April 1, 2012

Kitchen Organization

I'm so excited that this is finally finished.  I've been working on my kitchen for so long. My desk was such a mess an now it looks so much better!!  Keep reading for more details on this area below, as well as how I organized my plant area, small appliances, recipe books, and pantry. 

My plant area was a mess.  The plants were everywhere and they were hard to water. The shelves held cookbooks (forgot to take a picture before I took them down) and they were on the opposite side of the room from where I cooked.  It was just the only space I had for the shelves.

I started by taking the shelves down.  I already have another use for them in mind.  Then I removed all the plants. I received this leaning shelf from fellow freecycler.  It was originally a dark stained wood and was in pretty bad shape.  I removed all the shelf supports and primed and painted it.  Once the shelves were screwed back in I had a new plant shelf for the cost of paint and my time.  It fits the space so much better.  The floor is cleared off and the shelf uses more vertical space.
However, now I needed a new home for my cookbooks.  My daughters birthday was last week and we decided to take her to the American Girl store in Chicago and have a mini vacation in the process.  Of course, I couldn't leave without running through the IKEA store.  I actually planned ahead and ordered a catalog so I could decide what I wanted and take measurements before we left.  I originally had this country chicken cabinet that I made from an old dresser.  I removed the top two drawers and built two doors that I lined with chicken wire and red gingham fabric.  I've had chicken decor in my last two houses for about 12 years now and I'm kind of tired of them.  It's also never fit the space well.  My last kitchen was set up differently and I had the perfect place for it.  I decided to sell my chicken hutch and replace it with a cabinet that went vertical.  {I forgot to take a picture of the hutch in place but this is what it looked like}
I found the perfect bookshelf with glass doors from IKEA.  It now holds all my cookbooks that were stored in two places (the shelves above my plants and my pantry), my kids dishes, and my new camera bag that I just sewed as well as a few other misc things.  It's also not as wide or deep so we have more room to walk around the island.
Finally, I really wanted to get rid of this shelf that held my kids dishes and my mixer and fryer.  It was at the end of my island and really cut into the walking space.
In order to achieve this I needed to find a new home for my mixer and fryer.  I started by reorganizing my pantry.  I already gained a little space removing a few of my recipe binders.  I also added a small half shelf to store my saran wrap, aluminum foil, and ziploc bags.  It's amazing how much space I gained.  I was able to store my mixer, fryer, and toaster.  I was also able to rearrange things enough to clear up some of the floor space.  My goal is to have nothing on the floor.
 Here is a close up of the skinny partial shelf we added. 
Now I have so much more floor/walking space and my kitchen looks so much larger.
The last area of clutter was the desk.  It was out of control!!
 I started by moving the shelves that hold my baskets of papers to file/organize.  I have a basket for kids, one for me, and one for my husband.  I also have shelves that hold our "Mom, I'm Bored" summer activity jar, my kids behavior quarter jars, and the block perpetual calendar I made with my craft club (one of my favorite projects).  The shelf below those hold the phone and misc stuff like wallets, cell phones, etc. 
 I also removed the bulletin board.  However, to keep my husband from just leaving his little scraps of paper all over the desk I added cork sheets to the inside of two cabinets.  One is for coupons and one is for everything else.  I also added cork to a lower cabinet so my daughter can hang her homework and artwork up by herself.  I'm planning to add cork to one more lower cabinet for my son.

 The last area I have to work on is a menu board.  I'm planning to make one similar to this one. . . .
  . . . . along with a "projects" board and a "cleaning schedule" board. . . .
While my kitchen is looking better it's still a work in progress.  Some of my future plans:
1.  Add beadboard to island
2.  Add white subway tile to the backsplash
3.  Pack up the rest of the chicken decor and paint the walls  . . . . turquoise maybe
4.  Build a new kitchen table with a bench under the window and 2 chairs on the other side
5.  Create my menu board
6.  Create a "cleaning schedule" board and a "projects" board
7.  Thinking about building a hanging shelf under the cabinets to hold the toaster oven . . .
8.  Find a new way to hang/organize all our spare keys.


  1. It's party time at Debt Free Mommy Blog and we'd love to see you there! Please come join us and link up to Making Space Mondays. We'd love to see any post(s) about making your spaces better. Thanks, Tabitha

  2. All your little shelves are darling its great that you got so much done!