Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 1 of the Weekly Organization Challenge

This is the first official post of The Good Wife's Weekly Organization Challenge! How did everyone do the first week? Survive?

In week 1, we tackled the kitchen drawers and kitchen cabinet organization. In the past I have talked about little things I have done to organize the kitchen, such as the utensil drawer, the kiddo cabinet, the spice rack, and pot and pan storage

I will confess that probably my biggest challenge is not having enough stuff to fill all the cabinets and I have a lot of wasted space. Oh, the first world problems I have.

But even if you have more stuff and less space, there are several organization principles I use to help organize the kitchen.

Let's start with a basic overview of my kitchen.

And now a breakdown of where everything is at.

Starting from the side closest to the pantry and working from the top cabinets I have:

My bake ware.  I chose this location (to the left of the stove) for the dishes since it is closest to the stove and it was the first cabinet large enough to hold all the dishes. This allows me to prep food on the counter below and then just grab a dish and put it in the oven. I like to group similar items together, so round and oval bake ware are together as are square and rectangle. I also like to have the lids on as much bake ware as possible, so it is easy to find and use.

Above the stove are rarely used items like all my vases.

Next to the stove on the right hand side, I have my food prep tools and bowls.

Lesser used items like my salad spinner and dressing maker are on the top shelf - both out of the way yet within easy reach. Next I have my food processor and shredder. Behind the shredder are the additional blades and the housing for the blades. On the bottom shelf are my mixing bowls and my hand mixer. I like this cabinet since it is compact and everything is neatly stored in here.

Next to this is the corner cabinet which contains serving dishes and larger cooking tools.

The top shelf holds my pampered chef mixing bowl and not much else. The second shelf contains my bread basket, serving trays and my trifle dish. I might eventually move this to the buffet in the dinning room but then what would I put in here? On the bottom shelf I have the tools I use the most - kitchen aid stand mixer attachments, strainers and colanders and my mandolin that likes to try and kill me.

Next cabinet holds all my food storage. Tupperware containers live here along with my glass containers.

Moving to the other side of the side of the window and way from the cooking tools we have the eating stuffs.

Directly above the dishwasher is the cabinet for dishes. This contains our everyday drinking glasses, which we need to replace, as well as coffee mugs and travel mugs. I also like to keep our most used medicines in this cabinet for ease of access.

In the corner cabinet I have our plates and bowls and some miscellaneous mason jars. This cabinet is home to the plates since it has more room than the cabinet with the cups. The reason being, just like with items you use the most when cooking and keeping them next to the stove, you want to keep the items that you will unload from your dishwasher close by.

Now the annoying thing about my kitchen is that with the dishwasher open, I am too short to actually reach from the dishwasher and into the cabinets where everything goes. So I have to set everything on the counter, shut the dishwasher door and then put the stuff away. Again, such a first world problem.

Next to the dishes is the kiddo cabinet.

The next cabinet is the lunch command center.

This is another double cabinet that has tons of storage. It is also right next to the fridge and above my other lunch command center drawer (which you will see in just a second). When I pack lunches at night, I can easily get food out of the fridge, set them on the counter under the cabinet and prep. This cabinet holds all the food I use to make lunches - The Good Husband's canned fruit, peanut butter, bread, etc., as well as a snack station for The Good Daughter. The cabinet is also home to the containers I use the most of lunches, as well as cookbooks I don't use all that much and TGH's lunch bag.

Now starting with the bottom cabinets next to the pantry.

This drawer is next to the phone and is the minioffice of the kitchen. I wish I had one of those nice fancy kitchens that has a little desk in it but I don't. I have to make due with this drawer. This houses copies of the phone book, pens, pencils and a pencil sharpener, along with a ruler and note pads. I also keep envelopes for mail in this drawer, along with scissors, glue sticks and a calculator.

Next to the minioffice, is my cutting board and pot pad drawer. Again, this is next to the stove for ease of access.

Under the two drawers is the pot and pan cabinet.

On the right side of the stove is the utensil drawer.

Below that is the cabinet with the cookie sheets. This cabinet needs an organization intervention which I will do soon.

Next are the only deep drawers I have in the kitchen. The top one is the shallowest and it holds my foil, wax paper and plastic wrap along with my dish rags and towels.

Below this is more food storage that needs to be organized desperately.

Next is the spice drawer. I have updated it since the last time I talked about it. I have added more jars and moved the sugar jars out of here and into the pantry.

The bottom drawer holds my baking tools and decorations. Cookie cutters, sprinkles, cupcake wrappers live in here and hide from the camera.

Next is the stuff I keep under the sink.

This is home to my cleaning supplies, as well as trash can for kitchen rags, trash bags and compost bucket.

Next to the dishwasher is the silverware drawer. Originally I had a metal silverware tray that looked beautiful but had some serious functionality issues. The dividers separating the silverware had a small gap, so the knives would end up sliding under the dividers and would get stuck. So back to Target it went and I got this nice bamboo tray instead. This keeps all the silverware separate and allows me room for knives, forks, spoons, serving spoons as well as miscellaneous silverware a the top. This drawer does need some organization help. More on that soon. 

Below the silverware is the cabinet for large cooking appliances. This contains (way in the back) an electric griddle, our rotisserie and our fryer. On the shelf in the back are the accessories to the rotisserie, a juicer, our toaster oven and the shredder attachment to my kitchen aid stand mixer.

The next drawer, directly under the lunch station cabinet, is the lunch station drawer. This containers freezer and storage bags and chip clips. I eventually want to get rid of these altogether for something more earth friendly.

The next drawer is the man drawer. This houses light bulbs, tools and a shitton of batteries. I also have the charger for our rechargeable batteries in here as well as a sewing kit.

And finally, the last cabinet, below the lunch station drawer and the man drawer, is my other appliance cabinet. In it lives the blender, the waffle iron, the crockpots, the indoor grill and our pitchers.

So there you have it. The tour of The Good Wife's kitchen cabinets and drawers. I hope you learned some new organization ideas (group like with like, keep the things you use the most with the stove next to it, same for the dishwasher) that will help you create a more functional kitchen.

Next week, we will  organize the counters (another huge problem for me) and the sink. Happy organizing!

Organize along with me in The Good Wife's Weekly Organization Challenges


Alex said...

This is good organization inspiration for when we move in a few weeks!

I'm excited for the rest of the series :)

-Nea said...

I'm always on the lookout for great org ideas. I suck at it. I will follow your challenges and perhaps get my kitchen finally organized yay!

newlywed said...

I am suddenly wanting to organize everything about my kitchen now! I went out and bought my own little spice containers for all my spices when I'm cooking, hopefully this will work a lot better as I have a small (apartment) kitchen. I will be checking in on here to see what else I can adapt to my situation. Thank you so much!