I really wish I had photos to show you of what these cupboards looked like last year. They were an absolute disaster. Remember that commercial where the woman opens up her cupboard, and 10,000 tupperware lids fall down on top of her head like a waterfall? Yeah–like that! I finally summoned up my willpower and delved into the disaster cupboards and organized the heck out of them.
I took everything out and put it all out on the kitchen table. I threw away everything that we didn’t really need, and moved other stuff to the places in the house where they really belonged. Then I looked at what I had, set a goal for the cupboard. I decided they needed to be a Conventional Medicine Cupboard and a Crafts and Staples Cupboard. I gathered up empty bins and boxes to organize everything within the cupboard. Everything going back in had to fit into a category or it had to go somewhere else.
I didn’t do any tidying or cleaning up for these photos, because I wanted to show how they looked day-to-day. For an organizational system to work, it needs to remain tidy and organized with minimal effort, otherwise it’s doomed to fail. I know if an area remains tidy for about four months, I’ve nailed it.
The Conventional Medicine Cupboard
As you can see, most things are corralled into labeled bins of different sizes. That way the members of my household know where to go to find what they need. I also keep the dog medicines up here, and an assortment of hand lotions because it’s near the kitchen sink and everyone seems to complain about dry hands in the winter. I think my daily bin needs a bit of a clean out. This usually takes about two minutes. In fact, that’s what it usually takes to clean out any of these bins, as long as people are discarding unused medicine bottles when they finish them!
On the cupboard door, I keep a laminated medical administrated record for each child, along with a laminated note with their current weight on it. That way, when we are giving round the clock doses of things, my husband or I can check to see if and when the last dose was given before administering more. it also helps us keep track during those unexpected 2am gravol doses. I usually weigh them every three months or so to make sure I’ve got accurate weights for their dosage calculations.
The Craft and Staples Cupboard
This may not look like the world’s most organized cupboard, but it is!! Everything has it’s place and everyone can get to what they need when then need it. It’s located right next to our kitchen table, so these are all high-use items. There’s playdoh stuff in that big yellow bin up top, that gets pulled down and brought to the table and it has everything the kids need. Don’t ask why, but we do a lot of those stick-on tattoos in this house. The sunscreen is up there because this cupboard is also located right next to the door to the backyard. The Scrap Paper bin is awesome because it’s easy to deposit things in there, and take them out to use. The “Use Me!” bin has an assortment of colouring tools for when the kids just want to grab something quick for drawing etc.
We actually have an entire dresser full of other crafting materials for the kids, but these are the everyday essentials we use in our house, located in a high traffic area.
I also keep things tacked to the door of the Craft and Staples Cupboard. I find in my house we are often working on certain growth and development issues with the kids and I find it helpful to have reminders for myself up there, where I can see them often. It helps me to respond instead of react when i have productive and helpful words or statement always at top of mind.
On the other side of the cupboard I sometimes keep instructions for a new technology or tool we have around the house. Saves me or my husband from always having to repeat to one another how to use the new phone system or crockpot.
So there you have it. Two successfully organized cupboards in my house. Now, if I could just tame my sewing corner…