Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Quick Kitchen Reorganize

It seems like every year I need to do a little reorganizing in my kitchen.  I do not have my dream kitchen with oodles of space and the perfect spot for everything, but I want everything to have a spot of its own to call home.  Over the course of a year, I realize that there are things that are working for me and things that are not.  So over the last few days I have been working on making simple changes that make a big difference to the functionality of my kitchen.  And since I am trying to blog more this year, I decided to share some of what I have learned over the years with you. :)

Let me just start by saying that I do not believe in a single organizational system that will work for every person and every home.  That is probably why I re-organize things every year.  My life changes every year, my family changes every year and that means I need to be flexible.  

My basic organizational strategy is to put things close to where I use them.  That is not always exactly possible, but when I put things where I use them, it makes my life much easier.  It is sometimes easier to put things where they fit and sometimes that just has to happen, but if possible, try putting what you use where you use it.

1. The first thing I do when I am re-organizing is to take everything out of its place.  For this little project, I was re-organizing a few cupboards that just weren't working well for me.  I was always having to dig around to find what I wanted and it was just getting old.  So...I started by taking everything out of the cupboard where it has been living and put it on the counter.  
2. The next step for me to do to a a quick de-clutter.  For these cupboards, I looked at each item and decided: Is this something I still like or want to use? Has it expired? Is this the best location for this item or would it be more useful in a different spot?  After de-cluttering it is much easier to see what I really have to work with.
3.  Next, I clean out the area where I am going to be putting things back.  In the case of the cupboards, I wiped down the whole inside of the cupboard and the shelves.  It just makes me feel better to know it is all clean! 
4.  Finally, I but things back making sure to find a way to make it work for me.

I took some before and after pictures of my project this time.  Let me walk you through it...

The above picture is the cabinet under my kitchen sink.  It is still a work in progress, but I just needed to make a few changes to make it work a little bit better for me.  I always struggle with these cabinets under sinks, you know...water can get under there and I don't know if I really want my toaster down there...but that is something to think about another day.  My big change here was getting a basket that hangs on the cabinet for the things I use the most.  It makes it much easier to get what I need.  The extras are in the back and it is working great so far.  My favorite thing about this basket is that it is mesh so nothing will fall out, but I can see everything in there!  I got it from Bed Bath and Beyond.

Next up...
This cupboard is just one where I have kept some of my baking supplies, it is near my stove and oven and I have liked some things about it, but the big pain was that I couldn't get at whatever was behind something else!  I have used several different storage systems and have found things I like and don't like about all of them.  This cupboard needed something different.  I went with the Sistema Klip It containers and labeled them with my personal labeler.  This cupboard is now a dream!  I can see everything and get to everything easily!  

Next...up was one of my dreaded Lazy Susans...
I have to admit that I really don't like corner cupboards.  They are always so hard to organize! So, you either have a lazy Susan that is not easy to work with or a huge cavern that is impossible to get to, or you have a lot of wasted space.  We went with lazy Susans for this kitchen and while it isn't perfect...it just has to work.  This particular lazy Susan is where almost all of my baking supplies and staples reside.  The problem with a lazy Susan is that things just don't fit nicely inside.  But I decided that the main thing I needed to do was to get everything in some kind of container.  I put like things together as well so that they all have their own area.  So far, I am much happier with this little cupboard.

I find that often when I am working through a re-organization project, I end up doing more than I thought I would.  So...my bonus this time was my spice cabinet.  I know a lot of people have a spice shelf and that is all they need, but I really like to cook and I really like to use spices.  If I had the space, I would honestly be able to use 2 whole cupboards just for spices.  I didn't take a before picture because I wasn't planning on making changes to this cupboard, but since it ended up being one of the things I worked on...I took a picture for you all to enjoy. Actually I took a picture to make myself feel really great about the work I did.

Let me just point out a couple of things that I am loving about this cupboard.  First of all...several month ago, Dr. Spud noticed that I was frustrated trying to find the spices I wanted.  They are on those great spice shelves that step up so you can see them, but the labels are always hidden behind the spice in front.  So...Dr. Spud got out our favorite labeler and put a label up on the top where I can see what I am looking for.  Then, when I run out of a spice, I can just take the label off, stick it on the shelf (if you look you can see one on the second shelf) to remind myself to replace what I am missing.  The other thing I am loving about this cupboard is what I added this time around.  On the top shelf you can see two acrylic boxes.  They are called Cabinet Binz and I got them at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I put them up there and fill them with whatever I want and then when I need something from them, I just pull out the whole bin and can easily see what I want.  I can see myself using a lot more of these babies!!!  They are awesome!!  Now I can see and get to everything in that cupboard so easily.

All in all...this quick re-organize project took about 1.5 hours.  But you could easily just break that down and just do one cupboard each day until you get where you want it to be.  When I do that, I just have a small basket or box where I put things that don't work in the space I am working on and put it aside until my whole project is done.  At that point I either throw or give it away because I don't have any place for it, or I find a good home for it.

If you are interested in the labeler that I use for just about every organization project, this is it.
* Please note that this link (and only this one) is an affiliate link, if you click on this one and end up buying the labeler, I will make a small commission at no cost to you!

There you have it, a quick kitchen reorganize that didn't take too much time, but makes my life easier.  Happy organizing!



1 comment:

Traci said...

I'm so glad you wrote this! I'm feeling the need to reorganize, and my kitchen is always intimidating. Great ideas.