Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Week 3: Shut the Door

 Thankfully there are doors to hide the mess...
Unfortunately there are doors to hide the mess.
Seems if there is a door to cover it up, it's more likely to get out of control 
(my laundry room is another case study of this point!)

 This weeks purging/organizing, surprisingly, didn't take me long to tackle.

The pantry was a bit ridiculous, but it still cleaned up without too much of a hassle.

This post kind of flows into next week's (grocery list) with it's explanation...

While we lived at Gateway Woods from 2009-2014 we were fed by the communal food room. There we had a share of the food with the rest of campus. Sometimes we ran out of fresh fruit and milk by the time it came to grocery-run day, but otherwise there was always plenty of food to choose from.

This was one concern I had as we were leaving Gateway, and the benefit of the food room. I hadn't bought groceries for real in 5.5 years.  I knew prices had gone up and prior to Gateway our food budget covered two adults a 2-year-old and a 9 month old. By shopping at Aldi we got by on $25 a week - crazy, huh?

Well, in 2014 we had 3 children in elementary school. That $25 budget wasn't going to cut it. Even at Aldi.

But I came across the idea of a Capsule Kitchen and loved the concept of it.

It helped keep my food list to a manageable amount. It helped with the food budget, kept us from wasting food, and keeps our cupboards stocked, but not stuffed.

All that to say, there aren't dramatic before and afters here to post - sorry! I know how much I love those drastic changes, but not this week....

Instead, I guess my process for keeping things in order:
-baskets and containers: The snacks that the kids can have access to are all corralled together in a basket. If the basket is full it keeps me from buying excess. 
I also transfer things that come in plastic bags (beans, rice) to containers since they fit better on a shelf than floppy bags.

Before: not too bad.....

After: organized the snacks, realized that I have enough oatmeal packets to last a few months, and decanted beans into appropriate containers.

Before: OK....

After: pretty much lined things up, this cupboard wasn't too bad. Those wire racks have helped immensely, though. This cupboard is deep and high and stacks of cans threatened to crush my fingers when I would root through it. These wire racks that I got an Aldi helped make more sense of the cupboard.

Before: gracious. This one took a bit more time. Random boxes that held things that were not labeled on the outside of it. Items shoved on shelves, blocking other items behind them. Things put in here to be addressed later.....well, later has come.

After: some items that I was just holding onto until I could decided whether to keep it or not were decided upon (I didn't keep them...) This pantry doesn't hold as much food as it does meal prep, extra dry good storage (grey tub on floor) and OTC meds.  After some rearranging, I can now get items with the one reach rule. 

I can also follow one of my other rules - but it's useful.  
It's not pretty but I can shut the door....and I really like that.

Next week I'm talking grocery list, Capsule Kitchen and my take on it, and how we've managed to stick to a tight food budget.


  1. Hey! I love this post. It inspired me. I cleaned out my closet yesterday and got rid of 3 bags of clothes. I was so proud of myself. Then, my husband asked me why I have that many clothes in the first place.....hmmmmm

    1. That's great! I'm glad I inspired you. I have had the same thought with clothes, too....

  2. So excited to hear about your capsule kitchen! I have heard about capsule wardrobes but haven't heard about the capsule kitchens! Also looking forward to hearing about your food budget. I shop at aldi's but with 2 adults and 5 kiddos, my grocery bill keeps....creeping.. up!