For the next few weeks I am picking up where I left off in the fall with getting the house organized. And I'm more excited than ever! A Bowl Full of Lemons is once again hosting this challenge and with a new puppy coming at the end of the month I need to get a lot of this done before she comes!
If you want to join the challenge, check it out here. It might just be the thing to cure the midwinter blues! For those of you who follow a gluten free diet and need to establish a GF pantry, this is a good way to get going. Clear out those pockets of "contamination" or establish "your" area of the kitchen and pantry. The organization challenges are divided into kitchen and pantry. My pantry is part of my kitchen and has overflow into the laundry/mudroom. I'm focusing on the kitchen only in this post. As this is an ongoing process in our house right now, I will update this post as I complete different tasks in the kitchen this week. Here's to an organized home!!
The Before Pictures:
Above the wall oven-I have to stand on a stool to see what is in here!
Corner "medicine" and kid plate and cup cabinet. Lots of wasted space in here!
The bottom shelf is missing but has our everyday plates and bowls. I have a hard time reaching the top.
The left corner houses more vitamins, shakes and on top our serving bowls and my great aunt's china.
It's a lot bigger than it looks in this picture.
Under the stove top in our island. Every thing gets thrown in here. The kids figured out the lock so it's worse than ever!
Pots and pans corner #1
Under the sink, of curse. What's the cure for ugly pipes?
Catch all space as you enter the house in the kitchen. The counter actually looks fairly good considering it's usual state of despair...
The most embarrassing about these pictures is that at the beginning of last summer I started eliminating stuff from our kitchen. I had to get rid of everything and anything that may have come in contact with gluten because I was still having contamination issues with food I was making and eating at home. I filled BOXES of stuff that went to the Rescue Mission from our kitchen and we STILL have all this clutter! Ack! Where DOES it all come from!
And now the After pics:
Everyday dishes on the bottom. Large mugs and frequently used bowls in the middle where I can reach them! Yay!! Larger (lesser used) serving bowls up top. Much better!
Above the wall oven. This was mostly an elimination event. Since going gluten free I have made ZERO pies, so the need for 6 pie plates was a bit redundant... And just how many travel mugs do you need when you only drink one cup of coffee in the morning and your office has it for free? Not sure the garlic roaster will stay or the vase/crock next to it-I've never used the roaster and the crock no longer holds our utensils. Those are things my husband wanted to keep for nostalgia???
So I had medications, supplement, shakes and vitamins in THREE different cabinets! Now they all live harmoniously together. This was a good opportunity to dump some expired items. You should do this every 6 months. Taking expired medications can be dangerous or at the best, ineffective. I'd like risers for this cabinet because there is a lot of wasted space in here and I could consolidate a little more with some risers in there. Most of my supplements and our protein shakes and vitamins are from Arbonne because they are all formulated without gluten and tested after manufacturing. I've never had a reaction to any of their products (and I use their skin care too).
And now my "special" dishes and rarely used pottery live up where I can barely see them from the ground and I eliminated more kid plates, etc. I will probably use risers in here too because like the other corner, there is a lot of wasted space and I'd rather not have to reach over the plates to get to the cups. (We're having a "no spend" month so that will have to wait until February or March! ) Our girls are getting old enough that I don't have to fear them flinging my Fiesta Ware across the dining room floor anymore. Pretty soon we will say syonara to all plastic cups and plates. Glory be the day....
The kitchen still needs to have the under-the-sink space to be decluttered as well as another run through the drawers and under the stove. The pantry portion will be another week but so far I am happy with the results. It feels much better to have at least some of my ducks in a row!
Getting your kitchen organized makes meal preparation much easier and if you have a shared kitchen, easier to control for "contamination." For those with a shared kitchen you will want to designate a cabinet with your separate pots and pans as well as preparation utensils. Remember--Gluten can hide forever in plastic, stoneware and wooden utensils and cutting boards. Generally metal pots and pans are safe but you have to be extra careful cleaning around fasteners and screws on your pots. Colanders should not be shared. They are just impossible to clean effectively for the most sensitive of us. Eating utensils should be safe if washed thoroughly but beware wood or bamboo chop sticks! Good luck with your own kitchen organization and be sure to check back for more before and afters!
Have a happy healthy day!