I read a survey today that said 40% of all people that come to your house for a party will peek in your medicine cabinet. Let's take that to another level: What about if you're housesitting or babysitting for someone? Do you go through their closets? My really good "friend" who is a nanny has admitted to trying on her boss' clothes when they are out. (That would be a little awkward if she was caught, don't ya think?) When I babysat as a teenager I never really went through anyone's stuff, probably because it was more boring than anything.

One time Erik and I were housesitting for a nice family in my parent's ward. My sisters kept pestering me to go through their closets because although they appeared to be rather well off, the mother always wore the same dress to church. Always. This was our one opportunity to find out if she had only one dress, 20 of the same dress, or lots of dresses that she just never wore. I almost did it, but when I realized that their walk-in closet was literally 600 sq feet (the size of our Wymount apartment), I gave up. Besides, I figured if she was planning on attending church while she was out of town she probably took that dress with her. I also felt like it would be a violation of her privacy to go snooping through her stuff.

With all of that being said, we stayed at my sister-in-law, Kirsten's, house while they were out of town for a few days during Christmas break. Don't worry Kirsten, I didn't go through your underwear drawer. However, her kitchen cupboards were inspiring. They were so oraganized!! Mine have always been a huge embarassment. It is so bad that sometimes I would rather go all the way to the grocery store for something rather than look through them to see if I have it.

Myth #1 is that organizing your cupboards will take all day. For me, at least, this wasn't true. I spent an hour going through everything. Tossing old food out and consolidating. CONSOLIDATION was a big thing. I found no less than 10 unopened and partially used little bags of brown sugar. I think what was happening was that I would find that the brown sugar was hard, be impatient for it to soften, and run to the grocery store to buy new brown sugar. I also had lots of half used bags of chocolate chips, chocolate powder and popcorn. One of my worst offenses was the powdered sugar. It was in this nasty ziploc freezer bag. When I poured it into a new (and cleaner) container, I found two spoons buried in the powdered sugar along with a chip clip. I also grouped things that float around a lot (like Ramen) and snacks (like chocolate) in their own little boxes.

(Sorry, there are no before and after pictures. I didn't think about doing that till after the fact. Believe me, it was bad.)

The best part about this "exercise" was that I found so much food I didn't know I had! I thought we were starving over the past few days, silly me. The lesson learned is that if you think there is no food in your house, clean out your cupboards.


  1. Congratulations on your organization! Looks fun.
    So, if you didn't snoop at people's houses because you knew it would be boring, how did you know it would be boring? (Probably my guilty conscience coming out.) I didn't look in people's closets much, as I recall, but I did look in cupboards. And I was so thrilled when one lady told me to "feel free to snoop!"

  2. i'm always super paranoid when I hire a babysitter because I know that my sister-in-law, as a teenage babysitter totally snooped through the people's houses.

    And now, knowing that when this baby comes so will my mother-in-law, followed by my parents, I'm trying to get all of my cupboards organized. So far I've organized under both bathroom sinks (who knew there could possibly be that much free space), under the kitchen sink, and all the drawers in the kitchen. Still to do: my bedroom... which has only been totally clean once in the time we've lived here (sadly only once in 2 1/2 years) the room where company will sleep which is currently our office/play room/disaster area. And lots more I'm sure I'll think of cleaning before anyone shows up.... windows and mirrors, my mom will notice that.

  3. Oh, and my fridge. Yuck. There isn't any rotten food in there (that I know of), but it is usually quite neglected in the way of cleaning.

  4. I love people who are organized. Sometimes I pretend i'm organized and really convice myself that i'm a great organizer....but in reality its probably my biggest weakness. I sometimes think that if I had a 4000 sq/ft house I would be organized :)!

  5. (Caitlin)thats funny because as I was cleaning the kitchen this morning, tossing everything in my pantry wherever I could find an open spot, I thought to myself: I better clean this before Kaci comes to visit me! Most of the "open spots" I found were on top of other food. You have inpsired me Cristin! Besides, theres nothing else to do here. It's snowing SO hard outside!

  6. You are SO nice to say I'm organized and I don't mind if you went through my cupboards or underwear drawer, unfortunately I'm boring! But your complement has made me want to go through other spaces in my house that need some help: our garage, the DVD's. I want to put them somewhere hidden, but don't have the closet space. Any suggestions? I love feeling organized, but it's a constant work in progress. One thing I've allowed myself is never be too cheap in buying containers, etc. to organize toys, food, hair clippies, etc. I don't buy nice expensive containers. Target's generic rubbermaid is a favorite. Your food cupboard looks BEAUTIFUL!! Like I said, inspiring! How's the snow? We got your email and I WISH, WISH, WISH we could come Monday, but school starts up. ;-(

  7. I want to do my cupboards now! They aren't that bad,but they could use a sprussing up! Miss you!



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