Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Organizing Revolution Challenge 2: The Kitchen

Challenge 2 for the Organizing Revolution is the kitchen.  I don't feel like there are a lot of big problems with the kitchen, but there are a few little things that need tweaking.  Here's something that has been working well for us though: Our weekly menu plan is on the marker board on the fridge, and the markers are in the pocket below.  I just cut it off of an old pair of jeans and added a few magnets. 

Under the sink, where all the cleaners are stored, is just kind of a mass of bottles.  Here's before...

And after.

Honestly, not much changed.  I got rid of a few bottles of old cleaners that we don't use, and moved the bathroom cleaner to the bathroom.  The rest just got straightened out.  I'd love to do some fancy shelves, or some sort of dividers or drawers, but I also don't want to spend money on those things, so neatly arranged bottles will work fine for now.  Maybe I need to look to Pinterest for some more inspiration for under here.

I promise, my kitchen organizing gets more exciting from here.  At least, I was excited.

The next problem spot was my utensil drawer.  It was just a mass of stuff, some used, and some buried.  The grocery bag was holding my cookie cutters, but there's obviously a better way.  Here's the lovely before shot:

And after shots!  I grabbed several utensils that I haven't used and added them to my donate pile.  My hand mixer may end up being donated or sold as well, since I got a KitchenAid for Christmas, but I want to see if I actually still use it or not.  I'm guessing I won't.  On the top layer, I added two dollar store baskets that I already had on hand.  On the right is baking supplies, and on the left is miscellaneous/everyday items.

Underneath those, I put the cookie cutters in a holiday tin (much prettier than a plastic bag!) and I have my frosting tips and bags as well.  My husband wanted to keep the large grilling utensils even though we don't have a grill, although we do plan to get one once it's warmer out.  This stuff doesn't get used as often, so it's fine on the bottom layer.

And finally, here is our pantry shelf.  This is technically in the dining room, but it falls into the "kitchen" category to me.  It's kind of organized by type, but it's been getting crowded and messy lately, so I figured I could spruce it up a bit for this challenge too.  Here's a before and after:

The top shelf is still a little cluttered, but that is the only shelf that neither of the kids can reach, so that's where all the liquids and canisters and certain open things go.

This box full of stuff is the "Use it or lose it" box.  Some of it expires soon, and some just has little random bits left.  This is stuff I want to either use in the next month, or get rid of it, so I put it out in the open so I'll remember it when I'm planning our meals.

And here's all the expired food I found.  Oops!  In my defense, a lot of this was donations to the Seminary food bank, and not food that I've bought myself, but it's still been taking up space on my shelf.  Not any more!


  1. Wow I really like all the work you did this week! I will see if I can do a loose it or loose it box in my pantry! Currently I have some "Cuties" mandarin orange box containers organizing different categories in my pantry and I might be able to free one up for that. I think some boxes like that to organize the stuff on that top shelf would help, but probably wouldn't fit in the end because you have to keep so much stuff up there. I can relate to that... got to keep stuff away from little hands. And the deep drawer solution you have is a very reasonable compromise. So hard to figure out what do do there! I once saw a MSL pic that used relatively deep Muji containers to create different areas in a deep drawer: see here for the containers... but I think your solution is completely reasonable and cost-effective. Another MSL idea was to put a stainless steel tension rod from BBB e.g. across the bottom of under the sink, and then hang squirt bottles on it. Not sure if that would work for you, but it did look kind of cool.

  2. Thank you for commenting! I like your idea about putting boxes on the top pantry shelf. I'm just not sure if I have any that would fit right! I've been using pretty much all my spare containers for this organizing challenge, trying to not spend any money. :)

  3. You know Costco has free boxes, like from canned goods, that people use at the checkouts to cart out stuff. But I like the Cuties boxes because they are all regular sizes (and also free) and very low so they don't obscure stuff.

  4. I love the idea of a use it or lose it box! I've never seen that before.

    My seminary's food bank helped keep me fed and clothed when I was a single person working part-time and going to graduate school!

    1. Thanks! I just came up with it this month, and so far it's working pretty well. We definitely appreciate the food bank food as well. It's a nice supplement to our grocery shopping.