate and mugs.
The cabinet over the microwave was a royal pain.  Basically it's where I store things I will rarely if ever use - china, crystal, silver.  Things that don't exactly fit our lifestyle, but Hubby's parents entertained a lot. Plus an ice bucket.  During the holidays we store booze up here. I stacked some stuff in there so I could make room for that crystal pitcher - I was tired of fighting it in my tupperware cabinet!
Some of this was wedding gifts, some inherited from my late MIL.  None of it we use.  There's a silver tea service up there, I kid you not.
The freezer and fridge were a CHORE.  I didn't realize how messy they were with spilled food and things we just plain needed to toss.  I organized the freezer shelves top to bottom - breakfast and jarred sauces and broths, lunch items, rolls and biscuits and such, freezer meals, leftovers, veggies, meats.  In the door are nuts, cheese, and those frozen lunchkit cooler doodads.
My least favorite thing to do is clean the fridge.  I windexed all of the shelves, and consolidated leftovers - some got frozen.  I even pulled a turkey out of the freezer to thaw so I could remember to roast it.  I cleaned out the drawers - the small skinny one holds butter and cheese, the big top one is sandwich fixings, the bottom big one is produce.  And all of the cubbies in the door got wiped out and organized.  Nothing but a weather radio gets stored on top of the fridge so all I had to do up there was windex it.
Once of the challenge items was to go through your recipes and cookbooks, which I did.  I even ended up taking some cookbooks, along with some novels I was done with, to Half Price Books and earned a tidy $21!  I tossed recipe cards for things I vowed never to make again - mostly involving casseroles. And my stack of cookbooks got tidied up.
The tops of the cabinets I cleaned just after I put Christmas up, so I consider them done.  The cabinet just above the fridge has china in it, stored carefully away in padded boxes.
It's pretty simple up there!
And that was the end of the January kitchen challenge for me.  Along the way everything got thoroughly cleaned and even though I did not get rid of a lot of stuff we don't really need or use (pink crystal stemware, I'm talking about you) I feel like I have more empty space in here and I like that a lot!  
This week is another slow week - I'm on call Monday and Tuesday, we have a pick-up party at Wimberley Valley Winery on Sunday, and I have some organizing to do in the garage for big trash pick-up next week.  What does your week look like?

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