Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

This cabinet definitely needs some major help.

At the beginning of each year I make a list of things I want to accomplish over the coming twelve months to make my life and the lives of my family members more comfortable and help us be successful whatever our goals might be.  Near the top of this list is always to "Get My House Organized."  As a young mother I always wanted to have a beautifully organized and stocked kitchen.  It sounded good but at the time, spending time with my kids trumped cleaning and organizing.  Now that I am older and my children are all grown, I have more of an opportunity to tackle this task and not feel like I should be somewhere else.  I have the time to be thoughtful about what I want to do.

In order to get a little more excited about this project I decided this year to make a more detailed list than I usually do and just try to tackle little things each day or each week in order to feel like I am actually getting something done.  I give each task a target date to complete and then check it off when I am done.  If I don't get the task done, I just change the target date and keep moving forward.   I have been reading a lot of organizational blogs to get tips and ideas on how to get my home more organized and this is always the best piece of advice bloggers tell - do a little at a time and don't be afraid to change things around after you have moved them.  It's your stuff!  It should be right where you want it to be.  Great advice.

I decided to start with my kitchen.  I know, this is the hardest part of the house because there is so much "stuff" in it but we spend so much time here and I really do like my kitchen so it is the perfect place to start.  Like most women, I prefer people to only see my house when it is spotless - mine never is and probably never will be so I don't know why I have been hiding it for so long.  Here are a few pictures of the cabinets I have not yet tackled.  Try not to think too poorly of me, there are better pictures later of other cabinets!

I'm not sure why this cabinet holds a pot w/strainer, marble rolling pin, a grater 
and a broken cutting board.  Great use of space, Becky! 

 This is our catchall for baking supplies.  Of course, this is only 1/4 of my baking 
paraphernalia as the rest is in another cabinet - of course!

This is our old coat closet that we never used near the kitchen.  My husband built 
these great sturdy shelves for it a couple of years ago and I have neglected using
 it to its full potential.  This will change - eventually.

As I have thought about home organization I have thought a lot about my life and what I do each day.  I try to be a good person each day but of course, I fall short some times.  As I have unloaded shelves, wiped them down and then refilled them, I have thought about how life changes - sometimes with our knowledge and help and other times without our consent.  Life is short and I always want to be filling it with something good so I began thinking about what has filled my life this far and what I want to spend my time doing in the future.

 Can you ever have too much chocolate?  I think not!  It's a good thing it's
not fattening.

While cleaning my baking cabinet, I thought of my grandchildren.  I have one grandson and another that will be arriving in a few weeks!  Wouldn't it be fun if Ben were here right now so that I could make him some Cowboy Cookies, even though he can't eat them yet?  Can I impart to him and Baby Grant some of the great council and advice that my parents and Max's parents have imparted to us so that the combination of their wise words of advice and well founded principles can have an impact on their lives?  I want to talk to them about my own life, the lives of those who have gone before me and I want to tell them of my hopes for their lives.   All of these thoughts mixed into one, like a cake mix, as I thought of these precious boys and how I might help them and be a part of their lives.   I want to know them and I want them to know me.

No surprises here.  We like pasta, rice and popcorn!

While cleaning out the cabinet that held our pasta, rice and popcorn, I was thinking about the recipes I have made over the years for my husband and children.  The majority of dinners that I made for my family while they were young had some sort of pasta  in them.  Pasta is inexpensive and you can do so many things with it and of course, everyone loves it.  There were many times when I made spaghetti several nights in a row and my good husband and patient kids never complained.  My mind went back to those great nights at the table and the conversations we had and I cherish every one of them.  

There were nights when we would eat dinner and then have family scripture study right at the dinner table because we didn't have a lot of time.  This was usually a good idea because if we moved into the living room after dinner, certain little people would lay on the floor and be asleep before we were done reading!  Nothing brings a family together - and keeps them awake, like dinner.  Although, I am certain that our kids retained the majority of the material we were reading while they were snoozing!

I have decided that I have far too many baking dishes.  But as soon as I get rid
of one, I will need it so I will just hang on to all of them.

Baking dishes make me think of my Grandma Moore, Max's Grandma Meng and Max's mother Glea.  All great cooks and they have all passed down wonderful recipes that I cherish to this day.  This past Christmas I put together an electronic recipe book for my kids and sent it to them so that they could have all the great recipes I have and can add their own favorites to their books.  It didn't take much time as I did it in Microsoft OneNote and it organizes everything so nicely.  What if I were to make a meal that consisted of  Grandma Moore's biscuits, Grandma Meng's Chicken Noodle Soup and Glea's Cowboy Cookies?  That would be the best meal ever!

My Baking Corner - my favorite place in the kitchen!

It has been nearly two weeks since I began my kitchen project and I have completed organization on 8 of the 15 cabinets and I have organized 4 of the 7 drawers (not pictured here).  Yes, it has been two weeks and I have only completed 8 cabinets but I am still moving forward and it is getting done.  I feel good about my work and I know that it will help me to be more efficient in the kitchen and hopefully a better cook!  I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks of organizing in my kitchen and the wonderful thoughts, memories and dreams I will come up with along the way.  I am sure that when I get around to organizing the bathroom and laundry room cabinets, I will not have such sweet and wonderful thoughts.

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