Spring Cleaning: The Super-Hot Cupboard-Organizing Edition

Last weekend, Mama Nature walloped the Midwest with a most un-springlike heat wave – 90-degree temperatures, humidity, blazing sun… the whole works. Many people complained and avoided the outdoors, but me? I reveled in it. I’m one of those poor souls who’s always cold – slight breeze? I’m a-shivering! Less than 75 degrees? Where’s my sweater?! Heck, I even keep a fleece blanket at work for those days when my office is just too chilly for my taste. I just switched teams at work, and I’m sure my new co-workers think I’m utterly nuts when they walk past my office and see me sitting in dim lamplight, wrapped up in a blanket… but hey, the fluorescent lights hurt my eyes and I hate air conditioning!

Anyway, last weekend most people retreated indoors to their air conditioning and their cool drinks. Me? I basked in the sunlight and then went on a vitamin D-fueled cleaning spree. Besides giving my kitchen floors a long-overdue washing (Mom, don’t be ashamed of me!), I also organized my kitchen cupboards. This was, perhaps, even more long-overdue than the floor-washing.

Not exactly a "before," but this is a cupboard that has yet to be organized... gag!

You see, I am a slightly compulsive grocery shopper with mild packrat tendencies. I freaking love grocery shopping. I could spend hours meandering through the aisles, reading labels and checking out new-to-me food items and even just people-watching, shaking my head at all the junk most people throw in their carts as they zoom around the store, rushing through their shopping. I don’t spend a ton of money on groceries, but I just love having variety in my cupboards – who doesn’t need four types of rice and three kinds of nut butter and at least five varieties of beans?! I suppose if I had a family, this might be more justified, but I’m just a lady cookin’ for herself. I know many of you like-minded foodie folks can empathize with me, but let’s be real – most people are content with a big ol’ bag of white rice, a jar of Jif, and some refried beans for taco night. Me? Not so much. And my love of variety led to a rather unfortunate spacing situation – my cupboards were haphazardly filled with foodstuffs, making each cooking experience an adventure. Would the soba noodles fall to their death, scattering small soba sticks all over my floor? Would the nutmeg container roll out of the spice cabinet, knocking me on the noggin? Anything was possible!

Grr!

Not so now, however. My packrat tendency of saving jars finally paid off with more than just an overstuffed jar-and-kitchen-towel-and-dishcloth-and-large-utensil drawer. Now, those jars have a new lease on life. Check it:

Ahhh.

Beautiful, no? Those are my grains, re-homed, re-labeled, and generally re-organized. I didn’t even realize that poor bulgur wheat was languishing behind the beans! Who knew that I was in possession of such a quantity of cous cous?! Heck, I wish I’d saved more jars – I still have some bagged varieties awaiting a new home.

I only organized one shelf, but I already feel at least 37% less anxious when I open my cupboard now. I’ve got grand plans for my other cupboards, too – my spice shelf is a mess, and my pastas are out of control. But I’ve been re-inspired to continue my organization by Lindsay‘s oh-so-timely post about kitchen cabinet minimalism, and I’ve become obsessed with looking at canisters on eBay. So – what are your awesome kitchen organization tips? I know you’ve got ’em, so do share!