Monday, January 28, 2013

One Room at a Time :: Kitchen Organization

I am excited to share some of the progress I have made on my series One Room at a Time. I mentioned last week that I would be starting on the Kitchen. 
The first thing I did was really clean it. 

{Ugh, definitely my least favorite part!!}

Next up was organization & decluttering. I tried to be really realistic about what we used/need in this space. Since I am trying to do each room with minimal cost, I tried to utilize things around the house that I could use. 

Ready for some before and afters?  

The cabinet on the left contains all our baking stuff. As you can see, it clearly wasn't working anymore :)

I decided to completely move this cabinet into another and switch them out. I then scoured the house to find boxes and baskets that were the right size for my needs. 

To make everything a little more uniformed, I wrapped up the misc boxes with some fabric I had purchase at Ikea years ago. I have to say - this is one of my favorite parts about this project - going through all the fabric I have from past projects and putting it to use. I am sure this will come in handy when it's time to tackle the office and organize all the fabric, ha! 

While I was at it, I made labels for everything:

Next up, I did the drawers. I didn't take a before picture of this hot mess, but here is an "in-progress" one, after I had already organized it a bit and added some lovely drawer liner I had picked up at Home Goods a few weeks back:

Basically everything was just thrown into the drawer at random. It was really hard to find something when you needed it - especially measuring cups/spoons. I bought the baskets above in Target's dollar isles, just to bring some calm to the chaos. 

Of course, the blue totally clashed with my scheme :)

So, I lined the insides with some black and white contact paper I had leftover from my pantry overhaul a few months back {I originally purchased this at the dollar store of all places!} and placed some gray shelf liner on the bottom. 

Here's a look at the difference:

I also created some storage out of a clear, plastic box I had from a purchase awhile back. 

1. Start with the box you wish to use. 
2. Cut it down to size. I placed mine into the drawer and used a marker to mark the top of the (side part) of the drawer. 
3. Since the cut ends were a bit sharp (and ugly), I used washi tape to wrap over the edge. 
4. I filled this up with our measuring spoons - these had been a real issue for us. 

The next drawer was used for our larger cooking utensils. Same problem as the last one though:

For this problem, I did look in the store for drawer organizers large enough for these. For the amount we needed, it wasn't worth the price. Plus, none could fit the super-duper large spatula we have for burgers, and you know, other fat things :)

The only box I could find in the house that was long enough to house these, was an old diaper box. 

(wondering why I have so many boxes? Once I came up with the challenge for myself, I knew boxes would be used - so I am now basically holding on to them like a hoarder LOL)

I cut a strip out to use as a divider. I organized the utensils into groups and moved the divider around until I had in a place that worked: 

I hot glued the divider to the larger box, wrapped it in (what else?- contact paper) and placed it in the center of the drawer. This created two other 'dividers' on the sides of the box as well. 

After that I moved onto the bottom cabinets. 

The biggest solution to this issue was (1) keeping some of our smaller pots/pans somewhere else (a current DIY project in the works!) and (2) moving the drying racks side ways (at least, I think that is what they are - I also bought these at the dollar store years ago). Now that they are sideways, it is easier to get to the size we need. Before, I would have to dig through them. 

The other issue was our pots/pans. I went through them and got rid of the ones that were really old (with plans to upcycle one in our fridge). I used a plastic drawer (part of a 3 piece set that I was no longer using) to hold the baking dishes like muffin pans and molds. Cookie sheets are now stored vertically making it easier to grab. Now that there are less pans on top,  there should be no issue grabbing the one we need on the top rack. 

The next issue? 
Under our sink. This area houses our dish/cleaning towels (proud to say we have been paper towel/napkin free for almost FIVE years!!) and our smaller recycling area (this is an easy to reach place for paper, etc. Once this is full, I dump it in our larger ones in the laundry room). 

I switched the sides, added another plastic drawer for the towels, a basket for the dish towels (because we don't use disposable sponges, either) and also stored some serving trays we had in another drawer previously. 

Our recycling box got a bit of a face lift with some contact paper and a label. 

Are all these solutions the prettiest??


But they sure did the trick, and most of them were absolutely FREE. 

Works for me :) 

Come back tomorrow to see a little DIY holiday action I did for some of the To-Go mugs you saw in the beginning :)

Happy Monday!



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