A Forward By My Husband:
A blog post . . . about kitchen organization?? Whoooooooah.
I love our house, but it has a teeny tiny kitchen. In my mind’s eye, I see the architect of our 1960s house as an Archie Bunker type who never set foot in the kitchen yet never consulted his wife on how he should design a kitchen! Ours is a long way from perfect, but it’s also a lot more workable than it used to be.
For today’s Five Favorites I share some very non-glamorous things that have helped make our small kitchen more usable.
Aaand, because most of my inspiration came from one book, I’m also linking up with Jessica at Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday. I read the book awhile ago, but I checked it out from the library again and have been re-reading it.
The title is a little, um, quaint: Confessions of an Organized Housewife: The Secrets of Uncluttering Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life, by Deniece Schofield.
I’ve read a lot of household organization books and this is my favorite.* Her suggestions are pragmatic and non-perfectionist. She describes tasks that are well beyond what I can do at this point with two littles underfoot (ironing! hah!) but I still find the book more encouraging than discouraging.
The most important takeaway for me from Ms. Schofield’s book is the idea of arranging things in a way that is convenient to where and how often you use them. If you use something every day, you should be able to get it with one motion. If you use it less often, two or more motions is okay.
Before, I focused on fitting in as much stuff as possible. Now, I’ve focused on the items I actually use and making them as convenient as possible. Things I rarely use I store in less accessible places. And I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff upon realizing that I just wasn’t using them.
For instance, I use one or more of my glass mixing/serving bowls every day. I used to stack them all together along with some Corningware, up high over the sink. Every time I needed one I had to take them all down and unstack them to fish out the one I wanted. Bad idea.
Now I have them
all mostly unstacked and I can reach any one of them with minimal shifting and moving of other items. It’s not as efficient a use of space, but it’s a much more efficient use of time, which is more important.
To free up space, I’ve stored baking supplies in a hard-to-reach cabinet over the fridge, because I’m not baking much these days.
Also, Ms. Schofield wrote her book before organization became a sort of fetish and the market for cute, expensive organization tools became a big thing. So her solutions are simple and cheap. For example, she’s really into simple, open bins (like this) for organizing anything and everything. And this solution just happens to be recommended by my other favorite household organization guide.
Speaking of simple plastic bins, that’s what I use underneath my kitchen sink. Not everything fits, but almost everything does. And when push came to shove, I was able to grab the fire extinguisher quickly when I needed it. That’s organizational success in my book!
I used to have all my pots and pans stacked together in a cabinet. Now I have them hanging up and can reach one easily. What I use is actually a tool and shovel rack from Lowe’s. This was the best way I found to keep my tall husband from hitting his head!
If only I could make it look more pretty:
I have baking pans and cookie sheets and serving trays stored vertically on these:
I love this little pull down spice rack.
It doesn’t fit in my spice cabinet, but I use it for storing medicines and vitamins in a cabinet that is above my head.
Finally, I really, really love this cookbook holder my brother gave me. It folds up under the cabinet, so it doesn’t take up any counter space. Plus it is made by hand in the U.S.A. Win!
I can’t find the exact model for sale any more, but this is very similar.
So that’s how the magic happens in my kitchen. 😉
* P.S. Since I wrote this post, I started reading Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD. Amazing. Possibly my new favorite. More on that later. But I still really like Ms. Schofield’s book.