Pandemic re-org project.
This time felt weird and an opportunity at the same time. When it started we thought we would be home for a couple of weeks and things would slowly get back to normal. I thought it would be a nice break to save 10 hours a week travelling to and from work and I could spend more time cooking meals at home and doing other things.
Well things didn't exactly turn out as I thought it would. A couple of weeks has turned into 6 months already and I can't even believe how much time I have spent at home alone. My bubble has been very small and I didn't see my friends for at least the past 6 months except for my tiny bubble of my best friend's family.
When it started I thought I could finally get to the home organizing that has been on my mind for a long time but because my day job was taking all my energy I didn't have the time or energy to do the things I had on my to do list.
It started with a broken dresser. I took most of the stuff out of my broken dresser and had it piled in bins in the corner of my room. I had to start my purge and organizing. I finally got a new dresser when I was able to go to Ikea with my friend and it's sitting in boxes in my room waiting for my friend to assemble it. I also purchased a bookshelf cabinet that has been assembled and is semi organized. That's also another project to finish but it holds a lot.
|Before with a half shelf|
|after shelf removal and using a divider for trays|
Then I moved on to my living room and took everything off the shelves on either side of my TV because it was looking very cluttered. I organized my cookbooks on one side covering 3 shelves and moved photo boxes and other things to the other shelves while removing things that stuck out or didn't have a function or as Marie Condo says "spark joy". I started a pile of donations in the other corner of my living room and that pile has been growing. I don't know how I crammed so much stuff into this space because now that I am re organizing it isn't all fitting back in.
My living room was close to being less cluttered and then I had to deal with the kitchen because of maintenance that needed to be done. I had to remove everything from the cupboards in the kitchen and I put them in bins that I then stacked in my living room. It is like a renovation or a move. It kinda feels the same way. I didn't have the dust but I had the boxes and stuff everywhere and it's still not done. The kitchen project has been going on for a couple of weeks.
When you see the Youtube videos of people organizing their kitchens and it's wrapped up in a 10 minute video....well that's not reality for sure. Maybe if you clean one cabinet.. but not a whole kitchen.
|Before - baking and mugs|
And I have been cleaning the shelves and handwashing everything before it goes back in. I have been decanting things and switching containers to just fit the contents saving some space and using mason jars and Oxo containers. I have tried to put most things into clear containers to see how much there is so I know when I have to replace.
In the organizing process when I removed everything I have tried to sort like with like so that's when you really see the amount of stuff you have. I have 5 ice cream scoops, 5 vegetable peelers, and a bunch of other duplicate things. Here's the thing. I haven't actually purchased all of the duplicate things. A lot of it came from events that I have attended or maybe I couldn't find something or something didn't work well and I purchased another one and never got rid of the not great one. Some things have come from when I did Food Revolution events and had to purchase things for demos or when I had things at work. For example I used to make food waste soups at work so I had a little spice kit at the office and some tools I used to make the soup. When we moved offices I couldn't do it anymore so I took the spices and things home.
My friend Adam is a great friend but he loves to bring me random foods from his shopping trips. He does all the grocery shopping and has a habit of always buying too much and he likes to share. So I had a pile of food that I picked up on sale that I couldn't even put into the cupboards. Time for a re-org.
In the re-organization I decided to move things around and put things in the spot where I could access what I use most. Being short an out of shape means that I have the bottom shelf of the top cabinets that are the only ones I can get to without having to stand on a step stool. That means the plates and spices and other things I need quick access to had to go there.
I also had piles of stuff and to much stuff on my counter. Huge appliances that took up all the space. I decided that I will sell my food processor because it's huge and has a bunch of attachments that take up too much space and because it has so many pieces it's really a pain to clean after I use it which isn't that often. I will just get a smaller simple one. I used to have yearly parties and I cooked a lot but I haven't done that in a few years so it doesn't make sense to have huge things anymore. I am getting rid of a huge casserole dish and roasting pan because I have a size smaller for each that can be used and if needed I can get those disposable aluminum trays if I have to cart anything anywhere so why take up the space in a small apartment.
When I moved in I was used to living in a house with a basement that had a second freezer and shelves for the appliances and extra stuff that wasn't used often. I don't have that option anymore so I have to adapt better for my current situation.
This is a long post because it's been a long process and I have learned a lot over the past few years after having to downsize from a house full of stuff to a one bedroom apartment and accumulating more stuff along the way.
I like nice things and I am always looking for things that make things work better. I also like to bake when I have a craving or with my friend's 5 year old when she used to be able to come over. She likes sprinkles and we used to do cookie and cupcake decorating so I have a whole box of sprinkles and loads of instant baking mixes for surprise visits.
She hasn't been over since February but I think she will be allowed to visit soon so I hope I am ready to bake again in a more efficient space.
The big thing I learned after spending a whole lot of money on organizing things is that I probably should have just had less stuff because it's been costing a lot of money to get organized and a lot of sweat equity. But at this point I can cook almost every ethnicity food and bake a whole host of things when I am inspired.
What I have also learned is to take a hard look at what you have and get it all organized in a smart way and purge the stuff you don't use or need.
|After- lid rack, purged and moved from other spaces, in the back a pan rack|
I still have 2 bins of stuff and have the equivalent of a shelf and a half to put it into. I also have an equivalent of a bin full of food containers that I have not figured out where they will go.
So I think I am going to have to cook a lot of the food that has been waiting on those shelves and a lot more baking to make some more space. Things look less cluttered but it's going to be a work in progress for a long time until I adapt to the new way of doing things.
During the pandemic while all the usual things I did like go to events, movies and out for dinner with friends all disappeared. All I could do was go grocery shopping and retreat to my kitchen to feed myself the foods I missed and deal with my boredom. I tried to make new things like Korean pancakes, so I shopped for foods I didn't use before and because you can't always buy the quantities you actually need this stuff just takes up space after you use what you needed. I need to try and use up some of those things more now.
This was a lot of work and it's not finished yet but it was necessary and unfortunately I would have preferred to do this in the winter but because I was not sure how long I would be working from home I also wanted to get this completed before we return to a more normal life and possibly go back to commuting life and life with friends and fun things to do.
The only accomplishment I will have to show for 2020 is that I hope to have a more organized life and be ahead of the game instead of always trying to catch up and keep up.
I know I have inspired a couple of people to organize their stuff and like I mentioned before I have a lot of blogger friends and we have gotten a lot of promotional things at trade shows and events that accumulate pretty fast. I plan on doing a big donation to either Value Village or the Diabetes organization but if you need anything let me know.
I hope this inspires you to either get organized or shop wisely. And what I learned also is to leave room to grow which happens fast.
Happy Organizing and get your kitchen and home space more zen like to release the clutter in your space and your mind and use the time to be creative or spend time with your bubble.
|I found a knife holder at the dollar store and various dividers. |
See my multiple ice cream scoop collection. A work in progress.