Now that our kitchen is slowly getting more beautiful (also read: I enjoy spending more time there) with the makeover process, and we’re at a pause point while we price out tackling the backsplash, I thought I’d share a few ways we’ve been working on improving the function and organization.
I installed a pull down spice rack in our last house which I ended up leaving since it was screwed into the cabinet. I liked it. It functioned, but I also felt limited by the size. I decided to try something new this time and bought an expandable stepped organizer from The Container Store. The spices are arranged by size, and then alphabetically with a few more frequently used ones pulled to the front so I can quickly find what I am looking for. It holds so much more and they are easily accessible – I don’t miss the pull down rack at all.
I also keep the salt & pepper in this cabinet. It was a countertop item before we listed our last house. Once I got into the habit of storing it in the cabinet to keep the counters clear for showings, I realized how much better I liked having it out of view. Also, we have less counter space now so I don’t like to hog any up with extra items.
As cute as they are, I had to make myself stop buying these! We still use them daily although our son will occasionally use one of our actual china plates or bowls. Since he helps fix his own meals and carries his plate to & from the table, it’s nice to have a nonbreakable option. It’s a rare day he drops one, but better to be cleaning up spilt food or drink than broken china too.
To keep them accessible, but not take up a lot of space in the cabinet, I used an undershelf basket from The Container Store. It just slides in and connects onto the existing cabinet shelf. This doubled my stacking space so I can put the round plates and a few bowls up top and the divided plates on the bottom.
The basket also provides a little support for the cutting boards I stand to the side. Another thing I picked up when we were selling our last house – one more item off the counter (I had previously kept them standing behind our canisters on counter) and hidden out of view.
Pots & Pans
We added a pull-out organizer a year ago. This has been the best thing! Each pot & pan plus lid has a designated spot. They are easy to access and we no longer have toppling towers when we try to pull one out to use.
Cookie Sheets & Muffin Tins
I updated a skinny existing cabinet in our first house with dividers to allow for vertical pan storage. This house actually came with one tall, skinny cabinet that is perfect for this without having to add dividers. Smaller pans, bread pans and muffin tins are all stashed in the drawer beneath the oven.
This is our newest addition. Our son picked out a small bin at the Dollar Tree to use for containing his snacks. We placed it on one of the lower shelves in the pantry and filled with snack options. Each night he selects a snack and places it in his backpack for the next day. This gives him a little independence.
What are you tricks for keeping a kitchen organized and functional?