get it together

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

My kitchen cupboards are a wreck.

Not on the outside, mind you. No, no, it’s the inside of those masters of disasters that leave me whimpering in the corner when I need to pull out the juicer.


I have pizza cutters nestled in soup pots.

Grapefruit spoons mingling willy-nilly with the paring knives.

Mixing bowls upside down over garlic presses and don’t even get me started with the dishes running away with the spoons.

And the Tupperware and such? Oh dear. It’s run amuck.

Hold me.

I have lids of every size, except for whatever size I’m looking for at the moment. I have bottoms for rectangles, ovals, and triangles, but the lids are all square, diamond, and hexagons. Okay, maybe not hexagons, but you get the drift.

This is one of many reasons I avoid my kitchen like the plague. I am best friends with the pizza delivery guy and am pretty dang fluent in Chinese, thanks to Mr. Ling’s Take-out.

But it stops here. It stops now.

I’m going for my Get It Together Merit Badge.

I’m purging the cupboards, girls. Wish me luck, pray for me, send me good vibes, cuz it ain’t pretty down here in the gloominess of unused and abandoned crockery and plastic.

It’s like the world’s worst yard sale or something, and everything looks like it belongs in the FREE bin. Holy cheese graters, Batman!

I set up three piles on my table:

  1. Keep
  2. Give Away
  3. Throw Away

The latter one was growing like Jack’s beanstalk by the time Mr. Ling came knocking. It wobbled and jiggled and appeared to me like a giant, towering mountain of dishes. A potato masher (one of four, I’m embarrassed to admit) came flying loose and nearly knocked me on my bottom and I had to do some fancy two steppin’ to avoid the landslide of muffin tins.

The second pile, the Give Away pile, had some nice things in it that I figured some cook somewhere would be happy to put to good use. I’d use ‘em myself, but I can’t figure out what in the heck most of them are. There are some mallets of some sort (for nailing Jello to walls?) and some teeny tiny graters (for grating cheese for leprechauns?) and a couple of odd little plunge-y things (wine openers? Cherry pitters? Who knows?)

The first pile, the Keep pile, ended up beautifully stacked, organized, and washed. I had a few things I didn’t remember ever acquiring, like a whole set of cake decorating tips that I TOTALLY know what to do with now – score one for Community Ed and a killer buttercream frosting recipe! I have lids for my Tupperware now and even a set of iced tea spoons … bliss.

I finished by wiping down the cupboards and laying down some uber-cute patterned contact paper. Then I went totally wild and got out my label maker and labeled all my cupboards and drawers.

You can say I’m a bit obsessed now, but if an insanely organized kitchen is wrong, I don’t wanna be right! Pass me some of that Kung Pao Chicken; I’ve got a Tupperware with its name on it!

Literally. It’s been labeled Kung Pao Chicken. Have I gone too far? You decide.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Here, here for the peace that a well organized kitchen creates! Nobody much cares about a clean and organized kitchen EXCEPT the person who has to work in it. I’m like the Gestapo in mine!! Doing the badge would be a fun way for someone to corral the chaos and come out a winner if they needed a guide! Highly recommended! And— don’t leave your pocket contents on my kitchen table, PLEASE!!!

    • MaryJane says:

      I’m a wash-the-dishes-as-I-go kind of gal. There isn’t a dish that escapes me when I’m in my kitchen. Dish gestaspo indeed!

  2. Eileen Widman says:

    I have lived most of the last 16 years in a small space so had to learn how to be organized and still get to have all the kitchen utensils and what-nots that I need. This year we moved from our 20 by 30 shop space into our new home on our property. I have a kitchen I love and space for everything. One thing I learned from the small kitchen space in my travel home and our shop space was that if I want to find it I need a system so I went to IKEA and got a bunch of little hanging racks meant for towels but I put them up all over the walls and got S hooks and hung up all my little gadgets that get scrambled up in drawers and are always a torture to find in the mix. I love to just look at the wall and find the gadget I need right in front of my face. The things I do keep in drawers have little organization bins and dividers to keep things from getting all scrambled together. Thrift stores and yard sales netted me most of these bins.

    • MaryJane says:

      I can’t quite picture the towel racks. Send pic if you have one! Useful ideas as always, Eileen. What HAVEN’T you done?

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