Monday, January 25, 2016

Keeping organized - kind of ... or at least trying to

The Spice Rack
So when we bought our house we bought it because I was getting very sick of the kitchen in the apartment. 

Side track - Now I will state from the very outset I have been spoiled somewhat in this aspect. The last home I owned before this I was able to have my kitchen redone - not entirely to my satisfaction or ideas but it was ok. When of the things that I didn't manage to keep in the divorce was the spice rack in the kitchen. At first I thought it was a pretty cool spice rack, it screwed onto the shelf and then you could pull it down out of the cupboard - which FYI would be fantastic if you are vertically challenged. I thankfully am not; however, I am organization crazy. I like being able to find things and have other people able to find things. 

The Spice List
Back on track now - so the husband and I bought the current house knowing that the kitchen ... sucked - we didn't fully realize how bad until we took possession but it sucked. We we took possession we found out that cupboards and countertops hadn't actually been fastened or secured properly at all. Anyways the organize of the utensils and spices and other commonly used things I knew was going to be imperative. So when I started unpacking the spices I had several spice racks I tried out. I tried ones that turned (sucks because you can't get at the stuff at the centre). I tried stacking turning ones - same problem but really an issue for the centre. Plus then you have a space that is not really well utilized. Entered the stacked spice shelfs that go around the edge of the cabinet and it was like heavens doors opened and the light appeared on the solution to my problems. It works fantastically and as you can see (this is ONE set of the racks) it holds a LOT of spices.  I will also acknowledge that I have another drawer below this cabinet that is also full of large spice containers (salt, kosher salt, sea salt, Costco size spices etc.) I then also invested in spice jars (Bulk barn for $0.69 each - with black or white lids is the cheapest place I have found them) and a label maker (thank you Walmart).  I then organized all of my spices and thought I was in heaven. 

The spice list stuck to the door
Then my next problem came down to running out of spices or not being sure of what exactly I had on hand (same problems applies for the pantry, fridge and freezer). So I started with a simple excel spreadsheet and made a list that shows which spices I have and if I have extra on hand.  I then simply printed the list out and put it in a page protector. I wanted to make sure I kept the list somewhere handy so that if I need to find something I could easily tell if it was something in my extra spice boxes or a trip to the grocery store. I also keep a pen, sharpie and whiteboard marker in the spice cabinet for labelling things and/or adding to the list as I realize I might need things.

I have plans to implement a similar system for the rest of my pantry and freezer - basically like a running inventory to make it easy to keep track of what I have on hand, what I need to pick up and then when someone - who shall remain nameless - takes my last and needed can of corn and doesn't tell me..... I can easily tell what I need for grocery shopping.

The Cupboard of Goodness (note the tequila)
Here is a picture of the entire cabinet. I have stored the extra spices in the boxes above the spices in plastic boxes. Everything is also sealed in ziplock bags. However after much of my reading and investigating I've vowed to stop buying bags of spices from the grocery store and will from now on be buying them from places like Bulk Barn (which FYI I have found to have incredibly good prices and variety on spices which allows me to maintain only what I need with very little extra to ensure no spoilage or wasting.

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