So…for two reasons I overhauled the 2 cabinets we have for food.
1. Sanity’s sake. I want to enjoy cooking and baking again.
2. We are moving in 8 months and I want potential buyers to look at our cabinets and say, “yes, yes, we can live in a house with only 4 upper cabinets. They’ve done it, so can we.” Then the wife will say to the husband, “I NEEEED this house.” Or whatever.
First let’s look at the before….
As you can tell, I don’t have much to work with and I wasn’t doing a good job with what I had. But, it came to me like an epiphany as I ate my cereal the other morning…I had 4 little bins that I had been using to store a bunch of toiletries that we never used. I took those 4-5yr old toiletries (we’re talking old hair gel, sunscreen, hotel shampoo and conditioner, hand sanitizer from 2001) and threw them away a few months back and my little bins were just collecting dust. So, I got them out, popped them in the dishwasher, and started working.
I divided my stuff into three main sections.
1. The cookie making and most used baking essentials bin: baking soda, choc. chips, extra sugar, salt, and vanilla.
2. The specialty baking essentials: melting chocolate, baker’s chocolate, caro syrup, and vinegar.
3. The cooking essentials bin: cooking spray, garlic, Cajun seasoning, olive oil, pepper, sea salt, etc.
Oh, by the way, in doing this I made 4 Target trash bags of throw away stuff, all expired food that had been chillin’ in my cabinets for years. The oldest expiration date was 2004, yes it was. So we were down to all the bare essentials and I was feeling good. This is what the baking side of my cabinet ended up looking like.
On the bottom shelf I put ALL the stuff I need to make my favorites with: cookies, pies, and pancakes. On the second shelf I put the specialty stuff and a bin for spices: cinnamon, all spice, etc. On the third shelf I put stuff that Matt (all 6 feet and 2 inches of him) cooks with and I never do: corn meal, grits, those little onions that top green bean casserole, and Lipton tea bags (since we learned very early on that the sweet tea I’d been making for a decade was not dark enough for him).
Then I tackled the cooking side and the mess that was my spices all at the same time. This is what they looked like:
Yes, yes, tacky I know. I’d been thinking of buying one of those fancy spice racks for the counter, but once I thinned out my spices from the last 10 years (finding more expired stuff) and separated the baking spices from the cooking ones, I found that I had plenty of room on my little spice spinner (lazy Susan-whatever) and room in my cabinet. Yea! Money saved is always a plus.
This is what my cooking cabinet looks like now:
On the bottom shelf (and using the thing I used to use for spices) I put canned goods. On the second shelf I put herbs and spices and the cooking essentials bin. On the third shelf I put cereals, pastas, crackers, and chips.
And now I have two beautiful and easily organized cabinets and one clear countertop. Next up: the dishes cabinets!