Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Shevat 5759 - Feb 3, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly

















Home and Family
Baalebusta Betterment : Organizing Your Kitchen Cabinets - Part II
by Chaya Roizy Vorhand, Household Management Consultant

In last week's article, we tackled kitchen shelves in a two- step process of Decluttering and Reorganizing.

Why bother to store food in baskets and boxes?

These containers serve several purposes.

* They keep everything of one kind together - you'll know exactly how many of anything you have.

* Little things, like vitamins and vanilla extract, won't get buried under the bulky ones.

* The containers become a handy pull-out shelf for everything that's in them. When you clean or look for something, you need only move one item instead of a dozen little ones. Also, you use more height of your shelf space with self- contained boxes.

* And last but not least - the a esthetics. Filling an entire shelf with matching, labeled containers will give your kitchen a beautiful, streamlined look. Imagine the pleasure of opening a cabinet and seeing everything neatly sorted instead of finding a confused jumble of foods.

And some final hints to maximize the effectiveness of your new system.

Fill the shelves, but don't force the containers in. You want them to slide out easily. Don't overstuff the containers themselves, or else things will fall out every time you remove one item. If you've got too much to fit into one container, divide that category into two groups. Store spices in one container and soup mixes in another, etc.

Cans and jars stack well and stay organized without containers. The ideal way to store these foods is in a special shallow pantry shelf that's only one or two cans deep/high. There are also special cabinet organizers that attach to the cabinet doors and serve as a small pantry. If you are remodeling your kitchen, look into these possibilities.

Those of us who have no plans to make major changes should stack cans no more than two or three high, with the same types of cans together or on top of each other. If necessary, add an extra shelf between widely spaced ones. It's a small investment for a major improvement! Try to leave `aisles' between rows of cans so you can see at a glance what's in the back.

Take our grouping principle one final step father and make a `baking box'. Find a cardboard box that fits in your cabinets and is large enough to include all your baking ingredients, except, of course, foods that need refrigeration. It's worth having doubles of certain items so you can save steps looking for the different ingredients involved in cake baking. When it's time to bake a cake, you can remove the whole box as a unit and everything will be close at hand. [If you buy certain items in bulk, like cocoa and coconut, fill small containers for the box and store the large packages on a higher shelf.]

Work your way around the kitchen until you've covered everything. And, as always, when you finish, invite the family to the exhibition. Explain the new system and where everything is stored.

And be sure to listen for the compliments!

Some of the information in this article can be found in "It's About Time" by Nechama Berg and Chaya Levine, Targum Press.

Readers are invited to ask their specific organizing questions. Call Chaya Roizy at 02-651-0025 between 9 and 10 p.m. Her services are available in your home, too.


Miriam tells us that she keeps a small supply of ONIONS in the refrigerator. She says that her eyes never sting when she peels these. However, she intends to use the swimming goggles for Pesach when she knows she'll be needing large amounts of onions and won't have room to refrigerate them.

Nechama shares a tip from her mother-in-law. She advises us to line the kitchen GARBAGE CAN with two bags at all times. At garbage disposal time, lift out the inner one partway and check to see if it has leaked. If it has a hole, simple remove the outer one together with it. A sure way to keep the garbage can clean and prevent dripping trails from your apartment to the garbage bin outside.

Nechama adds that she uses CLEAR NAIL POLISH to seal button thread after she's sewn on a button. She says it prevents threads from unraveling. Also good for the ends of shoelaces which have lost their plastic `hats'. Another tip for shoelaces of 2-year-olds who love to pull them out - a knot at each end, bigger than the shoe-hole.

Ruchie uses clear nail polish to protect the shine on anything that's gold plated - costume jewelry, buttons (to prevent rust stains in the wash), even decorative zipper pulls.

And, of course, clear nail polish stops runs in stockings quickly and effectively.

La Vista - Jerusalem - for the artists amongst us, if the view from your windows is nothing to stimulate you, do what Meira Adilman did. Create your own view! Meira painted a breathtaking scene of a distant horizon right on her dining room wall and applied decorative wood strips (available by glaziers and known as leistim) around it to look like a window frame. It really does give the feeling of endless expanses. Meira is a professional artist who will be happy to create the view of your choice. Call her at 02-537-8638.

In other rooms, Meira bought floor-to-ceiling WALLPAPER MURALS. Large selections can be found in stores that sell wallpaper, with scenes to fit every wall size and taste, from gardens, to waterfalls, to mountain ranges, to children's motifs.

Or do what Shoshana did. She chose a mural of a lovely island in the middle of a lake. Since it was a very wide picture, she continued the picture onto the adjoining wall. The bed that stands in that corner looks almost as if it's about to float away...

Readers - your ideas are great! Keep them coming!


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