Thursday, September 09, 2010

Organizational Dreaming

I have dreams about organized kitchens. Kitchens in which everything is in a correctly sized container, containers that match, containers that are accessible.... Refrigerators that are clean, orderly, don't have anything lurking in the backs of them that might come out to bite you (and not the other way around....).... Pantries that practically want to give you an inventory of their contents when you look in their direction....

I obviously don't have one of these kitchens. Or really a kitchen that has many of these details. The fact of the matter is I don't have a kitchen at all at the moment, but let's leave that fact aside, shall we?

My kitchens usually contain a messy yet well-intentioned stockpile of just about everything. You rarely need to go to the store for a dry good, and if you do it's probably because you're waaaay to particular to use one of the 5 other varieties of the item in question in whatever you're making.

I also have a jar collection problem.

Late into my last kitchen I learned that buying bulk is great for someone living alone. I always kind of equated buying in bulk with, well, buying in bulk. But it's actually fantastic because you can buy just a small quantity - far less than you would be able to buy in a package. (yes, lone reader, a light bulb went off in my addled brain when I figured out that gem). Hence my added justification for my jar-hoarding tendencies. You never know when you will need *that* particular size jar. This gets reconfirmed when I either 1) use a jar I know has been in my cupboard for over a year, and 2) when I get annoyed, go through my jars, throw a whole bunch out, and then need one of the jars I got rid of literally the next day.

But I digress.

What I really wanted to talk about was those damn products that come in a bag that is faaaar from resealable. They annoy me. Besides the fact that I end up with way more than I need, they feed my eclectic jar hoarding tendencies and are exasperating in that in opening them there's always that soundtrack - whoosh! "*&@#$!!!!" - followed by a frantic run for a dishcloth and the funneling with your hands of the product that has exploded all over the counter. Again. Like you knew it would but hoped that this time - this time! - it wouldn't happen.

So I like to counteract that trustworthy occurance with an act of sheer organizational prowess. In a jar. Or on a jar. You get the drift.

It starts with the collection of the following items (in my house this takes a while. As I'm at my mom's it took literally a minute. Please note the sharpie survived the move from Japan to Canada 8 years ago. Go mom!):

You can pretend the jar is empty, can't you?

Then I center the jar ring on the product name, and trace around the outside of it:

Then I cut it out:

Why cut on the inside of the line? Thanks for asking! To keep the circle more or less the same size as the jar. Accuracy is everything, people. And if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Then I debate about whether or not to glue it in, remember that this would mean I would have to find the glue, remember that once found I would have to choose the appropriate kind out of the 20 that I have, and finally just stick it up inside the ring sans glue, and press the lid down on top:

Then I fill the jar up (while taking breaks to shake the jar to make the contents settle as I inevitably always choose a jar that's just a shade too small), and cap.(Except usually I just wing it and cut the circle out due to my not being able to find a sharpie. But thanks for playing along with my dreams of being more organized than I am.):

Wow! That empty jar sure did fill up nicely!

And then I sit back, admire my handiwork, and place it in the over-crowded under-organized pantry where it gets swallowed up into the abyss.

I love food.

*Thanks to my mom, the lone reader, for letting me use her handwriting on my blog. Without her explicit permission. And for also unknowingly donating the jar.


Amy said...

The jar labeling system is brilliant!

caitlinvb said...

Thanks Amy! Now if only I were as good at *implementing* these sorts of things.....