Wonder if it Works Wednesday

It’s the first Wednesday of a new month so it’s time for the second installment of Wonder if it Works Wednesday!  This is where I take photos and share what one of my past organizing projects looks like TODAY and whether or not it is working for us.   I guess you could think of it as the after the completed photos if  you like.   My pantry project was quite an endeavor that you can review here, here, and here if you like.  The end results were great and I was excited to finally make use of it.  Here’s one of the after pictures from the completed project:

A closer view of my organized pantry food and “gift bag” snack basket

Here is a photo of that same area this morning:

It’s actually working pretty well but could stand a little maintenance.

I need to remember to empty out the cereal bars into the snack basket although with it being 2 days after my grocery shopping trip and with 2 boys living here, I’d almost bet that box is empty and ready for the recycle bin.  The rest of the pantry is also staying somewhat in order as you can see from the photos below:

Someone must have forgotten the new address of our hamburger buns and pancake syrup!

The chips don’t fit quite as well over here as I’d hoped. The blue thing is an ice pack and I have no idea why my husband stashed it there.

The organized medicines took over the extra chip space.

I think the main obstacle with our organized pantry is simply trying to change our habits.  I’ve taken quite a few extra steps while fixing dinner looking for canned goods in the cabinet over the stove to remember that “Oh, I store those in the pantry!”  A few extra steps certainly aren’t going to hurt me though.  The size of packaging containers also trips us up a bit.  The boys like Pringles in their lunch sometimes and those canisters don’t fit well in the area I designated for chips nor can I dump a wholesale club (thanks to my husband) worth of granola bars into our snack basket.   The snack basket seems to not be working well anyway.  I’m not sure why.  Also, things we moved such as our bulk pancake syrup (again, my husband) seem to get homesick for their pantry address and return.  Overall, I do think the organized pantry is working for us unlike the recently organized refrigerator:

I am at a loss on this one!

What organizing projects are working (or not) at your house?   If you have an organized refrigerator, I’d also love to hear how you maintain it and if you have any suggestions for me.

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15 thoughts on “Wonder if it Works Wednesday

    1. Jean Post author

      It is mostly working in the pantry. I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone in having a refrigerator that is a mess. If I come up with any good ideas that work around here, I’ll be sure to share them!

  1. Christie

    My refridgerator is organized but I have no explanation for it. It is just one of those things that gets so much attention it can’t misbehave! I don’t know. Ryan and I both try to stay on top of clearing out old leftovers or expired bottles. The boys don’t really mess around in it so it is all good. Now my basement……

    1. Jean Post author

      Oh, Christie, I could spend a year on our basement and it would still not be clean or organized (it’s kind of organized by my husband I suppose. That means it doesn’t function well for me.). That’s great that you have a helper to keep your refrigerator cleared…

  2. Shannon

    Your pantry looks great! My fridge is usually a mess too. Every grocery day, before I head out, I clean out the fridge and that helps a lot. At least it’s clean for one day 🙂 My freezer on the other hand is always organized. I have such little space in there and I try to make the most of it.
    Shannon recently posted..Organizing Tips from a California ArtistMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you! My plan is usually to clean the fridge out the night before trash day but somehow that plan always gets interrupted (probably because it’s a task I don’t enjoy!). My freezer is also mess but not quite as bad as the fridge usually.

  3. Marcia @ Organising Queen

    I just love this post, Jean.

    I usually only post my “projects” weeks later so I can be sure they worked at least 90% of what I thought they would.

    Put your chips in a basket. We have two – one for me, and one for my husband. It works well because you grab it out, nothing collapses and the chips keep standing straight.

    I love clearing out my fridge.

    You’re going to think I’m strange but label your fridge. And then once it’s labelled you still have to maintenance at least once a week properly but really most times I look in there I move something around. Let’s face it – no-one else in the house is much interested in an organised fridge 🙂

    PS some links from my blog

    1. Jean Post author

      Aw, thanks! Yes, a chip basket might work. I can’t say I love clearing out my fridge–probably why it is always a mess! Thanks for the links; I’ll go check them out!

  4. Deanna

    I not the best organizer out there, though at times I have a few tricks 😉

    One trick is to leave the bulk of the groceries at the store, and only buy what I think I need for the week 😉 That’s hard, especially when it comes to chocolate. YUM! It never fails, there’s always more carry over into the next week with last week’s groceries.

    Also, I have these containers where all of the lids fit on three different sized containers – and I empty contents of barely full packages into those.

    Since both of my girls are taking snacks each week, on Sundays I go through the cabinet and pick out this and that to put into baggies for them. It helps in a couple of different ways – it uses up the things that are lurking and are just single portions, and it keeps their snacks fresh by having something different each day.

    With cereal, once the box gets about 1/4 full I remove the baggie from the box and put a binder clip on the baggie and recycle the box. This lets folks in the house know how much of a cereal is left. Some cereals are great snack cereals also, so I get those divided up into two baggies and get it ready for snack bag refill.

    With fruit, I’m actually purchasing LESS than I think I will need for the week because usually there is a night or two that no fruit will be served at dinner time due to time constraints.

    Here I deal mainly with condiment clutter in the fridge, and that celery that I keep buying LOL

    1. Jean Post author

      Thanks for all the great ideas! I’m really liking the cereal one. I do only grocery shop for the week but obviously I get carried away with chips from time to time.

  5. Deanna

    Looking at your fridge, since it’s the exact same model as mine, I’ll share how mine is organized –

    The door – the flip down butter area is for the little tub of butter/olive oil combo I buy, and then also in there is the butter stick that I may have cut into and is now open.

    The top section next to the butter container area is for little condiments like jams and mustards, and the little syrup container. We use real maple syrup that Chad’s dad makes, and then we put some into a container that we microwave for each time we have pancakes, waffles or ice cream.

    Still in the door area, where you have your milk that is where we keep the salad dressings, then the one to the right is things like soy sauce, teryaki sauce, etc.

    The strip down below we keep the mayo, Josie’s juice, ketchup, and pickles.

    The main fridge area – on the right hand side we’ve got the milk in the front, under the lightbulb, and the water container to the right of the milk. Behind the milk and water are water bottles, some specialty sodas, and a beer (yep, ONE beer).

    The smaller drawer is connected to this shelf, and in that drawer we keep the pepperoni, the cheese blocks, small amounts of shredded cheese (the bulk of it goes into the freezer), the cream cheese (if we have it), and lunch meat.

    To the left of the milk/water shelf is where some Capri Suns are kept, and some odds and ends, like pudding (if we have it) leftovers (if we have some), bread, bagels, crumpets.

    Down below that shelf we have two smaller shelves even with each other, which actually makes the one smaller shelf unusable as it sits below the lunch meat drawer, so to the left are the yogurts (small ones and a tub, and then to the middle of the shelf is where leftovers go.

    Down on the bottom shelf, so above the two drawers, the eggs sit to the very left of the shelf, with two pounds (sometimes more, like today) of butter behind the eggs, and then to the right of the fridge are the two (sometimes three) rows of 6 each cans of soda. The middle gets a little wonky on that shelf sometimes housing fruits or vegetables that don’t fit in the drawer (like today) soon after a shopping trip.

    Our fridge opens to the right, so for a long time, as in NINE years, we had the vegetables in the smaller drawer on the right hand side, and the fruit in the larger drawer on the left hand side. We typically have a larger quantity of veggies (considering the broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and celery amidst the other varieties, so I switched it around, and it’s working much better.

    In the top, in the very back, are also some condiments that are not used too often. I do have to be careful as most often things get frozen when placed here, things like sour cream and yogurt. YECH!

    1. Jean Post author

      Thanks! It helps to hear how someone with the same refrigerator does things. I thought that was just ours freezing stuff all the time. SIGH. I say we just go new fridge shopping and call it done 🙂

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  7. Deanna

    Our fridge is on its way out 🙁 It’s just not working the way I would like it to. It is past its projected lifespan, I think. It’s 12 years old. Does that seem about right?

    I do have a suggestion for your closet with your food – put it all in categories in those nice baskets, the woven ones. Yes, the onset price is a little pricey, but the satisfaction you’ll get EVERY time you open the cupboard and things LOOK nice, you’ll breathe a little easier. I’ve been researching nice looking things, and definitely having things appear at the first glance nice and organized helps people to keep it that way. Plus, being in those baskets and all, it doesn’t matter if all the soldiers aren’t standing up straight.

    1. Jean Post author

      I honestly have no idea how long a refrigerator should last but 12 years seems like a good run! Thanks for the suggestion.


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