For the past couple of months I’ve been on an organisation kick. I want to live that minimal, everything white gloss lifestyle. Realistically with four cats, a love of colour, and a general obsession with stuff, that’s never going to happen. But what I do want is to have a beautiful, functional space. I want to keep ahead of everything instead of constantly playing catch up. I want an efficient, streamlined process to take care of all the crappy tasks and chores with minimal effort, meaning maximum time for doing fun, interesting stuff.
One huge part of this overhaul is everything food, cooking, and kitchen-related. I hate cooking (that’s Joe’s job). I love baking, but it was really inefficient because everything was crammed into a tiny space. Halfway through making something I had to pull fifty thousand things out of a
cupboard tardis. We eat the same things over and over again, but somehow I still found myself making endless shopping lists in various online/offline places, and still forgetting obvious things.
Fixing all this is still a work in progress, but here are some of the things we’ve done so far.
Got a new kitchen
This is a little extreme, but was totally necessary in our case because we had a lot of storage issues, unusable space, non-standard-sized cupboards, and so on. A good clearout would do the job for most people, but it was just beyond that stage for us. I’m still figuring out where things should go, but this time it’s all about getting easy access to everything rather than trying to cram as many things into the space as possible. I have a specific baking cupboard, a shallow drawer and a deep drawer to store everything from dry ingredients to edible paints and pens to silicone trays and a million other things. The only thing that definitely won’t fit in the kitchen is my collection of cookie cutters, which will be living elsewhere in the house due to the fact that I have a 30 litre box full (oops). Taking absolutely everything out gave us the chance to be ruthless and throw a load of stuff out that we never use (egg separator anyone?) or that had not aged well (RIP old tupperware).
Created an intense series of shopping lists
This may sound a little crazy, but I used my Todoist account to create a series of recurring shopping lists: Biannual, Quarterly, Monthly, and Weekly. These are then subdivided into Household items and Food items. So, for example, milk is on the weekly shopping list in the food items, and cleaning spray is on the biannual shopping list in the household items. Between all the lists, everything we need to buy is covered, from batteries to soup.
(Side note: I’m reading this back to myself now and it doesn’t sound any less cray cray than when I first wrote it. I get the feeling this whole thing should be on a ‘do it, but don’t confess to it’ list, but OH WELL TOO LATE NOW).
We don’t have a car, so it’s much easier for us to order online in bulk and have it delivered, especially when we can easily go through 4kg of dry cat food in a month. We’ve only done one shop like this so far, and it happened to be a Quarterly one so the amount we spent was completely insane. This is just over half of it:
The idea is to have plenty of choices for all meals and snacks (because normally we only buy food for the next meal or two, which is crazy inefficient).
The other advantages are that we know (and can improve on as time goes on) how much we can expect to spend and how much can store. Our house is small and we have a lot of hobbies and interests that take up space and will always be more of a priority than, say, kitchen roll.
Because we live within walking distance of several little shops and big supermarkets, we were in the habit of picking up things as and when we needed them. Not only did that mean more impulse buys, it was also a waste of time because we’d be going there every other day or just deciding on fast food instead because we couldn’t be bothered.
With the new system, all Monthly, Quarterly and Biannual shops are done online and delivered. The weekly shop is done in person so we can pick out some nice meat, check out exclusive clearance deals, and get stuff that’s best purchased locally. However, this shop is a lot cheaper, less wasteful, faster, and eliminates the temptation to drag a ton of stuff home. Instead, we’re pickng up a handful of items and still getting some fresh air and a 20-40 minute or so walk in.
Online ordering also means we can save our shopping lists and order super fast instead of starting the process from scratch every time.
Started official meal planning
I’ve been trying to resist this for ages because I never know what I want to eat until the meal itself. Given the new shopping system though, it makes sense to use certain things up in a certain timeframe (like fresh veg and salad). So I’ve started trying to meal plan, but we’ll see how long that lasts! Even if it doesn’t work out, at least there will be a list of meal ideas so we’re never out of inspiration.
So at the end of it we should have a system that we dont have to think about very much at all, so we can focus on the interesting things until we’re rich enough to hire a housekeeper (preferably a robot) to do all this kind of thing for us
What do you do to keep organised?