Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kitchen Helps

I love it when I run across something that not only makes perfect sense, but I realize it is something I am already doing, or even better have been doing for some time. Loi over at Mentoring Moments (see button on right, too) posted this and it arrived in my email this morning and I started doing the Happy Dance when I read it.......

I realized it was about something I had been doing for a few years now, de-cluttering. Of course my problem is I am a reformed pack-rat married to a pack rat, I mean he brings home things like old water heaters (I mean you can make a smoker out of those suckers things right?), old, broke dishwashers he removes from some one else's house when he replaces it with a new one, Things like that. One day he even brought home an entire garage door complete with tracks and broke opener. I threatened to hang it in our driveway-we don't have a garage.

But I complain digress, here is the email from Mentoring Moments.; Sign up to get your email while there.

Taking a tidy up approach to kitchen cleaning will only result in rearranging clutter rather than organizing.

Act like you are moving when it comes to de-cluttering the kitchen. What would you take with you? Chances are you are only using 20% of your stuff on a regular basis. Try this approach with cookbooks: take just the ones that are tenderly worn from years of use. Ask yourself would it be worth it to pay someone to moves these cookbooks for you. Pack away, sell on eBay, or put in a garage sale those you do not need.

Uncluttered space makes the best impression. For an instant face-lift in your kitchen, clean off the front of the fridge. Put your favorite pictures, artwork, and missionary prayer cards in an album or on a bulletin board.

For pantry organization I suggest using canning jars. They are affordable and you can see what is inside easily.

WOW, now everything here goes with what Leslie and I were doing for our Total Home Overhaul, and I have incorporated this into my daily life. Call it what you want, de-cluttering, culling, trashing, donating. I call it survival. I have arrived at a place and time in my life where I cannot stand clutter, OMG, I have become my father. Funny thing is I can usually handle a few items here and there, as long as they have a home and a function, but it is behind closed doors that the clutter starts to eat away at me. My dad owned a grocery store when I was a Junior in High School. I got paid $2 an hour to check and when things were slow, face the shelves, that means all nice and neat (dusting included) and all the labels facing out. Honey my cabinets could rival ANY grocery store shelf almost any given day, depends on whether my husband has been looking for something. Oh, and yes most of my items are ABC order. No, I am not OCD, I am CDO which is like OCD, but all the letters are in alphabetical order like they SHOULD be.

Oh boy, I'm rambling again. Click on the link for Mentoring Moments and check out the picture they have with this post, it gives even the most hopeless kitchen hope. I have a drop down shelf for my cookbooks, but it neatly hides again when done. Don't get me wrong I LOVE the one in the picture, but sooner or later it would get in someone's way and end up in the front yard.

A word of caution, don't make a resolution this year/next year to get organized, just start doing it. If you realize things have yet again gotten out of hand, don't beat yourself up, just pick yourself up and start again. As FLYLady says "You're not behind, start where you are". Some one should make a resolution to NEVER make another resolution, heck we should make it a proclamation to stop them from ever being made again. Each day is a fresh start, a Do-Over that God blesses us with, use it.

My tip for Kitchens-computers, flash drives & e-books. We live in a wonderful age and time. Most of my recipes are in e-books or being transferred to a recipe book on a flash drive. I have a few that I use regularly (not enough times to memorize yet) that I have printed out. The few REAL books that I do have are either sentimental or I have not yet weeded out the keepers and put them on flash drive yet. I had about 30 books, I now have about 10, all the recipes I wanted from those 20 books along with the miscellaneous cards and ripped out pages from magazines, and copied pages from someone else are ALL on a flash drive that takes up 1" x 2.5" of space. Now that's organization!!! Yes, I will make copies VERY soon, as the main reason I started this is so I could pass them on to my kids, some of the recipes are family recipes and are older than my parents.

Now, once you make space, the KEY is to NOT fill it with new stuff, unless it is needed NOT WANTED. I NEED more kitchen towels, who doesn't, but I have run out of space. As soon as I cull the recipes that drawer will be for towels only. When we finish our kitchen remodel (right before I die) I would like a small shelf for the 1 or 2 books I plan on keeping, simply because they were given to me by my grandmother the year I graduated High School and then another when I married. Oh, and my Cajun cook book my Mother In Law loaned gave me because I love the stories in it, I may frame that one.

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