The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~Hans Hofmann
This is a great time of year to clean out and organize your cupboards, drawers and closets; you know, the places that all your STUFF tends to accumulate and even reproduces, somehow, into a major mess! I know I just showed you this tiny pantry of ours the other day and how I made the slide-out boxes to help keep my shelves organized. But I want to show you a few more things that can keep you organized and help make your life a bit easier for you in your kitchen.
Did you notice the middle shelf with all the inexpensive lazy Susan’s? It works wonders in holding all our canned good. I try to keep spreads and items for baking on the far right lazy Susan. Soups, beans, etc. in the middle and canned tuna and other canned goods on the left one. Keep in mind, the more organized you are, the less time you’ll waste looking for what you need.
When we first moved here, I knew we needed additional shelving. I just happened to find this cabinet at Home Goods on a day I wasn’t even looking for a cabinet.
The inside of this cabinet wasn’t painted, so I decided to paint it white, along with the inside of the drawers. The top shelf holds our everyday storage containers. The bottom shelf holds extra cookbooks, and a few other items that I wasn’t sure where to put them. If your kitchen has room for a small cabinet, cart or even shelving, all of these can help extend your storage space.
This was one of our cabinets after it started looking pretty sad.
And the same cabinet after I cleaned it up. The second shelf holds some of our snacks. The Tupperware container on the top shelf is currently being used as a slide-out box to make it easier to get these down from the top. Store items you don’t use as often on the top shelf. The bottom shelf holds cooking wines, vinegars, sauces, honey, etc., which we use often.
There’s so many options available for storing spices. I’ve used the lazy Susan for years and it’s always worked well with me. The bottom shelf has spices and seasonings for cooking, whereas the middle shelf has spices, extracts, and items for baking. Again, it helps to keep them separate so it makes it easier to find. The top shelf has Tupperware to hold pastas. Actually, there’s a story that goes with all the Tupperware that we have. I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details of it, but we had an infestation in our other house and we invested $$$ into Tupperware. I could almost open up a Tupperware store with all that we have, but it has been a great investment and I’m not sorry we did it.
I gave up canisters years ago and have stored flour and all sugars in Tupperware containers. There’s so many storage containers that are sold everywhere. They really do keep insects from getting into your food, as well as keeping your shelves clean.
If you have a corner cabinet, consider getting the large sized lazy Susan’s for your shelves. It makes it so much easier to grab whatever you need.
Keep your cooking oils near your stove. I have ours above our microwave. We also have room in this cabinet for our snacks that are in bags. Once we open them, this is where they go.
The cabinet above our refrigerator is high and deep, so I store larger storage containers in here, along with pitchers, platters and other rarely used items.
The best way to store trays and boards is standing up, as shown above. We were fortunate to have these dividers already in this cabinet when we bought our place, but an easy thing to use are small tension rods which you can see by clicking here.
Use drawer dividers as much as you can to keep your drawers neater and easier to retrieve what you’re looking for. We’ve had this silverware drawer organizer for over 20+ years. Usually items in the back of drawers get lost, like they do on shelves, so I try to use a box to contain some of these smaller items, like the corn holders and spreaders above.
Keep like items together. The above are all the gadgets I need for baking or will be using in this area of the kitchen.
This is the drawer next to the stove and most of these items are used for cooking on the stove.
Another great way to store some of your utensils are in a container on top of your counter. It can be anything: a crock, terra cotta pot, a unique vase or anything else you can imagine using. Mine is a mortar and pestle that my sister brought back for me from Greece. I’ve used it as my utensil holder for over 30+ years and love it.
This is the only drawer I could find to hold my marble rolling pin, but it works. This drawer is near the sink and my prep area, so it’s perfect for the kitchen shears, can opener, etc. I suppose you’re wondering about all the clothespins in our kitchen drawer??? We use these for closing packages of all kinds in the kitchen, everything from frozen bags of veggies, bags in the boxes of cereal, bags of chips and pretzels, and even some of my coffee bags. They work great!
And we all have a “junk” drawer. Ours are in the small cabinet I purchased for our kitchen from Home Goods. Mr. Cottage has his and this is mine. I found the divider at Home Goods and it works perfect for keeping my chargers, rulers, etc.
To sum everything up:
- Use slide-out boxes to retrieve items from the back of shelves.
- Inexpensive Lazy Susan’s are great for storing spices, sauces, and even glasses and mugs on.
- Store kitchen utensils and supplies near the location where they will be used.
- Use air-tight containers (preferably something you can see through) to keep bugs from getting into your food, as well as keeping your shelves neat and tidy.
- Use drawer organizers in ALL your drawers that hold utensils and gadgets.
- Store rarely used items higher up and the supplies you use on a regular basis, keep on lower shelves.
- Add a cart, small cabinet or shelves to hold additional supplies.
- Keep LIKE items together, all baking supplies, all pastas, etc., don’t have some in one cupboard and similar ones in other cupboards.
- Find a way to store your baking sheets, trays, etc. standing up, versus stacking them on top of each other, by using tension rods or dividers that are sold in stores.
- If space is an issue, store some of your kitchen utensils in a container on top of your counter or hang by the backsplash.
I’m sharing with the following: Inspiration Thursday, BWT, Share Your Cup, DIY Like A Boss, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Your Inspired Design, The Creative Circle, AKA Design, The Inspiration Gallery, A Morning Cup of Joe, A Tray of Bliss, Tatertots and Jello, The Sits Girls, Share It One More Time, Saturday Sparks, Sundays At Home, DIY Sunday Showcase, DIY ShowOff, Finding Silver Pennies, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Busy Monday, Something To Talk About, Amaze Me Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru Life, The Scoop, Project Inspired, Turn It Up Tuesday, LouLou Girls, Make It Pretty Monday, Wonderful Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Tuesdays At Our Home, Elizabeth and Co., Welcome Home Wednesdays, Talented Tuesday, Creative Spark