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Space: Kitchen Cabinets & Drawers

Seems like the Bathroom organization was a popular topic, so here’s a little peek into the kitchen.  As with my bathroom, I have half size drawers from before and a few less cabinets.  I realize this isn’t NYC, and the amount of cabinets I have is still plenty, but it is a downsize from before.  I had to pull everything out of boxes and start over with sorting and figuring out my new space.  Here’s a few tricks for maximizing smaller spaces…

My drawers.  They are 9″ across, and the hunt was on to find a silverware organizer that would fit in a 9″ drawer and hold 2 types of forks, 2 types of spoons, knives and serving utensils. I finally found it at Walmart and squeezed it in.  In other places, I’ve used this for my silverware and it was all sorted and spaced out…

Now, however this is the largest drawer I have so I filled this up with utensils and tools I use most often.  All of my tea/tablespoons, knives, graters/peelers, tongs and openers.  Yes, a couple of those are antler horn handles.  And, if you have been around here a while, you know my favorite color is green.  That big chef knife in the front, brand is AR+Cook, found at Marshall’s and they are great, inexpensive, knives! 

Other drawers I have are for bags/wrap and utensils that don’t fit in the drawer above.  The back of this has a few extras, same bins I use in my bathroom drawers to hold things I don’t use as often, but keeps them from being in a heap that I have to ruffle through every time. 

 

Cabinet storage was tricky and I now have my Wilton Armetele collection on display vs stacked in a cabinet, simply due to space. 

Dishes are all stacked in one cabinet, directly across from the dishwasher for easy unloading.  Place setting for 12 with 3 sizes of places, dipper bowls, cereal bowls and coffee cups.  I also have dessert plates and few colored extra bowls here with my dishes. 

Since I am tall, I appreciate cabinets that go as high as possible.  I would definitely put 42″ cabinets in a house I designed.  And, a 3rd rack in a closet but that is a separate topic….
Back to the kitchen, I have a couple of wire baskets that I can see through, holding various tools I don’t use everyday, stashed on my top shelves. 

 
For pans, they are stacked, but utilize extra add-in shelves for space and to separate lids, pan size, etc.  These shelves are sold everywhere from the Dollar Store ($) to the Container Store ($$$$) and vary in size, allowing you to easily create additional shelf space and give you quick access to things you need/use on a regular basis without always having to dig through a big stack. 
 
 
Finally, the ever popular plastic storage containers that can easily over take a cabinet(S) and said cabinets eat lids.  I separate my square storage and round storage in these 2 stacking baskets.  I realize this is a “small” collection compared to lots of people, but reality is you don’t use up all those containers, some don’t even have lids, some the lids are microwave warped, and some just need to be tossed.  Make it a kid project and have them help you sort/separate and organize a reasonable amount of reusable containers.  Don’t let them overtake your kitchen. 
 
 

Final tip….I hardly ever fill the sink with dishwater and wash a whole sink full of dishes.  Though I used to have previously discussed my dishwasher sorting (read: OCD). I typically wash along the way as I’m cooking/baking and use a re-fillable soap sponge.  However, the green tipped ones get so yucky because stuff sticks to them.  Enter the Scotch Brite Easy Clean non-stick sponge…it really does work and if you do dishes with one of these types of sponges, get rid of the green and yellow one and get this purple one!  I promise you’ll be glad you did! 

The arrangement of your cabinets and drawers isn’t the same for everyone.  How you use your space is unique to you.  However, finding a system that works where things you reach for regularly are accessible, a drawer/cabinet doesn’t explode out onto the floor when you open it and you can quickly put dishes/pans and utensils away will make your kitchen a less stressful place. 

Happy Cooking,

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