Last week, as part of my house tour posts, I shared with you design and layout of our Kitchen and adjacent Breakfast Area.
Now, I am going to take it all a step further and explain how we keep our kitchen organized.
Sure, it has its moments when you can barely see the island when it’s covered in bags, Autumn’s artwork from school, coupons, dog leashes, and freshly washed dishes. Not gonna lie, the random sock sometimes finds it’s way on there too.
That’s real life! But the best way to combat the mess is approaching the kitchen from several different ways from when you design it to move in and live in it.
As well, finding products that best suit your needs. We have a bunch of staples for organizing, cooking, cleaning, baby products, and of course coffee/tea supplies.
When designing or remodeling a kitchen, I highly suggest starting out by planning out what you have to store away and what you feature to strategically plan where things go. Like we have a our coffee area where the coffee maker is located on the counter, by an outlet, and directly above is a cabinet that stores our mugs, coffees, teas, and to-go cups.
But by having specific places for things throughout the kitchen, things can get organized and cleaned up again rather quickly. There is a spot for everything so things can easily put right back in their spots. And it certainly makes finding things a lot easier.
Some of the ways that we have it well organized is the way that we actually designed the kitchen. We made changes to the style and size of cabinets and the arrangement of them. For example, on the ‘active’ wall of our kitchen, we have a 30″ wide microwave cabinet, a 18″ wide cabinet with a door and drawer above, our stove, another 18″ wide cabinet with a door and drawer above, and a 30″ wide cabinet with 3 drawers. The symmetry looks good and after awhile you get used to taking a certain number of steps to each cabinet that your body gets a nice rhythm to each location.
On either side of the stove we have tools that help us use the stove from oven mitts to spatulas. Being able to reach them from the stove is key. It helps functionally and with safety.
Below those drawers are things that we also use often. Our various cutting boards and baking sheets are stored on the left side of the stove. This makes grabbing a sheet for baking up french fries easy, as well as grabbing a cutting board for making a salad. This location worked well, but the items got mixed together and would fall over making the cabinet a mess. The 18″ High Tray Dividers has allowed us to store and organized our wooden and plastic cutting boards and our baking sheets and cooling racks separately.
On the right side of the stove, we installed a Tall Base Cabinet Pull Out that allows for the cabinet to be stocked full of bake wear, but still be well organized and easily accessible. Had we not used the cabinet pull out, it would have meant that things would have been haphazardly stacked up and jammed in there, which would just mean that over time things would get messy. This pull out makes baking a breeze.
Even our decorative floating shelves serve a purpose. They hold gifts, memorabilia from trips, and other things that are special to us. Plus, the lower shelves have various sized small bowls on them that we use for misé-en-place when preparing a meal.
The large cabinet that is directly next to the refrigerator is the work horse of our kitchen. It has 3 drawers that is the work horse of the kitchen. The top drawer is our drawer for all our tools ranging from can opener to pepper corer. The “vertical” arrangement makes finding something easier so items aren’t lost in the back row.
As the top drawer holds so many tools of various sizes we upgraded the drawer organizer that I picked up from Ikea. I believe that since Ikea has their own line of cabinets, they size their organizers to fit their cabinets, which meant it didn’t fit in the cabinet well. It resulted in a lot of wasted space around it (picture on the left), so we swapped that out for the a better organizer.
The middle drawer holds all of Autumn’s plates, bowls, cups, and straws. I would try to keep it nice and organized but it would just end up in a jumbled mess.
Besides it staying super neat, Autumn can now easily find stuff and even help put things away when we are unloading the dishwasher.
Everyone knows the Tubberware cabinet/drawer is throw together, no top matching, miscellaneous, “is this even ours?” place for all the plastic stuff to be tucked away and forgotten about. With the easy peg system things stay put when the drawer is slammed opened and closed. A little organization went a long way with that space but it is much needed and a big time saver for after dinner next day meal planning.
The island is equally efficient for us. Not only is the sheer size (9′ long!) helpful, but the cabinets and things located at the island is very helpful for the overall function of the space. The island has our plumbing fixtures, which makes doing dishes really easy. Rinse a dish at the sink and then put it in the adjacent dishwasher.
We even organized the sink cabinet by adding 2 organizers and a towel holder. The organizers mount to door providing a place for things like sponges, dish soap, and cleaning supplies. The door mounted dish towel rack will help us by providing a spot for our towels, preventing clutter on our counters.
As well, I do most of the kitchen prep on the island. I work directly to the right of the sink, which gives me plenty of room to work. Additionally, I can swiftly dispose of trash right into the pull out trash can that is located in the end cabinet. We installed the 30 Quart Bottom Mount Wire Waste Container in chrome. The sleek design and finish is a nice feature in an otherwise forgotten space. The hardware has a no-slam slow closer feature which is nice knowing we have little one about.
In the drawer located above the trash can, we have our cutlery organizer. Locating it there makes unloading the dishwasher easy.
On the other side of the sink is another cabinet that is the same size as the cabinet that holds our trash can. We first installed our trash pull out located next to the dishwasher, which inspired us to install another pull out trash container for the dogs’ food. But we actually took it to the next level and got a 2 can pull out (typically used for trash and recycling).
This has allowed us to create a doggy station as we have their food in front and all the toys in the back. They are not the kind of dogs that can be trusted with toys just being out in the house as they, especially Kemper, get really focused on destroying and eating them. Let me tell you, a dog eating a rope toy is a mess and a safety issue too. But now everything they need is right where it needs to be. So perfect!
The remaining cabinets and countertop is a 6′ side section where we have the majority of our small appliances.
On the counter we have storage jars for baking supplies. It’s functional but also just pretty. Plus, getting to easily snag a marshmallow every now and then is a perk!
All of our small appliances are in the base cabinets. Yes, I have 5 waffle irons which might seem like a lot but I did make waffles every week for a year. yum!!!
Price modified the ill-fitting utensil tray from Ikea but cutting off one of the short ends so that it would fit. Now we have enough organizational cubbies for the small baking items; measuring spoons, measuring cups, pizza cutter, lemon/lime zester, melon baller, and teeny tiny rubber spatulas. The remaining space in the drawer is large enough for our larger baking tools like a kitchen scale and rolling pin.
And every house has a junk drawer, which is always a big mess of whatever. We all cleaned and sort them at least once a year and then they get dirty and disorganized again in about 2 days. We minimized out junk area with a drawer divider, allowing us to put all of our foils, wraps, and plastic bags in in the drawer too.
Before we put the baking supplies in the drawer were they currently reside, we had our spices in there. This was a disaster as they would roll around and get jumbled up. Some would even spill out the spices out of their twist tops making a mess in there.
We totally needed the vertical spice organizer on our pantry door.
Use empty space on the pantry door = Win.
Take everything out of a drawer so I now have extra space to store more stuff = Win.
Organizing all the spices alphabetically = WIN!
I am so happy with how well our kitchen is organized now. All of the various products that we used has helped us make cooking a real pleasure by keeping the kitchen clean, neat, organized, and useful.
I was provided product from Rev-A-Shelf, but I was not compensated to write this post. All options are my own.