I don’t know who the original person was that said that, but I have heard it most of my life, and I am 63. So that’s a long time to have been hearing the saying. The meaning of the saying is a very literal translation. For everything that you have and use everyday, you should have a certain place where it belongs if it is not being used. As soon as you are finished using and cleaning the thing that you are using, put it back in its place. If you always put the item back in the same place, you will always know where it is. You will be so efficient on knowing where everything in your house is that you could go and get it in the dark. Some people might think that what I am saying is not so, but I can atest to the validity of it. When a tornado hit my house, in my absence, I arrived back there after it was turning dusk. In the house, it was dark. Since I knew where I always kept everything and always put it back where it was kept, I was able to get everything that I needed for the night to go and stay at a friend’s house. The next day I returned to my house and retrieved more things.
I have taken pictures of specific areas, cabinets, and closets in my current apartment. As I post each picture, I will explain the picture and where the area is in my apartment. Then I will try to explain why I chose to store the things the way that I did. I hope that this will help you to be able to organize things wherever you live. Organization helps to be able to live a life that is not encumbered by confusion.
I am going to try to explain each picture as they come. Some of them will not let me space in between them, so I am going to have to explain more than one at a time.
This picture is looking straight on from the entrance into my kitchen. As you can see, I even use the top of my cabinets, and my refrigerator for storage. I try to utilize every available inch of space that I can.
The thing by the stove is a three tier spice rack that I bought at WalMart. Each shelf pulls out as if it was a drawer. I also use the counter as a fourth shelf.
You will also notice that I use the space under my counter for storage. As I don’t have any small drawers, except for one under the cabinet by the refrigerator (you will see it in another picture) there is a small plastic set of drawers. I will show each drawer and explain it in later photos. I also have a small cooler and several bottles of water under the counter also. I took empty milk cartons, washed them out, filled them with tap water and let them sit for 24 hours to distill it, and then put the caps on them. I have 9 of them. That way if there is ever an emergency where the water is unsafe, or there is a drought, I at least have 9 gallons of water.
The picture below shows the cabinet above my stove. I take advantage of many different types of things for storage. The orange one is a Tupperware container I bought years ago. The yellow container is actually a container that Domino sugar came in, and I just keep refilling it. The grey container with the holes in it is one of a set of three baskets. Two were the size that you see, and the big one is a file basket for letter size paper that is being used elsewhere in my apartment. The little clear container is one that deli meat came pre packaged in, and I am recycling it by using it for storage purposes. The green wire basket that you see on top of the cabinet is one to put plastic ware in and napkins in the back half of it. The rest are in the packages that they came in.
This picture is my main dish cabinet. I just mainly wanted to show that you need to nest things to make more fit in the same area. You will notice in the far right corner on the center shelf that a colander is on the bottom. Then there is a set of metal bowls and Tupperware bowls that are fitted is each other. Some times, it is just a matter of turning the handles of a bowl or cup in a different direction to make more fit in the same area.
The next picture is of the main cabinet where I have large glasses, cups, and lids that fit on my different storage containers for the refrigerator. Notice the cups in the bottom left of the picture. If all of your coffee cup handles go in the same direction, then you can have rows side by side with the handles fitting perfectly in the little groves created by the first set of cup handles. The white cups have their handles facing right, and the labeled cups have their handles facing left. They intertwine each other. The two boxes with lids are shown in different pictures right after this one.
These two pictures just show stacking like lids together and gradually going down in size. When you put them like that, instead of all helter skelter, then they are much easier to retrieve when you need them. Also, as you can see, smaller miscellaneous items may also be put in the boxes.
The cabinet in this picture is my largest cabinet and goes back into the corner. It actually has five sides. I store my larger storage containers in it, as well as my sauce pans, large cups, and other larger miscellaneous microwave plates.
This next two pictures go on around to the right and show the top of my refrigerator. My large pot, my rice cooker, and a box, that has the pink pan on it, where I have empty cola bottles in it for me to fill from 2 litre bottles of pop. Doing this saves a lot of money. Where I live, the cost of a bottle of 2 litre cola is 2 bottles of 2 litre pop is $3.33. Each 2 litre will fill 3 and approximately 1/2 small bottles of pop. Each small bottle cost at least $1.5 from a machine. That is $5.25 worth of pop in each 2 liter bottle. For the 2 bottles there is a total of 7 small pop bottles that I can fill. The dollar amount that those small bottles would total from a machine is $10.50. The 2 litre bottles only cost $3.33. By refilling the small bottles, I save a total of $7.17 with each purchase of 2 bottles of 2 litre pop.
Besides the top of my refrigerator, this picture also shows my small cabinet where I store mainly recycled containers that other food came in. I also have hooked up a fan that attaches to one of the shelves. Sometimes the kitchen gets too hot and I need a fan.
The picture below shows the cabinet that has the only little drawer actually in the cabinetry in the whole kitchen. Notice the front of the drawer. There is a little metal hook hanging on the drawer. I used one of the little hooks that are used to put wire on the back of pictures to hang them up. The hook is very small. Once I put the hook in the drawer, I put a metal hanger, that is actually a shower curtain hanger, as the pull for the drawer.
The picture below shows the organization of the drawer in the cabinet under the counter. Notice the four little containers. They are drawer separators by Rubbermaid. I have had them for many years. Notice the order that the silverware is put in each little container. In the top left the small spoons and put in by design. One pattern is on one side and the other pattern is on the other side of the same container, with a stack of ice tea spoons going down the middle. In the top right all of my table knives are in the same container regardless of the pattern. There is really no way to actually stack knives like the other silverware can be stacked. The next container down on the left contains the forks. There are two patterns of long handle forks divided by a stack of short handle forks. The next container down on the right side are separated according to serving spoons and soup spoons, with one set going in one direction and the other set going in the other direction. Small straight items are placed just beside the containers. At the bottom of the drawer, the end closest to the handle, there is a vegetable peeler, a multi opener for juice cans, pop bottles and wine corks, and a set of measuring spoons.
The bottom picture shows the cabinet under the counter by the refrigerator, and the closet in the hall between the kitchen and the living room.
The picture below shows the hall, and the hall closet, looking from the living room into the kitchen. Here you can see the bottles of water that I have for an emergency.
The picture below is looking from the kitchen into the living room. Notice the little shelves. there are three different shelving units that I put together myself. You can see that the storage containers fit perfectly in the openings, with a little bit of room on the side for small boxes such as oatmeal and storage bags. The shelf on top is actually a shoe shelf that I put together. It is perfect for the dish towels, dish rags, hot mitts, trivets and drying mats. I had to fold the towels a few times before I found which way allowed me to store the greatest number of towels. The top shelf of this long unit has the miscellaneous stuff on it. I have two bread keepers , a paper towel holder, some little containers with twist ties, pop can tabs, and the little box tops for school coupons in them. There is also a plastic basket with diet mixes in it that a friend uses, and another container for bananas. But you can tell that I like things to be in order and look neat as I can possibly make them.
The picture below shows the two shelf units with three storage areas in each. But that is not what I am concentrating on. I already explained them above. What I am concentrating on is the cabinet by the wall. Notice that I have put the larger items on the top shelf, such as the tall bottles of cooking oil and olive oil, because that is the shelf with the most space between the two shelves. The stack that is mainly blue is a stack of canned tuna fish. The second shelf down has the canned vegetables on it. Three cans in a row from front to back can fit on it, and they can be stacked two high. So six cans of each type of vegetable can fit in each row from front to back. The third shelf down has shorter bottles, such as the vinegar, and all of the tomato based things, diced tomatoes, and the re-fried beans on it. There is a plastic container with different little packages of stuff like peanut butter and syrup that are in takeout orders. The bottom shelf has Ramen Noodles and non-fat dry milk on it, and the mackerel and when I have any, the salmon on it for the noodles.
The picture below shows the bottom part that I have just explained, and the top part of the large food cabinet in the kitchen. I will concentrate on the top part of the cabinet. The very top shelf has the cereal, crackers and box mixes such as hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, and Stove Top Stuffing mix on it. The bottom shelf has all of my cans of soup on it. The shelf will hold three cans from front to back, and two cans high of the family size soup on it, for a total of six cans of family size cans of soup in each stack/row. I put one kind of soup in each stack/row. It is possible to put four cans from front to back and stack them three cans high of small cans of soup form a total of twelve cans of soup in each stack/row of small cans of soup. By making each stack/row of just one kind of soup, I can always tell how much of each one I have with just a glance. I find it very hard to deal with cans of soup or vegetables just put on a shelf all mixed up. When they are on the shelf all mixed up I never know what kind of soups and/or what kind of vegetables I have.
The picture below shows a three shelf unit that rolls, where I keep my microwave, blender, toaster, and ice tea maker on the top shelf. actually the microwave is on the shelf and the other things are on a piece of board on top of the microwave. The second shelf has a small crock pot, a single sandwich sandwich grill, and my coffee making supplies on it. The third and also bottom shelf has my frying pans and my wok on it. You can only see part of the top shelf where the microwave, blender and toaster are.
The picture below actually shows the top of the refrigerator close up. You can see my pressure cooker, my rice cooker, and my soup making pot. The pink pan holds ice in it, when I know that I am going to need more than just the one that I usually try to keep full. The container under the pink pan is where I keep the empty pop bottles that I told you about earlier in this post.
The picture below just shows the organization of my spices on the spice rack that has the three shelves that pull out like drawers. and like I said earlier in the post I use the counter for a fourth spice shelf.
The picture below shows the three drawer plastic chest that holds my miscellaneous kitchen utensils, and the separator containers in each drawer. The white dishpan with the yellowish pan in it, also has an even smaller plastic container in it that I use to thaw out frozen meat for meals. The blue container is a cooler that I use to put ice in when my friends and I have as cookout. The container in the front of the cooler is the container that holds the dog food. I explain each drawer and it’s containers as they come.
The next picture shows the first drawer with the separation container in it. The little container holds the small sharp cutting knives and the can opener in it. The drawer itself holds the wisk, tongs, a mayo knife, and other utensils in it. there are also two Ramen noodle soup spoons in it. They match some bowls in the dish cabinet.
This is the container from the second drawer. It container the smaller miscellaneous items that tend to get lost in the drawer. The yellow thing to the side is a banana keeper after some of the banana has been cut off and eaten.
The picture below shows the other things in the second drawer. There is a grater, a gravy ladle, some small tea strainers, and several different sizes of spatulas in it. the white thing goes on the top of a can of pop to make it seem like a bottle of pop.
The bottom drawer holds larger plastic utensils such as a pie server, slotted spoons and spatulas that I use to stir cream soups with. They mix up the soup and milk to make the soup more creamy and less lumpy, and ladles.
The containers in the bottom drawer hold even smaller items that didn’t quite fit in the other drawers. There are sipper lids, pouring lids, measuring spoons really small spatulas, some emergency matches, and corn skewers. And the next picture just shows the containers actually in the drawer.
This picture shows how I utilize small boxes to make it easier to get items out of the back of the corner cabinet under the counter. Also how I put the tall items on the bottom of the cabinet, and the smaller boxes of things like the SOS pads and the Mr.Clean Magic sponges on the small shelf above.
These pictures that you have just seen and read about were of the cabinets and drawers in my kitchen, and of my hall closet.