HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET

I’ve naturally spent a lot of time in my kitchen this past week. I also added quite a bit of ingredients to my cabinets that I normally don’t keep at my house. Useful ingredients that I can get creative with, but still, more than what I originally organized for.

So basically, I learned two things this past week:

  1. My kitchen is horribly disorganized.

  2. I actually kind of enjoy cooking.

Knowing these two things has motivated me to get a little more organized in my kitchen so I can get a little more creative without having to dig through all the ingredients most home chefs need to keep.

BEFORE

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET

As you can see, I didn’t have much rhyme or reason to my cabinet. I mostly just threw in items as I got them and tried to smush everything far enough back to prevent things from falling out.

Would you want to cook in the kitchen? Me either.

So finally, I took sometime to get it organized. I went in with a few goals.

  • It needed to look nice.

  • I wanted to put as much as I could in air tight containers (and out of plastic).

  • I wanted to be able to look in the cabinet and immediately know what I have and how much.

So then, I got to work on making these things happen.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET - This Wild Home


First thing, glass jars and a chalk pen are an organizer’s best friends. They are relatively inexpensive OR if you’re patient enough, you can collect enough glass jars over time from groceries like sauces or spices that eventually you’ll have a nice little, basically free collection!

I happened to have a stupid amount of mason jars lying around from moments here and there when I thought I’d be more proactive in meal planning than I’ll probably ever be, so that was pretty lucky I guess. (plus, mason jars are usually under $10 for a 12 pack depending on the size which makes them really accessible)

I pulled everything out of the cabinet and went to work taking things out of the package and putting it into a nice, glass jar.

AFTER

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET - This Wild Home

Now, I’ve got my miscellaneous, rarely used items up top. My flour, sugars, grains, and spices in the middle. And a few, more commonly used or “ready to use” items on the bottom.

I can see what I have. I can now use things that I honestly forgot I had in the mess of everything before. It helps me meal plan a little easier to be able to open the cabinet, see what’s in it and what needs to be used and plan accordingly.

The best part is, when I run out of something I can refill it from the bulk section and save money while also wasting less packaging and all that good stuff!

At some point, I’d love to find or buy a few larger jars so I don’t have to put one tiny bag of flour into 3-4 different jars, but I’m working with a budget here so that will just have to wait.

So there you have it! An organized space cabinet that brings a little more piece to my otherwise overwhelming kitchen!

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

Cutlery and general utensils are those things where it seems like there’s an obvious space for them, but the obvious space isn’t always the most practical.

If there’s something I’ve learned from moving a billion times and just finding my own adult rhythm, it’s that the conventional thing is not always the right thing.

This could be explored on so many levels. From being your own type of person to your own type of parent to creating your own kind of career and so on. But for now, I’m sticking to the surface with home organization and creating standards that suit your needs, even if they don’t make sense to anyone else.

So utensils. In a typical home there’s a drawer where they live. You will usually find enough utensils for everyone to use plus a bunch of extras. This drawer can often be found with a plastic organizer that separates the forks from the knives and the spoons and so on. It makes a lot of sense so why not just stick to that tune?

Well, because I have a toddler that can reach the drawer where the knives once lived. Because I’ve lived in homes with big drawers that were made for cutlery organizers and I’ve lived in homes with tiny drawers that barely stretch long enough to fit the cutlery. Not to mention the fact that I don’t like tedious tasks like organizing the cutlery. I like to reduce my chores to be as mindless and quick as I possibly can.

In my life right now, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have an organized drawer for these things, so I’ve had to find another way.

THE CUTLERY

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

This was something I found a solution to a little while ago. First of all, I had enough cutlery to where Ian and I each had 5 of each utensil to ourselves. Why? Well, who knows. Because I was suppose to? So I got rid of a lot of it and left us with 2 of each utensil for each of us. For me, cleaning a fork every once in a while is so much better than storing a bunch of utensils that never get used.

IF (notice that really big “if”) we have company - which we haven’t in like, a year. We’re hermits. It’s fine. - we can either grab some plastic or bamboo utensils or just make finger food.

And now our cutlery lives in a jar by the toaster where we can easily grab what we need or put things away without thinking twice.

THE SHARP STUFF

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

You guys. The day I learned my son could reach the knives was the day I started having dreams of him horrifically hurting himself in an irreversible way and those knives were moved to a higher location immediately.

To start, we don’t have an on-the-counter knife holder because, ain’t nobody got room for that (remember the moving all the time to places with all different sized storage space?) and also that’s just not how our hand-me-down knives came.

So for a very long time our knives lived on the counter next to my little notebook/planner/computer station and I’ve got to say, that corner went from tidy and organized to a stress inducing mess.

I left it like that for a good while because:

  1. There isn’t a great space to hang a magnetic holder in our current place.

  2. We’re moving very soon so it doesn’t seem worth it to put holes in the walls or buy something that may not work in the next place right before we leave.

I also felt pretty limited on counter space because I haven’t quite figured out how I want to organize everything over here so there we were. A bunch of knives haphazardly sprawled about on the counter.

Finally, my slow pregnant brain thought, “Why not do the same thing with the knives that I do with the cutlery?” DUH. So there you have it! A much neater solution to my very specific problem!

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

For these home improvement posts, my goal is really to show that there is no “right way” to do things. Every single one of us has specific problems that need specific solutions. We have our own preferences and our own strategies to bring peace to our lives and they are all the right way.

The right way for us may even change over time. Realistically, I’ll probably upgrade our knives along with their storage when we’re moved into the next place.

For now, here are my solutions to improve my at-home experience and hopefully, this will encourage you to think outside the box and do what you need to do to bring yourself peace in your home!

HOME IMPROVEMENT: KID'S DRESSER ORGANIZATION

HOME IMPROVEMENT: KID'S DRESSER ORGANIZATION - This Wild Home

I’ve been attempting to limit annoying tasks and chores throughout my day. The little monotonous things that have to be done throughout the day or else they’ll build up and make an even bigger task than necessary. Things like clutter and messy floors and KID’S CLOTHES.

I don’t know what it is about kids clothes that drive me crazy, but it seems impossible to keep them all together nicely.

First, you have the fact that the toddler can now open his drawers and his favorite thing to do is pull everything out of them which means if I want his room to look somewhat clean I have to put his clothes back in the dresser five times a day.

I used to fold his clothes. I’d sit and do laundry and fold everything nicely and then lay it in the drawers nicely only to have them unfolded on the floor before they even make it to the drawers.

So then, I decided I just wasn’t going to fold them. It’s easier for everyone to just throw the clothes in the drawer over and over again than fold them and place them in a particular spot in the drawer.

But then the clothes became a giant mess of pj’s mixed with day clothes and taking an extra long time to find anything in the jumble of clothes.

BEFORE

BEFORE

So my solution to the stress was only causing more stress. That’s when I decided to find a middle ground. Something that would prevent me from having to fold clothes all day but could also keep them organized enough to be able to find what I need.

AFTER

AFTER

Enter in the basket dividers.

A dream come true in the life of a lazy mom. These bad boys (plus this guy) were under $20 from target and now my life just got a little bit easier.

I already try to keep Oliver’s clothes minimal. Just a few pants and shirts with some outerwear in the colder months. (Tip: take their clothes off when you eat at home or when you’re home in general. It saves so many pieces from getting stains!) But I think this system would work for any number of clothes depending on how many drawers you dedicate to them.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: KID'S DRESSER ORGANIZATION - This Wild Home

The top drawers are where we keep diapers, wipes, socks, etc. The little stuff and the stuff we need to get to quickly.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: KID'S DRESSER ORGANIZATION - This Wild Home
HOME IMPROVEMENT: KID'S DRESSER ORGANIZATION - This Wild Home

The two middle drawers are everyday things. Day clothes (left) are organized by bottoms and tops with a little place for a light sweater and t-shirts/tank tops. Pajamas (right) are organized by tops with bottoms and some heavy onesies for those cold nights. In the summer I’ll have them organized just by tops and bottoms, but we don’t use a ton of bottoms in the colder months. Mostly just under shirts with those thick onesies.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: KID'S DRESSER ORGANIZATION - This Wild Home
HOME IMPROVEMENT: KID'S DRESSER ORGANIZATION - This Wild Home

I’ve organized the bottom drawers with little extras that I’d like to access easily but I don’t necessarily need all the time. Outerwear and extra clothes for impromptu growth spurts go on the left and extra bedding for any accidents (or slow laundry days where I just don’t get the sheets cleaned in time for nap time) go on the right.

This is a huge improvement from what we were doing. It saves me time all around and I can even use this as a learning tool for Oliver! He can learn to put his clothes away while also learning the difference between PJ’s and pants and shirts, etc.

Here’s to making life easier one step at a time!