Project Simplify 2012, Week 2, Kitchen Decluttering is hosting a spring cleaning challenge called Project Simplify.  I’m jumping in during week 2…Pantry, Fridge, and General Kitchen Organization.  I took an ambitious amount of before photos on Monday.  Then I had a lot of fun with my kids all week.  I did manage to tackle a couple of areas in the wee hours of Friday night/Saturday morning.

My kitchen is tiny. That’s not a complaint.  It’s not an overstatement.  It’s a fact.  The dishwasher and stove are on opposite walls.  It is not possible to have both the oven door and the dishwasher completely open at the same time.  The doors hit each other.  Tiny, I tell you.  One of our best investments for kitchen storage was a large wire shelf.  It serves as the pantry.

And what an open mess it is! I really hate that it gets so cluttered.  Kids get into things they shouldn’t.  Food gets lost, then wasted.  The very limited kitchen storage is not well utilized when things are in such disarray.

But, oh.  When I emptied the shelves and loaded them up in an orderly fashion.  Beauty.

I think my husband even used the word awesome.  There is still some work to be done, but what an improvement!


Because we have so little counter space, the flat stovetop and dishwasher become work and storage areas as well.  To a fault.

Dishes waiting to be put away, medicine box left out after a hasty rummaging event, random snack foods and evidence of our soda addiction.

Nothing too remarkable here.  Unless you consider a clean, flat workspace remarkable. Which I do.


Our home is full of insane little quirks.  Many have been removed over the last eight and a half years.  However our kitchen half-wall storage remains.

I reorganized the left side.  You can also see some of the white shelf improvements in these shots.

You can’t see it, but I think you should know that the three jars of spaghetti sauce (previously located under our coat hooks) are now happily at home on their half-wall shelf.  They are united with a fourth jar and appropriately placed next to the pasta bin.


The half-walls have upper counterparts.  I improved on just one this week…


Yes.  I did remove a box of tea bags, best used before November 2009.  As well as an empty oatmeal box.  Oh, the shame.

There is, however, no shame in purchasing macaroni and cheese in bulk.


And finally…the top of the refrigerator.  I began work on the inside, but it is not yet blog-worthy.  Many things reside atop the refrigerator in a home with many small children.  My out of reach places get packed with fun stuff to keep away from the little darlings.

Oh, so random.  I think I would love the visual effect of a refrigerator with nothing on top.  Maybe I’ll make that my end of the month goal.

It is streamlined now.  The family medicines are sorted by adult, kid and everyday use.  Seizure rescue medicine has been relocated from the top of the computer hutch.  Insulin pen needles are collected in a tiny glass vase. Mommy’s ibuprofen is in plain sight. See what I mean…streamlined.


I’m nearing the end of my three weeks off for spring break.  I’d love to clean out the refrigerator and do a little more kitchen decluttering before I go back to work.  In the meantime, I’ll keep shifting my eyes to the happy places that are already finished.


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