Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tackling Kitchen Clutter

Today I'm joining Jules over at Pancakes and French Fries and participating in The William Morris Project.  This is my first link-up of any kind, and (obviously) my first foray into The William Morris Project.  Starting in the kitchen...

Mike and I are going to be moving this spring.  He has received orders to go to Beaufort, SC.  We think (and I stress only think, not know) he will be headed down there sometime in May.  School will not be finished for me yet, so I will be sticking around here for a bit.  However, we would like to put our house on the rental market in time for the summer renters.  What this means is that we will schedule our pack up with TMO for sometime in early May, which means it will get to where ever it is we land sometime in early June.

Since in June I will be in an entirely new clinical rotation and not anywhere near Beaufort, Mike will be tasked with the unpacking.  In an effort to move only what we love, and also to make unpacking an entire house a manageable task for one, I am making a serious effort to, for lack of a better expression, separate the wheat from the chaff, stuff-wise.  Last time we moved, they packed catalogs.  Well, they pack everything, truly.  A full service move is a wonderful thing, but it means that when you unpack you really are faced with the fact that you had two years of Eddie Bauer catalogs in the living room end table (which you know because you removed them from a box marked "living room end table.")

So I started in the most formidable room (to me).  The kitchen.
The Canned Goods Cupboard, Before.  Who would mistake this for an "after" though, really?
This cupboard has sort of become the "if we aren't sure where it goes, let's put it in here" cupboard.  We have: tea lights, a dead candle, actual tea, vitamins, dog medicine, a recipe tin (further examination here revealed an empty recipe tin), Vegetarian Times magazines, Everyday Food magazines, a calendar, owner's manuals for kitchen appliances, and a few spiral bound cookbooks (I don't like displaying the spiral bound cookbooks; they aren't "pretty" to me).

The highly organized After
So I removed the medicines and vitamins (which will make a reappearance on this blog, because they just went into the next cupboard, but that is where a third of our medicines are, so there you go), put the tea with the other tea, moved the Vegetarian Times out, organized the Everyday Food (is anyone else going to miss this magazine?), and put the like goods with their family (i.e. tomatoes with other tomato products, soup with soup).  If you have a keen eye, you might notice that the Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips are open in the second picture, and they were not in the first.  Hmmmm......

The pockets on the cupboard doors stay, and despite the fact that they don't look organized, they really are. The right hand side holds recipes for things I am going to make in the next couple of weeks, according to what we have on hand or in the freezer.  The two pockets on the left hold receipts.  Last year we started using Mint to track our expenses and needed somewhere to corral all the receipts.  The bottom pocket is the current month.  The top pocket is last month, which I will hopefully get through this weekend.

I also cleaned the candle.  I love the candles from Bath and Body Works and the jars make such nice Stuff Holders once the candle is gone.  I used to just chip away at the wax with a knife and hope that I wouldn't end up in the ED.  Not anymore.  The best way I've found to remove all that wax from the bottom of the candle jar is with boiling water.
Pour boiling water to the top of the candle jar.
You can see the layer of melted wax on top of the candle on the right.
Then you let that cool.  And by let cool, I mean get cold.  You have to let it sit for a couple of hours. But while you wait, you can enjoy the scent one last time.  (The boiling water re-heats the wax, throwing the scent.)  The wax will harden into a disk.
Wax now on top of the jar, floating on the water.
Pop the wax off the water.  It will come off really easily.  I was surprised at this. I thought the wax would cling to the sides of the jar, but nope.  I just sort of floats there.
Then clean your candle jars, which aren't really candle jars anymore.  They can be whatever you want them to be.
Clean and ready for their new job!
The bottle on the left is an old fashioned milk bottle, so that one will go in the cupboard (not the new clean one!) to await the next time I have someone over for coffee and need something more classy than a plastic two gallon jug to bring milk to the table.  (Which, honestly, has never happened.  My coffee-swilling friends go right to the fridge and grab their own milk.)  The BBW jar will probably hold buttons.

Now I'm off to make dinner, which will involve some soup that I didn't know we had and a sandwich.  Easy, cheap, and gets one more thing out of the cupboard.  Score for me!


  1. Good for you. This sort of thing needs to be done about once a year, even when you are not moving! But you have a daunting task in front of you. Keep us posted!

  2. Alana,

    Thank you so much for the encouragement! I'm looking forward to an organized move--and an organized unpacking. (As much as these things can be organized!) I'm looking forward to having a history of it, so definitely expect more updates.

  3. But Karen, what about the yarn? Are you going to be parted not only from your husband and dogs come May, but your yarn stash too? That's scarier than cleaning up after a patient with C. dif.

    1. Amy,

      I know, the yarn. sigh. I'm already planning on how much of it to keep with me. My first instinct was to just keep all the sock yarn with me, but woman cannot knit with sock yarn alone. Maybe I'll move my stash to the trunk of the car. Or get a vintage steamer trunk? Now *that* would be fabulous!