Kitchen organization has been an ongoing process in our house. Since we don't have a pantry (a feature that I really miss and hope to soon rectify), I've had to designate precious cabinet space to dry goods and canned goods. Now that the holiday baking frenzy is over, it's time to repair the damage done to my baking cabinets. My baking cabinets are where I store all of the dry goods that I use for, you guessed it, baking!
They were in quite a state of disarray, with multiple different kinds of flours, sweeteners, nuts, etc., kind of just shoved in haphazardly. I was so afraid one of our friends was going to open them during our New Year's Eve party -- who knows what would have come tumbling out.
You thought I was joking? Looks neat and tidy from the outside, but open the doors and it looks like a bomb went off...
3 Steps to Kitchen Organization
I am by no means an organizational guru. I love looking at beautifully organized spaces on Pinterest as much as the next person, but in my home, function comes first. So when it comes to getting the job done, these are the steps I follow for any space I need to organize:
Pull everything out. Yes, I mean everything. Trying to pick through it as you're removing it just slows down the process.
Don't even think about shopping for an organizational system without a plan. You work hard for your money, right? So don't waste it on unnecessary organizational items or you could be stuck with trying to force your space to work with a system that's not the best fit.
Return the items making sure to arrange everything where you can see it. Being able to see everything at a glance prevents you from buying items you already have on hand, and it allows you to easily see when it's time to stock back up again.
I know this is pretty simplistic, but sometimes tackling large messes can be overwhelming. Thinking of the process in this manner really helps me dive in and get the job done.
Kitchen Organization in Action
Following these "rules", my first step was to remove everything from the cabinets and set it on the kitchen island. Everything that was outdated or expired was tossed, and everything left was grouped into categories that made sense to me -- obviously important because I'm the one that does 99% of the baking in our house.
Once I had everything categorized, it was easy to see what I needed to pick up from the store to help keep my cabinets neat and tidy. I headed to Walmart to pick up a bamboo 3-tier shelf and some drawer organizers and several rolls of Duck Easy Liner.
After getting home with my goods, I wiped down the inside of my baking cabinets, and placed everything back in them, maintaining my categories and making sure I was able to actually see everything. The bamboo shelf really helped with the small items here! And yeah, I can't actually see what's on the top shelf from the ground, but I use it for storing things like cookie cutters, pastry bags and tips, and specialty pans -- stuff that I don't need to use often and rarely have to replenish.
Looks a million times better, doesn't it? I smile every time I open the door now. Even my husband complimented me on how much nicer this area looks, although I'm pretty sure he was hinting around that I need to get a move on with the rest of the kitchen, lol.
While I was at it, I also cleaned out the baking drawer below the cabinets. Large drawers like this can be difficult to keep organized. Utensils and such slide all over the place whenever I open the drawer.
My solution was to corral some of the smaller items in a drawer organizer and to line the entire drawer with Duck Easy Liner to prevent slippage. Now my gadgets stay put stay put when I open the drawer, and it's super easy to see and grab the correct tool for the job.
Oh, and while we're on the subject of gadgets, this would be an ideal time to cull your inventory. As much as I love my kitchen gadgets, I got rid of a good number of items that I rarely used, especially when other tools could essentially perform the same task. Who needs a banana slicer that's used twice a year when a good old chef's knife will do the trick?
I also used the liner in the drawer where I store my cute little spice jars. Our drawers are pretty deep and they would slide all over, but not any more!
What are your favorite kitchen organization tips? I still have many more cabinets and drawers to go, so I'd love to hear them.