Monday, March 1, 2010

0 You Asked: Kitchen Cupboard Chaos

Welcome to my second edition of IHeart Answering!  This question was very well suited to February's featured space, the Kitchen!  As you may recall, I started a little section of the blog devoted to answering questions from you amazing folks!  My first post was focused around storing kid's clothing, from a dedicated reader of mine, Heather.  And she is back folks, with another fabulous question!  And, she was so speedy after I responded, she already sent me an after picture of her project partially completed!  Melts my heart!

Heather wrote:
I have another question.  This morning, while emptying the dish washer, and putting those plastic food containers in a cupboard, closing the door quickly, and hoping I'm not the next person to open it, cause they are all going to fall out on them...  is there any solution to that?  Also, i have the same problem with cookie cutters.  They all fall on me when i open that cupboard.

And here are her BEFORE pics:

And here is my response to her cabinet dilemma:

Dear Heather,
Looks like you have too many things happening in only two cupboards.  And that may be ok if you want to devote each shelf to a specific type of item, however, it doesn't appear that is necessarily happening today.

Here is what I would recommend:
  • Start by taking everything out of those two cabinets and putting it all out on the counter or kitchen table.
  • Then, the super hard but super necessary task (in any organizing project) is paring down.  When looking at kitchen/baking items, think about what you use and don't.  Do you have multiples of anything?  If yes, time to keep the goods and favorites, and donate the rest.
  • Smaller "like" items should be placed together in boxes or bins.  For example, all those cookies cutters!  I personally like to "shop within my own house" and look for "free" containers I can use before I hit the stores for one.  If I can't find something that is just right, a super cheap option is always to take an empty box, and use scrapbook or wrapping paper to dress it up a little bit, like I did with the Kleenex box here.
  • It looks like you could create some "Zones" within the cabinets: Kiddie Zone, Baking Zone, Tupperware Zone and Household Items Zone (Vases/Candlesticks)
  • For the Tupperware problem, we had a similar issue (I am attaching a before and after pic), and it was easily solved by nesting all of the ones together that could nest with their covers on.  For ones that couldn't, we stacked liked shaped ones together, and corralled all of their lids together in a separate bin.  And, to make it even easier on us, most of the Tupperware lids/containers were pre-color coded for us, so finding a matching lid to the container is easy peasy.  But if yours isn't color coded, there is no harm in a little DIY, using different colored permanent markers, you could mark the lids and the bottoms with the same colors for easy identification.

  • The baking section of the cabinet could contain your cookie cutters, batter utensils and other baking utensils (which I would corral inside an empty vase).  If you don't have anything that you could stick your utensils within (whisks, spatulas, etc...), then you could use string or ribbon to create loops for easy Command Hook hanging.  Same thing could be done for any measuring cups/spoons.  You could also nest your baking bowls and other baking items together.
Cookie Cutter Storage Idea:

Baking Utensil Storage Idea 1:

Baking Utensil Storage Idea 2: 
  • Check out the Kiddie Cabinet post here, for getting your youngster's kitchen stuff in line.
  • The household zone is a matter of dedicating a portion of your cabinet to store your miscellaneous decor items, such as your vases and candle sticks.  They should at least get their own shelf!
I hope that helps a little!  Of course, these are just ideas or tricks that could work, but don't feel limited by these options!  The opportunities are endless!!

And limited she definitely wasn't!  Heather did a great job on her first cabinet so far, and already sent a mouth watering after picture of her progress!

Here is what she wrote:

Here is how far i am.  I tossed some junk, took some stuff downstairs to think about (wedding vases and assorted wedding gifts).  The top shelf is a set of dishes my grandma gave me, middle has vases (in hopes someone brings me flowers) and mixer attachments, bottom is cookie cutters, coffee attachments, and travel mugs.  I bought the 3 containers at the Dollar Tree, so total make over costs are $3.

Again, BEFORE:


Totally incredible right?  Aren't those baskets absolute perfection for storing her miscellaneous kitchen accessories and attachments?  I bet she isn't worried about items falling on her or her family anymore, when she opens the cabinet doors!  $3 is a small price to pay for family safety, hee hee, but it is also going to make her daily life so much simpler!  What an investment!

Thanks so much Heather for your question, and for following up so quickly!!
What do you guys think!?  Pretty amazing transformation right?  And can't you already imagine how much easier her morning went today with the new makeover?


P.S.  Looking to have your organization dilemma answered in an upcoming post of IHeart Answering?  Just send your BEFORE picture(s) with a brief question and description, to  I will do my best to answer your question personally within 5 business days!  Some Q&A's will be selected to be featured on the blog, and of course, follow-ups on the progress with pictures is a huge way to get my heart beating with excitement!

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