And Now for Something Completely Different
By the end of December, I was completely inspired to tackle my own house, which is in dire need of a new organizational plan. From the kitchen to the living room to my bedroom (and even the attic <groan>), it all needs sorting out, cleaning up and organizing.
My house is no where nearly as lovely as hers — my kitchen is a typical suburban kitchen, and not worth photographing for the world to see (trust SoupAddict on this one) — but my house and my life could definitely benefit from her example.
It’s the jars that won my heart. I did this about a year ago, and I’m still not tired of it. I found the same style jar (Libbey Vibe) in other sizes at the Container Store to hold larger quantities of dry ingredients (like an entire container of baking soda, or bay leaves that won’t fit in the 4.5 oz size).
This arrangement works extra well for me because I buy my spices and dried herbs in bulk at my favorite local spice provider, Colonel De’s Gourmet Spices, so I can purchase only what I know I will use within a reasonable amount of time. And as you can probably guess from the odd lighting in this photo, this rack is located in a low-light area on the counter. I have not had any issues with light impacting freshness, and in fact, the life-span of my spices has improved since I moved from tins to these air-tight jars.
Another benefit: the opening in these jars is large enough to accommodate all of the measuring spoons I have, including the gigantically round tablespoon of my lovely All-Clad set.
This cabinet is tall and skinny, split with an oddly placed shelf in the center, which I removed. This drawer, by Lynk Professional, is actually a storage solution for pot lids, but works perfectly for my baking sheets and cooling racks.
These drawers are super easy to install — you need only a hand drill to create a pilot hole and a screwdriver to attach the base to the shelf or cabinet floor (and I only had one of those manual rotary drills — completely sufficient for the pilot hole). The pull-out mechanism comes assembled, so there’s no messing with the drawer itself.
I’ll be purchasing a second drawer soon for the bottom shelf, which holds stock pots and my slow cooker.
BTW, has SoupAddict mentioned lately that she ❤ KingArthurFlour.com? No? Okay, then. It was overdue*.
*SoupAddict does not receive compensation from KAF for any commentary contained in this blog. It’s simply the spontaneous outburst of appreciation for a company that operates with integrity and passion, and consistently makes products that she adores. We need more of those companies in this world, I believe.
At one of my holiday shopping trips to Sur La Table (always a dangerous proposition, going to Sur La Table with time and a credit card on one’s hands), I found these white porcelain oil cruets. Even though this window gets very little sunlight, the cruet’s opaque construction will protect my various oils from any and all light damage. This model is kind of non-descript, but what completely sold me on it is the little hinged lid protecting the opening: it flips open as you pour, and settles back over the tip when you upright the bottle. Perfect for a lazy girl like SoupAddict!
Dig this: you can open these airtight containers with one hand.
And dig this: you can close and seal these containers with one hand.
Mommas with babies on your hips and other kitchen multi-taskers, take heed. One hand.
Believe it, it’s true.
For the dried food items that I use all the time, such as rice, pasta, cereal — I’m switching over to using these containers rather than leaving the items in their original boxes. For items that I consistently buy, like this fast-cooking brown rice, I cut out the measuring and prep instructions from the material packaging and taped them on the back.
I’m a big fan of these richly colored milk crate baskets. I have many baskets in this style and rich, dark color throughout my bedroom and office, picked up from various places over the years like Pottery Barn, Target and Amazon. One of my weekend projects was to re-purpose a bookshelf from holding, well, books, to storing other stuff that I want to keep front and center in the room, without junking up the place.
So, in addition to ordering several milk crate baskets from Amazon, I made a stop at Hobby Lobby.
A former crafts junkie should never be allowed to go to Hobby Lobby without adult supervision.
Long story short, the trip, whose only goal was to purchase 2 gift bags and some chalkboard paper, ended an hour and $30 later: pretty scrapbooking paper, chalkboard cards, awesome decorative brads, waxed leather string, scalloping scissors and a white marker. And the gift bags. And a really cool tin for storing onions and garlic in the kitchen.
But now I do have some pretty tags to hang on my new baskets!