Friday, January 21, 2011

52 Weeks of Organizing Week #3: Snack Attack

I am an organizing fool!  I am having so much fun (really, I am) organizing different areas of my home.  I am getting rid of clutter little by little, streamlining process, making things work for me and enjoying the baby steps I have taken.  I have many more projects ahead of me but doing them week by week instead of all at once is really working!

This week I attacked the snack cabinet.  In the process I actually attacked 3 cabinets in my kitchen re-organizing the stuff I took out of the snack cabinet, but I will just tell you about those quickly.

We don't have a pantry ( is on the project list) so everything I have needs to be stored in the kitchen cabinets.  This leads to jam packed cabinets most of the time and lack of space for some items, but it is working for the moment.  I have one cabinet dedicated to snack type items.  Bulk type items were semi-organized on the bottom shelf in some great containers I got from having a Tupperware party a few years back.  The problem was the middle shelf mostly.  It was always a mess and very hard to find anything.  This led to stale snacks and buying duplicate items because Ididn't see it in the cabinet.


I had been using a clear plastic shoe box in my refrigerator for a few months now to house refrigerated lunch snacks that I make up ahead of time for the week.  I loved this idea because I am prepping everything once and can just grab the bin out of the fridge and fill lunch bags from it.  In it I keep individual baggies of baby carrots, cheese and celery with peanut butter.  I also fill the small round glad containers with ranch dressing (for the carrots), grapes, apple sauce, orange slices, etc.  I throw in yogurts and anything else the kids can take in their lunches that needs to be refrigerated.  I only keep snack items in here.  I can't take credit for the the idea though because I found it in this post by Michelle at Make 5 Dinners in 1 Hour. She makes sandwiches ahead of time too...which would be great, but I prefer to make them that day.

Fridge Snack Bin:

I decided to incorporate the bin idea in the snack cabinet too.  I purchased 2 more plastic bins for $1.50 each at the grocery store.  I decided to fill one with individually bagged crunchy snacks (Smartfood, pretzels, rice cakes, trail mix, etc.) and the other with dessert items (puddings, cookies, granola bars, brownie bites, etc.).  I can fit a lot in those containers, usually enough to only have to fill bags every 2 weeks or so.  The kids love it and it has helped in the morning too.  I pull out all 3 bins and they pick one item out of each to add to their bag while I am making sandwiches.  They know that these bins are only for lunch items.  I still have room for after school snacks on the shelves and the bins below.

Snack bins already for packing lunches - need to do some baking for the dessert bin though:

Snack cabinet after (purged and organized):

I had to move some stuff to other cabinets to make room for the bins, but I am loving it.  I swapped the location of the microwave and coffee maker which opened up oodles of space next to the fridge and eliminated a hot spot for clutter on an underused counter (the microwave now sits where the clutter used to pile).  I can now pour drinks next to the fridge (the glasses are in the cabinet right above the counter) without having to carry them clear across the kitchen for counter space.  Above the coffee pot I cleaned out all the sippy cups (except for 2 for visiting little ones) and extra coffee cups and dedicated it to coffee items only.  The first shelf houses the kid's travel mugs, the coffee grinder and filters.  The second shelf houses coffee cups and the third all of our cappucino/latte items.  This has made the kitchen function so much better.  I got the tip awhile back from Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie and don't know why I didn't do it sooner.  It is amazing how moving just a few things can make things so much easier.

The snack cabinet housed hot cocoa making stuff (like chocolate syrup, cocoa packets, etc.) but the marshmallows were in a different cabinet becasue they never fit.  I consolidated everything into a new cabinet along with a bin that houses dried fruits, raisings and nuts to add to oatmeal.

I have a long way to go to make my kitchen function efficiently but I have a great start already!

Next week I plan on starting to tackle the office/craft room...scary!  Stay tuned.

I am linking up with:


Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

Oh my! This is a great idea! I love the way you pre-prepare the snacks. This would help me so much in making 3 lunches for my boys everyday.
Thank you for this great idea!
I am going to tweet about it. ;)
Thanks for linking up to my party!

danae said...

fab-u-lous! i love this idea & will be using it - thank you so much!

Kristi said...

Wow! This is fantastic! I will definitely be incorporating your ideas into my kitchen. Great work.

Carol said...

I love your snack idea. Wish I would have thought of that 20 years ago.

Carrie Beth said...

I am LOVING your shoebox idea. I have told three other people about it already this weekend. I am always looking for ways to better streamline the getting ready process at our home. Thanks for sharing!

Carrie Beth

Coco said...

it looks so good! way to go. love the idea of clear containers!

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

I absolutely love this idea! Though I'm not making lunches for kiddos, I do make my husbands lunch. I prefer to make it in the a.m. so I am up with him before he's off to work. And my groggy 5:30 a.m. woken up self is going to love the ease of this idea! Thanks!

mary kathryn said...

okay- your cabinets look fantastic. I'm totally inspired now to get organized! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog and for introducing me to this great organzing series! I'm a new follower of your blog!


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