Our Summer Simplification Project – Part 1
Happy Summer, Dear Friends!
We’re finally winding down our homeschooling (except for Math) and are eager to take a break from school and focus on catching up with life.
Our Summer Simplification Project has begun in earnest. Waiting until the summer months to simplify large areas of the home, especially our kitchen, was one of the best calls we ever made.
The kitchen is definitely a bigger area and hold a lot more surprises than other smaller rooms in the house. It is where most of the hustle and bustle of family life occurs and it is undoubtedly where most of our clutter accumulates.
The good news is that the same simple steps of detaching, containing and systemizing during spring cleaning can also be applied with summer simplifying.
But first, let me give you a quick tour of our kitchen.
We focused on simplifying the areas that have a tendency to get out of control, namely: the pantry, the medicine, spice and tupperware cabinets, and the recycling area.
We detached from expired canned goods, empty snack boxes and those sandwich bags full of leftover crackers from the little ones. We designated shelves for canned & condiments, grains & beans, paper supplies, etc. and labeled them accordingly.
Labeling is simple way to help your system self-run. It makes it easier for anyone in the family to put groceries away and prevents us from double-buying ingredients because we know exactly what we need and where to get it from.
The Medicine Cabinet
We detached from empty or expired medication bottles, cartons, tubes, and, yes, even those cough drop wrappers the little ones collected from our bout of flu two winters ago. We used plastic shoe bins to contain everything and labeled them by category.
The Spice Cabinet
In the spice cabinet, we recycled empty plastic and glass containers and placed the remaining spices on a shelf closest to our stove. We decided to alphabetize them for fast and easy access.
While this system looks just a tad bit obsessive, be assured that I alphabetized by first letter only ;-)
The Tupperware Cabinet
This year, we detached from a LOT plastic containers that don’t have any matching lids. We solved this ongoing conundrum by replacing most of our storage containers with ones that have lids already attached to them.
We found these on sale at our local grocery store and is one of the best buys we’ve ever made. These containers come in three sizes, nestle together nicely, stack up well in the freezer and fits perfectly in our pull-out drawer. Most importantly, we don’t lose those pesky lids anymore!
The Recycling Area
Recycling is a big deal in our home so we were pleasantly surprised when a dear friend gave us these foldable recycling bins for my birthday. It so warms my heart that my friends know exactly what makes this Crunchy Groovy Mama happy :-)
These foldable bins fit perfectly in the corner of our kitchen where we hang our coats and sweaters. The canvas bag is where we place glass and aluminum and we use the large bin on the left to recycle paper.
Other Simple Systems
As I have mentioned before, the key to the success of any system is to keep everything super simple.
For example, we keep our counters pretty clear by only putting out oft-used appliances. Small appliances that are used occasionally are stored in the cupboards below.
Another simple system that works well for our family is to post a monthly menu on our fridge. This helps us plan our grocery list better and allows older children to look at the menu and help out preparing meals.
Until Next Time
Thank you again for stopping by! Remember to follow the three simple steps of detaching, containing and systemizing and you will be well underway to simplifying!
Next time you visit, we will look at everything we’ve done in the children’s playroom downstairs.
Until then… Happy Summer Simplifying!