If you missed my post on ‘How I Organized Our Bathroom’, you can get to that right here. Now, are you ready for round two?
I’m going to show you the lions share of how I organized our kitchen, but let me tell you this process didn’t happen overnight. The biggest change we implemented, and the one that made a world of difference, was adding pull out drawers wherever possible. Once we knew we were going to make the cabin our full time home, we added them in every cabinet possible. They make such a huge difference in the functionality of the kitchen!
When we purchased the house this cabinet already had two drawers installed, but as you might imagine that left a lot of wasted space so Fisherman built one and we purchased another one. I tried as best I could to have each drawer specifically for each type of cookware, and the top two drawers house the pots and pans I use on a regular basis.
IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD PULL OUT DRAWERS, USE INEXPENSIVE COOKIE SHEETS. THEY WORK GREAT FOR HARD TO REACH CABINETS LIKE THE ONES OVER THE REFRIGERATOR, OR IN BASE CABINETS.
The cabinet just above the pots and pans is super deep, and without these drawers there would be so much wasted space! There is still a lot of space I don’t use in the backs of the bottom two drawers, but that’s because I don’t need it. It feels so good to say that…knowing I have available space in case I need it is a luxury I’ve never had before!
FOR HARD TO REACH AREAS, IT’S AN ESPECIALLY GOOD IDEA TO UTLIZE LABELS
I decided to use the cabinet above the oven for the microwave. Yes, it’s a little higher than I would like, but when I need to clean it I just grab the little step stool that I’ve stored right next to it on the left. Since this cabinet is fairly deep, it’s perfect for long items like cutting boards which I’ve stored just to the right of the microwave.
Shallow drawers are an organizers best friend. It’s difficult for anything to get lost in them, and they make great storage for sandwich bags, foil, wax paper, etc.
Long, flat items such as trays, roasting pans and racks always present a storage dilemma. Get some inexpensive vertical holders to keep them upright and easily accessible.
DON’T FORGET TO UTILIZE YOUR VERTICAL SPACE
The middle section of this corner cabinet is pretty high, so I used a three tier plastic dish holder for smaller plates. Don’t need that much plate storage? How about hanging mugs from cup hooks instead?
And speaking of corner cabinets, to prevent them from becoming the ‘black hole’ in your kitchen, invest in a lazy susan. Like pull out drawers, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
I even decided to use a lazy susan on my lazy susan :). I bought the lazy susan initially for use in the pantry, but it wasn’t working for me. Then I used it a bit in the refrigerator, and that wasn’t working either. But now it found a home and it’s great for smaller item’s like extracts, spices, cooking liqueurs, etc.
KEEP ITEMS CLOSE TO WHERE YOU’RE LIKELY TO USE THEM
I make smoothies fairly often, so it was important to me to have my blender easily accessible. Here it is directly beneath the stove along with some casserole dishes and platters.
The blenders neighbors are my crockpot, my hand held blenders, some more platters and casserole dishes.
I have a LOT of spices (this isn’t all of them), and since the kitchen has more than its fair share of drawer space, I had no qualms about dedicating a full drawer for most of them.
I also have a fair amount of knives. Good knives deserve their own dedicated storage space, whether that’s a knife block, a drawer like this or on your wall it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re taken care of properly and are easy to get to.
CLUTTER EXPANDS TO FIT THE SPACE IT’S GIVEN. IF YOU CAN, USE TWO SMALL DRAWERS AS ‘JUNK’ DRAWERS RATHER THAN ONE BIG ONE AND KEEP ITEMS IN SMALL BASKETS.
I read an article recently on organizing where the author recommended not having a junk drawer. I disagree. Every kitchen needs a junk drawer. Our kitchen has three! Here’s where you can get really cheap dollar store containers and put small items in them like I did. Scissors, tape, ties, whatever. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t come across something that I don’t have the perfect place for, so here it goes!
I have more gadgets than I know what to do with! Admittedly, no one needs four can openers. Some of these items I use a lot, some hardly ever. But since I have the extra space I’m keeping everything for now. They will come in handy if we get an RV!
Told you I had a lot of gadgets! We used a towel bar behind the stove top to hold some of them, and even more are in that cute little tote a friend gave me last year.
NESTLE LIKE ITEMS ON TOP OF EACH OTHER TO SAVE SPACE
Honestly, I don’t think I can name one single thing that takes up as much space as storage containers! But they’re a necessary evil. All those bulky storage containers are kept in two large drawers located in the kitchen island.
I don’t know what I would do without this pantry! We converted the bifold doors to ‘french style’ doors so we could take advantage of the backs. I painted them with chalkboard paint but I’m finding I don’t write on them very often. We generally do that on the side of the refrigerator instead. But I do use them for things like the gym schedule, bills to be paid, upcoming appts, or anything else I don’t want to forget about.
We keep paper goods on top of the refrigerator but since they’re not super easy to get to there, I keep a supply of napkins and paper towels in the pantry and when they run out I just replenish them.
When you can combine something functional with something decorative it’s always a bonus, and that’s exactly what I did with this plate rack.
Here are a few links to some of my favorite organizing gadgets and websites (NOT affiliate links):
Two tiered organizers for drawers double your space. Find some here
If you like having a coffee or tea station type set up in your kitchen, it’s great to have a tea box. These boxes can also hold sugar packets, making them super practical.
If you need hair styling products in a convenient and safe location, this bamboo styling station will do the job nicely.
Labeling items is one of the best ways to keep things organized. This label maker is a popular one, and well priced.
Few items are as efficient for organizing as clear-pocket shoe holders. They’re not always easy to find, but one store that carries them and also happens to be one of my favorites is The Container Store. At only $15.00, you’ll get a huge bang for your buck. I use one in the pantry and one in my craft room and they’re indispensable. You can also use them for cleaning products, scarves and other accessories, first-aid supplies and even small toys.
In other news.,.
We are currently in Lake Worth, and by the time you read this will have been here for almost three weeks. It’s an artsy town filled with galleries, restaurants, bars and shops and we’re within walking distance of it all. We’ve been biking to the beach since that’s a bit further than town, but that’s only about 15 minutes so you really can’t ask for more than that. We’ve been visiting a few RV resorts while we’re here just to see if any of them are places we’d like to hang our hats at some point, and the verdict is ‘maybe’. How’s that for decisiveness?