Let’s be organized, shall we?

January 20, 2013

Growing up I always thought “I’ll never be like my mother.” Not that there is anything wrong with my mother, I love her dearly and am grateful for all she does for me. However, growing up there was one thing in particular that I absolutely hated – her insane cleanliness.

But it was more than just cleanliness, it was an overwhelming need for things to be clean. When she was mad – she would clean. And a reason for her being mad may have been because something was not clean in the first place. (My brother and I could make a real mess sometimes) It was a vicious cycle – lol. Growing up, however, I  was made to do it all as well- I cleaned and scrubbed bathrooms, vacuumed the living room in such a way that the vacuum head left my mothers distinct pattern in the grain of the carpet (my family members will know this one!) – in a room that we were never allowed to step in unless company was over, might I add.

Yes, I had lysol’ed and Vim’ed every inch of our house growing up. I remember spending my Saturdays or Sundays with my mother cleaning out the drawers of the bathroom, organizing our hair products, sorting and arranging the cupboard pantry in the kitchen and re-stocking the linen closet so it was tidy. Heck, we even stood in the dirt and washed the entire outside of our house in TSP one summer before we painted  it (by the end we threw the ‘protective gloves’ to the side and were pretty much bathing in it, hey, we lived)

We laugh about it now, my mother and I, about her insane cleaning ways. I remember having some pretty good fights about not cleaning up. She hated beds that were not made in the morning. She’s still pretty ridiculous at times, my mom. Although I am all for her visiting and cleaning at the same time (Thanks mom). No one can clean / organize quite like my mother. Her love for the smell of a clean house cannot be beat.

However, just like my Zia probably said she would never be like my Nonna (the QUEEN of clean – seriously. She would come over to visit and end up cleaning our outside windows with newspaper and windex. You know that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond when Deborah can’t find a SPECK of dirt at Ray’s moms house? Nonna is THAT kind of clean) – Just like she said she wouldn’t be like my Nonna, and is probably on equal terms now in terms of a clean home, I fear I am well on my way to becoming my mother too. Sorry to my future children – I might get clean-angry.

I love clean. I love organizing, I love wiping things down – although I won’t go as far as laundry/dishes. Still my most hated things (perhaps a childhood nightmare due to the insanity lol), Thankfully Adam is an all star in both categories (Thank you!)

{The Before – A big fat mess. Things teetering on things, half falling out. Chaotic}

Since moving into the house it’s been trial and error as to where everything is going. So far the bedroom is still a work in progress, and the living room is on it’s way now that the couch and coffee table are in. However, the kitchen needed to be done now. Somehow moving into a larger kitchen = our stuff from the old house not even fitting. I may have just a feeeeewwww kitchen gadgets / items.. and they seem to be taking over. Thankfully a little DIY we are working on is going to help majorly in that department.

The #1 problem we were seeing right now was the large pantry. Large in the fact that it is soooo deep. It’s 13″ wide and 22″ deep. This just means that things get shoved right to the very back only never to be seen again. Try digging through two layers of cans to find some soup (turns out we had none – lots of canned tomatoes though). Once something is put at the back you really could not see it. Things were piled on top of things, on top of things. Something had to be done.

So – Last week I ventured out to get some organizational tools.

  • Baskets
  • Mason Jars
  • Spice Jars
  • Funnel (necessary to fill the jars)
{Jars = Love}
{Funnels are a must for jar filling – just don’t try to take an ‘action’ shot unless you want Quinoa all over the floor}
We looked in quite a few places for baskets that would fit perfectly, without having to leave a big wasted gap on either side. We checked out WalMart, Ikea, Home Depot, HomeSense, Winners, Canadian Tire, Superstore, and Michaels. After a second trip to the Dollar Store I found them. They fit perfectly width wise, and you can comfortably fit two per shelf with room in the back for larger items if you need, plus they were like $1. Win.
{I got two sizes – The Square ones are perfect for Oils + Glass bottles}
{The After – Organized heaven}
I also bought a flat of 1.9 L Mason Jars from Canadian Tire, and two flats of 1 L Mason Jars from Home Depot. I got a little “Put all the things in Jars” crazy – but I Love the look of them, and they really are so great for storing food items and easy for prep – just grab a jar and go.
Now everything is in it’s place, easily visible and easy to take out and put back. It makes food prep much easier, and next time Adam is looking for something to eat he won’t have to unpack a whole shelf load.

{A whole basket just for Pasta – I am Italian}

{I was all excited for glass spice jars, but for now they can all stay in their own containers}

{The cracker / rice cakes basket}

{My favourite shelf}

{The bottom shelf is buckling at it’s seams due to my hoarding of canned tomatoes. Whenever they are on sale, anywhere, I buy them. We also may have too many cans of coconut milk}

Yes, I am well on my way to becoming my mother. And I’m ok with that. However I probably won’t vacuum in consecutive patterns.

{Before and Afters make me happy}

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  • Reply Danielle January 21, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Ahh you read my mind! I finally moved all the kitchen stuff we were using in the basement to cook up to the kitchen, but my pantry is a disaster. I was thinking about how I needed to get jars so that I could organize things better. My pantry is also bare of essentials, so what kinds of things did you end up using the jars for? (I am making a shopping list of pantry essentials!)

    • Reply Alicia January 21, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      Ohh! Yay for new kitchens!!

      Into the Jars went:

      Flour (whole wheat/white)
      Sugar (brown/demerra/white)
      Bobs Red Mill Pancake Mix
      Chocolate Chips
      Dried Cranberries
      Medjool Dates
      Rolled Oats
      Coconut Flakes
      Icing Sugar

      I also have about 15 empty 1L jars leftover for expansion!

  • Reply Aunt Weez January 21, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Lou, Gramma W had a gozillion jars! When I left Parksville you could not give away all the jars I used for the canning of salmon and fruit. However I did save some. I have some stashed away. Even some old “blue” ones from the olden days where you used a glass cover with rubber rings and clamped down with a wire to “seal” the preserves! I suppose it worked with a water bath. Looks good in your galley. Luv your Momma memory. Luvs Aunt L

  • Reply Aunt Weez January 21, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Me again, Uncle Marv and I had a good laugh as I do remember your livingroom carpet vacumed in a “pattern” and was vacumed within a inch of it’s life!!

    • Reply Alicia January 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      haha! Funny her house now has no carpet!!

  • Reply Hinna January 28, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I’m still trying to organise my kitchen. I went from a regular sized kitchen to an uber small one and now I’m stuck trying to figure out where things are going to go. You’ve inspired me to get rid of the packaging and go for jars!

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