Duo Ventures

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Organizing: The Kitchen

Lately, I've been on a mission to clean & reorganize our entire house.  I'm working room by room & this week I decided to tackle the kitchen.  In general, it was already somewhat organized, but you know how after a few years things start to accumulate & it can get kinda messy behind all those cabinets & drawers.

Here's a shot of what we're working with:

Luckily, we have tons of cabinets & counter space - but our kitchen is also the one room that we have done nothing to since we moved in.  We would love to replace the back splash with subway tile & install solid surface counters.  One day.  For now our kitchen is pretty basic, boring, & in need of a makeover (see our mini-makeover HERE!).  The least I can do is organize it, right?

I began by pulling everything out of the cabinets & grouped like items together (getting rid of anything that was broken or rarely used).  I narrowed the piles down into several categories:
-small appliances
-spices, oils, & vinegars
-glasses, mugs, water bottles
-pots & pans
-food prep
-food storage

You can get an idea of the layout plan below:

I tried to make sure everything made sense in terms of where it was located.  For example:
-less used items like small appliances & serving dishes are stored in the far left corner (an area I don't use that much)
-bowls, plates, & flatware are strategically placed close to the drying rack/dishwasher
-food storage containers, plastic wrap, & foil are conveniently located at the end of the peninsula next to the fridge
-pots, pans, utensils, & spices are all within easy reach from the stove 
To make better use of the space, I decided to add a couple of extra shelves to certain cabinets.  I picked some up from the storage section in Home Depot & Nader cut them to size for me.  

Here I added a shelf so that I could fit all of our serving dishes & trays in one spot:

I added another shelf here in order to fit all the glasses, mugs, thermoses, & water bottles in one cabinet:

Now that I cleared out the wine glasses & some serving dishes from the cabinet below, I was able to designate it for plates only:

By condensing all the plates into one area, it left another cabinet open to house all the bowls:

Next, I went through all my spices & transferred them into some glass jars:[For more info, check out my post on organizing the spice cabinet]

I removed all the miscellaneous stuff from the cabinet below.  You can see it formerly stored a bunch of random items like vases, glass tea pot, arabic coffee 'rakweh', hooka, & trays.

I moved most everything to the cabinets above the fridge (since we rarely access these items).  Now, it stores our food prep items including cutting boards, mixing bowls, strainers, graters, & lemon juicer.  All I added here was a tray divider to store our plastic cutting boards:

I used the smallest lower cabinet to store all bakeware items including baking dishes, cookie trays, cooling racks, muffin trays & loaf pans.  I also added a divider here for our trays & cooling racks:

 The food storage cabinet just needed some minor straightening:

I bought an expandable wire shelf to help organize the pots & pans:

 I removed the items that didn't belong in the small appliances cabinet like the mixing bowls & strainer - then I just straightened it up a bit:

Here I added some dividers to organize utensils & gadgets:

I didn't have to do too much to the rest of the drawers other than shifting the contents around:

I condensed our two junk drawers down to one larger drawer:

Then I moved all the arabic coffee & tea cups over to the left two drawers (formerly our junk drawers):

All the plastic bags, foil, plastic wrap, & wax paper went in the right two drawers:

So...that's what I have done thus far!  There are still a few more projects that I have to finish in the kitchen:
-organize & create a filing system for recipes
-organize pantry