We hope you’ve been enjoying the recent organization and spring cleaning posts! We have so many more tips and tricks to keeping a clean and orderly home this month!
Monday’s post was REAL LIFE, unedited reality! Now that I’m completely embarrassed, no…not even embarrassed, I’m mortified that I even let my Mom post and share our counter clutter for all of you to see! Today we’d like to show you some of our kitchen organization tips. Since the kitchen is the main hub of the home we strongly believe that if this area of the home is kept well organized and things are put away when finished being used, the home will run more smoothly and make life so much more enjoyable.
First lets talk about the layout of your drawers and cupboards. Visualize where your dishes and silverware are currently stored. Are they easily accessible when you are setting the table? Are they near the dishwasher when you need to put clean dishes away? It may seem like a silly thought, but if your dishes and silverware are located in a well planned out spot in your kitchen it will help you to keep the kitchen clean and in order. You’ll be more likely to put dishes away quickly after they’re cleaned, and you may even get more help from your kiddos or hubby if they don’t have to walk as far! (Seriously it sounds silly but it’s true!)
Since kitchens are primarily used for gathering families together at meal times, lets start with the silverware drawer. There are many varieties of silverware organizers out there. But where to start? Are you overwhelmed? First take some measurements of the inside dimensions of your drawer. This will give you a better idea of what product will fit inside your drawer the best. This organizer pictured is an expandable bamboo organizer which can ultimately widen as far as you need it to fill the entire drawer. This is in my Mom’s kitchen and I’m having a bit of organization envy. When she was meeting with the cabinet builder she asked for a custom built silverware drawer and he replied “no you don’t, that’s expensive!” He told her to go buy an expandable wood one for about $20 and that’s just what she did. It works great and was a fraction of the price of a custom built one.
If you have ample drawer space you can also use an expandable organizer to store your knives.
After you have fed your families and sent them on their way to all of the extracurricular activities you’ll need to utilize your food storage containers with any leftovers. My Mom found this great organizer (in the upper right hand corner) on Amazon for all of the loose lids. It keeps them nice and tidy so they’re not a mess all over your drawer or cupboard. The dishes stay stacked and in order pretty well, those lids just tend to scatter all over the place, so this is a great little solution.
Pots and pans should live by your stove if possible in a nearby drawer or cupboard. Stacking them from largest size to smallest then setting the lids on top is an easy way to keep everything together.
These little containers are perfect to fill with your spices if you have room in a drawer! They came from Industrial Container.com. They’re just $0.35 a piece and they hold a full size spice jar, even though you wouldn’t think it could. Each container is then labeled and arranged in alphabetical order for convenient and quick access!
One of my favorite little tips to keeping that spice drawer neat and tidy is having magnetic measuring spoons! You can pick up a set on Amazon for around $13. This is such a life saver! What we also love about these measuring spoons is that they are doubled sided, you can have wet side and a dry side. The oval side of the spoon easily reaches inside a spice jar and you always know where the right size spoon is when you need it! In my personal opinion I feel that all measuring spoons and measuring cups, should be magnetic, and all small appliances for that matter should have retractable cords! Wouldn’t that be a glorious thing! No more hunting for the right size measuring spoon, or winding up lengthy cords! (Sheesh…does this suggest that I’m a lazy person?)
If you have cooking oils, salt, pepper, etc. that you use frequently while you cook, it can be really handy to keep them on the counter top near the cooking surface. If you group them together in a small tray it helps to make it look neat and organized instead of just having more cooking supplies on the counter and it’s beautiful too!
How many of you log into Pinterest daily to find each recipe for dinner? I do, I do! Simply printing out your favorite recipes, placing them in sheet protectors and organizing them by category with tabs is a super easy way to keep all of your recipes organized and clean! If you’re a messy cook like me this is a life saver! The sheet protectors make clean up a breeze if you spill on the recipe!
How many of you have a turntable tucked away in the corner of your kitchen? Many people use these as canned food storage space. If you don’t have any other space this can be a great spot, but do you get tired of the cans tipping over and the turntable being in constant disarray? Maybe its time to re-purpose your turntable. This can be a great spot to store cake stands, bread pans, and other baking pans that are a little smaller. By utilizing clear containers you can easily organize other small items. Here my Mom has all of her baking supplies organized and easily accessible. Cookie cutters in one, cupcake liners in another, frosting bags and tips in another…you get the idea. Using containers to keep your items organized not only makes it easier to find what you’re looking for, but it also helps the turntable to stay clean and spin properly.
Here’s a closer look at all the stuff you can fit into a storage container!
Some of you have mentioned that you need help organizing your towel drawer. You can section the drawer off into zones. Make a pile for washcloths, dish drying towels, seasonal decor towels, bibs…whatever you have room for in your drawer. Here’s a little tip for you. If you fold every towel the same you’ll be able to fit more in your drawer.
My Mom claims this is her secret method to folding towels. First fold the towel in half lengthwise. Fold in half lengthwise again, then in half again. Not much to it right? Check out how much more storage space she has freed up using this method in the picture below!
Same amount of towels, folded the same way, but when you tip them up on end look how much more room you can make! This is a great space saving tip if you have small kitchen drawers like me!
Speaking of smaller drawers, I really needed to utilize all the space I have in my kitchen. The drawers in my island are pretty narrow. It’s best to store items in your drawers that you use frequently. Enter ziploc bags! This small drawer houses all the different sizes of bags we use, and I even have a little bit of space in the front of the drawer to store my slow cooker liners. I don’t even need to take out the box to get the bag I need. Since the opening to all the boxes are on the left hand side I can just reach in the bag and grab how many I need. Facing the boxes label side up lets everyone know which box has the type of bag they’re after. This drawers stays neat and tidy and I love that! (Especially since I’m still feeling so vulnerable to showing you my counter clutter! It’s real life friends, real life!)
In our previous home I found it very convenient to store tin foil, plastic wrap etc. in my drawers, but I don’t have as much space for that in this home. Utilizing the unused vertical space under the kitchen sink has been a great solution for me. I picked up this clear storage container from the Container Store and am able to fit all of those different types of products neatly in the container. If you’re short for space underneath the sink you can also adhere or screw a similar container onto the inside of the cupboard door.
I also use an old milk carton to store all of the plastic grocery bags. I used to stick all of the bags inside of an empty bag and place it under the sink. This takes up more space and I found that the bags would end up all over the place anyway. Using the milk carton helps keep them contained and keeps the cabinet clean. All you need to do is wash the empty carton with a little dish soap and water, and cut an opening in the side of the carton. I pretty much just cut the area where the label was.
This little tidbit of storage is one of my favorites! In a builder grade home like ours, the cabinet front to the kitchen sink was simply mounted on. It didn’t open, it didn’t have a purpose other than covering the sink. You can buy hinges for this drawer front at your local hardware store (ours came from Home Depot, and came with the hinges and the bins that screw onto the inside of the drawer front). Once the hinges are installed you now have the perfect place to store a few mandatory items to clean the dishes! I love that these items have their own spot in this tiny space of storage! So much more neat and tidy than having them under the sink where things often get pushed around and they would get “lost”.
Another item of kitchen envy I have is this cupboard that houses the garbage and recycling! I love that it’s in the island, it’s in the main hub of all the action so you have easy access to toss the garbage away, but it’s also hidden! Who wants to look at the garbage, or a garbage can for that matter? I was enlightened to learn that you can buy the base for the garbage cans and mounts to attach the sliding parts to the cupboard in a kit. Use your same door front and it opens as a big drawer instead of swinging out to one side or the other with hinges. I may just have to incorporate this into my kitchen somewhere. (Hint hint, wink wink when you read this Honey!)
One last space of must have organization. My parents had custom cabinetry installed when they remodeled their kitchen. This cupboard is above the fridge and is the perfect place to store cookie sheets, muffin tins, large serving platters etc. They’re up and out of the way since they’re items that don’t get used as frequently, but they’re organized and easily accessible when needed.
See why I again had a bit of kitchen organization envy? I purchased these racks from At Home that are specifically for storing baking pans etc. but look how messy my cupboard is! (Seriously, you guys are seeing way too much of my messy house this week!)
The racks aren’t very deep and as a result the items didn’t stay in place very well. It probably didn’t help that I’m a short person so I could barely reach these items anyway, but the pans would often fall off the rack and end up falling behind the other items and I’d end up needing to use the step stool to get anything out of this cupboard which was frustrating!
As mentioned before, my parents cupboard came with that beautiful storage space, which came at a cost. But that didn’t stop us from creating that same storage in my needy cupboard!
The best part is that we were able to complete it in an afternoon and it was absolutely FREE! If you’re a project person like us you tend to have a nice supply of scrap wood lying around. I’d purchased a bit of bead board for a project years ago that had been lying around in my basement unused…it became the perfect wood to use for this project! Not just because we already had it and it was FREE, but we wanted to use a narrow piece of wood for the cupboard dividers.
We simply cut the wood to size and used a dark wax to finish the wood. We choose to wax the wood because the inside of all the cupboards has a woodgrain finish. Once the wax was applied it really made the bead board look like real wood.
The installation was pretty simple. Beginning on the left side of the cupboard, we used a piece of bead board spacer on the bottom, nailed another spacer onto the top surface with a finishing nailer, and positioned a piece of bead board against the top and bottom spacers. These steps were repeated for each section divider.
Yes this project was free for us since we had the wood lying around, but it’s a pretty quick and inexpensive way (even if you had to buy the materials) to add some much needed organization and storage into our kitchen!
We hope you found some of these organizational tips helpful and will implement them in your kitchen. We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what tip or method you’re going to implement, OR if you have another area of trouble in your home please reach out to us and we’ll come up with a solution to help you get organized! Watch for the organized pantry post later this month! Please pin and share with others you know that would enjoy this post.