Thursday, April 19, 2012

How I Organize my Kitchen

I have a lot of kitchen stuff - a LOT. So I have to be a bit creative about how I get it all to fit in the existing cabinets. I also cheated a bit and bought a separate island thing for more counter space and storage too.

I'm going to give you a little tour of my kitchen. It's blue! First, here is my spice rack. I bought this rack for a few bucks at a yard sale 3 years back. I then added twist in hooks, which I adore, to the bottom to hold my most commonly used tools.
Spice Rack storage
I keep the rest of my tools next to the stove in an Ikea crock, and in the top drawer which I divided with corrugated plastic from the home improvement store. I organize my tools by what I use most. Notice all the measuring cups and spoons are in the front. That's a sure sign of a baker!

stove counterkitchen gadgets

Two other drawers I spent time organizing are my kitchen linens and my storage mish-mash. The linens are folded and sorted into (a) tea & kitchen towels, (b) rags, and (c) everyday napkins, which I purchased at Love for Earth. Those napkins and non-paper-towels are fantastic. I use them everyday. That drawer also has a space for napkins that have been used once or twice but are clean enough to use again. And in the mish-mash drawer I keep plastic baggies, cling-wrap, tin-foil, beer coozies, bread baskets and trivets. It's like a jig-saw puzzle.

Towel organizationstorage stuffs

I try to keep my cabinets organized by having a designated space for everything, and putting like things together. So my food processor, blender, and all their coordinated parts fit on one shelf. Then all my bakeware gets "filed" or stacked in the shelf underneath. Then in one cabinet, I fit all my mixing bowls and like-shaped things such as the salad spinner and colander. I also include things I use often like the spice/coffee grinder, and can opener. Finally, I squeezed in a few extras like the air-popper for popcorn, my mortar and pestle, and my citrus reamer.

Kitchen island storageCommonly used

But I think my proudest kitchen organization feat is my pantry. It took a long long time to get this organized, but once everything is put into pretty containers and labeled, I find things more easily and even enjoy retrieving ingredients. The containers are from Target, Amazon, Ikea and also Ikea. The labels are Post-its.
My pantry

I know it looks a little OCD, but I just keep like things with one another. Really, I just have five sections, and things within those sections can move around within the designated areas: flours, sugars, other baking stuff, grains, and cans. It helps that I have 6 kinds of flour, 6 kinds of sugar, and at least 5 kinds of grain at any given time. And the lazy Susan in the corner for my cans, that might be my very best organizing idea ever.

FloursBaking, sugars
GrainsLazy Susan cans

I've also got shelves for more ready-to-eat packaged foods like a "snacks" shelf, which includes sweeteners and tea, and a "carbs" shelf, which includes bread, chips, crackers, and cereals.

SnacksCarbs

The rest of the pantry is devoted to non food storage like my pots and pans, cookbooks, and other glass jars, just waiting to be filled with whatever other treats I pick up.

Pots & panssmall pots and lids
cookbooksFor storage!

So that's my super organized kitchen. There are a few things I have not yet figured out how to organize, though. My food storage containers are actually glass, because microwaving plastic is dangerous. I have yet to find a good way to store them. They are currently in a drawer, all piles precariously on top of one another. And of course, the cabinet under the sink is just a big pile of cleaners and soaps, but I'm OK with that.

Hopefully I can create a similarly organized system when we move to Missouri!

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