Today’s outfit is a perfect for a cold winter day! I paired a long-sleeve gray t-shirt with a long black cardigan and skinny jeans, accented with a red statement necklace and wedge booties.
This article is one of a series showing the many outfit combinations I’ve designed from my 24-piece Fall/Winter Capsule wardrobe.
Here are the items from today’s outfit:
I enjoyed a week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. In between lots of family time, relaxation, sleeping in, and a little after-Christmas shopping, I spent some time re-organizing my kitchen. I received some cabinet organizers as gifts and was excited to use them. I guess that means I’m officially an adult, when kitchen organizers are exciting?
This cabinet is where we keep our everyday plates and bowls, as well as our plastic storage containers (bottom shelf), our popcorn bowls, coffee cups, and pyrex casserole dishes we use a lot (middle shelf). I really wanted all of these on the bottom two shelves, since that is all my vertically challenged self can reach without standing on something. On the top shelf are items I use less often.
I already had the organizer on the middle shelf above, but previously had the plates on it. But when i received this corner tier organizer, I knew it would be perfect for our plates.
I also previously had three sets of dishes in this cupboard. We had a heavy set I really liked that was a wedding gift, but they took up so much space, we decided to convert to using Corelle. We had a small set of these already, and asked (and received) a few more for Christmas. My mom also had a set that she no longer used, so I traded her my third set for her Corelle. That means we have three different patterns mixed together. Both the pattern we had and my mom’s pattern were retired. I asked for the plain white pattern for the extras I received for Christmas, thinking they will likely never be retired.
The next problem area in the kitchen was this lower cabinet. It was crammed full of three slow cookers, all my 9×13 baking dishes, some Pampered Chef Stoneware, and of course all the toothbrushes/bedtime prep items. I know it doesn’t make sense to have these stored there, but it is right next to the sink where our sons get ready for bed at night, so it is convenient and I’d rather have it in the cabinet than left on the counter!
I moved 2 of the 3 slow cookers to our pantry (more on that later), and purchased this vertical storage device for the most frequently used 9×13 baking dishes.
It is really sturdy, and I’ve been very happy with it. I wish the slots were just slightly wider so i could leave the lids on the dishes, but it works well enough to have them right behind the dishes.
I also received a set of 2 of these under-cabinet shelves for Christmas:
Originally, this shelf was intended to hold dishes in the upper cabinet with the plates. When I discovered they are too deep to use in the upper cabinets, I had to consider other options or send them back. I made good use of one shelf by storing round baking dishes on the left side of the bottom cabinet, behind the toothbrushes. I used the other identical under-shelf organizer to hold my two hand mixers and electric knife in the lower cabinet where I keep my pots and pans. Somehow I missed this was a 2-pack when I ordered them for my mom to give them to me for Christmas (does anyone else do that??). Given that you get two shelves, I think they are very reasonably priced. They were just under $15 for the set when I ordered them.
We have a counter-depth cabinet in the kitchen where we keep the food we’ve opened. Over time, we’d ended up with way more food stuffed in there. We also had a few old expired items way in the back. After removing all those items, the cabinet has SO much more open space! There is also a basket on the bottom shelf for each of our boys with their snack and candy stash. If they eat their meal completely and are still hungry, they may select an item from the basket for dessert. It motivates them to eat their meal, and it prevents the temptation to make a dessert for the family as a whole. With all the Christmas candy, it was time to sort thru their baskets and remove anything they aren’t going to eat.
My excitement over organizing the kitchen must have been contagious! When I suggested to my husband that he tackle the updates we’d been discussing for our pantry during the holiday week too, he was all on-board. Our pantry is a little odd. It is a small square room you can only access by going through our half-bath in the back hallway. But it has a lot of space for storage, so I’ll take it!
I really wish I had taken “Before” pictures, but I didn’t so I’ll just describe what changed. When we bought the house it had 2 rows of shelves in the pantry. That left a lot of wasted space between the shelves. We added the top shelf and the 2nd shelf from the bottom. Kevin removed all the shelving, painted, and then hung the shelves. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
I moved several lesser-used small appliances to the pantry, including two slow cookers and a blender. I kept them low enough that I can easily reach them. The rest of the pantry is filled with food and household items. I keep extras on hand for bad weather (no competing for staples right before a big storm), and surprise guests. I also buy extra when I find a good deal on something I know we will use.
My husband and I are trying to eat better, and follow a ketogenic diet for both health and weight loss. To succeed I know we need to have food readily available to make for meals and have for quick snacks. Having the pantry space updated makes that so much easier. I have a basket for some of those snacks in the pantry. We keep one package open in the kitchen cupboards but keep additional items, like these amazing Toasted Coconut Almonds, in the pantry.