Monday, August 17, 2009

Kitchen Organization- Optimizing by Space and Function

When the kitchen seems to be the center of all daily activity, it can be tough keeping it organized. Ever since moving into our new apartment 6 months ago, I have been telling myself I would 'get to it'. As the days turned into months, I found myself cooking less and becoming quite frustrated with the layout of my kitchen. It seemed everything was in an inconvenient spot. I was tired of reaching for heavy items stored high and tired of running in circles (literally) every time I decided to cook something. Here is a little before and after picture of my pantry:

PANTRY BEFORE:
As you can see, it was a disaster. I could never find anything and was constantly feeling like I had no room to store new items. After completely gutting it and re-purposing the shelving, here is what it looks like now:

PANTRY AFTER:
Yes, that is the same amount of food shown as there was in the first picture! Just shows how terrible the organization was. I moved the cereal (which was previously on top of the griddle on top of the fridge) and chips to the top shelf, the second highest shelving unit is comprised of snacks (I used a shelving unit to divide small grab and go snacks from larger boxes), the middle shelf boasts canned goods, categorized by type.

Beside the canned goods is a neat line up of all the sauces. The next shelf down houses pasta, noodles and rice along with processed boxed dinners. The bottom shelf houses a removable container full of cleaning supplies, napkins, paper towels and least used appliances.

Under this bottom shelf (not shown in the picture) is another bin full of party supplies such as paper plates, plastic silverware and birthday decorations. I did not change the spice rack on the door for the time being.

Here is a BEFORE picture of my main kitchen cabinets:

A complete disaster. Unfortunately, this is where I stuffed all the odds and ends while unpacking from the move. As you can see, it was more of a junk storage.

AFTER:

Can we say- HALLELUJAH? Now, THAT'S what a kitchen cabinet should look like! I put the plates and glass cups on one side (with the wine glasses on top) and the mugs and frequently used appliances on the other side. Since my coffee maker is right under this cabinet, I included the coffee, filter and mugs all in one spot. Extra coffee is stored on top in between the middle panel, so it's hidden from view.

AFTER:

This part of my kitchen I particularity am proud of. These cabinets are the closest to the stove, and I really needed to bring all my baking ingredients to an area that would be conductive and convenient. Before, I had stored them all in the pantry. On the left hand side I stored extra flour and sugar on the top shelf. On the second shelf is pre-packaged baking goods (such as cake, cookies, corn muffins) along with measuring cups. Next to that are the plastic cups. The bowls and smaller plates are on the bottom shelf since they are heavily used.

My muffin pans are on the top right shelf, followed by main baking ingredients on the middle. The bottom houses bread and kitchen towels. This is going to make it so much easier to bake! I will have EVERYTHING right where I need them. And the mixing bowls are right under this counter in the lazy Susan!

For tips and tricks on making your kitchen work for you, visit some of the links below!

Kitchen Organizing Checklist

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Keeping Your Pantry Organized

6 comments:

Lisa said...

Everything looks great. I organized my pantry last weekend. It always makes me feel happy to look at neat rows of canned goods...a bit weird, but it could be worse.

Pam said...

Wow! I so need to do this in my kitchen. After seeing your before and after pictures, I am inspired.

Rachel said...

Lisa,
I get a weird sense of joy having my pantry organized as well!

Pam,
I am so glad that my kitchen inspired you. Although it takes a few hours, it is so worth the time.

Bradford said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dawn said...

Fabulous before and after shots!! If I may suggest one thing...be careful of any flour, or boxed stuff like corn muffins..they can get worms in it if stored long, even if its never been opened. A good way to avoid this is to store it in the fridge! I learned this lesson the hard way!! Love the blog! Look forward to checking out some of your recipes!

Rachel said...

Dawn,

Thank you so much for this warning- how scary! I would have never guessed it! You've just given me an incentive to use up a bunch of my flour and mixes- a baking I shall go...

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