Friday was like a day of Spring Cleaning for me except it’s the fall. After I dropped Skylar off at school, I went for a 5 mile run and while running I mentally strategized the rest of my day and dreamt about pumpkin recipes.

It was about 78F and perfect. Perfect, meaning the pumpkin recipes I was dreaming up in my brain that I can’t wait to cook because I’m craving pumpkin.

street with palm trees and cars

I came inside organized what I call my Appliance Closet, which is the place that appliances go when they’re not being used.

I have a couple mixers, cake pop makers, coffee makers, juicers, espresso makers, three blenders, toasters, waffle makers, and more. And all those appliances were taking over.

Red Kitchen Aid Mixer

This cupboard is where I keep my smaller items and things I use almost every day like baking pans, mixing bowls, and cookie sheets but the bulkier appliances don’t fit there.

And then there’s an entire subset of appliances that I’ve used precisely once that go into the Appliance Graveyard as I sometimes call it.

appliance cabinet with pans and bowls

Now the closet is organized.

And yes, I keep mixers in the closet.

Grey kitchen aid mixer

I keep food in the kitchen, dishes in the living room, and appliances in the hall closet.

Urban condo living at it’s finest where every square inch must be utilized, including closets.

White hemnes shelf with dishware

My usable countertop space is limited and covering that up with big appliance isn’t a workable option so they have their own little place in the closet.

Good thing it’s a warm climate and we don’t actually need to store many coats in the closet.

wide shot of kitchen

In the process of organizing, I de-cluttered and thinned out my stash.

I packed up a couple boxes of things from the Appliance Graveyard that I’ll never use and donated them to the thrift store.

messy thrift store shelves

After the thrift store, I went to: the grocery store, Trader Joe’s, Kinko’s, and Rite-Aid. It was Friday afternoon and everyone else apparently had the same idea as I did because the stores were packed and parking was scarce.

I came home and comforted myself with a fresh batch of Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter in glass jar

I had just made a batch from 16 ounces of peanuts when I returned home from Aruba last week but within 5 days, I ate it all.

I was in major homemade peanut butter withdrawals and was just making up for lost time.

For the new batch, I processed a bag of honey roasted peanuts from Trader Joe’s for about 4 minutes and then added almost 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Because peanut butter is so robust and intense, it can take handle an intense amount of vanilla. The resulting peanut butter is a Very Vanilla-Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and it’s fabulous.

Use this recipe and method and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vanilla at the end of processing, after it has liquified, and blend for another minute or so to incorporate the vanilla.

You could also just add a shot of bourbon.

Bag of Honey Roasted Peanuts

I predict the new batch will last more than two days but less than five.

It’s so good with the honey and vanilla, but then again, I’m a Vanilla Monster.

Homemade peanut butter in jar

I also made a loaf of Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze. The bread has vanilla incorporated in it in four ways.

Clearly, I’m on a vanilla kick.

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

I cleaned three bathrooms from top to bottom and took out tons of trash and before I knew it, it was time to pick Skylar up at school. Her first day went wonderfully and the second day went just as well. She’s an old pro at first grade now after two days.

Just when I thought I was done and could start dinner and make more dishes for myself to do, her teacher handed out the Back To School Supplies list (yes, they do it after the first week) and we hit up Target and went back to school shopping. Needless to say, I slept very well last night after my day.

Have you checked any chores off your list lately?

I didn’t plan to have a chores day but realized it just had to happen because things were getting out of control and yesterday was as good as any to just handle it.

Where do you store your appliances or bulkier items if you live in a smallish space?

I grew up in the midwest where we had basements and garages. In California, we have earthquakes and no basements. And we have a parking stall, but not a private garage.

Just stuffing things into a closet and praying the door will shut only lasts so long before I had to take care of business.

There are people who live in far smaller quarters than we do, but between a child and her kid stuff, my cooking supplies and photography paraphernalia, and all of Scott’s things, I have to be careful not to let things get out of hand and keep everything organized and in it’s place. And make charitable donations monthly.

Clutter makes me crazy and if my house doesn’t look like this, I can’t function in it. It has to be neat, orderly, and clean.

Kitchen

Have a great weekend!

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