Friday, September 7, 2012

Fancy Fridge Fail

If you haven't yet seen my first guest post as a contributor over at Modern Parents Messy Kids, go check it out now, because this post relates to it!



As much as I love sharing pretty spaces and frugal finds with you guys, I also like to consider myself fairly candid. I grumble about missing out on getting printed in a magazine, and about how difficult blogging can be sometimes. I've also written about my issues with healthy eating and how, like most things in life, you need to work hard to get where you want to be, whether that's pertaining to home, work, or life.

Well, here's another one to add to the list, because I figure you may learn as much from my failures as you will my accomplishments. Back to the top, you'll see that I had my first ever guest post on another blog. I was so honoured to be asked to contribute, and although I wasn't a reader of MPMK, it didn't take long for me to realize how incredible and widespread that it was. I knew I had to do something amazingly awesome.


I went to my list of "projects to do" that is ever growing. I had a good number to choose from, but decided that I would tackle fridge organization. I hoped it would appeal to parents as well as non-parents because, who doesn't want a pretty organized fridge?


And then I got a a little carried away.







There are certainly some parts to it that I think are useful. I used up-cycled Crystal Light containers to store veggie sticks. Free and fantastic.


And, of course, I found some great storage at the dollar store (Dollorama.)


I fell in love with this blue tote for my produce. It's great as it can go from farmers market to fridge.



And, I labeled everything. Obviously.


I even liked the new Dollorama jars I added to my collection to store dips and other things. Those work. I like them.


The bins have been there since my pantry makeover, and I must say, I LOVE them and find them very handy. That is something you should do.

But, after taking all the photos and writing up my post on fridge organization, I just sat and stared at it.

It didn't feel right. Not in the least bit. There's fridge organization, and then there's fridge craziness.

And in the spirit of candour, I don't decant my milk into carafes. I did at one point. I had these beautiful glass carafes that I would decant our 4 litre of milk into, but after a while it got annoying. My hubby didn't jump on the milk train, so I was always the one decanting, and then hand-washing the glass carafes, and then decanting again. We go through a lot of milk (almost 2 litres a day) so it just wasn't a time saver. And organization should achieve at the very least these two things in my opinion: it should save time, and look nice.

And, in the spirit of pretty fridge photos, there had to have been about 10 not-so-pretty food items sitting on my island while I took these pictures, because an empty fridge looks so much better than a full one.

So after hours of writing a post I didn't use, and trying to edit weirdly lit photos (man, fridge photography is a challenge), I threw in the towel. If I didn't buy it, why would anyone else?


I changed directions and focused on my dip jars with new labels, because I do think it's a useful and pretty project that anyone can do. My FREEBIES page has now been updates to include them if you want to download.


But the moral of this post is, it's ok to be real. It's ok to have ziploc bags and leftover containers and milk jugs. We all do.

With that said, even a small amount of organization can clean up a space and save time. So, do what you can. Do what you are comfortable with.

And never forget that organization is supposed to make things EASIER and more EFFICIENT. If you spend 4 hours organizing to save 2 hours, then you've just wasted 2 hours. Put the time into things that will pay off in the long run and that are easy to maintain. I can say with 100% truth, that my pantry looks just like it did in this post, because I designed it in such a way that I knew it would work for me, and I knew I could keep it that way.

The fridge, on the other hand? Not so much....

Linking up at: The Picket Fence, Serenity Now, House of Hepworths, 52 Mantels, Organize and Decorate, Savvy Southern Style

17 comments:

  1. I love this post! The best part is about keeping it real. Organization in any home is finding a system you can maintain. Your fridge looks/looked? beautiful though. Also, we all have leftovers, and half eaten pickle jars in the fridge. No shame :)

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    1. No shame at all! The fridge is one of those places that gets used so frequently, it's just impossible to keep it magazine worthy. I embrace the parts that make us human and sometimes that means half eaten pickles!

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  2. Jen, let me say that you are adorable. Not just your pretty face mind you, but your attitude. And I have to say your 'about me' could also be 'about me' :). I think what I love most (besides meeting awesome bloggers like you) about blogging is it keeps me from procrastinating. It certainly keeps those of us who have decided to put our lives out there for all to see accountable, doesn't it?

    I think you did a great job with the photos, btw. Great post and lovely labels too!

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    1. Thanks Doreen! You are too sweet! And that is exactly why I blog! It certainly gets my projects done much quicker than without! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  3. Way to keep it real! :) Sometimes this happens to me too - I finish a project and then a week later think, yeah this is soooo not going to work for me, haha. It happens! Love that you're keeping it positive and bouncing back. :)

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    1. Aw thanks Morgan! I've come to accept that not every project actually works, but it's the process of trial and error that brings you to something that does. :)

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  4. Love this. Just yesterday, I had to clean out and re-organize my "organized pantry". Because we didn't keep it that way. But now I've learned what elements work for us and what don't... because there totally is such a thing as organization that is not efficient. Love that you are keepin it real!!

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    1. It is so so true! It's all about what you can work with! :)

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  5. I agree, there is a fine balance between organizing for the sake of organizing/making things "magazine-pretty" and organizing to make your life simpler.

    While I do see the value in making your surroundings as beautiful as possible (it lifts the spirits) - if it is too hard to keep up, it's not worth it for me either.

    I love how you divide up all your salad and smoothie greens - I only do that for my lettuce, but I think I'd be more likely to have salad everyday if I kept everything so ready-to-use. Thanks for sharing :-)


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    1. It's so true- all about balance. I'd rather put my efforts somewhere where I will actually be able to create a system and keep things organized! It's a much better time investment :) And FYI, currently my "smoothie greens" container is holding my hubby's thawed chicken breast, lol. Now that's keeping it real! The downside to labelling everything is when you want to use it for something else :P

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  6. I LOVE this post!!!! First of- this whole thing is pretty hysterical and something I can totally relate to. People who have a tendency to be organized... also have a tendency to go overboard ;) But I love the fact that you shared this for the sake of expressing the lesson of necessity involved in organization. There's definitely a line at which organization just becomes unrealistic for anyone to maintain, and it's great that you realized that and opted to use as your guest post something you can stand behind the efficiency and practicality of.

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  7. I love your honesty! I sometimes look at those gorgeously decorated pantries on other blogs and wonder how much of a pain it is to open all those boxes of Goldfish and empty them into the glass containers, etc. That said, you do have a really pretty fridge! :)

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  8. I looove your organization ideas!! But it makes me wonder, do you worry about expiration dates of things that you pack into your glass jars? I often find myself obsessed with expiration dates, and was wondering if you worry when your hummus, sauces, etc. go bad?

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    1. I am a freak with expiration dates. I toss things out a week before they expire. My family thinks I'm crazy! The dips and sauces that I decant we normally go through fairly quickly so it's never an issue, but if there is something I'm worried about, I'll use a dry erase marker on the bottom of the jar. Works perfectly!

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  9. I love your 'fridge organization'!
    That's really inspiring!

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  10. I LOVED this post. I am myself a it obsessed with fridge organization. I pin tons and tons of images of pretty organized fridges. But I can't seem to pull the trigger on actually organizing my fridge that way.

    Thanks for being so honest. I was beginning to think I was the only one with a messy fridge. :)

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    1. Thanks Jazmin! I think even the most organized of people can have less than desirable fridges. They are just used so often that it's hard to keep everything orderly (especially when other, less organized people in the household use the fridge too!)

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