Who’s ready to get organized?!? Would anyone be interested in a special giveaway? This month I’m joining several of my blogger girlfriends from the No Place Like Home crew to offer you a 4 week cleaning, organizing and decluttering series. We are also doing a special giveaway at the end of the 4 weeks! (giveaway details below) To start off the series I’m sharing 10 really simple kitchen organization tips and solutions that I use everyday in my home.
Wire Shelf Pantry Solution
I hate wire shelves. I think they’re a real pain in neck. Jars wobble on the uneven surface and skinny items fall right through to the floor. I have every intention of replacing the wire shelves in my pantry with wooden shelves one day but till I can get around to that project I needed a quick solution.
I measured the size of my shelves and headed to the home improvement for a few sheets of plexiglass. The sheets of Plexiglass were cut at the store and all I had to do when I got home was to lay the Plexiglass over top of the existing shelves.
It’s an instant solution! Not only does my food sit flat on the shelves but the plexiglass helps distribute the weight of the heavy items keeping the flimsy wire shelves from sagging.
2. Recycle Jumbo Snack Containers for Dry Goods
I love my OXO modular containers for dry goods but finding a container large enough to keep a truck load of flour was a challenge.
My solution was to purchase one of those large jars of cheese-puff snacks from Target and set the giant jar of cheesy goodness in front of my teenage boys with the instructions to please leave me some. In this house “please don’t eat them all” or “please leave me some” is actually code for “eat every last one of them as fast as humanly possible and if necessary arm wrestle your brother over the last bite.”
The plan worked like a charm and one hour later all 2,000 cheese-puffs (minus the 1 puff they so generously saved me) had been inhaled. I happily washed and dried the plastic jar and was the proud owner of a new flour container. I used my silhouette to make my own pantry label. Problem solved! By the way, if you don’t have a silhouette my friend Robin from A home to Grow Old is offering free printable labels right now.
3. Tilt out Sink Trays
I love my tilt out trays! They are perfect to keep the sink clear of damp sponges and scrubbers. I bought my kit from the home improvement store. It came with two trays, the hinges and instructions. It’s a simple update that goes a long way to keeping a clutter free sink.
By the way, you may not want to keep your finger nail brush in one of the trays because no matter how many times you tell your kids it’s only for cleaning mom’s hands they will make sure they use the delicate brush to clean the most food encrusted dishes they can find. EVERY TIME without fail. That’s OK boys, I need to clean the toilets this week and I know where you keep your toothbrushes. You are welcome, love Mom.
4.Kitchen Counter Crumb Prevention
Don’t laugh, but this is actually an awesome solution to keep the toaster from dropping crumbs all over the counter and the cupboard I store it in. I started keeping the toaster in this fancy toaster tray (a shoe box lid covered with a drawer liner) because my enthusiastic toast making family couldn’t remember to wipe the crumbs from the counter after their toasting adventures.
So instead of being irritated everyday by the on slot of daily breakfast crumbs, I enacted the toaster tray solution. Keep the toaster in the box, the crumbs are kept off the counter, mom doesn’t loose her mind and everybody gets to live. It’s a win win for all.
5. Poor Man’s slide out drawer
Again, I’m really not joking here, this is my kitchen. Getting items out of the very bottom of this narrow and deep kitchen cupboard is a pain. To fully make use of the space I put a short sided box the same width and depth of the cupboard.
Now everything including the items in the back are easily accessible because It works as a slide out tray. I know this isn’t the prettiest of solutions, however it works fabulously. I’m sure I could cover it and make it prettier, but until today no one except me ever saw it.
And in case your family is like mine and needs the extra reminder….
Hey don’t knock it. Prior to the special toaster note my family put the toaster away 0% of the time. After “Mr. Toaster” they now put the toaster away 50% of the time. And that my friends is a 100% increase! The proof is in the math.
6. Kitchen Homework & Craft Supply Storage
Home work is often done at the kitchen counter in our house so I dedicated one pull out tray in a cupboard for supplies. This keeps the kids from bugging me every afternoon for stupid things like highlighters and notecards and it keeps the school supply scavenger hunts to a minimum.
Again, I used the fancy box method to keep supplies from falling off the back of the pull out tray. I also use my homemade supply caddy’s from old drink containers to help keep the supplies organized. You can find the instructions to make your own supply caddies here.
7.The Keurig and her K-cup reduction
My husband loves coffee like I love crafts. So as you can imagine we have a couple of coffee makers that are in use at all times. There’s the traditional coffee pot that he uses to make his daily keg of coffee and then he has his K-cup machine for his weekend coffee.
Now that doesn’t sound so bad right? Wrong. My husband likes to sample k-cups ( referring to coffee of course) like he is at a wine tasting. We have 80,000 K-cups floating around the kitchen. In the past I created a drawer just for the little cups. That sort of worked but the cups still ended up on the counter, because it was more convenient.
So, this week I found this cute little ceramic dish at Marshall’s for under $5.00 to go next to the coffee maker. It holds about 9 of those cups. We still have the drawer to hold the mother load but for convenience now we have several flavors neatly next to the Keurig maker. He’s happy since it’s handy and I’m happy, because it’s tidy and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
8. Coffee Mugs Galore
Is it just me or do coffee mugs reproduce when we are not looking? I do a clean out the excessive mugs every now and then but I still find myself coffee mug challenged. My dilemma is I have two sets of coffee mugs, the ones I use and the grown-up ones that match my dishes. I feel obligated to keep the adult matchy ones but I prefer my mug to speak an important message about me after all a coffee mug defines a person.
For example, the coffee mug sporting a pair of pants with the words “smarty pants” printed on it is a keeper. That and the mug that says “early bird” for the days when I sleep in and then pour my first cup of coffee while my husband is eating his lunch sends the perfect message. He really loves that and I like to please him, so that is a keeper as well.
My solution to save space is to stack and store the matching mugs, but as you know, coffee mugs don’t always stack well. To make the mugs stack safely I cut pieces of sturdy cardboard (matboard) to set on top of the mugs so the next layer of mugs has a wider surface to rest on.
9.Keep Frequently Used Items Handy
I love to make to most out of vertical spaces. The back side of doors are great because it’s out of sight but still very convenient. The challenge with pantry doors are they usually have a hollow core so screwing in a hook is out of the question. This is where Command strips hooks save the day. The back of my pantry now hangs several of my regularly used items like brooms and dust pans. I’m obsessed with Command strip hooks! It is the perfect solution.
10.Give Yourself an Incentive to Keep the Kitchen Clean
I don’t know about you, but I hate to clean and often need extra motivation in order to keep up with the kitchen. I find that I’m more motivated to keep a room clean when I feel good in that room. For a quick pick me up in a room I like to grab inexpensive bouquets of flowers from at the grocery store and set them above the sink.
It’s hard to let dirty dishes sit in the sink when a beautiful bouquet is right above. Flowers always brighten a room. For tips on how to make cheap flowers look like they came from the florist check out my post on arranging flowers.
I hope you found one or two of my Kitchen solutions handy. Next week we move on to the craft/office organization. See you then.
Happy Creating (and Cleaning),
Don’t forget to check out more decluttering tips and ideas from the No Place Like Home bloggers…
$150 gift card Givaway from The Container Store
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, we are hope you will join us in this decluttering adventure and as an incentive we are offering the opportunity to win a $150 gift card from The Container Store.
Multiple opportunities to enter the giveaway:
1) Each week submit a photo of a declutter challenge or success to the inlinkz below. (If you are not linking from a webpage and are just uploading an image from your computer, click
on option 3 in the inlinkz box that says ‘Image URL’ and add your image from your computer. This link helps explain that further.)
Link Party Guidelines:
2) Follow the rest of the Rafflecopter prompts below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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