Saturday, January 12, 2013

Home Organization 101: The Kitchen

After a whole week of living with kitchen items all over my counters, kitchen table, and living room floor I can finally say that I have completed the first Home Organization 101 challenge: The Kitchen!

A Bowl Full of Lemons
Before I reveal the results let me just share with you some things I've learned through this process:

1. I am really bad at taking my time putting things away.

2. Organization takes time and some serious thought. It took some searching to find the right containers for each group of items.

3. Organizing a space in a week is a challenge if you are working and interning and living a normal busy lifestyle at the same time. We still have a few things that need a home and we definitely realized this week how much we would like to do in the kitchen to make it more homey.

4. Apartments are really difficult to work with. Less drawers, less counter space, smaller cabinets, and little to no flexibility. Organizing and decorating an apartment takes an extra ounce of creativity, but it can be done!

So, with that in mind, notice we still have ugly white walls, and little decoration, but we worked with the space we had to give all of our kitchen items a home.

Welcome to our newly organized kitchen!

1. From plastic drawers holding Tupperware to a coffee station.

We bought the cart from Target for $49, the k-cup carosel from Bed, Bath & Beyond with a gift card from our wedding (it was $20), and the two baskets are from HomeGoods $4.99 each.

We keep all of our tea supplies in the right basket and our to-go mugs in the left basket. We were lucky to find a cart sturdy enough to hold our microwave as well to get it off our prep station table.

2. So where did all the Tupperware go, you ask? Where all the coffee stuff used to be!

This way we were able to put all the Tupperware with its lids and group them by size. We were even able to store our glass containers on the top shelf.

3. Prep Station Table

Without the microwave we have room to move our mixer from the floor and we have more space to prep for meals.
 I removed some of the clutter on the shelves and put the knives on the counter since it makes sense to have them near the cutting boards and where I'd most likely use them.
I realized I never took before pictures of the drawers, but this is how I organized the extra knives, bag clips, and other utensils. 

4. The Fridge

I found these great plastic bins at Target for $3.99 and used them to group cheese items and jars of sauce and cooking items that don't fit on the door.
I took the produce out of the bags and lined the drawers with paper towels to keep the produce easy to find and to help them last longer.

We went through some of the items on the drawer and re-grouped them better. I recently chose to switch to almond milk so it creates more room on the door just doing that.

The freezer could use a bin or two, but for now we basically just organized the items with fruits and veggies on the left, seafood & meatballs in the middle, and boxed items on the right.

5. The Counters & Sink

Moving clutter helps so much. After giving everything its own place this was so much easier to do.

Without the keurig next to the sink and by moving the knives to the prep station I created room around the sink. Just that makes it look so much better.
I also got that adorable cake stand from HomeGoods for $7.99 to keep the hand soap and sponges off the sink ledge. The dish soap goes under the sink.

6. Under the Sink

We hung my oven mitts and my lunch bag with command hooks on the door. 

I put the baking sheets and the pizza stone to the left since when they are vertical they are easier to take out than when they are laying down. 
I found a great 3-section tray at Target for our food wraps and keep our water bottles and Frank's protein on that great white shelf from Walmart.
I used a black container for all of the sponges and dish towels and store the cleaning supplies on the white shelf.

Where are the rest of the baking sheets?

7. Oven Storage

By removing the baking sheets I made room to put less often used baking items like cake pans, muffin pans and the  broiler pan in neat stacks.

Above the stove we organized the items more logically and spaced  everything so we can actually see what we need when we need it. 

8. Cabinets

We put all the plates together where the cups used to be and organized our spices in that black container I got from Target for $2.50 (same as the one under the sink). 
The top shelf holds serving bowls and cake stands.

I found this great lid rack at Target. Makes it way easier to find the right lid!

Since I moved the plates over by the baking items and spices, it made room to have all of our glasses in the same area along with the bowls.

This strange hard-to-reach corner space was so difficult. We keep items we don't use very often and grouped them better. I stacked the strainers neatly and keep them towards the entrance so they are easy to grab.

And that's it! Our kitchen!

I still have tons of other ideas that we will likely work on in the near future.
We'd love to add some artwork above the coffee station or great shelving like this.
Coffee bar. <3
Source: via Brittany on Pinterest

We also still would like to move the spices from the bin in the cabinet to a spice rack, but for some reason they are impossible to find. We want one that hangs which they seem to have stopped making.

spice rack
We also would love to paint--which we can do here. It is just something we are trying to decide whether or not to do based on how long we'd like to stay in this apartment. But, if we could, we'd do something like this blue-ish grey on the walls in the first photo and on the cabinets in the second one.

Source: via Brittany on Pinterest

But these are things for the future...

It was quite a project, but I am so glad we did it. Thanks to A Bowl Full of Lemons blog for the excellent inspiration! Please feel free to follow (this link) to her kitchen organization and where this post will be linked with many others from all over blogland for more ideas and pictures of other kitchens.

Look out for the next challenge. The Pantry.

I'd love to hear creative ways you've been able to organize your kitchen. Happy Organizing!


slydegirll said...

Lots of pretty wrought-iton looking or stainless steel hanging spice racks on amazon. Might be better for a small space than a big wooden one anyway.

-Holly, the housewife surrounded by spice racks.

Brittany Helen said...

Thanks Holly! I'll have to look for one. Frank's pretty picky about them actually, which is mostly the reason we haven't purchased one yet. I'll have to look on ebay :)