Plates to the left. Cups on the right. Stack the bowls above. There seems to be a secret code of uniformity in cabinet organization. But, when you have a family of five squeezed into a 2 bedroom apartment, sometimes you have to buck the code. Especially when homeschooling is involved. I have three cabinets in which to fit dishes, crafts, cookbooks, homeschooling books, Presidential flashcards, assorted workbooks, and a lengthy list of assorted ribbons, learning tools, and paper towel tubes I am sure are good for something brilliant.
Solution? Simplify. And move the dishes. I let the kids each pick "their" bowl, plate, and cup, and set them in the drying rack. Every other dish I stacked and stowed below in the cabinet that was formerly a catch-all for everything crafty. Now, those are the only dishes we use. We eat. We wash. We stack. We repeat. That leaves the most accessible cabinets available for things I really need, like a Rapunzel coloring book or science kit. At first it was really odd opening the cabinets and seeing a bowl of beads and some popsicle sticks, but it is proving to be a fantastic idea. Cleanup is easier because we do it immediately after we eat. I always have an empty dishwasher for any big items since everything else is getting washed right away. The kids wash their own dishes (and the surrounding counters sometimes) and my craft supplies are less jumbled. Awesomeness.
The takeaway? Life (and kitchen cabinets) can only be lived one way: Your Way. I want crayons in my kitchen cabinet? Perfect. My sister in law has ribs on Thanksgiving? Fabulous. I use scissors to cut my pancakes? Ingenious. We aren't here to figure out how to live our lives the way other people do. We are here to figure out how we will take this body, this mind, this house, and this life and create something absolutely uniquely completely us--and allow everyone else to do the same. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to use an IKEA bag clip to fix my daughter's hair. Is that a problem?