{ A Place For Everything }

I can still remember some of my childhood homes quite clearly. I can picture the backyards, the bedrooms, the common areas-especially the kitchen of our first house. I loved that house. I can remember almost exactly what was in each and every cupboard and drawer. I remember the lower cabinets where the cereal and the big white Tupperware container of sugar was kept. It was so cool because it was located on a peninsula and it could be accessed from cupboards on both sides. I knew where the baggies were kept for school lunches and the silverware drawer that was overflowing with lots of spoons and forks. I remember the cupboard above the microwave where the smaller Tupperware containers were and at the very top where my mom used to hide the Christmas candy we would use to decorate gingerbread houses.

It’s funny how time doesn’t diminish those things that have become familiar to us. My parents live in a house now that wasn’t one I grew up in. Every time I go visit I feel like I fumble around in the kitchen looking for what I need-not because it isn’t organized well or where it needs to be, but because it isn’t familiar to me. There is a lot of comfort in familiar. It helps a house feel more like a home when we can count on where things are. It makes it feel like ours. Those little memories of where the sugar bowl sat or that the good silverware was kept in the top drawer of the buffet in the dining room, has made me grateful for that time when that house and all around me were at the forefront of my mind, so much so that those memories still have a place there now.

My mom used to have a little saying that she would tell to us, “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place”. I don’t know at the time that I fully appreciated that wisdom of hers, but I sure do now. I love organizing. I love having a place for everything. I love carving out little spaces that become the familiar for my family.

We don’t always have the neatest house (we do have 10 people living here you know), but I do love it when it is organized. The hardest part for me is that we sometimes get lazy in keeping it organized, and often I have a hard time with others seeing my vision for how fantastic organized things can be. I’m sure they are just not fully appreciating my great wisdom that my mom passed onto me. Luckily, I have a few kids that see my vision and love to organize as much as I do, so they are my little cheerleaders when it comes to organizing our spaces.

One of the first little projects I did when we moved into our house 3 years ago, was pretty up some of my drawers in the kitchen and get them organized and super efficient.  It was fun to see who noticed first that I had organized the drawer. I must say that even if organizing isn’t everyone’s thing around here, most sure did notice it quickly. It made me see that they already were forming those familiar spaces in their hearts. It also gave me some hope for their future organizing endeavors-a girl can dream right?

It’s nice when the rest of the house is in complete chaos to open at least one drawer and see a nice tidy space. Wouldn’t it be nice to open that drawer and have the rest of the house be magically cleaned-now that’s a magic wand I want tucked into my Christmas stocking! This drawer in our island is one of the most used-beside our silverware drawer and the kids drawers where we keep the plastic bowls and cups. I knew that a space this used needed to be organized very well so that things could be found and put away easily. The kids help by unstacking the dishwasher quite frequently, so I wanted them to be able to find where things go quickly. If it takes too long, they won’t do it.

I lined the drawer with some gray and white chevron patterned vinyl that I found at TJ Maxx. I love that something extra that it adds to an otherwise ordinary drawer. I also love that it protects the drawers. You can see some spots in the picture below where part of the vinyl has worn from one of the plastic organizers shifting around. It makes me happy to know that that could be my drawer bottom all scuffed up-not the end of the world by any means, but it’s nice to keep the drawers looking as new as we can for as long as we can.

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I found some smaller turquoise containers in the dollar section of Target, and the clear ones in the bathroom section there too. I wanted some of the space where I could see the chevron pattern peaking through, and the clear containers were a perfect fit. I attached Velcro to the bottom of the organizers to keep them in place when the drawer is opened and closed. At first I had only used Velcro on the middle one, which stayed in place the best, and I tried using First Command Velcro strips on the bottom of the others. I love the First Command Velcro strips for other things, but they didn’t work great here. I ended up added some more Velcro to the other clear container and the top turquoise one. The other turquoise ones didn’t need it, as long as the top one was firmly in place.

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The drawer holds our most used items-rolling pins, measuring cups, can opener, apple slicer, pizza cutter, and ice cream scoop. There was also a little more room for our cake decorating tips and plastic bags that we use to make gingerbread houses at Christmas. All of our other spatulas and bigger spoons are in pots near the stove for easy access while we cook.

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I love being able to open this drawer and see all of our stuff nice and neat. I love having these things within arms reach, when I need them, and I don’t have to waste time searching around the kitchen for that lost item I wasn’t quite sure where I put last. I love that even Ryan can go to this drawer and get out the ice cream scoop or the pizza cutter when we ask him. He knows where it is… he knows the familiar.

I think back to when I was little and how I used our kitchen. I got my breakfast each morning from that same cereal cabinet. I climbed up to that Tupperware cupboard to sneak gingerbread house candy. I set the table nice with the fancy silverware and crystal glasses when we had company over. I used that kitchen, and that’s how I remembered and love it so much. There are days when I watch my own kids get out their bowls and spoons, find the cereal they love from the pantry, and have breakfast all on their own. They know where the things are that they need-the day to day routines are becoming the memories they will remember. It warms my heart to know that they are making this house a home filled with memories of the familiar.

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