Monday, January 21, 2019

34 weeks of Clean 2019! Week 3- Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers

Welcome back friends!  So, how are those pantries looking from Week 2's assignment??  I hope sparkling and organized.  Hey, our meals may not all be stunning, but at least our pantries can be, right?

And let me just say, you guys are really doing well.  I have been blown away by the pictures you all are posting and the ideas you are sharing.

Real quick before we dig into this week's assignment.  Here is a quote I have been pondering this week from the Minimalists-

 Possessions had become the great distraction in my life. And the best way to recenter myself on the things that mattered most was to remove the excess from my home. Since then, I’ve been asked countless times if I think minimalism is just a phase. I always answer the same, “Absolutely not. Never underestimate the importance of abandoning crap you don’t need. It has the power to change your life dramatically.

Ladies, I am just going to put this out there.  With all the recent talk about what brings us joy, we may easily veer off course from the real issue.  Our JOY should NOT be in our stuff!  Period.  There are many things in my house I love and they make me happy to look at, but even then, there is a danger in that.  Too much stuff is TOO MUCH STUFF!  Let's don't justify our mess!  If you have a family of 10 and USE 10 spatulas then do so.  But if you have 10 spatulas just because they "bring you joy", you may need to re-evaluate a few things.  I am not trying to be ugly. but I am trying to be honest.  There are true hoarders in this world that think their stuff brings them joy that have a hoarding problem.  If that is where you are at, please, let's talk.  I would love to chat with you and try to help.

Up this week- the kitchen cabinets and drawers
Now, I know that for some of you that is a lot of ground to cover.  No worries, you have a whole week.  Rome was not built in a day, nor will our homes be transformed in a day.  Slow and steady wins the race, I promise.  Hold off on all those recipes, as well as the stove and fridge- don't worry they are coming up soon!  Some of you, I will NOT name names but you know who you are, are so excited to make changes you are like a racehorse on a mission.  I applaud you, but want to remind you we want to make changes that stick.  Don't wear yourself out so quick that I cannot find you in a few months!

Remember our goals- deep clean all those surfaces, de-clutter what we don't need or simply do not use anymore, and reorganize if needed.
Your assignment-
  • Take everything out of the cabinets and drawers.  (See, I told you to get used to that!)  You may want to dedicate one day to cabinets and one to drawers if you are overwhelmed or just do 15 minutes a day, but yes, take it ALL out!

  • Wipe down all surfaces, inside and out.  Don't forget to clean places like silverware holders and baskets and such.  For me "the such" is underneath the kitchen sink.  In our new home, it is a very small space due to the water filter system, but it was still a mess.

  • Once everything has been cleaned, put things back neatly, weeding out any unneeded items. Here is where you need to stop and think! Do I need it? Do I use it?  Do I love it?  Is it just taking up space? Is this the best location for me to put it in? For example, we have lived in this house a few months now and have found a few things still were not right in the kitchen.  I changed the location of those things and it just works better.  Knives are closer to the stove and the drawer with placemats is closer to the table. I know if the waffle maker is at arm's reach, I will use it!  If it is tucked way back in a cabinet and hard to get, it gathers dust.

  • How many dishes do you have?  I am asking for a friend, of course?  Dishes could be my downfall, but I assure you ours get used!  I have gone through them all and decided if they are not being used they went out.  Even gave a few to a young friend of ours recently.  It was freeing and hopefully blessed her as well.

  • If you have a gravy boat you use faithfully every Easter and Christmas, by all means keep it! If you have a springform pan that you might use ONE DAY to make a cheesecake that has been waiting for that time for the past 10 years, maybe it is time to pass it on to some other chef-wanna-be!  Again, do you need it, use it, and love it?  Or can you just borrow from the neighbor or make do without?
  • If you store cooking ingredients in your cabinets now is the time to check expiration dates and toss what is old.  Do not skip this step, seriously!  Sauces and such do get old and we tend not to notice them as quickly because we do not use them as often. Also, label, label, label!  If you do not know what it is, you will not, or at least, should not use it!  I had several containers of wheat products we cannot use anymore that had to go. Sad, but true.

  • Got two of something? Try to consolidate.  One exception to this rule is cooking utensils, but do not use that as an excuse to have hundreds!  Really, no matter how many you cook for, you can only use so many at one time. 
  • Going out on a limb here- but re-think your plastic storage.  It can absolutely take over your kitchen and rumor has it that it is not healthy for you anyway. ;)  I now have 2 large ones I use, and the other times I use glassware.  All those plastic cups you bring home from restaurants- throw them out, and don't allow any more in. (Unless they are from Rudy's, your husband's favorite restaurant.  Just keeping it real. folks!  Sometimes it is not a hill worth dying on!)  We have found that mason jars are great to drink out of and you can use the little ones for the little people in your life.  You can even get cool tops for them now!  


  • Throw out old spices!  They do not keep for years, no matter what anyone tells you! And organize and consolidate!  You do not need three of each and if you cannot remember what they are, you are never going to use them.  I love my old Tupperware organizer, but use whatever works for you.  I do have a few new spices in a basket now (who else LOVES Penzy Spices?) simply because I have run out of room in my other containers.  And yes, I DID get rid of the ones I do not ever use.

  • Match your pots and pans with all their lids and stack neatly.  If you have non-stick pans, make sure they are in good shape.  For health and safety, if they are peeling, throw them out.
  • This week is a good time to throw away old dishcloths and scrubbie things!  You can do it. Once a year is not too often to just start fresh.  We buy a stack of white washcloths and white towels for washing and drying dishes as well as our hands.  We also use cloth napkins, so we keep those in drawers as well.  Each person in our family has their own color.
  • Throw those crusty pot holders in the washing machine and clean or wash the decorative rugs while you are at it!
  • A note about junk drawers!  Do you have one and why are they usually in the kitchen??  I would love to tell you that this is one thing you do not need, but let's face it, that is not reasonable for everyone.  Go ahead, open it up, throw away all the stuff you do not need and at least make it look neat and tidy.  To help with the clutter, I keep a plastic container in our hall closet that houses flyers and odd papers I need to reference in a hurry.  It just helps keep things more contained and neat looking.
All of our keys stay in this drawer as well as pens and paper for notes.
Let's also take one more minute to discuss these little plastic things.  I am sure they are from Satan.

Several of my shelves were at weird heights and I wanted to change them.  Easy right?  With pegs!  But NOT those little plastic things.  I will not share how long I wrestled with getting them out, but I did eventually win!  And now the shelves are where I want them.  I now know why no one bothered to change them before!



Once every space has been emptied, cleaned, decluttered, and reorganized, it is time to step back and admire your success!  I realize this is a hefty assignment, but you can do it!  Let's see those pictures!!

Rest up when you are done- a new assignment will be posted next Monday and it is one of my least favorites!  We are making progress, my friends, I hope you are starting to see it!


Intro Week
Week 1- Holiday Decorations
The Pantry

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