Re-Evaluating My Kitchen

Organizing Made Fun


Nearly a year ago, we installed a new set of cupboards along a section of the kitchen wall that used to be a big mess. I fully intended to write about the project, but got wrapped up in my craft room and never got around to it.

Since the kitchen is on the agenda for the second week of the New Year’s Organizing Revolution, it’s the perfect time to evaluate what has been working and what hasn’t.

This is what we had before we installed the cabinets:

And this was a year later:

I am very happy with the cabinet that holds the mixing bowls, measuring cups, colanders and cookie cutters. I have had zero trouble keeping it organized, and I’m glad I invested a few dollars in Command hooks to hang the measuring cups inside the door.

I am also glad that we splurged on the pantry cabinet. It holds all of my baking ingredients, pastas, dry beans and the dehydrator. Unfortunately, it had become overstuffed and disorganized. I took everything out, and wiped down the shelves and the canisters. I even took 30 seconds to tighten up the handles on the canisters that have been bugging me for over a year!
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Then I started purging. Since I couldn’t see into the ceramic canisters, most of them were empty. They were the first things to go (into the donate box). I tossed anything that I hadn’t used since the pantry was installed, and then I used my thermal printer to make labels for everything. I really wanted to use chalkboard labels, but that would have meant spending money and waiting for them to arrive in the mail. Cheap, instant gratification won.

The cabinet above the pantry was a quick fix. The crock pots live there, but since 2 were in use, it was easy to wipe down the shelves and tidy up. I tossed out a bunch of old snack foods that had been forgotten up there (my chickens have been eating very well this week), and moved the hand mixer over by the stove. After wiping the shelves, I put empty egg cartons and potluck-only items on the top shelf and it was done.
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I’ve re-arranged the baking pan cabinet several times. Hanging the cooling racks on the door had helped a little, but it just wasn’t enough. I purged the bread tube pans that I’ve never used, and decided to put the cookie sheets in the drawer under the stove (where I purged a cast iron griddle that doesn’t get along with my stove top, and the broiler pan that I never, ever use). Once those were gone, there was plenty of room in the cabinet for the pans that were left. I’d like to think that I’ve purged enough to keep what’s left under control.
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The kids’ dish cabinet wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. The egg cartons didn’t need to be in there, and neither did the painting supplies. I also pulled out most of the plastic drink cups, half of the big bowls, and the cheap popsicle (why does spell check hate every possible spelling of that word?) molds. I haven’t yet found a container for the parts to the ice cream maker and the nice popsicle mold, but they’ll stay on that same shelf. I never could have gotten rid of this stuff if the girls hadn’t been out “helping” their dad work calves.
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The coffee/tea/thermos cabinet has been over-full and irritating from the beginning. I generously offered The Husband one whole cabinet of his very own for his vitamins, snacks and coffee crap stuff, but it had to all fit in that one cabinet. Once The Husband’s stuff was in its’ own cabinet, I was able to straighten out the medicinal teas and thermoses, and there was enough room left for baking mixes.
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The small cabinet on the end had been holding my stemware, glass teapots and my china plates. Once I purged a set of overly large goblets that I’d never liked, I was able to move the plates and stemware into the china cabinet where they belonged. That left room for my Velata warmer and one whole empty shelf.
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The counter top didn’t need too much attention beyond putting a few things away. I moved the owner’s manuals to the office file cabinet and used their basket to contain muffin pans in the lower cabinet. The Husband put the super-tall thermoses in his coffee cabinet, and I will purge cookbooks one day soon, but that will be part of my recipe binder project.
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The last thing to be dealt with was the top of the cabinets. By purging a few things, taking the excess egg cartons to basement storage, and moving the lunch bags into the dish closet, I was able to display things that are worth looking at above the cabinets: my teapots and large Royal Ruby pieces.
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If you have a spare moment, I would really appreciate your vote (I’m #74) on Friday:

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11 Responses to Re-Evaluating My Kitchen

  1. Looks awesome! You may just motivate me…:)!

  2. EA Bussey says:

    Excellent job! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello.

  3. I always thought because we had cheap melamine cabinets that I couldn’t attach screw hooks inside of them–I’d never thought about command hooks. Duh! I can’t wait to implement this idea in my tiny kitchen.

    Your after does look really nice. I always like it when there’s still a few things out on the counter–looks so much more functional and realistic than those photos you see in magazines where the only thing on the counter is a bowl of apples, as if you’re going to haul some big heavy appliance out and put it away every day just for the sake of clear countertops.

    • mel says:

      Thank you! Some of those things (like the 3-hole slow cooker) won’t fit anywhere but on the counter. I’ve tried having totally clear counters, but the other people who live in my house refuse to cooperate πŸ˜‰ It seems they have an unreasonable need to use the small appliances occasionally.

  4. Stacy says:

    Your organized space looks awesome! I agree with you that purging is always easier when the kids aren’t around. πŸ˜‰

    p.s….Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!

  5. hsmominmo says:

    Nice work! especially like those measuring cups all lined up in a row. I’ll be using the Command hooks myself so I don’t have to drill into my nice wood cabinet doors.

  6. I just added some command hooks inside a cabinet for measuring cups, but I hadn’t thought of all the other uses – thanks for sharing!

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  8. I love it!! I especially love the use of all the glass jars for storage!!

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