Cabinet Chaos

Apartment living in Chicago provides plenty of positives:  zero yard work, snow removal, garbage shoots, free maintenance staff at all hours, and no property taxes.  However, cabinet space is definitely not one of the amenities you will hear many Chicago renters praise.  Most of us are terrified of opening at least one cabinet in our kitchen in fear of the avalanche of pots, pans, food, or supplies ready to spill out and potentially break a toe.  The black hole of cabinets in my kitchen just happens to be one of the most used:  the pantry/baking/spices cabinet.  To retrieve the flour, I must first get out the step stool then remove the powdered sugar, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder from in front as well as the sprinkles and cupcake liners stuffed on top.  The pure thought of this task gives me the shivers and makes me exhausted.  Here is what the cabinet located above our fridge looked like after finally reaching the flour:

Completely nonfunctional.  Enough was finally enough.  Deciding to take fifteen minutes from my busy Saturday to regain my sanity was one of the best decisions I ever made, well in terms of organization and time management anyways.  First I removed every single item, wiped the cabinet clean, and took inventory combining half used bags/bottles and tossing unnecessary or expired spices.  Second, I prioritized each item based off of useability, flour was honored a rating of 1 whereas seasoned bread crumbs received a low five.  Third, I began placing items back in the cabinet beginning with the larger containers containing flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt followed by placing spices on a cabinet organizer from Crate & Barrel (these turntables would be great also) and finishing with the cooking and baking spray and the vegetable and olive oil.  What a difference, right?

Wondering where those poorly ranked and extra ingredients went?  After also purging organizing our pantry, the very top unreachable shelf became available and the new home of these rejected ingredients including recipe books, leftover oatmeal from these cookies, extra vegetable oil and salt, a baggie of decorating supplies, cornstarch, cake flour, bread crumbs, cocoa, sauces, and jello.

The moral of this story post?  If a space in your home whether it be in the kitchen, closet, or bedroom is driving you to drink, simply take fifteen minutes to remove, reduce, and reorganize.  I promise it will be the most worthwhile fifteen minutes.


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