Friday, 29 March 2013

Kitchen Contained!

Hello my friends! Sorry I have been MIA this week. The kids and I were sick, then we had a couple of spring break all-day-long-play dates and now it’s Thursday Friday and I’m finally posting for the first time! I’m working my way cupboard by cupboard, and stretch of countertop at a time. So far I have handled my glassware, pots, pans, platters, bowls, Tupperware and my command centre. Being a part of OrgJunkie’s 31 Day Organizational Challenge has definitely spurred me on!
Finally!!! My kitchen chaos has been contained!!
This week I am working on the most challenging part of my kitchen – my baking supplies. I bake. A LOT. Last year I spent time on the Quest for the Perfect Cupcake. Needless to say, I have an extremely large amount of baking accoutrement. I store most of my shaped and larger cake pans in the garage, and my seldom used cupcake display pieces in an upstairs part of my linen closet. My supplies however, they live in the kitchen.
SO.  MUCH.  Crystal Light.  Yes, this entire container is filled with Crystal Light singles and pitcher packets.  I know, I have a problem...
For those of you just coming by here for the first time, let me tell you flat out – I am a hoarder. Well, I’m a recovering hoarder now. I have been following a minimalish path for a few years now and have slowly worked the minimalish rules on most areas of our home. I do however, still hoard food and ingredients. I have baking supplies and ingredients in no less than four different cupboards in the kitchen. 

Before I even started this project, I called in reinforcements!  My rock star neighbour Krista came over to help me start the PROCESS. I extended my kitchen table to its fullest capacity and then hunted through all of the cupboards for all of the baking stuff in the kitchen. Oh mercy, there was even more in there than I thought possible.  

Since I didn’t have a ton of stuff to purge, I started sorting like with like: all the chocolate chips together, all of the sprinkles together, all of the paper cupcake liners together (note to self: DO NOT buy any more cupcake liners!!). I went even further and put all of the puddings and jellos together, since I usually use those for baking instead of just for their intended purpose.


My total organizational container investment for this huge project was $8!! I bought 6-$1 lidded Sterilite containers from Walmart and two $1 packages of hot pink stickers to use on the labels. I had cardstock on hand that I used to line the front of the bins to hide the supplies within. After moving our breakfast foods into the cupboard that previously stored half of my baking supplies, I was able to consolidate all of my pretty new containers into the pantry we have in the kitchen! WooHoo! Extra bonus – all of my ingredients are now right next to my beloved kitchenaid mixer! I think this calls for a celebration – cupcakes all around!!

While organizing all of the baking supplies, Krista and her organizing OCD also got me fired up to organize the kids homework and craft supplies into one of the newly emptied cupboards - YIPPEE!!

The last thing I needed to do in my 31 Day Organizational Challenge was a thorough deep cleaning of the kitchen. I got out my mop, bucket and cleaning cloths and got all of the kitchen surfaces sparkly clean! Ah, I love a clean, organized kitchen! Thanks again to OrgJunkie for hosting this challenge and to my friend Krista for helping me finish it!  Here are some quick before-and-afters of the Kitchen Chaos project:

Week One: The Glassware Cupboard

Week Two - Pots and Pans, Dishcloths, Platters and Tupperware:
and after

 Week Three - The Command Centre

Week Four - Baking Supplies:

Baking supplies AFTER!
Laura asked all of the Organizing Challenge participants to answer a couple of questions about the work we have done this past month.

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?
I decided to organize my kitchen.  The kitchen is the heart of the home, and we live in our kitchen!  There is always something happening - homework, cooking, baking, chatting, party planning.  Our kitchen takes a beating and needed some definite organizing love.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 31 day timeline?
In order to finish in the month long timeline (which was HARD!!) I made a list of all of the cupboards and their uses and then broke them out into the weeks I had to finish the work.  It was tough, because we were away two of the weekends and the kids were on spring break for 2 weeks, but I managed to get it done!

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
TIME.  Because I spend so much time actually using my kitchen, finding the time to empty cupboards and purge and organize was tough!!  But I soldiered on and stayed up after the kids went to bed. 

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
I was able to bring some of the extra glassware down to my cabin to be repurposed, and donated a bunch of other dishes and kitchenware.

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?
That I was able to finally contain my baking supplies.  I bake a lot and having my supplies spread out over four different spaces in my kitchen meant that I was constantly making an even bigger mess digging out supplies and ingredients than I should have.  Hopefully this new, pretty-labelled system will work for me!

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?
The best organizing tool for me is the dollar store!  I can find everything I need there to better organize the spaces in my home very inexpensively.  I love the simple baskets and bins and the craft section for labels and making the space a little prettier!

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you’ve learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with? 
Just take it one small step at a time.  Even though this month I tackled a big (for me) project, breaking it up into smaller steps that I could do one at a time made it way easier to handle.  I also like knowing that I only need to commit a small amount of time when doing a small part of the project, instead of taking an entire day to go start to finish on a massive job.

I want to thank Laura from Org Junkie for hosting this challenge and for inspiring me to finally get this space in order!!


  1. Looks fantastic now. You put a lot of effort into containerizing and organizing your space. Happy cooking in your new kitchen!

  2. Wonderful Job!
    Getting everything out of the cupboard and in view helps put like things together and condense and contain - your before and after pics really show that.
    I'm taking notes on how you containerized and labeled your baking cabinet - thanks!

  3. Great Job Rachel. The kitchen really is the hub of the house and the most under organized.

  4. You did great, Rachel! Good for you! Everything looks so pretty and easy to find. It will make your baking even more fun now that you know where everything is and what you have on hand. Kudos!

  5. My daughter would love all your baking supplies! You did a great job organizing your kitchen!

  6. You have done a fantastic job! I need to tackle the kitchen next, and you might have just provided the motivation that I needed!! It is great that you have a friend to help, I am jealous of that!

  7. I'm so excited to see your final result, Rachel. It all looks great. I especially like your labels. I'll be coming back for tips and inspiration when I get to organizing my kitchen.

  8. yhess,, best kitchen set up,, I'm a traveler, but I should set my favorit kitchen before I'm traveling.. I'm from indonesia,, I love everything about travel and food. and I like this site :)



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