From Donna (Fab Frugal Food) in Utah:
I blog for two food blogs, have authored several cookbooks, and am always working on my next proposal. All of this means that I spend several hours a day in my kitchen.
The culinarily creative side of me had always ruled in my kitchen. I ignored any organization, thinking "Hey! I'm too busy to get organized!" I got to the point where I was literally just opening cupboards and stuffing items in anywhere they would fit. The problem with this approach is that I wasted so much time looking for items, that my stress level rose every time I had to find a certain spice or can. I was at wits' end!
Then, a small miracle happened. I serendipitously met a woman who is a professional organizer. I decided to brave it and allow this woman to come into my very messy and disorganized kitchen and take charge.
First, take a look at my baking center!
We used tall, thin containers that used up all the depth of each shelf and very little space horizontally, so everything was literally at my fingertips and clearly labeled. This way, twice as many items can fit in my cupboard and I can see every single item clearly.
Everything I need to bake is in one cupboard, so no need to run back and forth between my pantry and my overhead cupboards. And, no rummaging around desperately searching for, say, baking powder!
Then, we tackled my pantry.
My pantry is large enough that two full sized adults can stand inside the pantry. Before we organized, no one could set one foot inside and I had to literally stand at the door and stand on my toes to reach anything, very precariously at that. I went though and got rid of stuff that had accumulated on the floor, or moved it to a better location in my house. We organized by type of ingredient and put lazy Susans containing like items, so with a quick spin I can see every single thing. One circle has vinegars, one has specialty oils, etc. and we kept more frequently used items at eye level or below. Genius! My pantry is huge, but now I can literally see every single thing I have!
Next, my spice center.
This is located just to the right of my stovetop, so it is within arm's reach of where the action is!
The spices (I have more than 100) are on risers and are in alphabetical order, so I can see every single spice. The jars are labeled at the tops and I now never have to spend 10 minutes looking for, say, Smoked Paprika - it's with all the "s" spices! Love this system!
If you could stand to save some time in the kitchen and you love the zen that having organization brings, I highly recommend hiring a professional organizer. It is worth every cent!
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