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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tidy Tuesday - reorganizing the kitchen

If it's one thing I like to do, it's helping someone organize their home.  While visiting with my married daughter, she asked me if I'd help her with her kitchen and so yesterday was the big day.

Before - My daughter wanted to tidy up first but I wouldn't let her!
Her kitchen has some definite's very small and the cabinets are oddly shaped and have non-adjustable shelves.  The positive is that she has additional pantry space downstairs.  We were going to try to use the storage containers she already had and not spend very much on the project.

We started by taking everything out of the cabinets.  Food items were checked for expiration dates.  Expired food was thrown away.  Food that was not going to be eaten was thrown away.  We then organized the remaining food by category...baking, breakfast, pasta, spices, etc.  Equipment and utensils were next.  My daughter decided which things she wanted to keep in the kitchen, which things could go into the pantry (seasonal, rarely used), and which things she could get rid of.   We ended up filling five trash bags with expired food, storage containers with no lids, or lids with no containers,  and obvious trash.  A box of canning jars, several platters, and miscellaneous bakeware went to the pantry as well as extra canned goods and duplicate food items.  Things that didn't belong in the kitchen were put where they belonged.  A good scrubbing down of the interior and exterior of each cabinet, and we were ready to replace everything.

Before - No place for anything!  No counter space.
After - A place for bulk items and useable counter space.  The containers still need labels.
Before - Food in bags, needs organizing.

After - a shelf for breakfast food, a shelf for pasta, and a third shelf for extra baking supplies.  Still need labels.

Before - No place for pots and pans, needs place for cooking oil and spices.

Before - Mixture of food and equipment. 

After - A shelf for storage containers (all have lids), a shelf for hand mixers, grater and other equipment.
We used the cabinets on the right side to hold all the dishes, bakeware, glasses, storage containers, and equipment like hand mixer, cheese grater, strainer and pressure cooker.  The left side was for food.  There was a shelf for bread and baked goods, one for cereal and breakfast food, another for baking supplies, one large shelf for spices (she really likes her spices!) and so on.  Because her shelves can't be adjusted, we exchanged the original containers of some things (cooking oil, a large bottle of vanilla) for containers that would fit on the shelf.  The excess went down to the pantry.   One thing that worked out nicely was what we did with three of the super skinny cabinets (6 inches wide!)  We designated one for the children's treats, one for my son-in-law's treats and one for my daughter's treats.   There they can keep their granola bars, drink mixes, favorite nuts and whatever else that is uniquely theirs.  When the kids want treats, they know just where to look. 

After - Oven cleared of stuff, counter tops clear.  Refrigerator clean and has Things I Need list.  You can't see it but the tops of the cabinet are empty now.
The end result is a kitchen that is functional and not over crowded.  The countertops are useable.  The food is organized and there's a place for everything.  It was a good day's work. 

After - Room to cook and clean!


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