If You Give a Mom a Spice Rack

It all started with a spice rack.
Well, wait. Nope. It didn’t.
It all started with a dishwasher — the one at our lake cottage that’s so loud we only run it when we’ll be gone for a couple of hours.
And so, really, it all started with us deciding to rent out the cottage and me thinking, “The old dishwasher is way too loud for paying guests. We need a new one.”
Thus “rent out the cottage” became “buy new dishwasher” and “put old dishwasher on the curb for the city to pick up”.
Job done.
Except.
“As long as the city is picking up our old dishwasher,” my husband said, “we might as well give them the old refrigerator that’s just taking up space in the basement storage.”
Fair enough.
So. Buy new dishwasher. Deposit old dishwasher on the curb. Haul old refrigerator up the stairs (no small feat!). Toss the refrigerator on the curb next to the dishwasher.
Job done!
Except.
Then my neighbor texted.
He’d seen the dishwasher and the fridge.
“New year, new kitchen?” he asked.
“I wish!” I wrote back.
I did. I DID wish. But with three kids entering the orthodontics years, we’re not about to start a kitchen reno.
“But, you know, maybe I could freshen it up a bit.”
For a few days, I mulled.
Then a friend posted on Facebook: “Putting my Christmas present to use!”
It was a beautiful, pantry-door spice rack she found on Etsy.
“Ooh,” I thought. “If I hung a spice rack inside the pantry, I could empty the spice cupboard and actually know what spices we have!”
So I logged onto Amazon, “just to see what the options are.”
And, well, Amazon’s Frequently Bought Together suggestions are a successful marketing tool.
Thus, two days later, a new spice rack and four wire baskets (three to attach to the pantry door and one to attach under the sink) arrived.
Voila!

Two hours later, the spices were newly alphabetized inside the pantry door … and I had an empty spice cupboard.

“Well, it would be silly to just leave it empty,” I thought. “It’s prime real estate, right next to the stove.”
So I moved the coffee from the glasses cupboard into the cupboard formerly known as “spice,” then added the hot chocolate, tea and Matcha from the pantry.
But now I had space where the coffee used to be.
“Ooh, if I adjusted the shelf height, I could move the water bottles out of that drawer and into the glasses cupboard, where I’m more likely to use them!”
Ten minutes later, I had a taller shelf and an empty drawer.
Well, two empty drawers.
Because in pondering the water-bottles drawer, I’d realized that it AND its companion drawer were just stupid uses of space. So out came the water bottles, and the baking pans that I rarely use yet want to keep, just in a place less centralized.
So I cleared out a rarely used cupboard to make room for the relocated pie pans, which … long story long … led me to filling one drawer with baking supplies, another drawer with plastic containers for leftovers, and a third (newly emptied!) drawer with the silicone bags I bought to replace the plastic ones we used to throw out.
I was eyeing up the cleaning-supplies cabinet when, suddenly, I stopped.
“When did I decide to reorganize the kitchen?”
Wait. I know.
“It was the spice rack. … Actually, no. It was the dishwasher. Well, really, it was deciding to rent out the cottage. That’s where this started.”
Our kitchen, at the midpoint of my reorganization-and-purge craze.

Right now, I have no idea what’s going on in the rest of my house.

I should probably check on the kids.
But all I’ve done for the past 10 minutes is stand in my kitchen, open up my reorganized cupboards and drawers and gaze lovingly at my new spice rack.
I’ve attempted to leave the kitchen at least twice, but I just keep turning around and flipping the lights back on, just to take “one last look”.
It’s all so very organized, so very pretty.
Except.
Hmm …
That’s really not the best place for those pots.
Kirsten is a native Wisconsinite who married a Brit, moved to England and happily ended up in Madison in 2010. She and her husband, Adrian, are parents to Sophie, Charlie and Susannah, who fascinate and exhaust their parents pretty much every day. A former newspaper reporter, Kirsten now supports mompreneurs through her website, motherbility.com. She's also a mini-expert on traveling with kids. (Always answer "Should we go to ... " with "yes." Bring toys, snacks and an excess of patience.) She and her family camp every summer, usually in state parks, because they love outdoor living. And s'mores.

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