Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Kitchen Organization

Dave did not buy me a Christmas present this year. In the days leading up to Christmas, he was unusually cranky and busy with work. I won't lie and say I didn't notice that nothing with my name on it was being wrapped. I was curious about what was going on, but decided to take a wait and see stance. Finally Christmas arrived and he sheepishly handed me a card. He thought this card was insufficient and his distaste for it was the cause for his days of crankiness.  However he was wrong about the insufficiency of the card.  Inside the card was a note explaining his Christmas gift to me was to give me the freedom to buy whatever I need to organize the kitchen to my liking. This kind of gift is right up my alley.

The kitchen in our house is a sad afterthought of a hallway added by the builder because you obviously can't sell a house without a kitchen, but likely they expected nobody would ever eat here. But we do.

My question for you is what should I buy? How do you make your kitchen functional?

My ideas include:
  •  a hook that will hold our most used iron skillet on the side of a cabinet
  • an electrical outlet with both plugs and USB charging outlets
  • a solid magazine rack on the side of a cabinet to contain our various devices. This has to be smaller than 11 inches wide though.
  • a knife magnet. But again, I only have about a 14 inch spot in which to mount it so it has to be smaller than that.
  • Some large bulk storage containers. Something like this. How many? And for what?
  • I have one set of these canisters. Is one set enough? What do you put in them?
Some areas that needs solutions are:
  • cans
  • potatoes, onions, garlic
  • baggies, foil, wraps
  • anything else I haven't thought about
We do have a couple of lazy Susans we use for spices. A pot rack mounted from the ceiling is completely out. It just wouldn't work in here.

So help me brainstorm and figure out what we need!


entropy said...

If you have a corner somewhere, my sis-in-law has a little nook or indent about 2ftx18in next to the garage and around the corner from the kitchen that she put a cheap garage cabinet from lowes in. She installed the shelves and added 3 or 4 extras so that they are just 1 can height and stores all her cans in it, she has one larger shelf for extra ketchup etc.

I use a deep drawer in my kitchen for all ziploc, aluminum, plastic wrap.

Do you have a deepish pantry like I do that you can"t reach all the crap in the back? I use plastic tubs to hold things like onions so I can just pull out the tub grab the onions and shove back in without getting their flaky mess everywhere and then I can just dump it in the trash and rinse it out when it is gross.

Can you post a picture of your kitchen?

entropy said...

also, we use cast iron all the time and I store mine in the oven. It's out of sight for company and easy to access, not too low and not too high. They're heavy!

I love the idea of a knife magnet except for the visual clutter. My knives go just to the side of the silverware. My husband sharpens them as soon as they need it.

For flour, sugar, etc I use plastic cereal-sized containers and designated one shelf for baking stuff in the cabinet. We go through quite a bit of flour so I keep the 25lb flour bag in a large tub in the laundry room and pour it into the plastic container in the kitchen. A little cumbersome but the container is quite big so I don't have to do it too often.

If visual clutter bothers you, try to keep everything off of the counters and tucked away somewhere, or mounted somewhere. It is so much easier to clean counters when you don't have to move anything!

entropy said...

Ack. my first comment got eaten.

tl;d[get to]r

cheap garage cabinet from lowes 2x1.5x6' add extra shelves so the they are all 1 can height, except for one for ketchup etc.

use a deep drawer for ziploc, aluminum etc.

I put a small plastic tub in the cabinet to hold onions; easy to pull out and easy to clean.

Can you post a pic of your kitchen?

The Sojourner said...

I have a set of canisters similar to that one you linked. I use them for flour, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar, in order of size. (The bags of each of those things I get at Aldi are about the right size.)

I would love at least one more set because I have whole wheat flour, bread flour, cornmeal, and brown sugar all poorly organized in my "pantry" cupboard. But if you do not bake as much as I do, you could probably do with the one set.

Basically those canisters are useful for anything that is powdery or grainy *and* comes in a paper or plastic bag rather than a firm-sided tin. (For example, cocoa powder comes in a tin so I have never felt the desire to move it to a secondary vessel.)

I keep my foil, plastic wrap, and baggies in a drawer next to (and the same depth as) my silverware drawer. I don't think they are exceptionally deep drawers but they still might be deeper than yours, I suppose.