Monday, November 23, 2015

42 Organized Coffee Cabinet

Happy Thanksgiving Week!  I just returned home from a week away and I feel like I am being thrown full force into the hustle that is hosting Thanksgiving dinner and then prepping for Christmas activities.

While my first priority at this point in the game would be to start planning our turkey menu and prepping our guest room, I happened to open my favorite and most used cabinet in the kitchen and let out a huge gasp...

If the image above was what I had seen in that moment, I would have been dancing in delight.  The before was more like this....

Please tell me you still love me.

The photo above was taken with my cell phone to begin the planning process.  This is something I started to do recently and I have found it to be quite helpful.  I study the photo and I think about what I can do without, how I want the space to ultimately function, plan out storage ideas and item placement.  I also take the photo with me while shopping for any storage items I may need and use a nearby notebook or the notepad on my phone to keep track of any measurements and ideas.

We have been slowing organizing our kitchen, one cabinet and drawer at a time.  This has allowed me to really reduce the number of items we need and think about how we utilize our kitchen on a daily basis.  So far we have purged quite a bit during our cabinet clean-outs, and there were also quite a few items on the chopping block in this cabinet as well.  I also had a couple of things that were waiting to be added to this cabinet, so it was really necessary to let some things go to make room for a the new pieces.

Living in a location that is cold 50% of the year (and knowing that I feel cold 100% of the year), means that we find ourselves drinking a lot of coffee, cocoa and tea (morning, noon and night).  We also eat a lot of soup and warm cereal.  Because we love hot beverages and meals, my coffee mug collection tends to keep biggering and biggering and biggering.  I have to learn to "just say no" to this addiction... and this clean out was a huge wake-up call to just how many mugs I had acquired over the past few years (there were a few more in a nearby cabinet as well - yikes).  And not only do we enjoy drinking a variety of warm drinks, we also love to serve up a fancy coffee or cocoa to our guests as well.  It was definitely time to figure this cabinet out, and before hosting our family this week.

My first step was to remove everything, wipe down the shelves and sort through the mess.  I moved all of the water bottles to the lunch cabinet and the individual drawers in our coat closet.  I held a small farewell party for the darling coffee mugs that didn't make the final cut, and finally found a home for those random cinnamon sticks.

When I traveled to NYC back in September, I fell in love with some over-sized, handmade mugs.  They were painted and full of character and best of all, could act as soup bowls, oatmeal bowls or hot beverage mugs.  I purchased six so that we had enough for our entire family to use at once, and they were the first item on my list to figure out how to store.  I went to our utility room and found some large cup hooks which we were able to screw into the bottom side of a shelf after a little measuring and pre-drilling action.

The hooks allow me to easily grab from any of the mugs without them being piled on top of one another.  Because stacking the mugs can also create a cracking/breaking risk, these hooks were the perfect solution for my favorite NYC souvenir.

Because I look at this cabinet multiple times per day, including first thing in the morning, I really wanted it to be special.  However, I didn't want to do anything permanent, so I found some thin mat board (courtesy of my photography supply stash) which I painted a deep navy color.

Our shelves push quite tight to the back of the cabinet, so I sliced each piece of the mat down to size and popped them in-between the shelves.

Now it was ready for all of the goodies, I just love the contrast of the deep navy and white:

We already had some of these canisters from Target to hold ground coffee beans, chocolate chips, whole coffee beans, and a variety of cocoa, you just couldn't see them before behind the cluttered piles.  They stack nice and neat and now it is much easier to see the contents.  The creamer and sugar pot are on a tray that can easily be brought to the dining table or my desk. 

 This shelf also holds our milk frother, travel mugs and special syrup.

At the moment, the only machine we utilize is a Nespresso.  I love espresso drinks, however, I don't love the daily cost so we have made the switch to French pressed coffee for our morning brew.  The middle shelf holds both of our French presses (one was being used while photographing this post) and our bean grinder.  The large mugs hang right within reach for daily use.

The top shelf holds the remainder of my smaller mugs, which work best for tea.  The covered tin stores our tea while the shelf riser offers a place for our kettle to live right where it belongs.  It also created a place for me to keep a few of my favorite mugs for iced coffee.

Down below I added a small tray (made using the same method as I did for our remote caddy) to provide a bit of height and to corral the remainder of our coffee station items.  The canister holds my Nespresso pods while the glass holds my coffee spoons.  The vase of flowers discretely hides the machine cord.

I am guessing not everyone utilizes an entire cabinet for warm meals and beverages, but this is probably the "hottest" cabinet in our kitchen.  And it feels so good to have such a dynamic before and after with just some de-cluttering and purging, a little paint and some smart storage.

Now we are ready to host our Thanksgiving guests!  Oh yeah... I still have that menu to create and shop for, and the guest room to clean... #priorities  Anyone else doing any last minute organizing before guests arrive?

Only a couple more cabinets and drawers to go and our kitchen will be in tip-top organized shape.  You can catch up on all of our completed kitchen organization below:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

10 UHeart Organizing: Organizing with Kids - Creating a Playful Closet

I always say, “Start them young”. When the kiddos are involved with the actual process of making decisions and organizing their spaces, they will learn to take pride in them, and fingers crossed, will be more excited to maintain those spaces.

Cassie and I are currently hanging out together (today on the blog and in person on a boat), and we were talking about how fun it is to involve our children in the process of working on their spaces. Asking them what they would do. Seeing how their choices reflect things we have done as their parents, and also seeing their wild imaginations shine through. Cassie blogs over at Hi Sugarplum, and has been working on creating a comfortable room for her daughter that is reflective of her personality. And when it came time to organize her closet, she was involved in the entire process. I have a feeling that her new closet will bring her daughter all sorts of joy moving forward, and that I will be throwing out “Y’all” left and right after spending a week with my darling Texan friend. Here she is now.

Hi friends! I’m thrilled to be back on Jen’s inspiring blog, sharing our latest, and long-overdue, organizing project! It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are upon us. And if you have young kids, you know that means the Santa's lists are being written, and getting longer by the day!

Every year before the kids can receive any new gifts, we insist they help clean out the their closets, and take stock of all their toys and clothes. We’re always shocked by just how much has been accumulated, and outgrown, during the year.

I figured since we just moved earlier this year, the closet situation would be pretty well under control… after all, how bad can it get in a few short months, right!? Yeah, um, wrong. In the hustle and exhaustion of moving, we’d never properly set-up and organized my daughter’s closet. Sure we pulled out the essentials, but the rest was simply dumped from boxes, and shoved behind closed doors.

It was so bad, even my daughter was begging for an overhaul! Let’s start with the embarrassing befores. #nojudgement #wereallfriendshereright #holdme

Okay, maybe not the worst ever, but definitely not user-friendly for my creative, imaginative, budding artist! The best thing this closet’s future had going for it, was my daughter’s desire to have it organized, and her excitement to turn it into a space she could both play in, and keep all her favorite things within reach.

I realized if I let her make decisions based on what she wanted, then it would be a space she’d likely treasure, and maintain! #goals So I sidelined my desires to make it a ‘blogworthy’ space, and let her steer the project…. only piping in with suggestions of how to efficiently utilize the full space.

First step was to empty the closets, and sort into Keep, Donate and Trash piles. You can tell by her body language that she was a little overwhelmed at that point. But I gently reminded her organizing projects always get worse before they get better, and cranked up the dance music.

Fashion isn’t high on her list of priorities, so she only needs a small area to actually store her clothes. We decided to take advantage of the wide door openings, and split the closet into storage and play space, but without changing the structure so it could easily transition as she grows, and her needs for the closet change.

She’s been a blogger’s daughter long enough, so of course her first idea was to cover the back wall of the ‘play side’ with a graphic paper. No surprise she went with flamingos (it was a reader favorite when I shared my organized gift wrap and craft station!).

Then I helped her hang the elements from her previous Art Center on the back wall, and Voila! New secret Art Center!

Next, she set up all her baby doll gear in the empty floor space. She's able to play with them in the closet, or pull them out when she wants to use the Art Station. And I can close the doors when it gets a little tossled!

We put her books in the lower shelves so she can reach them easily, and stored lesser-used toys in striped bins.

We keep the small and paperback books in a colorful tub so they're easier to see and access.

Moving on to the right side of the closet...which is dedicated to clothes and more storage.

We slid an Elfa drawer system (unused from another part of the house), and she chose what she wanted stored in each drawer... even labeling them.

She said she wrote the labels in pencil just in case she wanted to switch them up! Which is music to this mama's ears, because that means she plans on using the system!

And there you have organized closet that she's both proud of, and excited about! Of course we had a small pile of toys she wasn't ready to part with, even though I know she no longer plays with them. Those we stored on the very top shelf (which is near-impossible to access... why do builders do that?!?), and agreed if she didn't ask for any of them in the next six months, we'd donate them.

Hi Sugarplum | Organized Play Closet

I'd do anything to see this smile! #myheart

I know over time, there will be fewer toys and more clothes, so I'm savoring the moments I find her playing in this closet! Thanks so much for letting me share! You can see more of our Little Miss's room here, and other organizing projects here.  Happy organizing, lovebugs!

"Hi, I'm Cassie, a DIY and design-obsessed Texas girl, and lover of travel, fashion, sarcasm and Mexican food. When I'm not hanging with my sweet and funny family, you can find me kicking the '80s out of our home, one budget project at a time, on my blog Hi Sugarplum!

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