Happy Sunday! I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that I would be sharing an organizing project soon, but somehow, such a small little project kept hitting roadblocks. It’s finally finished!
Honestly, it wasn’t anything particularly innovative, but I have to say that I feel so much better when I open my cupboard and find this:
As opposed to this:
Yikes. That happened.
Even without my David’s Tea bags, I still had layers upon layers of mess!
I can’t even blame Shaun for the state of this cupboard. This is all me. We each have a separate shelf in our kitchen: mine for coffee and tea, his for treats and granola bars. I use this cupboard every day (I’m a huge coffee and tea lover), so it was a daily irritation.
I started off by emptying out its contents and purging whatever was empty or not in use.
I had a few organization systems (surprisingly) already in place, but I wasn’t taking advantage of them. For one, I have a number of basic wooden boxes that are great for storing smaller items or for creating a shelf. They’re also the perfect size for tea boxes!
I got mine ages ago at Jysk, but I’m sure you could find something similar at a dollar store or Ikea. I have a Keurig coffee maker, so my K-cups go on top of the box for easy access. I stacked my Tetley teas in the back because I’m a bit of a tea snob and rarely drink them.
The other system I wasn’t utilizing at all was a little plastic tray I bought a while ago from the dollar store. If you look closely, you can see it in the bottom right corner…
It now houses my smaller tea and coffee extras, like my tea strainer, extra teas and my K-cup reusable container. (Keurig machines are great and convenient, but their cups aren’t recyclable. This takes a bit longer, but is much more eco-friendly! If you’re looking for one, I found mine at Staples for about $24.)
This is where the challenges came in. For such a small and basic project, I really wasn’t expecting any at all. For one, I tried adding in this shelf insert from Ikea. They’ve been great in the past for glassware, but after fussing to assemble it, it was a terrible size for food storage: nothing fits underneath. I decided to just stick with the wooden box.
I also had a rough time finding the right labels for my teas. I got cheap, stackable glass containers from the dollar store for my loose leaf teas, but they definitely needed labelling to remember which was which. They needed to be easy to change because I usually like to try new teas, but permanent enough that the label wouldn’t come off when I touched it.
I usually opt for Martha Stewart’s line of labels at Staples, but they were CLEARING THEIR STOCK! They promise me there will be more to come in May… Fingers crossed. Anyway. I went back twice, only to come back with ones that were either too big or meant for writing notes in a book, not for food labelling. I also tried a dry-erase marker, but I could hardly see it and it would easily rub off. I thought about using my Avery printed labels, but that was a bit too much effort for something I would be changing reasonably frequently.
I finally thought of washi tape, but while in Michael’s I found something even better.
I posted this on Instagram last night. For a $1.50 a sheet of 24 is exactly what I was looking for! These little stickers or “shaped tape” have a similar feel to washi tape, except for far less than the usual $8 a roll from Michaels’s. Small enough labels for my little containers, not too sticky to leave a residue, and cheaply replaced. Perfect.
I bought a few extra containers, just in case I feel the need for more tea… These labels may be not quite as nice as computer printed ones, but I think they’re pretty cute.
I added one to my (nearly empty…) coffee container (from the Container Store) for fun too.
It’s amazing how much more usable space there is now. Purging helped, but systems and smaller containers make such a difference in keeping it organized.
Again, here’s the before…
And the (much less embarrassing) after.
Plus, since I reused a lot of what I already had, it was a pretty cheap transformation! The containers were about 1.50 each, so $12 in total, plus $1.50 for the labels, so $13.50. Money well spent!
How do you organize your food cupboards? Labels and containers like me? Or is this just way too over-the-top for you? (It certainly is for my fiancé!) I always love to hear your thoughts.