Monday, May 31, 2010

Organizing Our Small Kitchen

For this week's trade day, I decided to re-organize my kitchen.  It needed to be done since every time I got in there to cook, I'd end up frustrated with some aspect.

My top three complaints:
1. I hate having to empty the entire small electrics cabinet to get the crock-pot.
2. If I just want to whip up a pie, I first have to unload and reload the dishwasher.
3. A great but super disorganized spice cabinet containing duplicates of several spices.

In addition, we have cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling. I love that I don't have the void between cabinet top and ceiling, but it means the top shelf is virtually inaccessible, as at almost 5 foot 2, I have to stand on the countertop to reach. I needed to move the rarely accessed, but still valuable items up there and get rid of the never used stuff.

Now, after 4 entirely focused hours plus an additional 2 of going between toddler and kitchen, I have a revamped and organized cabinet.

Complaint #1- SOLVED
I pared down our small electrics even further. I'm getting rid of the small electric skillet and shoving the ice cream freezer canisters to the back corner.

Complaint #2- SOLVED

Due to the small size of our kitchen, we do not have adequate countertop space. To solve this problem, I first stored or cleared out any non-necessities that were taking up residence on the countertop. This meant getting rid of the toaster. (We have a toaster oven that toasts just fine.) It also meant clearing away ALL of the pretties. (I didn't have many to begin with, but now my set of chocolate glasses and bowls are inside the dish cabinet.) The second change I made to provide more prep space was to do a switcheroo. The prep area had previously been to the left of the sink. This was a problem because to the left of the sink was also the dishwasher. That meant when we stacked dishes, they were stacked on the prep side. Before it made sense to prep on that side because the right side contained the microwave, coffee maker, and toaster, but getting rid of the toaster, moving the microwave over by the stove, and switching the coffee maker to the other side meant an entire countertop space for my mixer and baking canisters. It also makes better sense since the cabinet above the right side contains all the food stables like baking powder, additional flours, oils, etc.

Complaint #3- SOLVED
Love my spice cabinet (a former built-in ironing board) even more now that it's alphabetized. Now who needs one of the 4 (yes, four) canisters of cayenne pepper we had hiding in there?

Additional Complaint - SOLVED
Now only non-essential items are on the top most shelf and my cookbooks are now settled on the middle shelf well within my reach.


Chelsea + Jonathan said...

It looks SO good! How did I live with you and not know about your secret spice cabinet?! And how is it that alcohol and the fondue pot are non-essential items? Just kidding. My fondue pots are going to have to live in the garage once we move them.

Heidi said...

Nicely done! Will you do mine next?

mom said...

Sometimes the best ideas come out of frustration. Looks great!

corrie said...

Is that TWO fondue sets I see? One for cheese, one for chocolate? And I don't know how liquor qualifies as non-essential! I often need it much closer at hand. I wish I could get my kitchen cabinets so organized. We have SO LITTLE space, and I, too, hate having to unpack the entire cabinet to get to something at the back. I'm trying to get organized enough to have our pantry shelves easily accessible in the basement, which would help clear out some much needed space in the kitchen. Someday...