Wednesday, January 26, 2011

From Kitchen Catch-all to Organization Station

My refrigerator use to be the kitchen catch-all. Pictures, notepads, lists, random magnets, birthday party invitations, etc. I took care of some of my clutter a few months ago when my mom made me a fabric message board. That took care of pictures and invitations, but I still needed to make sense of the space. So...I decided it would be the perfect spot for my weekly calendar. You know...once I could decide on one :-)

Eric could not understand why I was stressing so much over a calendar but what I tried to explain to him is that the reason I am perpetually disorganized is because I haven't found the right system and routine to meet our needs. When I carried a paper calendar...their wasn't an issue. I was ALWAYS organized and on top of things. But ever since I became a SAHM, I have needed something more mom/family friendly.

Well friends...I think I have it!!! I was a hop, skip and a click away from ordering the dry erase calendar tile from Pottery Barn (for $35)...

But then...on a random whim...I went down the office supply isle in Target. I SWEAR I have looked down this isle before and didn't find anything I liked. But then...staring right at me was Target's version of the tile organizing system!!!! They had plain dry erase tiles, a calendar tile, a chalkboard tile and a corkboard tile. The best part...they were only $8.99!!! I heart you Target :)

So I opted for the calendar tile and one (red) dry erase tile...

I know the whole point of this mission was to find a weekly calendar, but after some additional brainstorming, I realized I can still find more room to write elsewhere. Plus, by using the month-at-glance version, Eric and I can see everything we have going on, instead of having to look on our computer or phones. I decided to color code everything as well to make it easier to see and understand. I even made a handy little key for Eric at the bottom :-)

Now, two of the reasons I wanted a weekly calendar was to have more room for menu planning and to-do items. So...I bought this plain dry erase tile to cover both of those things. As you can see, there is plenty of room for my menu/grocery planner and our individual to-do lists. I thought it would be nice to be able to jot things down for each other when need be. You the last bullet point I put on Eric's list. Ha!

I am sure you are all wondering what happened to that cute little menu planner I made out of a picture frame and as of right is back in the basement. I had it hanging on the fridge and when I was cooking dinner the other night, I tripped over Howie and bumped into it with my shoulder. The magnets weren't strong enough to hold it and it dropped to the floor. Luckily, the glass did not break, but it made me realize that this might not be the place for an easily breakable item :-)

So, I went in search of a printable menu planner and I actually came across this SUPER cute weekly menu/grocery planning pad from Momagenda...

As you can see, you write the menu on the left, and then there is a tear-off grocery list on the right. AWESOME idea in my opinion. That way, as I plan the menu for the week, I can also jot down the groceries I need and then tear it off when it is time to head to the store. Smart thinkin huh?

So here is the final clean, ORGANIZED refrigerator door... feels so good :) Now if we can all just stay organized...we will be in good shape!

Next up:Time to organize my recipes!! Anyone have any great suggestions or organizational tips for organizing recipes? I have books, hand-written cards, magazine tear-outs, internet print-outs, etc. I need a system that works so I can find what I am looking for when I need it. I will be on the hunt but all tips and advice are much appreciated :-)


  1. Such great posts lately...they've all been super helpful! Looking forward to some recipe organization ideas as that's my next task too. You're a girl after my own heart lately :)

  2. One more thing...this link has a good free printable menu planner/grocery list (it's the second printable on the post)

  3. I have organized my magazine, paper, note, etc recipes in a binder. I made the binder years ago, but have to add more to it with more recipes. I also made a meal planner with it, so I use similar ingredients for different recipes, so I don't waste food. That way if a recipe calls for only half a container of mushrooms, I can use them the next day with something completely different!

  4. I keep my recipes in a 4x6 photo album. I keep dinners in one, appetizers in another, desserts in another... and so on. I also have them where I can add or remove extra sheets. I clean mine out about every 6 months to keep them on the thin side. Some recipes aren't worth keeping and others I've simply realized I would never try. It's been helpful. Plus, I just keep them on a shelf and they look like clean.

  5. Great organization!! love it long time reader just don't usually comment! I also follow your mom and sister in laws blog and they follow me!! Would love to make your kiddos some special outfits for disney or birthday's check me out
    Love your blog by the way!!

  6. I recently began working on organizing my recipe collection as well. I found this great online application that allows you to organize and plan menus. Its called Check it out. It really helped me.

  7. Speaking of recipes. I saw some of your dinner ideas and thought, hey I could use some of those. Lasagna skillet...yum! Oh and I have been looking for a good stuffed pepper recipe forever. Maybe you need to do a monthly it's what's for dinner post as well!

  8. I too took on the task of organizing the piles of recieps I've collected over the years. It's amazing how many recipes one person can collect! I started with one 3 ring binder w/ page protectors and broke them up into categories. I sorted my recipes into the categories and put them into the pages until I had time to sift through them and really get them in order. Bit by bit, I took each category and organized it by alphabetizing them, some put together w/ similar ingredients (i.e. beans) and after all the pages were organized in each category, I realized that I needed a much larger binder so I bought a couple more and now I have a binder for Desserts & Beverages & Snacks, another for Breakfast & Lunch, and a third for Dinners & appetizers. The system works great and I have room to grow. I've also taken to writing notes when I make the recipe, how easy it was to make, how it tasted, ideas for next time, etc. Good luck organizing yours! It is worth the extra time!

  9. WOW! Thank you all so much for these AWESOME suggestions!!! I am going to have quite a fun post to put together :-)

    ASC - We were definitely long lost BFFs. Haha!

  10. The Recipe Manager. You can pick up a copy at the Mac store. I want to say it was like 50 bucks. Its amazing. I I have all of my notecards/magazine tear outs, etc. all in my computer under the manager. I have been starting to upload all my cookbooks in there too so i have everything all in one place.


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