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.