I’m not clinically OCD, but I do exhibit many obsessive compulsive disorders, especially in my kitchen. I disclosed this in my pantry post (My Corner Market: Tips for an Organized Pantry) and since it has been pinned over 47,000 times on Pinterest as of today, I figured there was something about my crazy organization skills my followers liked. Today I am sharing a few of my favorite organization tricks from the rest of my kitchen (to see the open house of my Midnight Beach Kitchen, click HERE).
To start off, I like to keep everything in a handy place for where I might use it. For example, my KitchenAid mixer sits in a corner with the flour close by. In the drawer just below I have all of my measuring cups, spoons etc. In the cupboard above are my baking supplies like salt, nuts, baking powder etc. For my “wrap” drawer, I like everything contained to one drawer. I LOVE Costco’s plastic food wrap and keep it to the front so I can pull, cut and lay it on the bar to wrap up individual servings of stuff (like to freeze individual tilapia portions). I am a huge Ziploc bag fan, and always buy them when they are on sale at Costco. Cooking utensils go right next to the cook top for obvious reasons, and I try to limit my selections to pieces that can go in the dishwasher. If I haven’t used it in a year (not even Thanksgiving), I throw it out, or donate it. Knives, oh how I love my knife block. Silly right? I used to have my knives sloshing around in a drawer, but once I invested in this baby, I could never go back. Not having to open a drawer and dig around when you need a knife is a great thing. The last picture below is of an empty drawer with organizers in it…I don’t know what to put in there! Everything already has a place so for now, I enjoy knowing that I have space available (part of that OCD ya think?).
It’s no surprise that I organize my spices. I’ve even taken the bullion out of the packs and labeled it with a C for chicken or B for beef so I don’t have to look at the ugly yellow packaging.
I am in the process of converting all of my spices over to Target’s Archer Farms, aren’t they adorable? I keep them out by my cook top for now, sweet spices on one side, savory on the other.
The best tip I have for organizing your cutlery is to have 2 matching sets and only keep one style in your drawer. Once I got rid of the mismatched, onsey twosies everything came together for me. Another tip? Measure your drawer and find the largest organizer you can fit, this one is from Ikea.
About six years ago I bought these white dishes at Mervyn’s for $20! That was service for 12 mugs, mug plate, salad plate, regular plate, and wide bowl I couldn’t pass it up so I bought two. It isn’t my favorite design of all time (fruit) but it is so basic and perfect for having a large family party. I keep miscellaneous dishes up where I can’t reach and rarely even see. In the next cupboard I keep my glasses, all clear and same shape from Ikea. Both of these cabinets are the closest to the table for easy setting.
Bar Mops…these rocked my world when my husband brought them home. Sam’s club carries them in their Baker’s and Chef’s line. 24 towels for $12.88. They fit perfectly inside the drawer next to the sink. No folding or fancy stuff here, just line them up and in they go. Oh, did I mention they can be bleached? What is grosser than a nasty old towel and not knowing if it is clean or not? These are cheap enough that you can stock up. Then after a few uses, throw it in the wash and grab another. As for the towel bar on the end of the island? Well, that was the genius of my neighbor Brittany. After I saw hers, I put up a small towel bar there two and have loved it ever since. The towels on the bar aren’t usually folded, but are used by everyone and not seen since they are tucked on the side of the island.
I am a lover of glass cookware, mostly because it can be washed in the dishwasher, and who isn’t for easy clean up. Instead of stacking them or nesting them, I found these really inexpensive brackets at Ikea that screw into the bottom of the cupboard. Space them how you want and slide in your bake ware (of course this could be used for any type of bake ware, metal, ceramic etc). You can see the metal bake ware and disposable above the glass is nested, that’s because I rarely use it.
In my pantry post I mentioned that I didn’t keep cans or bottles in there. That confounded a few people. You see, I can’t stand to see all of those miss matched labels so I chose to keep them in a cupboard behind a door that is rarely opened (I told you this was an OCD post). Instead I have purchased three 18″ non-skid turntables and placed them in the awkward corner cabinet. The lazy susans hold most of the cooking supplies that are canned, jarred or bottled. If I have a multiple of an item like Prego sauce, I stand them up in a soldier row on the side since I know what is behind the first. The top shelf (I’m short so I need a chair to reach it) holds my pitchers and other glass vases and such.
Here you can see how I maximize one lazy susan with a lot of variety of cans.
There are a few products I can not live with out in my kitchen. Disinfecting wipes for those messy moments. I use denatured alcohol to clean stubborn grease and stains nothing else will touch. Goo gone for all of those labels that won’t come off (I love to Recycle Bulk Packaging). For the dishwasher I love the tabs by Finish and my all time favorite counter top and glass cleaner is Sprayaway. It works great on glass and my black Corian counter top (and not much else does). For the MOST important and useful tool in the kitchen I look to the….razor blade! I can’t live with out it. I mostly use it to scrape stuff off the counter top, works great with Corian, tile or granite.
And for my last tip, this one is especially for the kids, sort your silverware before you wash it. I know it seems simple but it makes a HUGE difference. My dishwasher has five sections so I have divided them out in to five categories: Knives & Scissors, Small Spoons, Large Spoons, All forks, Serving and Other. This takes a little more time putting it in the dishwasher, but when it comes time to put them away it’s a breeze (especially when you make your kids empty the dishwasher like I do). I have become so converted to this method, I usually refuse help loading my dishwasher since most people aren’t willing to participate in my methods, ahhhem husband, ahhem. Please try this, “it’s the besssstttt” (a little Nacho).
Thanks for joining me in the quest for an organized kitchen! If you are one of the few that hasn’t seen my Pantry post, check out what you’ve been missing, ha ha.