Kitchen Organization Overhaul: What’s Not Working

Happy April Fools Day!  I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!  We spent the weekend with family, but I spent most of our spring break organizing the kitchen.  Actually, I started two weeks ago, but it keeps going, and going, and going…

Despite having plenty of cabinet & drawer space, our kitchen has not been functioning well for our family.  When we moved in, I was anxious to be settled, and quickly put our kitchen ware away.  Three years & lots of pins later, I was finally motivated to make the most of our kitchen & put it to work for us!  Before we take a look at how I tackled this project, lets take a look at a few problem areas.

Here’s a quick reminder of what my kitchen looks like: 

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(I spy a toddler!)

Our island is huge, with four drawers & six good sized cabinets.  Unfortunately, all that space, meant some empty cabinets.  Originally, I was excited to have extra, unused cabinet space.  Then, this happened:

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Apparently, empty cabinets means random junk gets thrown in them whenever I’m too lazy to return stuff to the basement!  Oops!

I like to call this “The Island of Misfit Appliances” since it houses appliances in three separate, yet random areas:

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These appliances live a cramped life right next to the “empty” cabinet from above!

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However, these guys live at the end of the island, a good ten feet away from the others!

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I love my electric griddle (& large cookie sheet beneath it) but don’t love using up prime drawer real estate to store it.  (Sadly, it is too impossible to store in my cabinets.)

Since I’m on the subject of drawers, lets take a look at a few others.  Mkay? 

One of the middle drawers in the island stores all of my measuring cups & spoons.  These items would be much more functional closer to the stove, where they are generally used. (Please ignore the mess on the counter!)

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The large drawer next to the stove is cluttered with a million ladles, spatulas, scrapers, & random cooking items I’ve never really used.  Creating custom drawer dividers & getting rid of broken & unused items would make this drawer much more functional.

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The bibs, towels, & washcloths also live next to the stove.  Don’t ask me why I didn’t store them in the drawer next to the sink!  We only have two deep drawers, so this one could definitely be utilized better if the dish cloths were moved.

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The other deep drawer holds our lunch bags.  Again, it would save so much time in the mornings if I kept them closer to the other lunch-packing items.

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Speaking of packing lunches…  Would you want to sort through this every morning to find the divided lunch containers.  Yeh.  Me either!

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I call this my cooking & baking cabinet.  See those muffin mixes on the second shelf from the top?  I eat those every morning for breakfast, which means every few days I have to drag a stool over & climb up on the counter to reach them in the very back.  Can you say, “dysfunctional”?

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The final problem spot in our kitchen is the pantry.  First of all, the wire shelves are annoying, but I will have to make them work for now.  The big source of contention with the pantry is the nasty trash cans.  We have our kids clear their dishes after meals, which means the pantry walls are decorated with pasta sauce & peanut butter.  Seriously disgusting!  Also, whenever we have company, the “to do” list gets even longer, since I have to straighten the entire pantry in case anyone needs to throw anything away!  I wouldn’t want my guests to open the doors to this:

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So, there you have it!  Lots of problem areas.  Fortunately, I have a lot of great solutions for these problems!  I can’t wait to show you what we’ve done!  But for now, I must try to fool my kids a few times before the day is over!

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