Welcome all you lovely people. I don’t know about you but I have been in clean-up/organization mode the last little while. The weather is improving so outside clean-up is happening. We are also getting some rainy days so I’ve been spending some time re-organizing inside as well. Wanted to share a couple of projects with you. They have definitely made life easier.

This is the biggest project. I am very fortunate to have two pantries in my kitchen. One I use for food storage and the second for organizing my pots and pans, cast iron and large sundries like paper towels and water. It was a bit of a mess so my talented hubby added an additional shelf this week and we did some straightening up.

I do a lot of cooking and, in fact, we’re gearing up for another cooking class, “Cooking with Herbs” that will start next week. It runs for 8 weeks and I’ll be posting recipes and instructions on the blog once we get started.

I find I cook better if I’m better organized. So, in this pantry you can just see a bit of the bottom shelf in the picture above. I keep large bottles of water, paper towels, plastic bags and trash bags there. The next three shelves hold various pots and pans. I use lots of different sizes and styles when I cook. It is so easy to find what I need when they are arranged this way. No bending or reaching because everything is at a handy level.

The next shelf up holds the cast iron. It is pretty easy to access at this height and I can see exactly what I want to use. I also store some copper pots on that shelf.

Just above that shelf you can see that we have mounted a couple of magnetic strip bars. I like to keep my measuring spoons and cups handy so I can quickly grab what I need. I have several sets of measuring spoons and another set of measuring cups not shown. When I’m in the middle of a recipe it’s really handy to have several of the same size measuring spoon. That way you don’t have to wash one to reuse it for another ingredient.

The next shelf holds large pots like steamers, double boilers, soup pots, roasting pans etc.

Finally, on the new top shelf I have an extra coffee pot, electric kettles, and large storage containers and pyrex containers that I don’t use too often. I keep a small step ladder in the closet for easy access to the higher shelves.

The second organizational tip is a pretty simple one. I use a lot of napkins in my table settings. I keep a large basket filled with seasonal napkins in my Morning Room just off the kitchen. I change the napkins in the basket each season so the colors are appropriate for the time of year. It adds a beautiful basket of color to the room and makes it easy to grab a couple of napkins to set the table.

Last but not least we have the library book shelf. Ron made this for me from an old wine crate we picked up. He mounted it on the wall next to the door to the garage. This is the door we use most frequently to enter and exit the house. The library books are placed here immediately after we get home from checking them out. When we finish a book it is returned to the library shelf so it’s ready to go back to the library on our next visit. This way we aren’t looking all over the house for library books. We haven’t had a fine since this shelf was put up.

Hope you can use some of these ideas or variations of same in your home. Whatever we an do to simplify our lives is a good thing. Have a great week!

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