Ahh…the kitchen. Probably my favorite part of our apartment. Our old kitchen was what I called a “two butt kitchen”…aka if more than two people were in there, no one was moving.
Enter the new kitchen, with not only windows, but approximately 7 times the storage.
(Sorry for the picture grossness, but they’re from when we were moving.)
Anyways, when faced with the fact that ALL OF MY DISHES would fit in the cabinets, along with our appliances, pots and pans, glasses, canned food, etc, I was jumping for joy. But sometimes too much of a good thing is bad. We have SO much storage room that we forget what we have in the cabinets. Last week, I talked about going through our cabinets and finding out exactly what we had and trying to figure out a way to have it make more sense.
This is what I started with:
Now, the cabinet above didn’t really get anything special done to it, just re listed out all the stuff we have in it. The top corkboard holds lists of food on every shelf so we know what we’ve got up there. Since it’s a really deep corner cabinet, it’s hard to remember what’s in there. I can’t decide if a lazy susan would be helpful, but as you can see, the shelves aren’t very high. Dilemma.
Anyways, we went through all of our cabinets and the freezer and made a list of the food we had:
Yeah. Those are all double sided. I had no idea how much we already had. Using these lists, I based our two week menu off of what we had…easy peasy!
I tackled the canned food cabinet first. The shelf is just high enough for two cans to stack on top of each other…which is great, except that while its all stacked, you can’t see anything except for the first row of cans. For awhile, I thought about commissioning the Fireman to make me a shelf with 2×4’s, but figured I wouldn’t see that shelf for about a month. So, with measurements in hand, I headed to Walmart (I am morally opposed to Walmart…but Target’s 45 minutes away. Wah.). I found some staggered wire shelves that were actually for spices, but I cheated and used them for the cans. Look at me go.
And because I’m just a little bit OCD, I pulled out all the cans and organized them by catergory: vegetables, broth, soup, etc. I had to maneuver around some cans but they all managed to fit back in there. I am stoked about it…now I can finally see what we have and don’t have.
The spices were more challenging. I googled around for some ideas and found that a lot of people have problems with their spice organization as well. It’s something we all have but its a hard thing to keep track of. This is just a temporary solution for now…I’m thinking about getting some spice jars so that they’re all the same size. Right now, we’ve got 4 or 5 different sizes going on in that cabinet. With something that’s all the same size, its easier to find baskets/boxes to hold them all. Something like this is what I’m looking for…but I need it to hold 20ish spices…
I found some great jars for a really good price but when I checked the shipping it was $30. Uh, no thanks. I think that I’ll live with my ugly spices for now. All I did was get some cheap storage baskets at Walmart and put them in it. THey’re vaguely organized: at least I have the baking ones together and the most used ones in front. Since they’re in the baskets, it is making my life a lot easier to just have to pull one container out instead of rifling around in the cabinet.
In the freezer, we have two bins: one is for meat, and one is for fruits and veggies. Keeps everything in its rightful spot and makes it a lot easier instead of digging around while your fingers slowly freeze and fall off.
Crappy picture, I know. As you can see, the top of the freezer hadn’t been cleaned off in a while. I got to it people, don’t worry!
We use a lot of counter space for storage as well. I’ve found that if we have clear containers holding rice, pasta and flour, it’s much easier to keep track of when we need to restock.
I got all of our countertop containers a few years ago at the Christmas Tree Shop. If there is one of these near you, I recommend making your way over there ASAP. Nothing like cheap storage.
We also recently got a Keurig, and we didn’t want to spend the $25 on the K-Cup holder. For a while, the boxes of coffee stayed up in the cabinets, but there were some mornings we went to grab a K-Cup and there were none left. Those were some ugly mornings. A few weeks ago, I was at the Christmas Tree Shop (you’d be amazed how much of our stuff I’ve gotten from there) and found this canister on clearance for $5.75. When the cashier rang it up and it came up as $1.75, my jaw hit the floor. Awesome!
Yeah, the picture sucks. Somehow all of them do. Bad picture day? Oh, and ignore the black banana in the bowl. We keep forgetting…oh, and for the record, that Starbucks syrup may have been the best $10 I ever spent. I figured out how to make a latte and I’m now saving approximately $87 every month on Starbucks vanilla latte’s. That’s just a ballpark figure. (No, Mom, I don’t really drink that much Starbucks).
So that’s what we do for kitchen storage in our house! Any tips? Ideas? Anyone else have the problem of stuff accumulating on top of the freezer? Please tell me it’s not just our house…
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