Sunday, September 5, 2010

organizing the kitchen

It's no secret I love to organize. And rearrange. And purge and re-organize again. I've even been lucky enough to have gotten paid to help other people do it. So, when Mark got our new kitchen cabinets installed, I was beyond giddy (read: pacing behind him as he screwed each one to the wall) about cleaning them out and putting everything back in it's perfect place.

If you couldn't tell in my previous post, I hated our old kitchen. There was very little workable countertop space, a "desk" that was so useless that it just became a catch-all for all kinds of crap and the appliances were really old (and gross). I could go on and on. Our kitchen isn't very big, so it was pretty easy to redesign a layout that would be a lot simpler to use.

We got rid of the soffits, the desk, the wall oven, the lazy susan and the awful peninsula cabinets. We gained a larger pantry, taller wall cabinets, tons of drawers (which I prefer to regular kitchen base cabinets), a built-in trash cabinet and a lot more horizontal work space. Once we have the walls painted and the molding up I will post some more overall photos. For now, here is a peek inside how I organized the cabinets:

Instead of a bunch of short or narrow wall cabinets, we now have two large wall cabinets to fill. I used the one closest to our kitchen table for all of our plates and bowls,And the one closest to the sink and refrigerator with all of our drinkware and pitchers.
The wall cabinet between them is where I stored our liquor and my Rachael Ray magazines. Below is the microwave/hood and range.We also have a decent sized wall cabinet over the refrigerator. It isn't deep but it's pulled away from the wall so it's practically flush with the front of the fridge so we don't need a stepstool to get into it or search for things that might get lost in the back. Here we are storing our paper towel, cleaners and dishwashing detergent with room to spare.After removing the soffits, Mark found a vent stack that runs diagonally through the wall into the ceiling. This skinny little wall cabinet below wasn't a part of the original plan but with the help of some crown molding, it's going to help us hide the stack. The cabinet had a door on it but I think I want to keep it off - it has become the perfect home for my cookbooks, our vitamins and a small plant that gets sun from the skylight above.My favorite cabinets are these two large drawer bases which fit practically everything but our food. The first cabinet is between the pantry and the range and holds all of the tools we need while cooking. The top drawer stores our plastic storage bags, aluminum foil, wax paper and plastic wrap, as well as our measuring and cooking utensils. The middle drawer is really deep and fits all of our pots and lids. The bottom drawer is just as deep and holds all of our pans, casserole dishes and muffin tins. The cookie sheets are in the drawer underneath the range.The second drawer base is on the other side of the range near our kitchen table. The top drawer was a perfect spot for all of our silverware, knives and small kitchen gadgets.The middle drawer holds all of our plastic and glass storage containers, strainers and colanders and measuring cups. The bottom drawer stores our small appliances: the food processor, hot drink maker, crockpot, bottle warmer, hand mixer and Magic Bullet.The sink base is full of storage too. I stuffed it with our Dirt Devil, a large recycling bin, extra kitchen towels, washcloths, rags and sponges and a small stash of plastic grocery bags for trash needs to go out right away. The drawer fronts above tilt out and hold little things we want to keep off the countertop, like sponges and the drain stopper. To the right of the sink is a built in trash basket. I love that it is out of sight.The last base cabinet is one I need to work on still. Right now it is storing some larger items, like my KitchenAid mixer, our serving plates and bowls, cutting boards and the griddle. We've also got some little things on the top shelf that I need to find baskets for - bibs, grill utensils - and a watering can.Then, there is our packed pantry. It fits all of our food and then some. The top portion is full of cereal, snacks and cooking items, like spices, vinegars and oils. The top shelves are for things I don't get into that often - small flower pots, vases, candles and insulated coolers.The lower portion of the pantry has four roll trays which make it really easy to access the back of each shelf and hopefully not forget that we already have two boxes of spaghetti or to remember to finish up our bread before it goes stale. From top to bottom, we have all of our snack-y food,bread, buns, rolls, bagels, lunch goodies and extra spices and cooking stuff,pasta, rice, cans and jars,
and all of my baking supplies.So far, so good.

I'm sure I'll find a reason to rearrange it if something isn't working quite right. I already have. Mark and I are still opening doors and drawers thinking that the item we are looking for is there, but isn't. As far as I'm concerned, this is 1000% better than what we had a couple months ago.


  1. Looks great! I could totally use your skills in my kitchen. I have a million hard to store things and my cupboards are crummy!

  2. Good work sis! It's amazing (but not surprising) that you found the perfect place for each little thing! =) Not to rush or anything, but what color are you guys looking to paint the space?

  3. Awesome use of space, and I too like the pull out drawers for pots and pans, instead of a standard cabinets.