As I mentioned in this post, one of our goals for this year is to organize every nook and cranny of the house. Needless to say, a task like this can come across as pretty overwhelming, so we’re starting with baby steps and getting things kicked off with areas of the house we use on a daily basis. Areas like the chest of drawers in the laundry room, the medicine storage, linen closet, the infamous “junk drawers” in the kitchen – you get the gist. We decided to start with the medicine storage.
Up until we tackled this, the Band-Aids and other first aid necessities were in the linen closet in the hallway, the anti-acids were in the bedroom and the Vitamin D and Iron always wound up on my desk. To have everything in one designated spot would be a breath of fresh air. That being said, the first task was to find a place to store everything.
After a bunch of going back and forth, we realized the best place would be the kitchen. We like to keep things pretty minimal – especially in a work environment like the kitchen. Less is better. We have plenty of unclaimed kitchen cabinet real estate, and this narrow cabinet to the left of the stove (closest to the living room), seemed like a good place. All it was housing was the salt and pepper. Oh, and check out my sweet pink hydrangea Greg got me last week. Love me some hydrangeas.
I started out by dividing all of our medical necessities into categories: First aid, prescriptions/pain relievers, cold/sinus, misc (anti-acids, nausea remedies etc) and vitamins. Needless to say, the vitamins needed to be easy to get to (maybe we’ll actually remember to take them!) so that left four categories for “once in a while”.
I picked up a few of these small paper rope baskets from Target. Now, let me gush for a second… I love these baskets. I first used them when we organized our coffee station and ever since, they’ve been one of my favorite go-to organizing tools. They are the perfect depth for our upper kitchen cabinets and look pretty spiffy with a bookplate label attached to them. They come with a fabric liner, but for this organizing project, I decided to take them out.
After five or ten short minutes of going through everything, trashing the expired meds and restocking the bandaids, we were one step closer to a designated and organized medicine cabinet.
No, we don’t have any kids. And yes, we totally have Disney Princess and Candy Land Band Aids. It’s amazing how much mental clarity you can gain with just a few baskets, labels and 20 minutes of moving things around. Now that the “stuff” was organized, Greg and I wanted to add more functionality and purpose to the cabinet…
I picked up this pack of cork tiles from Michael’s for about $12 – actually, it was only $8 because I had a coupon on my phone. I really liked this cork as opposed to “normal” cork tiles because it was rich in color and had a chunkier texture and thickness – making it easier to pin things onto it.
We wanted the cork to fit as perfectly as possible in the inset of the cabinet door, so we had to trim it down. Because of the chunkiness of this particular cork, cutting was a little difficult (and messy). A utility knife probably wasn’t going to cut it, so Greg left the pieces in their cellophane packaging, measured 11.25″ over (the width of the inset of the cabinet) and put a piece of duct tape along the line where it needed to be cut. Once he made sure the tape made a straight line, he cut along the line with a jigsaw. Fast and painless.
Luckily, the cut was clean and perfectly straight. We attached the cork to the cabinet door with a few 3M strips here and there. This way, if we decide to take it down later, the doors aren’t damaged. A strip here, and a strip there and we had a cork-lined cabinet door. Because of the cork’s color and texture, you can barely see the seems which makes it look like one continuous piece. This will be perfect for recipes, notes, grocery lists, etc. I love that just by adding the cork, there’s so much more functionality behind this single cabinet door.
Now it was time to put everything back in the cabinet. To start out, we put our daily vitamins in a bright blue basket on the bottom shelf- hoping the fun blue will draw attention to itself and remind us to take our vitamins. Next to the basket is a mason jar we have dubbed “the Tip Jar”. When either of us have an extra small bill, we stash it in the jar to later use for tips for the sushi delivery guy or the kid at the front door selling candy bars for summer camp. Our thought is that if it begins to overflow with bills, it’s time to deposit some of it in the vacation fund.
After a few more seconds of basket sorting, we now have a fully organized and functional cabinet…
I put a basket on the very top shelf to store our “back ups”. Well, Greg put the basket up there because my 5’7″ self couldn’t reach it – he’s 6’7″ and, lucky for me, can reach the tallest of shelves in the house. The “back ups” consist of extra Band-Aids, Tylenol, and whatnot for when we run out of what’s in the reachable baskets.
As we “grow into” our kitchen and figure out the organization systems for the rest of the house, this area may switch up a little here and there. Sometimes it takes a few “rough drafts” before you get the “perfect” system that works for you and your family. But for now, we’re loving this neat and orderly area. To have just this little bit organized feels so good and a great note to get started on for the rest of the house. Here’s to a fully organized abode for 2014! Fingers crossed.