Quick Tip Thursday: Keep It Where You Need It

Are you confusing ORGANIZING with CENTRALIZING? Centralization is putting like items together. That may be organized but it’s not always effective. And don’t we want our stuff to be more effective for us?

There are a number of things you may want to keep decentralized.

  • Toilet paper – you probably already do this. I can imagine few situations more angst inducing than needing a new roll right now and opening up the cabinet in the bathroom and finding no replacements.
  • Toothpaste – you keep a separate tube in each bathroom where people brush their teeth.
  • Tissue – you may have one on each bedroom nightstand.

But what about non-consumables? You may also want to keep multiples of:

  • Scissors – how often do you need a pair in the kitchen or laundry room but you keep them in your desk?
  • Stapler – I have one in my desk but keep another in a kitchen drawer for when I have to staple papers that are going to school (e.g. check & permission slip)
  • Thermometer – your first aid kit is in the mudroom but your kid gets sick in the middle of the night. You might want several (downstairs, your bathroom, kids bathroom)

Watch the short video below to see one more item I keep multiples of to save myself a little bit of hassle!

 

While I Was In The Kitchen…

I couldn’t keep my hands off the spice cabinet!

The total cost of this mini makeover was $30 for the stainless steel expandable shelf from The Container Store.
I’ve kept my spices and other miscellaneous cooking ingredients in the cabinet next to the stove the entire 5 years we’ve lived in this house. And in the same place in many apartments before this.  My mom kept her spices in the cabinet next to the stove. That’s where they make most sense to me. I can reach them easily while cooking and put them back quickly for cleanup.
I’ve found that for some spices that we use a lot of (Italian Seasoning, Taco Seasoning, Basil, Garlic Powder) it was better for me to buy in larger size from the warehouse clubs.  They get used far more quickly than they lose potency.  But given the way the cabinets were arranged the only place they fit was the bottom shelf.  That meant all my smaller spices went in the middle.  And my poor cooking spray and measuring cups were relegated to the top.  Now, I’m only 5’3″ so seeing what was on the top shelf was next to impossible.
What did I change:
I moved the shelf height!  Yes, you can change your shelves!  I know you probably haven’t moved them since the day you moved into your home but in most cases they are adjustable.  And mine were adjustable with no tools – just need thumbs!
I raised the 1st shelf one notch giving me enough room for my sesame oil on that expanding rack.

I then moved the 2nd shelf up two or three spots (I can’t remember) making plenty of room on that 2nd shelf for my larger spice containers, the cooking spray and my measuring cups!  Hooray. This has made the whole cooking experience more pleasant for me as I no longer have to stand on tip-toes or a stool.

The top shelf is now very short.  But that’s okay.  The things up there are ones I rarely use – Christmas serving platters, pie plates, cupcake liners, candlesticks, etc.  So on the rare occasion I do need them, I don’t mind grabbing a stool (or asking the hubby for help!)

In the end I went from this:

To this:

It may not look like a big change to you but it makes a world of difference for my daily kitchen experience.

Where do you store your spices?