Passing COVID-19 Lock-down Time: Organising The Kitchen Cabinets (Part One)

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Disclaimer: I haven't been paid to recommend or promote any stores or products, just wanted to share what I'm doing to stay busy (and happy) during the lock-down.  Stay safe honeys x

Hi Honeys,
How are you today?  All well I hope? It's such a beautiful day outside, the sun is shining, we've been blessed with so many tiny guests in the garden at the bird feeders and I'm loving standing at the kitchen window watching them every day.

If there is a positive to the current lock down situation, it's that being at home for an extended period has led to our looking around our home in search of things to do to pass the time.  There are so many things to catch up on and an "easy win" (sort of) that I can achieve while Hubby is at work (he's a key worker) is to tidy and organise some cupboards.

I was so pleased with how this first cabinet turned out, that I decided to start on another cabinet, the one under the sink that's home to our cleaning supplies, next. I'll share when it's done, promise 💗

I'm getting ahead of myself 😊 There are lots of photos in this post dear ones so why not go grab a cuppa, and maybe a cookie, and I'll meet you back here after the page break for a chat 😊

Welcome back honeys. Do you have your cuppa? Me too ☕🍪  Settle back and get comfy then and I'll share the adventure of the too deep cupboard that was hiding some cool things I'd forgotten we even had 😊

Getting Started...
Oh dear. What a mess!  This is the newer of our kitchen cabinets and worktop that Hubby fitted in the kitchen for me a couple of years ago.  It was originally intended to be a home for all of my baking supplies, and it has been, but how am I supposed to find anything in this...

Nope. Not a chance of finding anything without a treasure map in here 😊  This much loved cabinet was definitely in need of some TLC honeys, so, sleeves were rolled up and off I went to collect supplies to get to work.

First I collected my always-to-hand anti-bacterial spray and micro fibre clothes from my cleaning caddy which lives by the sink and then I set off to fetch the new plastic bins from upstairs.

I'd spotted these plastic bins in the clearance section at our local Asda (Walmart) just after new year and had actually bought them with this cabinet in mind because they'd reminded me of the similar Variera bins made by Ikea.

I'd promised myself quite some time ago that I'd stop buying containers and baskets because we pretty much have our own version of Ikea going on in the house.  I think it's fair to say that we've amassed a lifetimes supply of baskets.  What can I say honeys, I adore baskets. Love them. Never met a basket I didn't like 😊 

In my defence though, these containers jumped at me (not really lol) because they reminded me of the Ikea bins.  I like that they have built in handles and, because they were going to hold baking supplies and food stuffs, also because they're made from a solid plastic.

This means that they're easy to wash and keep clean.  Much as I do love our pretty baskets with cotton liners, they're not great to store food stuffs in, in case of leakages.

OK, supplies collected then, it was time to get to work.  I decided that, to avoid overwhelming myself, that I'd tackle the very full cabinet one shelf at a time and looking back on it, this made such a difference! I think I've found a better, more-suited-to-me, way to work through organising projects. 😊     

Upper, Right Hand Shelf...
I decided to start with the upper shelf, on the right hand side of the cabinet because it seemed to be the busiest and most full  The idea being that the other shelves would get easier, or at least feel easier, as I went along.

First job, of course was to empty the shelf out and clean the shelf with my anti bacterial spray.  Once this was done, I placed the two Ikea Variera shelf inserts back into the cabinet because these help make the best use of the height, and depth, of the shelf.

Underneath the largest shelf insert, on the shelf itself, I placed my little hand mixer and it's accessories, all stored neatly inside their plastic container. Next to them I placed my loaf tin and the silicone coated liners I use with it.

These shelf inserts are pretty cool because they're all supplied with tiny screws to securely bolt them together into a very solid little storage solution that won't wobble or move.  So, above the hand mixer  I added three large, heavy, ceramic serving dishes.

Also added were a little stack of extra cork, drinks coasters, Hubby and I each have a couple in the living room that are in almost constant use for mugs of hot tea but it's good to have extras for guests.

Sitting on top of the coasters is my flour shaker, empty and waiting for baking day.  By the side of the serving dishes are a couple of screw-top, travel cups for Hubby's lunches and also my Captain America mug.

This left a large space near the coasters, so I used this to store my recipe index box.

Having sorted through everything I'd taken out of  this shelf, I decided to collect all of the pasta and cooking sauces into one of the plastic bins. This could then be their new home... 

Feeling quite pleased with this first shelf, I then turned my attention to the shelf underneath..

Lower Right Hand Side Shelf
From this image, as I said, the recipe index box had already found a new home on the shelf above (but I'd already snapped the photo before I had the idea lol) but I made a start on emptying the other items on this shelf...

Not really all that much work on this shelf really, compared to the much busier shelf above it, so it didn't take too long honeys.

In fact, once I'd removed the ceramic bowls, my bottle of cleaning vinegar (how did that get there? That lives in my cleaning supply cupboard...) Hubby's Batman soup mug etc, it looked like this...

Like I said, not the worst, but I knew it could be better. 😊  Again the cupboard was emptied and  cleaned, and while doing that, look what I found sitting on top of the cook books at the back of the cabinet..

One of those air tight "clip-seal" type boxes and inside were teabags! I'd forgotten I even had them!  The ones in the little envelopes are Hubby's, and are top ups of the ones in the little tea caddy that lives on our counter, but the little silver bag is an unopened pack of Asda's own brand, rhubarb & custard flavour tea bags. 😍

Hubby's not a fan but I adore them. I had no idea they were even there honeys, it's not even all that long since they were bought, a couple of months maybe? But right there, in a Corona lock-down, I  found a wee smile 😊

Back to the cupboard again. Sorry. 😊

OK, so, shelf emptied and cleaned, I decided I would again use the very back of the lower shelf of this deep cabinet to store my favourite cook books.  It's not a problem keeping them there. I don't have so many cookbooks anymore, they all fit in that space and they're easy to access.

On very ouchie days I'm not likely to be baking anyway so if my arthritis is yelling at me I'm not going to be worrying about reaching my cook books. Keeping them here also keeps our counter top clear too.  So, back into the cabinet they went...

Sitting on top of the cook books is "bun warmer."  Yes, you read that honeys.  A bun warmer. It came with our toaster and we've never, ever used it.  Does anyone warm buns? What kind of buns do they mean? Do they mean breakfast rolls?  It will probably remain a mystery to me. 😄

In front of the cook books, and as with the shelf above, I've used one of the new, larger containers to store all of the items previously sorted into the two containers originally in that space (which I had other plans for) such as roasting bags and toast pockets.

I also put the clip seal container, with the precious tea bags, back on top of the cook books because now that  know they're there, it doesn't seem like a bad home for them. 😊

Upper Left Hand Side Shelf
On then, to the other side of the cabinet honeys...

Is it really sad that I was so excited to have spotted some left over candy canes? I mean, it's April and I'm finding left over candy canes!  All that minty goodness, just perfect for stirring my hot chocolate with 😋  Another unexpected smile!  I'm on a roll today 😄

So, putting the candy canes to one side (they were later placed into that empty container with the green lid we found on the bottom shelf of the other side of the cabinet) I started emptying the shelf.  Only to find that I'd already, much like the other shelves in the cabinet, used the back of the shelf to store things.

It turns out that I'd used this extra, useful space at the back to store an airtight bin with (yet more) baking supplies, silicone coated liners for baking trays and two sets of containers, used for fridge storage.

One of the container sets, the one on the bottom, with the pretty flamingos printed on it, still has it's label attached and I'd forgotten I'd even bought them. So, another nice surprise 😊 The new flamingo patterned containers are eco-friendly and are made from bamboo.

Just like the set sitting on top of them, the set comprises three tubs with lids, all of which nest inside each other like those beautiful little Russian dolls I loved to see as a child.💖

Sitting on top of the container sets is a pack of silicone liners for my large round baking tin, and on top of the bin of baking supplies is a gorgeous little mini picnic set for two. It was a gift last summer from a dear friend (thank you Miriam, love you x)

After emptying the shelf, I cleaned it with my always present anti-bacterial spray and one of our I'd-be-lost-without-them micro fibre cloths and then replaced everything at the back of the shelf.

This left me the front of the shelf and I'd already decided what I was going to put there. Remember those two high sided containers that were being used to store the roasting bags and other things honeys?

They fit just perfectly on this shelf.  In between them I placed the napkin holder with the very last paper napkins in our home.  These are what's left of a pack we bought quite some time ago from Ikea and will be the last we'll ever buy.

When these are gone I'll fold micro fibre squares and pop them into the holder instead. I recently bought a new set and they're so pretty, all in bright, summery colours.

Hubby and I are determined to live a more sustainable life and paper napkins, as well as kitchen roll to mop up drips and spills, just aren't needed. Any kitchen spills can be easily wiped up with one of our little micro fibre squares which can then be washed again.

So, just like that, another shelf done honeys 😃 Only one more to go...

Lower Left Hand Side Shelf
Here it is.  The last shelf to work on.  In this cabinet anyway 😄

Oddly enough, I think this was the shelf that required the least amount of work.  As with the others, the first task was to empty it and clean it.  That done, I set about putting everything back again...

This shelf was also the easiest to organise because it's home to so many frequently used items such as baking trays/cookie sheets and to a small set of plastic drawers, which I wanted to keep in place. They fit so perfectly in this cabinet.

As you can see honeys, the baking sheets have stayed where they are.  Also standing on end, next to them, are a bread board and a book stand for the cook books (they're mostly very heavy) and of course the little plastic set of drawers went back into place too.

I did empty and clean the drawers and have organised their contents far better. The top drawer having my jars of Truvia, a sugar replacement I use when baking that's made from the healthier (and diabetic friendly) stevia plant.  It's also where the jars of coconut oil live too.

The middle drawer is home to Hubby's cold teas. These little "infusions" are added to the cold water in his water bottle.  I'm not really a fan of these but Hubby loves them.  Now his "cold" teas are all in one place, in their own little drawer.

The bottom drawer is now home to jams and chocolate spreads.  The unopened jars anyway.  Once opened they'll go into the fridge. 

Sitting on top of the baking trays are two boxes of baking parchment.  Another change in our kitchen, and another tiny step towards using less paper products, are these fabulous silicone baking mats honeys...

Those two packs of baking parchment sitting in the cabinet in these photos will probably be the last I ever buy having discovered these silicone versions. I love these mats! So easy to wash and re-use, nothing sticks to them and one less thing to buy 😊

Cabinet All Done
I was so happy with how this cabinet looked when completed.  I know exactly what's in there and exactly where everything is (especially those rhubarb & custard flavour tea bags☕) and It's so easy to access everything.

I think it looks so much better too honeys.  I'm not so stressed when I open the cabinet doors, which is another great bonus 💖

Over to you, then.  How are you filling time during the lock-down?  Are you organising? Are you trying to cut down on the clutter too?  This latest little project really has put me in the mood to tackle another cabinet and I definitely think that cabinet under the sink will get done next. 

Till next time dear ones, stay safe and try to find your smile too💖 Sending you mountains of (virtual) hugs always xx

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