Thursday, January 10, 2013

Starting the year off right...my kitchen organization


Last week, I showed you my home office organization. This week, the Organizing Revolution continues with week two - the kitchen.

I once read an article in Real Simple about a fabulously organized but seemingly relaxed mother. Her home was simple but lovely. I'm not saying I believe everything I read, but one thing she said stuck with me. Her secret was to ensure that, at the very least, her kitchen was back to clean at the end of each day.


I so believe in this (not that I am often successful with it). The kitchen is your central command. When it is a mess, everything functions poorly from there on.


This is what my countertop usually looks like. Often it's much worse. It collects every loose toy, bill, receipt and homework sheet in the house.


Today, I took a good look at my kitchen and tried to see it with fresh eyes. I cleaned the surfaces and peeked in the cupboards.


As I said in my office post, I'm certainly not a minimalist. I have lots of stuff. I am comfortable with it, but I like it to be gathered into drawers, cupboards, bins and containers where possible.

I don't think we'll ever get around to doing a backsplash, so I have started putting up pictures, like the portrait my son drew and a photo of the Cabot Trail before it was paved.


I use a wooden caddy to corral utensils. I bought a stand for our Keurig tea and coffee K-Cups. The overflow has ended up in my vintage green glass bowl.


Recently, we picked up some under-cupboard lights from Costco. I don't really like the fact that they shine blue, but they were affordable and easy to put up. They even have a switch with a dimmer and a timer.


I always talk about my owl mugs...but how do you like the Jimi Hendrix mug I got my husband for Christmas?


Now, kitchen things that make my life easier. This drawer for pots. Love that I don't have to stack them.


One of my favourites (that I've shown you before)...I use a jewelry organizer for my measuring spoons. I found spoons that I can actually read (without taking off my glasses and holding them up to my face). I hung them in order of size so I can grab them easily while baking.


When we moved into this house about five years ago, I gave the kids a couple of shelves in the pantry. We put their dishes and straws on a low shelf so they could reach them. This way they can pour their own water and set out their own plates. Even a very young child can do this.


They also have a bottom shelf for some of their art supplies and notebooks.


This cupboard makes lunch preparation easier. It contains all of our small containers, plastic cutlery, small jam jars for sauces and dips, markers, hot and cold food containers and water bottles. The top shelf is for lunch bags.


My freezer containers from the dollar store are still working out well. I have two for frozen veggies and one for fruit. One is for bread and the others hold a mix of stuff.


I bought this cutlery caddy for my mom and she gave it back to me. I decided to leave it on the kitchen table. Inevitably when we sit down to dinner, somebody needs more cutlery for something. Now we don't have to get up...as often.


I keep clips in the kitchen to close the many bags that my daughter opens.


I write grocery items on the chalkboard as we run out of them. The board is also home to magnets from our travels and a picture of me and my brother and sister as kids.


Put up a fire extinguisher...please. I set the stove on fire in our last house and I never forgot it. Don't put anything on the stove that doesn't belong there. You might just turn on the wrong burner and walk away like I did. That baby monitor wasn't meant to be cooked! In my defense, we were moving, so I had stuff piled everywhere. Now, I feel more comfortable having an extinguisher handy.


This is my handy tea drawer. I like to see the varieties easily, although I rarely stray from decaf green.


And the final thing that makes my life easier...the liquor cabinet. Just kidding...sort of. After a long day of organizing, you just might need a drink!

What is your favourite kitchen organizing tip?


A Bowl Full of Lemons

30 comments:

  1. I'm not sure this is an organizing tip, but I try to unload the dishwasher as soon as it's done running the cycle. That way fewer dirty dishes have a chance to pile up in the sink while I stall getting the clean ones put away!

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    1. That is definitely an awesome organizing tip! Once the dishes start piling up, they get more and more intimidating! ;)

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  2. My organising tip (which I never follow) is never leave random bowls/containers on your benchtops or microwave because they will always get filled with crap. Same applies to my fruit bowls, somehow they never end up storing fruit.

    Your kitchen is great, so much space! My kitchen floorspace is smaller than most bathrooms. The previous owners updated the cabinetry (my house was built in 1930) but didn't knock down a wall to make more space (WHY???) so we're hoping to do the big renovation this year.

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    1. I love to put out a nice bowl of fruit, but after a couple of days the fruit is gone and you have the type of random empty bowl you talked about!

      I hope you get to do your renovation. Kitchen space is a big help for a mom! ;)

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  3. Your kitchen is GORGEOUS!!! I love it! Totally agree with the getting the kitchen to clean each night-- I feel that way too. Its just not right to wake up, head out for my coffee & find a mess! Our freezer & fridge, however, are a black pit of despair I am afraid to enter...my husband stores all our leftovers in ziploc bags....sigh. I will have to raid the dollar store to see if I can find some of those bins, they might help!

    OH as far as keeping things organized, I actually labelled all the shelves with what is supposed to be on them. The kids empty the dishwasher & it helps keep them on task lol!

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    1. Oh, I HATE it when I wake up to a messy kitchen. Happens more than I would like. Not today at least. ;)

      I have been buying less bread and stuff to keep the freezer from filling up with "butt ends."

      I like your shelf labeling idea! :)

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  4. Sigh. A nice white kitchen. I hate the dark kitchen we're in right now. Can you come organize me?? I envy your cabinet space, I don't have nearly enough. Also, we have the same Dali finger puppet on our fridge! Love that :)

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    1. Hi Ruthie, I always wanted a white kitchen, but we just happened to find a house that already had one. Now I want a better one. ;)

      I would love to help you get organized. Too bad it's a journey away. :(

      Funny that we have that same Dali puppet. We got ours at the Dali museum when we were in Florida for my sister's wedding two years ago. What about you?

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    2. That's where I got mine! :) You're right, great minds!

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    3. Same! My parents spend half the year in Florida, and when I visit, we always go.

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  5. Your kitchen is so crisp and white! I always wanted a white kitchen, but no one else in the family holds my vision. My tip ... as soon as I start baking or making a meal, I fill the sink with really hot soapy water so that I can clean some of the dishes up as soon as I go along. During the holidays this helps when you're making a lot of things at once and need the same measuring cups and bowls repeatedly.

    And can I just say how much a agree with the fire extinguisher, and your advice for keeping EVERYthing off a stove top that shouldn't be there. 'We' recently melted a plug-in kettle sitting on the stove when the wrong burner was turned on. And although the fire extinguisher is RIGHT beside the stove, my husband didn't use it because he 'didn't want to make a mess'...sigh All turned out safely, but lesson learned the hard way.

    I love organizing stuff, and these posts are a joy to read :) Wendy

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    1. Your tip is so good! I hate, hate, hate when the dishes start piling up. I think you should only have to do one or the other -- one person cooks, one cleans (at the same time)!

      I wondered about the fire extinguisher making a mess. I bet I would be reluctant to use it too. But my fire wasn't easy to put out.

      I'm glad you liked the post. :) Joann

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  6. I wish my cupboards looked as organized!!

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    1. I didn't show you all my cupboards Jill. ;)

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  7. Beautiful Kitchen :)
    You are right - flat spaces collect stuff. I'm working on putting out the little fires in our hotspots around here.

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    1. That's a great way to put it. I have some more hotspots to address...

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  8. Wow, super impressed! My kitchen is a perpetual mess, at least in some places. A good way to start the new year.

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    1. Yes, I hope I can keep it up...for a few days at least...

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  9. Wow Jo you have been busy.....
    Great post! I am glad to hear that someone elses counter top ends up resembling a home office as well! Love the idea of having a cupboard accessible for kids.
    K xx

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    1. Oh, yes, that countertop is an unhappy place. If I clear it, the rest of the family sees a great spot to put things!

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  10. Enjoyed the tour. Everything is tidy and clean looking. It must be the lots of white with green. My tip is to multi task. When I'm waiting for water to boil, I'll wipe down a drawer or cabinet. That way I keep it all clean, without having to have a big day of take everything out and clean the whole entire kitchen, etc. Just doing spring cleaning in bite sized amounts helps me.

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    1. Ah, yes, multi-tasking. Do you make the bed while you brush your teeth? I have a few tops with toothpaste marks on them. ;)

      Seriously though, multi-tasking is necessary to get things in shape, isn't it? :)

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  11. I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!! Our kitchen is so ugly... Like -fugly-.
    I have that Dali magnet and the same green glass.
    Your kitchen is what I wish mine looked like - absolutely beautiful!

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    1. I'm sure your kitchen isn't as bad as you think. I hate my counter and I want glass door cabinets.

      That makes three of us with the Dali magnet. See Ruthie, above. Great minds think alike. ;)

      Thanks for your kindness! Jo

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  12. Great job Jo! Everything looks so perfectly placed and organized! There is NOTHING quite like an organized Kitchen! Love your kitchen! Have a lovely weekend! Angie xo

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    1. Aw, thanks Angie. Have a great rest of your weekend, too! :) Jo

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  13. Your kitchen is gorgeous and bright!
    I love using Mason jars for food storage -- that's my kitchen organization tip!

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  14. can I know the brand of the fire extinguisher that you are using? it looks really nice and i wana get one. thanks

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