Thursday, April 25, 2019

Never an end to home organizing

chmusings:pantry organization
For the third time in as many years, I set out to organize my pantry.

Just a few weeks ago, I installed over-the-door shelves, which gave me a cursory chance to do some rearranging.

But the real necessity for this chore took root months ago, when my husband received a Keurig coffee maker for Christmas. What a wonderful gift; it provides fresh-brewed coffee in a fraction of the time of the traditional method. To make room for it, considering the ease of use for my handicapped husband, I gave it a special, accessible place on the kitchen counter.

We used it every morning without missing Mr. Coffee even a little bit.

I was almost gleeful at the speed for which I could open my eyes, stumble into the kitchen, and with so little effort, take my first sip of my energy elixir.

I began to notice though, that this was not just about a coffee machine. It introduced myriad accouterments, all necessary items. My husband uses K-cups for convenience and ease of use. Because I am more prone to conservation than convenience, I use reusable cups with paper filters. I keep a compostable bag on the counter for coffee grounds. We also have different coffee tastes. I use half & half and sugar; he likes Coffeemate. So I keep his coffee cups, my coffee in a canister, a sugar bowl, jar of spoons, and a spoon rest just to keep things tidy, close at hand.

All of this is a real mess on the counter. My pretty quilted table runner is camouflaged under all the coffee junk.

This has become a problem, so, I decided the cabinet above the coffee maker would be a perfect place to store all that coffee ‘stuff.’ Trouble is it was my spice cabinet. I decided the best solution was to move my spices into the pantry, so one morning I woke up at 5 a.m., made a cup of coffee and got right to it.

For as long as I can remember, I kept my spices on two round, Rubbermaid lazy-susans. They were not ideal, given the large number of spices I have, but at least I could find them. They were in alphabetical order, a practice I insisted on years ago when my kids were small, probably about the time they were learning their A,B,C’s.

When I got ready to make the switch, which included cleaning out the pantry as well, I move the spices onto a shelf inside the pantry. I soon realized those turntables had to go. Even after I got them all cleaned, they didn’t turn very well. They never really did. I decided it was time for something else. I scoured the Internet until I found something that might just work: a plastic, expandable, three-tier spice holder. I figured I didn’t have that many spices. Wrong!

When I received my new spice organizer in just a couple days--thanks Amazon--I realized I had more spices than I thought. I placed all the little jars and bottles onto what reminded me of the risers we stood on in Freshman Girl’s Chorus some fifty years ago. I hope this solution lasts longer than I did in chorus. I only made it one year because I really can’t sing.

chmusings: spices alphabetized
I got all my spices in order when I realized some of the small jars got lost in the shuffle. So I rearranged again, putting all the small jars in front and the others behind.

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I can find whatever I’m looking for. And, if I should happen to buy more spices, although I doubt that is even possible, I can always readjust by expanding the thing. This is probably the best solution possible, since they really take up very little room. The best part is not only is the pantry organized, but I have a place for all the coffee stuff.

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