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I posted the other day about needing to get to work on simplifying the kitchen. I am not done yet. But I have made some huge progress. I am embarrassed to say that I forgot to take pics before I got started and I refused to mess everything up again just to make all of you happy.

My goals were to

Declutter the windowsill

Here is a pic from weeks and weeks ago. It wasn’t this bad when I got started yesterday but it wasn’t all that great either.
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And this is after a good purge
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Keep the countertop as clear as possible
I have eliminated everything from the counter except the coffeepot, the spoonrest by the stove, and my knife block. Not too shabby. Oh and for today, my crockpot was there but that is just because, well, we need to eat. It’s put away now 🙂
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Make items used daily more readily accessible
This was really already done, but here is a pic of the stuff I use all the time in the kitchen – my Ikea utencil and knife magnet bar, my teakettle, my favorite pan, and my knife block.
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organize the pantry
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Also, in organizing the pantry, I got the task of putting all my baking stuff up high. That stuff is all in the canisters on the left on the top two shelves.
All the extras of our pastas and rices are way up high. Enough coffee for a small army in case there is a total disaster and hubby can’t leave the house for 5 years. Also enough peanut butter for said instance. As we move our way down that pantry shelf, the stuff on the bottom shelf is what is opened and used regularly and as those get finished, stuff will make it’s way to the lower shelf and we’ll restock the upper shelves.
along with that lovely upper cabinet I just shared the cabinet below it houses all of our canned goods. You should’ve seen Eli when he saw me get ready to do this project. It is his favorite place to climb in there and knock those cans out and make them roll all over the floor. He’s been very good so far though.
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Don’t worry, nothing is alphabetized. 🙂
And now you see what happens when I, an underbuyer marry an overbuyer. A frugal one though! Hubs stocks up at sales!

I still have to organize my lazy susan full of spices and clean out the fridge. But I am so happy with the progress so far!

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I started working on paring down the kitchen a couple weeks ago. I’ve mentioned before I don’t have much focus so I started by filling a box of pots, pans and other random items that just weren’t getting used and taking that to Goodwill. In that process, I organized my pots and pans cabinet and my dish cabinet. But that’s it. I didn’t touch the other side of the kitchen, the pantry or the lazy susan. I am going to tackle that soon.

Here are the things I am doing to simplify my kitchen

  • declutter the windowsill – this space seems to be the catch-all for stuff. When I am clearning off the countertop, things just end up on the windowsill. I’m reducing mine to a couple of decorative items and functional canisters we use daily. Nothing else. Everything else up there either gets tossed or finds a new home
  • keep the countertop as clear as possible – i have a hard time with this but try to keep it to my coffeepot and knife block. By hanging a 3 tier basket, I no longer need a fruit bowl and a couple canisters we use daily are on the windowsill
  • put baking stuff up high – since I don’t bake very often, don’t keep all that stuff out and in the way of what I use daily. Tuck it away up high and keep the things I use more often  readily available
  • organize spices – either in a lazy susan or an organized spice drawer – preferrably sorted in alphabetical order to cut down on searching time. Go through  spices every 6 months to a year and get rid of the ones that have lost their aroma and replace them.
  • make items used daily more readily accessible – The best $6 I spent this year was on the utencil rack and magnetic knife rack I bought at Ikea and hung over my stove. No digging for the items I use each and every time I cook. And I have my pots and pans on a hanging rack. These things free up cabinet space and make cooking a breeze.
  • organize the pantry – this is the hardest one for me because we don’t have an official pantry, just 2 huge cupboards full of canned goods, pastas and cereals. Things get cluttered in there very quickly.
  • clean out the fridge – i hate cleaning the refrigerator but when I do, it makes me happy.

I’ll be getting to most of this tomorrow and will share some pictures of my results with before and after photos so check back!

Yesterday was a total frugal flop. Here’s what happened. I took my kids to playgroup at this indoor play place. We have only been one other time and that was months ago. So, I forgot that it’s a socks required place. For some strange reason, I had a pair of socks for each of the kids. So I was prepared where I usually am not – why did I have two little peep pairs of socks in my purse? But I wasn’t wearing socks and they wouldn’t let me in without them. I’d already paid the $9 to get Bug in. There was a dollar store next door. But it was one of those annoying ones that calls itself a dollar store but really the prices are like multiples of a dollar. Makes no sense to me. So I spent $3 on a pack of 3 socks – I need socks anyway but still I was annoyed. Then a woman came in and had the same thing happen to her, paid and her son was already running around and she wasn’t wearing socks. So I gave her one of my new pairs so she didn’t have to go do the same thing I just did. So really I paid $3 for 2 pairs of socks and a feel good moment.

THEN, we’re in there playing and Monkey is climbing around on all the stuff having a great old time and I hear it. The poop. He pooped. He has never once pooped when we were out of the house. And he almost always poops in the late afternoon. I know, way more than y’all need to know about my almost 1 year old’s poop schedule. But still, I *should* be prepared for the event and I wasn’t. I didn’t have one single diaper in my bag. How did that happen? Well, when I got home and found them strewn about in the living room I realized that my purse had been rummaged through. We did need more diapers in the next few days anyway but I was extremely annoyed with myself. A $9 morning at the playplace turned into $25 after I paid for socks and then went to Food Lion (which by the way if you have one of these don’t ever go there. It was disgusting. Seriously smelled like puke and cigarettes – I’d have been better off putting up with the poopy diaper stench than walking in there) to get diapers and wipes.

It could’ve been worse, I realize. And it’s not like I was buying things that I wouldn’t otherwise have had to buy within the near future, but I was still really annoyed at myself. I vow to be much more prepared and organized next time we leave the house.

My blogging has been scattered and unfocused. I’ve either felt uninspired or when I do feel inspired I also feel conflicted about content. I know I have readers who follow along with me because they are interested in all things remodeling and decorating. I have other readers who follow along because they read the finance stuff I have to say. I was considering starting a second blog so I could devote this one to remodeling/decorating/frugality. And another one for personal finance. Instead I have decided to add structure to this one simple blog I have. I bet I’ll find that having a schedule for my blog subjects will also help with real life structure.

I’m going to do the following.

Monday – since the majority of the work hubby gets done around here is over the weekend, I’ll use Monday to update on remodel progress

Tuesday – frugal tips

Wednesday – Investing/Finance related

Thursday – Future remodel plans or decorating ideas

Friday – wrapup of the week and personal stories

I’ll use the weekends as a free for all. If I feel like writing, I will. If I don’t, I won’t.

So there you have it. I am sure that having laid out my schedule will keep me on track and help me be more organized. I can’t promise to stick to it perfectly, but I will try hard. Thanks to everyone who visits and I hope you’ll continue to visit and enjoy some of the things I have to say and share.

I have declared today organization day in our house. I’ve been very overwhelmed and stressed since during the holidays, we were on vacation, then hosted a Christmas party last weekend. I haven’t had the time or energy to devote to keeping the house a way that keeps me sane. I tackled a few of the big projects yesterday, getting most of the decorations down and put away. I have much more to do today though. Including a major overhaul of my toy organization system.

And my mom just called and is coming over with a dresser. It’s old and came in the little house they bought 6 years ago. They lived in the little house while building their house on the property and the little house is now the guest house. They’re hosting a huge party at the end of the month and will be having friends stay in the guest house. I suppose to them, this means they have to get rid of the ratty old thing. Yeah, it’s old. But it’s cute. And it’s RED! I love red. I’ll take pics later when everything is in order and perhaps even devote and entire photo post to my love of red.

More later. Off to organize!