Thursday, January 8, 2015

What's Your Organization Goals This Year?

What's your organization goal this year?

Isn't it amazing how once you start organizing things, you get 'the bug' and want to keep going? But then you hit the brick wall, because the stuff you first organized is now in chaos? It is around my house!

So this we made it a FAMILY goal to start with one area, and work our way out and KEEP things organized. I'm betting on 3 months, but one can hope for 6-9 months of keeping it that way, right???

My first project was Miss Grace's bookshelves in her room, as they were literally overflowing. We ended up pulling out TWO boxes of books to keep for her kids (!!), a box of books for the school library and a box of books to giveaway. Yes, she is a bookaholic, but she comes by it honestly...

Next was her craft bookshelf, with all manor of things that are strictly for HER crafting. Using recycled plastic jars and bottles, we contained all those pom poms, glitter, pipe cleaners, foam cut outs and the like.
We managed to get everything organized and now she knows what she has to work with. So far, it's working and she's keeping both her areas clean and neat! YEAH!

Next up was the kitchen. Thanks to the Christmas arrival of these:

kitchen aid mixer in dark red

Yup- plenty of future recipes coming, never fear!!!!!!!!! We LOVE the deep dark red color- the perfect punch of color the kitchen needed. And FYI, KitchenAid is running special rebate right now- purchase a mixer from Jan. 1-Feb. 28 and get a FREE Food Grinder attachment, a $50 value, by submitting a rebate form (some stores are not allowed so check the fine print before buying!). Purchased your's before the new Year? It's ok, you're covered too! They have some $50 Visa Prepaid Card rebates too! You're welcome!

4 slice toaster

Finally, a toaster that toasts ALL 4 slices at the same time, the same way, when set the same! LOL

Anyhoo- that meant some counter restrucuring, as we only have 3 VERY small counters and 1 normal one! As Miss Grace is now tall enough to sit on the stool and work on the counters (versus using the dining table), that also meant we needed counter space to work on. So after 2 days of deep cleaning the kitchen (do NOT ask what happens when dry wall comes down and floors go in, without covering countertops, just appliances. SIGH....), we looked at what we really needed ON the counters, and what could be put away. So now we have a baking counter, a coffee counter and the longer counter with plenty of room to chop, roll out and have 4 dishes out while you're working. Yeah!

The last counter top is uber short- sort of like an afterthought to the right of the stove (previous homeowner, who redesigned the kitchen was left-handed, SIGH). pretty much there is room for a spice rack and 2 jars of cooking utensils and that's about it. To be honest, we had gotten lazy and the spices had overran their shelf, and the counter. So it was time to go through them, with the purchase of this handy dandy spice rack:
kadden spice rack
Pretty isn't it???

We like having our spices handy, and the cabinet holders have NEVER worked for us. So using this rack and the previous small shelf, I was able to go through all the spices, put them in the carousel or shelf, and only have 5 extra jars to go to the pantry.

Why was it so easy? I had LONG put off going through the spices and pulling what was no longer GOOD! You know you have them in your cabinet too- the spices you hardly ever use, that were expensive, so you just keep them. But if they no longer spice your food correctly, as they've lost their 'oomph', what good is it to have them? Right! 

Here's the rules to follow to go through YOUR spice cabinet:
- Whole spices can keep for 1 to 2 years
- Pre-ground spices start to lose their flavor after about 6 months. YIKES. Did you know that? That's why there are those pesky expiration dates! The best way to check is to do a quick sniff test- pour a small amount out into your hand and sniff. You should get a good aroma of the spice. If you get not much of a smell, it's time to toss them! 

You might be VERY surprised at how much these simple 2 rules will THIN out your spice cabinet. It's very helpful to see what you actually need, or are overstocked with (HOW did we get 3 pumpkin spice jars, when we barely like it???), and can offer to a friend/family member!   It is best to store your spices in a cool, dry, dark place, away from sunlight, heat from your oven or moisture from your dishwasher. If you have a small kitchen cooking area like ours, that might be difficult. Which is why keeping on track of what spices are good is really important. By taking the spices we hardly use and putting in a designated box in the pantry, we can keep them fresh the longest! 

So now the decision is whether to attack the pantry, which WAS organized until the aforementioned remodel II began and we lost 2 cabinets, and the contents got placed helter skelter in the pantry. SIGH. 

Or the craft room. Shudder, I don't think I'm ready for going through all that fabric and reorganizing it all. I need more bookshelves first! I did start small and get all the bow supplies into one box and the yarn and crochet patterns int one binder. But then I got overwhelmed and stopped.

Then there's the 'office' area-aka blog, school and finances. It WAS organized last year, but somewhere in Summer it turned into chaos again. Ugh...

I really want to hit Miss Grace's downstairs toy area, but that is best done when she's at her dad's for 2 weeks. You know, because of the 'but MOM, that was my BABY toy", "Mom, that's (fill in the blank for name), how can I giver her/him away?", or the great "Mom, I need to save these for MY kids, so they'll have great toys like I did".....UGH, the way she's going we'll need a storage shed for everything she's saving for her kids (oh wait, that's my whole house, isn't it? LOL)

So there are my stated organization goals for the year. And you wonder why I've been sorta quite the past 2 weeks! LOL

What are YOUR organizational goals for the year?

questions

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