Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday in Bev's Kitchen

Organizing your Kitchen - part 1

I love organizing.  When everything has its place, even cleaning up is a pleasure.  This is especially so in the kitchen.
When planning our recent kitchen renovations, I spent hours thinking how I could make my kitchen as efficient as possible.  I liked the  general arrangement of my old kitchen but knew there could be some improvements. The stove area in particular needed careful consideration since I spend a lot of time here.


I started by choosing a work area for each function - baking, cooking, clean up and serving.
I decided that my baking area would be to the right of my stove top, near the pantry, the appliance garage and my ovens. The cooking area would be to the left of the stove top, handy to the sink.

When the kitchen was complete (I'm waiting for the back splash and window seat cushions) and I was ready to fill my kitchen shelves, I did more thinking before choosing the space for each group of items.

I first divided the spices generally used for baking from those used in cooking.
I asked our carpenter to build me two narrow boxes so I could arrange my spices in two rows and be able to see them all.  I found the spice jars at a local dollar store and a sheet of printable labels at the stationery store.   I then arranged them in alphabetical order and now I can find the spice I need at a glance instead of shuffling dozens of different shaped bottles looking for the right one. This is the baking spice cupboard.


Cocoa, Shortening and other baking ingredients go above the spices.
Baking powder and soda, vanilla, cornstarch and syrups are handy in this wonderful pull out shelf beside a bank of drawers. The top drawer houses my measuring cups, spoons and spatulas, the middle, my mixing bowls and  the flour and sugars reside in bins in the bottom drawer


I did the same to the left of the stove where I do my cooking prep.  It is closer to the sink so that I can wash veggies before chopping them.  I keep my knives under the stove top,  my pots and pans in the middle drawer and casseroles in the bottom drawer.


Above the counter on the left of the stove are my cooking spices, also arranged in alphabetical order in two rows.  As you can see there are twice as many used in cooking than in baking.  Bouillon, packages of dips and sauces (in a clear acrylic bin), beans and barley etc. are on the upper shelves.


There were a lot more cooking spices so I needed the full width of the cabinet.
The drawer below the counter has lovely dividers so I can easily find my cooking tools. My choppers, graters and colanders  are below the counter to the left of the stove. Of course my most used tools (spatulas and wisks) are handy  on the counter top in a kitchen gadget holder  made by our potter friend, Ted. (see first picture)


Cooking oils, sauces, vinegars and seasonings have a home in the pull out shelf to the left of the stove.


Being organized really helps to make my time in the kitchen less frustrating and more enjoyable. For those of you wishing to be more organized in your kitchen, there are so many bins, trays and shelves available, many of them quite inexpensive.  They can be found at places like dollar stores, discount stores and home outfitters. Saturday in my kitchen is so much more enjoyable now that everything has its place.
I'll share a few more of my organizing tips in a later post.

20 comments:

  1. oh my my, a gorgeous kitchen. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. My husband has laughed at me as I have arranged and rearranged things in our new home... after almost a year, I have everything where I want/need it for efficiency and enjoyment.

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  3. So many wonderful ideas! I had to pin. I especially like your idea for the cooking spices. Enjoy your beautiful, new kitchen!

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  4. Oh Catherine: yet men take pride in organizing their work spaces, in fact, it's mandatory in trades shops.

    Bev I admire your kitchen. You're a rival to Martha. Apart from the beauty and efficiency this is also a kitchen that will 'sell' your home, some day faaaar into the future.

    Sharon

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  5. As I was reading your post my husband commented that you must not have kids. Mine never seem to be able to put anything back into the same place.

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    1. Your husband is right, our kids are all grown with families of their own. But please remember, this is my brand new kitchen - with time, I'll get careless about putting everything in its place and it will have to be cleaned up and reorganized.

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  6. Do you have tips on the organization of the cooking process....Lovely well thought out kitchen

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    1. I'm afraid my kitchen only looks organized when I've cleaned up. It's pretty messy while I cook. I'd like to be like one of my friends whose kitchen is in perfect order the whole time she's baking or cooking but I don't seem to be able to do that.

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  7. Wow, that is a well organized kitchen. I love a place for everything and everything in it's place too but unfortunately, my kitchen isn't as organized as yours.

    Congratulations on achieving a perfect kitchen for your needs.
    JB

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  8. This is impressive Bev!! Looks like you are really enjoying your new kitchen and you've inspired me to do some purging and reorganizing in mine.

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  9. I keep my baking soda, baking powder and vanilla in a zip top bag so I just grab the whole bag when I am ready to bake.

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  10. Absolutely beautiful!! Love the organizing...it gives me glee here. I have these chalkboard stickers I put on my glass jars, and then I use a liquid chalk to label them. So much geeky organizing fun! Enjoy the kitchen!

    Holly

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  11. Lovely cabinets...since we are planning a new kitchen ourselves, would you mind sharing who built yours? Thank you.

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    1. They were built by our neighbour up the street - his company is called "Country Cabinets" here in Chilliwack. I can't say enough about the quality and attention to detail. Friends who know woodwork, are all very impressed.

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  12. Beautiful kitchen. I have a question about why you chose a cook top. I do a lot of canning or preserving and was told I shouldn't use a pressure cooker or hot water bath on a cook top because it can damage the cook top. Do you have a different place for canning OR does your cook top have that capability? My pressure cookers are old 7 quarts from 1940's and very heavy but I love them. Thank you. RSmith

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  13. Wow, that's a well planned kitchen. I really like an area for everything. However sadly, my kitchen is not as structured as yours.

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  14. I am going to start a remodel project after the first of the year, your photo makes me think I really need to THINK about what I want before I order what cabinets go where! And what accessories I need.

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    1. I got a lot of ideas from a website called "Houzz" where I could pin the ideas i liked into albums. I printed pictures from this website and cut out magazine pictures to show the cabinet maker which made it easier for him to understand what I wanted. He then sent me computer generated drawings of all the cabinets during the planning process which I printed up and then penciled in what would go where. I did it several times and spent a lot of time determining where I would do the various kitchen tasks and how the traffic would flow.
      I also took my time when looking for accessories and still need a few things but am waiting to find exactly what I want. I loved the planning and I hope you enjoy it as well.

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  15. Hi Bev, can you tell me which store (I assume in Chilliwack) you found your spice jars? I'm reorganizing my spice cupboard and would like to find some like yours.

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  16. I bought my spice jars at Price Mart (Save on Foods) in downtown Chilliwack in their dollar store section. However when I went back later, the only ones they had were even larger than the ones I bought. You could ask and see if they'll be getting any more of the smaller ones in. They had a variety of sizes and shapes when I first started buying them and although they were a bit larger than I really wanted, I liked them and they have worked out very well. I would keep checking different dollar stores and places like Winners. Good luck.

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