Monday, September 24, 2012

Organization: Finding My Quinoa

So, there I was trying to find something in one of my 22" deep food cabinets...and frustration set in. I had to pull out no less than a baker's dozen worth of other items to get to the one culprit I was in need of...located at the back of the cabinet. Life was not supposed to be this difficult...something had to be done. How was I to eat healthy if I couldn't find my quinoa! As an avid recycler, I had many spaghetti sauce jars I used for nuts, raisins, rice, sugars, and, yes, quinoa. But they don't make spice racks to fit spaghetti sauce I got creative and made one of my own. I purchased a wine rack that had a slat to lay the bottle on. This was needed because the spaghetti sauce jars aren't long enough to reach out the back. Then I bought some sheets of black duck tape, cut out circles large enough to cover the jar lids, put then back on the jars and slid them into the rack. Perfect! I have a lovely to look at, easily accessible jar rack that can sit on my counter and fits with my decor. Now when I make breakfast oatmeal, my brown sugar, walnuts and raisins are right there. If I want a snack, I can open a jar and grab some almonds...and, yes, my quinoa is at my fingertips. I found a second rack at a 2nd hand store and am using that one on the top shelf of my cabinet...the shelf here is about 6 feet off the floor and has a slanted back. It makes perfect use of space and nothing is hidden. I was on a roll!

I kept going and bought 2 lazy susans to use for canned goods and small condiment bottles. Now they are all easily accessible and more reaching into the back of my cabinet and playing "guess the label" ... and there is less chance I'll buy another can of chickpeas since I'll know I already have four. Then, since I started cooking more flavorful food (yup, microwave mama now cooks!!) I've used more spices. But what do you do with all those little jars; parsley flakes, sesame seeds, curry, basil, smoke (yes smoke), oregano, blah, blah, blah... All I wanted was a simple wooden spice rack. I could not find one. So...what I did find were two white wire grid lap trays from Pier 1 at a 2nd hand store for 99 cents each. I wasn't sure what I would use them for but knew, just knew, they could be re-purposed in my little apartment kitchen. And I did; they fit perfectly into a kitchen drawer where I now line up all my spices. The small bottles and jars? I found a drawer insert, black (my kitchen accessory color), and cloth that can stand on its edge quite nicely...and my smaller jars fit into it just like an old-fashioned spice rack. I kept going and straightend out my plastic container cabinet in its wire racks, bought a new cutlery tray that fits the drawer, rearranged by not often used small appliances, etc.

I felt uplifted, almost lighter (well, I did skip lunch as I was so caught up in my quest for a more user-friendly kitchen) and more in control. Being organized has a two-fold effect; first, as was seen here, it mitigated the frustration of finding something I needed to find (and might save me from spending money at the grocery store for something I already have). Second, physical organizing and de-cluttering has an emotional effect, it gives you the feeling of taking charge of your life. It is very freeing, gives you a sense of control and is enabling. If you do enough de-cluttering and re-organizing this feeling of euphoria will escalate. Soon you will feel like you can accomplish anything if you just put your mind to it. And you will...promise.

Happy Organization!!


  1. Brilliant! Will you come over and organize my whole house!

  2. Sure, my planogramming skills may be useful in real life after all!! :)

  3. This is just brilliant! I need you in my kitchen. I guess I'll have to start saving jars! What a great idea!