Friday, February 11, 2011

52 Weeks o f decluttering - week six

For this week's challenge, I set the kitchen cupboards in my sites.

Our 1970s home has its original kitchen. It is what it is and it does what it needs to do.

The "built in pantry" was a new concept when it was built and it is amusing that the "built in broom cupboard" beside it was actually bigger! (shakes head at 1970s male architects). Once we worked out converting the broom cupboard to a second pantry was a smarter use of space, food storage became much easier.

My life-time collection of Tupperware Modular Mates containers have stood the test of time. They hold our dry goods - I have a very low packet-tolerance going back to when I first set up home by myself: mouse, cereal pack. Beginning of Tupperware obsession! That was 30 years ago next month!!!!!!!

Anyhow, back to now. Although I routinely sort things out every few months, I really wanted to revise the whole set up this time. As our children have grown to adults, one has moved to her own nest and the other two share cooking duties with their parents, our family diet has changed and evolved. Where once each had a basket for their school snacks, now there is no need, for example.

We grocery shop once a month, sometimes in person, sometimes online, depending on my energy, time and availability of a slave assistant. So we need to keep a supply of goods to last the four weeks between pays. Our meat, fresh produce, bread and milk are delivered through the week on standing orders with Aussie Farmers.

So here are my before pictures:
Still home to the vacuum,
the converted broom cupboard

Molly showing you where her treats live!
Shelf by shelf, I worked through, clearing, cleaning and replacing. I kept a running list of supplies to be restocked as I went and threw out a few expired or mystery items.

And here is the after:

Back in order

Didn't touch the pet food shelf - dog was excited enough!
I also introduced a new storage option - my healthy food cupboard! I had already been using the lower shelf for my supplies to make my steel cut oats in winter, and my Goddess smoothie supplies had begun to join them :) So, as I sorted out our pantry supplies today, I decided to make the move more permanent! My plans include buying new seals for my Tupperware, so everything in this cupboard is blue, leaving the yellow to the main pantry. (Have even placed the order!) Hoping that assists any helper fairies! 

My healthy cupboard

So Sunday, I tackled the next on the hit list - the cupboard above the stove where we keep our herbs/spices and cooking oils etc. And a rarely-touched alcohol supply!

Good bones but lack of exercise!
I had the structure in place, put there years ago, but sharing the space with others who shop and cook had seen a clash in buying and storage preferences! It was time to push the rest button.

I use empty pesto jars to store things - they are perfect and DH made the shelves for them. But you can see the girls prefer the jars from Masterfoods and McCormicks! LOL! I buy the packets because they are cheaper and decant them. (Someone who is female, lives here and isn't me had bought multiples of ground ginger!)

I now have a list of new residents who require pesto jars and they will join us over the next few weeks. The right hand rack on the door is now dedicated to salts and peppers, while the left one accomodates those commercial jars who remain. The oils/vinegars/soy sauce bottles are corralled in their space and the top shelf is now fully living up to its name!
Calm restored
I also decided to tackle the cupboard where we keep our drinking utensils, but forgot to take a before shot in my enthusiasm! But here is the after:

Switched - the glass-ware was on the bottom shelf, but we rarely use it.
Finally, thew Tupperware cupboard was brought back in order - a thankless task, because everyone chucks stuff in the wrong places! Especially the much-maligned (but wonderful) cleaner. I took out a box that was holding the "Heat and Eat" containers - want to get a slightly bigger one to replace it. The boxes act like drawers. Also read my son the "riot act" about mis-matching seal and base colours (tutt, tutt) when he freezes his spaghetti bolognese - luckily he shares my OCD traits and has promised never to do so again ;)

It is a simple system - I even use pictures from a catalogue! Sigh.
And my vintage shelf Contact survived yet again - each time I think I will remove the last of it and each time, I get lazy about removing the sticky residue! Has actually stood the test of about 20 years quite well - I bet a replacement wouldn't!


Jamie said...

It all looks great, Yvette. I love your work.

What blue are you planning on getting for your seals? I've got lacquer blue for my pantry and am so sad they discontinued it about a year ago. Thank heavens for Ebay!

Need To Change said...

Wow, that all looks terrific. You have lots of storage there. That is something I'm missing right now. Once the new kitchen is built I'll have storage but until then I struggle. I love tupperware too.

dancing cows said...

what a great idea. thanks for the insperation to tackle my cupboards. your cupboards look amazing,you are so organised.

The designer and organizer said...

hi its awesome how you guys did that 52 weeks of decluttering your life..;) i wish i would be a part of it..:)

Anonymous said...

Wow you accomplished so much this time. Congratulations!

Martha (MM) said...

Your pantry looks wonderful! Excellent job! That's one thing I dread about our new house - it has lots of a cabinet space but no actual pantry! No, not even a broom closet I can convert, yikes!

Love all your "thankful" posts too :-)

Leanne said...

YOur cabinets look amazing. I'm hosting We're Organized Wednesday through Saturday and would love for you to join the party.