Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Works for me: Kitchen Organization Tips

I moved recently, and in doing so downsized to a slightly smaller kitchen. Given that I love to cook, and love my kitchen toys, I had to think carefully about space planning. In trying to think about planning kitchen space, I try to keep in mind which items I use frequently and make those the most accesible. Here are a few ideas that work for me!

When possible I also try to keep items near where they are used. So the coffee mugs are stored in the cabinet right above the coffee maker. The cannisters to the right of the coffee maker hold the whole coffee beans and sugar. And the coffee maker is right next to the sink because we use water to make the coffee!

I installed this product from IKEA over my kitchen sink. It folds down to be a drainer, small though it might be, and then folds up out of the way. The bar I installed to hold it also holds hooks for my scrub brush, a towel, colander, and even a radio.

Growing up we always had a pegboard for kitchen tools. It is very useful. We bought inexpensive spacers off Amazon, and pegboard from the local hardware store. The Southern resident painted it for me, and my dad "helped" me install the two pieces. (By help, of course, I mean that I said - "I want it there" and served beverages). I already had a number of pegboard hooks on hand.

- one holds all the little kitchen toys:

A second, smaller one holds the skillets and griddles:

The kitchen cabinet, which belonged to my great-grandmother, holds my collection of Tupperware's Modular Mates. They really keep crisp things crisp and moist things moist much longer. They are great for storing raisins, coconut, candy, nuts, crackers, beans, dried peas, bread crumbs, dried pasta, peanut butter cups, grits, ginger snaps, oatmeal, craisins, thin mints ...

I also swear by Tupperware cannisters. I've never once had a problem with bugs in my ingredients, even when we lived in an apartment complex where others had pests. If, like me, you like to stock multiple types of sugars (brown, powdered, white), flours (bread, pastry, whole wheat, self-rising, all purpose); then it makes sense to have a few extras.

This built in cabinet had a lot of space BELOW the lowest shelf. So I made a make shift cubby by putting this spare cabinet door in the opening. Now all my big baking trays, cooling racks, serving trays and cutting boards fit without falling out:

Sometimes you can find extra storage space by looking up:

I have a LARGE (possibly ridiculous) assortment of spices. They needed to be stored where I could find individual spices easily, and where the spices wouldn't be ruined (so not too near heat or in direct light). I found this spice rack for the kitchen drawers. It was about 1/2" too long for my drawers, but a heavy duty pair of scissors (the type that cut through pennies) fixed that:


Anonymous said...

Wow - I'm so impressed with your organizing.

That's exactly what I need to do and have been doing a bit. I never heard of a spice rack that goes into the drawer.I could use one. Thanks for sharing ALL your ideas via words and pics.

Also thanks for visitng my site and giiving me the good word about online cookbooks.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

I agree! Your organizing is awesome!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

I love your Grandmother's kitchen cabinet!

And I've never SEEN so many spices!! You certainly needed something to keep those organized...great job! :-)

Tiffers said...

Wow! Honestly, completely awesome job!

Kristin - The Goat said...

That extra cabinet door in the pantry was genius! Way to be innovative! You did a fantastic job in your kitchen. Bravo! Your tips are incredibly helpful.

Lauren said...

Wow, that is a LOT of spices. Have you seen the SpiceStack? My dad invented this spice rack that fits in your cabinets (away from light/heat too) and features pull-down drawers that help you find your spices quickly and easily while cooking. Best of all, the SpiceStack stores MORE spices (27 full size) in LESS space so you are using the backs of your tall kitchen cabinets, but your spices stay at eye level.

Starting in November we will have a stackable version for 18 bottles too. Check it out at www.SpiceStack.com.

Happy Organizing! Lauren Greenwood, SpiceStack Inc.

Anonymous said...

Nice job on your organizational skills; thank you for sharing!