Thursday, October 18, 2012

Home Organization 101: Week 1 - The Kitchen

Here it is. The first stage of the Home Organization 101 Challenge. Week 1 is the kitchen, which was a good place to start for me. It wasn't enough of a lost cause to discourage me, but there was enough to be done to motivate me by seeing the end results.

I gathered up whatever bins I had in the house, plus picked up a few that were on clearance at the store and set to work. I got it all done in one day and am exhausted! Now I am relaxing on the couch and plan to do my "normal cleaning" tomorrow and start on Week 2 (The Garage) on Monday.

-- Ok -- So I'm not exactly following "the rules" First, I started late. But, in my defense, I only learned about it over the weekend. Second, I am starting a new project on a Monday, not the suggested Saturday. But the weekends are our family time and since I stay at home it's easiest for me to do it during the week.

At any rate, on to the main event. Here it is... The big reveal.

For the cabinet above my sink it used to kind of just be a catch all for our vases, water bottles, bowls, lunch boxes, and lots of "other" stuff that I didn't know where else it should go:
The cabinet above my sink
This cabinet is really slender and sits between my fridge and my sink. It is my least favorite cabinet in the whole kitchen. It's too slender and inconveniently placed to really hold anything useful, so I had just been putting all of our children's dishes in there. But I decided it would be my husband's "lunch center" It holds the water bottles and lunch boxes:
The cabinet next to my fridge
This is my "drop spot" for the family. I had been using some really cute bowls, but as you can see... it hasn't really been working. They were really too small to do much good. So I decided to switch to some larger drawers:
The family "drop spot"
This is where I store our potatoes and onions and garlic (I have no room in the pantry and can't think of anywhere else to store them) -- So if you have a better idea PLEASE leave me any ideas in the comments!! So I just cleared off the clutter and consolidated the food into a single (festive) bucket:
Where/How should I store onions/potatoes/garlic? Right now they are in this bucket.
This counter wasn't messy, per se. It was just too crowded. So I moved the coffee stuff over to the other side (to the "drop spot") so that E can more easily make his coffee as he gathers his things to go to work in the morning:
The counter next to the stove
As you can see, I had been in the habit of just stuffing cups wherever they fit when I put them away. Here it is after some organization:
The cabinet for the cups
This was previously my drawer for my measuring cups, funnels, and the like. I had been content with just throwing them in there. Yes. I can admit it. I'm not too proud. Now I use it - and the drawers above and below - for my cupcake supplies. I figured that was the perfect spot because they are right underneath where my stand mixer sits on the counter:
One of my new "Cupcake Supplies" drawers
I used to have 2 bowls that matched this one, in different sizes that sat in the drawer with it, but they have long since broken so it became a whole drawer just for one lone bowl. What a waste, right? So I decided to free up some space where I keep my cookie and baking sheets and use this drawer for cake/cupcake pans instead:
My new "Cupcake Pans" drawer
You know all of those kitchen gadgets that don't really belong anywhere else? Yeah... That was what this drawer held. It was a mess! So I turned it into another cupcake drawer:
One of my new "Cupcake Supplies" drawers 
I am still not sure how I feel about my fridge re-organization. I grouped all of my sauces, dressings, condiments, dairy items, lunch meats, and pretty much everything else into containers with like items on the main shelves and moved the drinks into the door. The veggies are, naturally, in the veggie bin and the meats, in the meat bin:
The plates didn't really need too much. I just moved all of the shelves down a bit (I couldn't reach the top one, anyway) and made it so you don't have to lift a bunch of plates to get to the size you want:
The plates cabinet
This one is the least impressive, visually, to me. I know the "after" still doesn't look too impressive. But all of the spices are in alphabetical order and everything has a visible label:
The spice cabinet

Sadly, I forgot to take "Before" pictures for these last ones! I know... How could I?! But the "After" is still good to see.

This held the cutting boards before, too. I just got rid of the ones we don't use (we had a surprisingly large number of them!) and made room for the cooling racks as well, in order to make room in their previous drawer for other things.
The cutting boards
Let me just say, I thought that I would love having drawers instead of cabinets on the bottom. But I do NOT! haha... Maybe if there was some combination of the two. But right now, all I can say is that I am glad I found this out now while we are still renting. Because I will not be buying a home with only drawers on the bottom:
Does anyone have a better suggestion as to how to organize those lids?!
Again... I hate the drawers! I wish my pots and pans where held in cabinets instead, but here it is:
Excuse the burnt bottom of that pan... Anyone know how to fix that?
This is, by far, the most dissappointing, in the fact that I didn't get a "Before" picture. You know the infomercial that shows a woman opening her Tupperware cupboard and she is practically buried by the ones that fall out? That is how mine looked! I wish you could have seen it! But, alas, you will just have to imagine it as you look at the "After" results:
Tupperware cabinet

So there you have it. Week 1 - The Kitchen. Finished. What do you think? 


  1. That looks awesome, Miranda! I can't wait to see how you transform your garage! Best of luck to you!


  2. It looks great, can't wait to see next week's challenge

  3. I like the story about the lone bowl. You have really thought about practical uses for your cupboards and drawers. Moving the shelves to make things accessible is clever. Great work.

  4. i used to have a green mixing bowl like ur yellow one that my mom gave me, but it also broke. do u know where i can get them?

    1. No. :/ We got them from a friend that was moving and didn't want to take everything. I don't know where she got them... But I will look tomorrow and see if it has a brand or anything on the bottom and let you know! :)