I probably could have hid their pounds of sugary sweets up in our corner cabinet if I wouldn't have cleaned it out this weekend. There is no way they would have found it there, or even tried. This was the cabinet that caught everything random. If the kiddos didn't know where to put something while emptying the dishwasher, they defaulted to this cabinet. If I couldn't figure out a quick category for an item, I added it to the madness. It essentially became the deal-with-it-later cabinet. And later finally came.
So let's take a look at what a "stash and dash" cabinet looks like...
Yes, you do see a few random cinnamon sticks tossed in there. And candles. And miscellaneous cups, jars and dishes. A bag of popcorn seeds? Sure, why not...
Step one was to remove everything from the cabinet.
Once everything is out, I begin the sorting and assessing process and ask myself a few questions:
- How do I want this cabinet to ultimately function?
- What types of categories can I create from similar items?
- What storage products do I need to keep order in the future?
- When was the last time I utilized these items?
The ultimate goal was to give the cabinet purpose and to utilize it each day as functional storage. I was able to remove quite a few of the items from the original mess:
- Candles were placed around the house
- Small vases and decorative dishes went to my accessory cabinet
- An entire basket filled with an overflow of spices was sorted down, and the spices were sealed in storage bags and placed in our freezer (thank you for the recommendation Rachael)
- Lids and storage containers were paired, stray items were tossed in the donate pile
- Vitamins were relocated to our medication bin
- Oils and condiments were disbursed between our pantry, spice cabinet and this cabinet based on daily usage
I realized that I was holding on to some decorative food storage bowls that had long lost their lids, just because I thought they were pretty. But I hadn't actually used them in almost two years. I finally let them go because I really didn't need them any longer and they were taking away valuable space from the storage containers that I do use frequently. I also let go of a few containers and items that I thought we would potentially need after our renovation, but have yet to use to this point. I filled a paper bag with items to take to our local donation facility. That is always a refreshing part of the process. The items shown above are the paired down pieces from the sorting process (as well as some baking/serving dishes that are not pictured above).
Our biggest problem is that the cabinet is awkward and deep and things easily are lost near the back of the shelves. Our lower corner cabinet utilizes a "Lazy Susan" system, so I wanted to mimic a similar setup for the upper. Oh, and I don't think there is anything lazy about these organizers at all. Where did that name come from anyway?
I found these round common wood pieces from Home Depot, they have an 18" diameter and fit our corner cabinet perfectly! Some stores might have pieces that are a nicer finish, but these were less expensive and I planned to paint them anyway.
To turn the boards into a turnable piece, we used the following supplies:
- Round common boards (18" diameter)
- Lazy Susan Turntable Hardware
- #6 x 1-1/4 in. Phillips Black Bugle-Head Drywall Screw (8-Piece per Pack)
- Paint (optional)
- Contact Paper (optional)
- Drawer Pulls (optional)
The first step was to measure and find the center of the round board. We then used the holes in the turntable hardware to pre-drill through the top.
The screws were just the right length to go through the top of the board and through the first layer of the Lazy Susan hardware (allowing the second layer to rotate freely).
And that is it! You now have a spinning board! I thought it would make things a bit easier (and more decorative) if we added handles to each side. So I painted the edges, topped it off with contact paper and added some drawer hardware to act as handles.
The beautiful marble contact paper continues to be used all over our home, and was well worth the initial investment a few years ago. For this project, it created a surface that will forever be cleanable. It also hides the tops of the screws that affixed the hardware to the bottom side of the turntable.
We didn't want to screw into the bottoms of our new cabinets, so we used a few Command Strips to attach the turntables to the shelves (also making this a very renter friendly project).
Once they were in place, I loaded everything back into the cabinets.
The lower shelf holds items we grab for on a very frequent basis (daily). Things such as syrup, butter, salt & pepper, cooking oils, etc...
While the second shelf holds things we utilize a few times per week, our food prep and storage containers.
One of the things that bothered me previously, was looking for lids and the containers separately. Now I have all of the lids paired with the specific containers and have removed all of the randoms.
The best part? There is still enough room to utilize the back corners of the cabinets for a few items as well. We tucked things like skinny juice pitchers, salt & pepper grinders and bulk olive oil bottles into the corners of each shelf. They are all easy to get at without disturbing the items on the turntables.
The top shelf holds things we don't use quite as often; over-sized serving platters and chargers for holiday place settings. I added a small cabinet riser to keep the baking dishes that we do utilize a bit more frequently separate. I think we will eventually add another full size shelf here, which will make things even easier to access on party nights.
The best part for me is the spinning motion! It really makes things that would normally be forgotten in the back of the cabinet, easy to grab with just a twirl of the turntable!
And because a picture can't really show the action as well as an iPhone video can, here you go:
Of course, no cabinet organization project would be complete without the celebratory before and after pictures.
And to top it off, I think we get to high five ourselves for also DIY'ing with a new supply! Now, what else can we make spin!?