Friday, May 11, 2012

Cupcake Organization

Excuses, excuses.... well I assure you that for the lack of post this week, I have a great one. 

I knocked the #1 thing off my 30 by 30 list  by taking a trip to Vegas!!!  It was an awesome weekend and I'm so glad we finally did it!  Thanks to Maureen for going with me and to my "cousins" Jeanette and Julie for hanging out with us, and letting us watch you gamble (so we didn't have to waste our money :P)

Anyway, being gone and the immense recovery really prohibited cupcakes this week.  Plus, I am making a ton of cookies for an event this weekend and  cupcakes took a back seat to chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles (maybe some day I'll share that top secret recipe!)

So while I didn't bake any actual cupcakes this week, I did want to share one thing with you: Cupcake Organization!
Like most other hobbies, baking comes with a lot of "stuff".  Not only do you have baking sheets and muffin pans but you have mixing bowls, sprinkles, cupcake liners, and all kinds of other tools!   And it seems like for every holiday I get more cupcake stuff!  The question then becomes :"Where does all this go??"   With only a one bedroom condo, two people and three animals, space is definitely limited so it was quite a challenge

I remember when I was little and I got to visit my Dad's office.  I thought this was such a special treat and especially when I walked in and realized it was a mess! Now every time my Mom yelled at me for my room I could simply say "But Dad's office is a mess!"  But while his desk and files might have been strewn about, he could locate anything he was looking for within 2 minutes.   And much to the chagrin of my mother, it's from my Dad that I learned my organization skills.

In my classroom, I have my own systems of organization and while they may not seem logical to everyone else, they are to me!  The same has transferred over to my kitchen where all of my cupcake materials were stored.  But here's the problem.... I come up with a system and THEN I buy more stuff so nothing fits!  It's like a never-ending cycle of organization needs.   About a year ago I reorganized my cabinets and created a cupcake cabinet.  Well a year later my cupcake supplies were exploding out of it to the point that I couldn't really use it efficiently.  I often had to try to hold things in the cabinet while simultaneously closing doors.    It was a complicated maneuver.   I decided I needed something else to help organize the materials and decided it was finally time to purchase a baking cart.

I searched at Target and the one I liked the best was actually a microwave cart.  To me it didn't matter since it just meant it was sturdy enough to hold a microwave, so it could definitely handle all my cupcake crap.  I was extremely excited for it to arrive and even better was that it came preassembled!  Or it was assembled by my awesome boyfriend before I got home at least :)    It then took me about three weeks to find the time to organize it properly.  I've been known to simply dump things, which will eliminate the whole point of what I was trying to do!  So for a little while, it became a dumping ground for keys and wallets and an awesome cat play toy.   And then when i was finally ready.... I put it all together.

I purchased all of the containers from Walmart for less than $15 total.  What I didn't photograph was the three other containers that are now in the "cupcake cabinet" (but only three!) since they didn't fit on the cart.   It was a great way to keep myself organized and get a lot of stuff out of my cabinets.  However, I quickly realized that I was not the only person who cleaned the kitchen.   Therefore how was Mike going to know where to put things???  And I knew if i couldn't find my favorite whisk when I wanted to use it, I'd be annoyed.

So... I bought a label maker.  And after the initial fun of labeling just about everything in sight, I pulled myself together and started labeling my containers. 

The pictures are not the best (since my phone still had cookie dough on it from baking cookies while texting), but you will notice that everything has a label.  And yes, I have one box of "everyday sprinkles" and one of "holiday sprinkles" that resides in the cabinet.   And how do you know the difference between "Favorite tips" and "other tips"?  The favorites are the ones I actually use while the others, just are there in case!

I am pretty proud of my new system.  And it really doesn't stick out too much from a "decorative" standpoint, but I still can't wait til I have a bigger kitchen to store all of this stuff!  For those of you with a small kitchen and a "big" hobby, here is one solution to storing all your "stuff".

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