Autumn is the perfect time to get organized in the kitchen.
Don’t panic, but the holidays ARE coming!
My old kitchen.
My last kitchen was much more to my liking than the one I have now. My old kitchen was designed by me, so of course I liked it. The kitchen I have now is just as a builder designed it. Builders are not always the most sensitive to charming details. I have a fine kitchen and I’m blessed to have it. It just isn’t my DREAM.
Even though my kitchen is not (yet?!) as charming as I’d like it, that doesn’t mean it can’t be functional right now. And really, that is what matters. I don’t have to wallow in sorrow for what I don’t have (subway tile?, crystal knobs?, hammered pulls? stainless hood? fancy appliances? glass doors? Who needs them. Whatever).
My last kitchen was not designed with fancy divided drawers, pull out bins, or spice cabinets. It was pretty to look at, but still a basic kitchen without a lot of bells and whistles. Keeping things basic rather than fully customized saved us tons of money! Wish I could go back and show you the insides of all the drawers in that kitchen but too late, it isn’t my house any more!
I love organization because I don’t like to waste time looking for things, but not so much in that “every drawer MUST be a work of art” sort of way. I don’t obsess too much about stuff like that, I have other things to do. If something is in the right drawer, that is good enough for me.
I divide my kitchen into zones whenever possible. I have the cooking zone, the baking zone, the dish zones, pots & pans zone — it goes on and on! And when something doesn’t quite fit into it’s designated zone, I do the best I can to keep items as close to “the zone” it belongs in as I can.
Stainless and wood stirring items go in a simple crock near the stove.
Baking supplies. No fancy dividers or detailed organization, but it takes me 5 seconds to see what I need.
Cutting, stirring and other ugly randomness all go in a drawer.
Top shelf is overflow baking supplies, bottom shelf are spices. Clearly we don’t have a fancy spice rack. I don’t even turn my spices straight and line them up by size or type. My daughter would probably do that for me if I wanted to be perfect, but I just don’t take the time to keep up with it because they are in a closed cabinet. I can handle a little disarray in a cabinet.
Simply by grouping things TOGETHER with like things, I can almost always find what I am looking for in a matter of seconds. It may not look fancy, but it works!
I had another kitchen, the one prior to my “dream kitchen,” that was tiny. TEENSY TINY. We hardly had any cabinets or counter space. But I still could find everything in a matter of moments because I used the “zone” method. I hung racks on the back of a basement door for pantry items, put shelving in my basement for bulky items, put a metal rack for mixers and small appliances in a back hall, hung attractive items on the wall, utilized the inside of cabinet doors, and didn’t have excess of anything.
That kitchen felt charming and eclectic, but it was also far from a dream kitchen!
It doesn’t matter whether your kitchen is big or small, or pretty or fancy, dreamy or basic, whether or not you have a dedicated pantry, customized drawers or fancy bins and baskets, you can still have a fairly organized kitchen that you actually enjoy working in. Just keep only what you really need, get creative with how you store things, and use zones as your organization method.
If you can make your kitchen prettier while you are organizing, that is a bonus!
I haven’t quite mastered pretty in my pantry. Wish I had a better picture of the whole pantry, but I’m away from home and can’t take a new one. This photo is from last year but I assure you it looks about the same. Eh hem. You can see enough to know, it isn’t perfect or pretty. And I have issues with paper overflowing out of baskets. By the way, I did frame the owl art my son made in school, it didn’t stay on the back of the pantry door.
That kitchen, above, is what I’d consider someone’s dream kitchen. But notice that even though it has beautiful features, it is actually quite simply organized. You might not have built-in basket drawers (who really has that many onions all at once?), but it has some very simple doable ideas such as racks on the back of doors and open shelves for pantry items.
Function can be pretty!
Tell me about YOUR kitchen!
Is it your dream kitchen?
Is it organized?
For the entire series links, click the 31 Days Button below!
Find the rest of the 31 Day girls here.