Monday, February 15, 2016

4 Great Kitchen Organization Ideas

I have been hard at work the last couple weeks gutting out and deep cleaning my kitchen. I get very stressed out when things are cluttered and unorganized and I had a few cupboards that really needed some serious attention. I tried to keep things stacked and in containers, but it just wasn't enough. I was tired of having to dig for what I needed and wanted a system where everything was super easy to get to. I am extremely pleased with what I came up with and thought I would share my ideas. Get ready to get organized! You're life will run SO much smoother.

1. Grip Drawer Liners
The first thing I did was dung out my spice and "gadget drawer". I got rid of everything I haven't used in the last year and set everything else aside. I lined both drawers with grip liner. This stuff is amazing because once you have it down nothing slides around in your drawer when you open and close it!

I then put all my spices back in the one drawer and the other I placed all of my "gadgets" in an orderly fashion that is easy to grab quick what I need. Again, with the grip liner it stays exactly where you put it, so the drawer always stays organized. No more digging for the pizza cutter! And, my spices won't clunk around in my drawer anymore.

2. Cooking Utensil Holder
I wanted to take all of the larger utensils in that "gadget drawer" that I use all-of-the-time and make them even easier to get to. I decided the best route was to get a utensil holder to put next to the stove, where I am using said utensils. However, I didn't want to buy another item to put on my counter. That is another thing I definitely can't stand is a cluttered counter. I want a lot of space to work and hate a lot of things sitting on the counter. Solution? I emptied my smallest canister and put everything in there. It's a double win because it's something that was already on the counter (so I wasn't adding anything new) and it matches the set. Perfect!

3. One Word - BASKETS!
I had a great system of having all of my bulk items in matching containers in the cupboard. They fit nicely, looked great and kept things pretty organized. The problem was, I have very deep cupboards and every time I wanted something I had to dig through the containers to find what I needed. Usually this involved half of my containers sitting on the counter till I found what I was looking for and then me having to put everything back - Ugh! Putting all of them into baskets was a stroke of genius, because now all I have to do is grab out one thing, get what I need and slide the basket back in the cupboard. All containers are labeled on the top so it's easy to find what I'm looking for.

I also have all my my cake decorating supplies, cupcake liners and smoothie powders all in baskets for easy grabbing. In my smaller cabinet I have all my seasoning packets in their own basket along with one for all my extracts in another. Again, grab the basket, get what you need and put the basket back instead of having to dig around.

The other thing I use baskets for is all the produce that needs to be kept separate in a cool dark place: onions, potatoes, garlic and squash. I got wire baskets for these to keep air flowing and it's easy to see when I'm running low. You can also see that I have a container for all of my teas and coffees and another for my baking supplies.

4. Pots and Pans.... Rack Um!
This was the hardest, and most rewarding cupboard to organize. Pots and pans are always a mess. Even when you nest them inside of each other, it's a pain every time you need to get the pan on the bottom and they never seem to stay that way. Someone does the dishes and they just get thrown into the drawer because most of the time they don't wan to take the time to re-nest the pans. (yes, I am guilty of this from time to time myself) And what to do with all of the stupid lids?

I started out by getting rid of all pots and pans I don't use very often. I whittled it down the the pans I use the most and are the most useful. A good stock pot, my wok, my steamer, a couple good small pans, a medium pan, a sauce pan and my trusty cast iron. Everything else went. I bought wire racks to keep them separate, instead of having to "Nest" them and another rack to keep my skillets easy to grab one at a time.... then, one more basket for all the lids. (Man, I LOVE baskets!!! They make your life SO much easier!) I don't have a before picture of the mess I had, but here is how it looks now. Each pan is easy to grab without having to mess with anything else. 

Even just looking at these pictures makes me feel more relaxed. I hope I'm not the only one who likes to stare at their finished handy work..... Cooking is one of my favorite past times and now it is so much more enjoyable. It really didn't cost that much money either (way less than a re-model for sure) - $200 at the most. It's the little things in life that really make everything better.

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