I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that TIME was my biggest challenge. I'm a mom, a wife and a part-time worker. Finding enough hours in the day to go above and beyond regular maintenance cleaning is tough. I ended up doing much of my work on weekends or on my Tuesday off.
My small space was another big challenge. I looked to the Internet for resources from other tiny kitchen cooks. That's how I learned about the wonder of pegboard!
3. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
4. What creative storage solutions were you able to introduce in order to create additional space as well as establish some limits and boundaries?
I also found that inexpensive wire racks helped to better define the spaces within my cabinets. Another cheap solution that produced great results. (Before and after pictures follow.)
5. Why do you think you should win this challenge?
Too often, people believe that home cooking requires MORE (more gadgets, more storage, more ingredients, more space, more STUFF). But the truth is that a small, well-organized kitchen can produce meals that are as good (if not better) than a kitchen with space and gizmos galore. Just ask your grandmother! She probably worked in a kitchen very similar to mine. (And she probably had more kids, too!) If she could do it (and if I can do it), so can you!
Before and After Pictures
The west wall of my kitchen used to look like this:
- An ugly stove, pulled forward to protect the recently repaired walls (man that beast kicked out a lot of heat!)
- A toaster oven on the counter to make up for the larger oven's serious shortcomings
- Utensils taking up counter space in an overcrowded stainless steel canister
- Drawer and door pulls that blended into the cabinetry
- Random junk strewn about.
And now the west wall looks like this:
- A perfectly functional stove and oven, making the toaster oven redundant
- Two inexpensive Ikea racks to hang utensils on the wall
- Black drawer and door pulls to coordinate with the black stove
- Oven mitts hung on wall hooks near the oven
- A vent hood, finally hung on the wall
- CLEAR counters!
Our east wall used to look like this:
- Chipping paint and spackle
- A pendant light hung over...nothing
- Wasted wall space
And now our east wall looks like this:
- A pegboard pot rack mounted on formerly wasted wall space
- An Ikea kitchen cart (not only to make the pendant look less ridiculous, but also to serve as a prep or entertaining counter, when needed)
- Fully repaired, brighter walls
Our wall of cabinetry used to look like this:
- Boring drawer and door pulls that blended in with the cabinetry
- Wasted wall space
And now our wall of cabinetry looks like this:
- (Once again) Black drawer and door pulls to coordinate with black appliances
- Counters that are even more clear
- Creative use of wall space
- Too much stacking and blocking
- Entertaining pieces infiltrating the regularly used items
- Disproportionate ratio of food storage covers to containers
And now our dishes cabinet looks like this:
- Inexpensive wire racks maximize vertical storage
- Stacking is significantly minimized
- Every storage container has a corresponding cover! (Stacked neatly above it!)
- Only a few entertaining pieces remain
- The rest went in the cabinet above (see below)
- Tiny spice jars everywhere!
- Infiltration of supplements and medicines
- Generally untidy look
And now our food prep cabinet looks like this:
- An inexpensive shelf elevates spices to keep them in sight and in reach
- Only regularly used supplements and medicines remain
- Very tidy appearance!
Our baking and appliance cabinet used to look like this:
- Too much stacking (forcing us to rearrange piles every time we needed a pan)
- An overabundance of small appliances
- Inexpensive racks organize the pans and racks vertically, keeping everything within easy reach
- An edited array of small appliances
Our pots and pans cabinet used to look like this:
And now our pots and pans cabinet looks like this:
Now, it's not really a pots and pans cabinet. It contains our Dutch oven, larger baking dishes and the lids for our pots and pans.
Our tiny upper left cabinet used to look like this:
- Odd assortment of party supplies, storage items and appliances
- Too much stacking
And now our tiny upper left cabinet looks like this:
- Everything in the cabinet belongs in the same category (lesser-used appliances)
- NO stacking
Our tiny middle upper cabinet used to look like this:
This cabinet wasn't very unorganized, but I wanted to keep like items together. So I moved these lesser used appliances in with their neighbor, the crockpot.
And now our tiny upper middle cabinet looks like this:
All the party supplies (and a few entertaining pieces) are now together. Again, a handy wire rack improves vertical storage
Our pantry cabinet used to look like this:
And now our pantry cabinet looks like this:
(Uh, no. We do not have room to stockpile items when they are on sale!)
So that's it! Our 28-Day Organizing challenge has come to an end. But that doesn't mean our work is over. Our plans for next month include:
- Buying a new refrigerator (I can't wait!)
- Installing a DIY backsplash behind the stove
- Installing shelves by the sink window to hold potted herbs
And before I end this post, I want to give a huge THANK YOU to I'm an Organizing Junkie for giving me much needed motivation to move this project along. THANK YOU!