Ideas from my organized (small) kitchen

I’ve been on a de-cluttering and organizing kick. I do both regularly but winter is a particularly good time to focus on home projects plus I was sick this past week and I think the slight fever spurred me to make changes (Good news: it was only a cold. Bad news: that’s because I already had the flu this winter. Boo, hiss.).

Today I want to show you the small, galley-style kitchen. My biggest challenge is finding storage space; for instance there is only ONE drawer and it’s for silverware. Over the years I’ve worked to make the kitchen  attractive and organized; most of these photos reflect fixes that have been in place a long time, but I did a couple things this last week. Lack of space means a lot of things stay out in the open; the trick is to have them out but still looking nice, not a cluttery mess. Of course, in a kitchen, it’s helpful to have certain items that you reach for often out where you can get them quickly anyway.

Now this makes me PROUD. See this below? It’s a mostly EMPTY SHELF.

img_20170122_082146_kindlephoto-4421426

I am impressed with myself! There’s never been an empty shelf in the kitchen. At first I thought there’d been a mistake – whatever was supposed to go there must just be momentarily elsewhere. But no – I accounted for everything and STILL had an empty shelf! You just don’t know – storage is at a real premium here and an empty shelf means I’ve rid myself of enough stuff and/or got so organized it created extra space. Immediately I’ve begun to plot what could go there….  What new kitchen thingee could I get?

Within that cabinet, I used scrap wood to make the little shelf with coffee mugs at the back. It’s just 4″ deep so it doesn’t interfere with putting things in front of it. I like that it’s solid wood, not one of those flimsy wire shelves you can buy which would be too wide anyway. I was thinking of making another to put vitamin bottles at the back of another cabinet. Such a simple thing but it frees up a lot of cabinet space.

img_20160506_101831

In the kitchen my weakness is hanging onto potential storage containers, especially glass jars. See, I think glass jars are going obsolete. I’m worried about it. Plastic crap only? Noooo. I tended to squirrel away containers in a variety of places but no more. Here are my extra containers and glass jars, the ones I am allowing myself to keep for now, in one place. (The blue ones are mushroom containers. They seem like they could be USEFUL for something…) I can store them like this on an out-of-way shelf where it doesn’t show.

img_20170122_093740

I made the spice rack and cup holder below out of scrap wood and attached them to the bottom of the cabinets. I got the glass tiles for free from a Freecycler and made the backsplash. It’s a “busy” looking area but since it’s organized, it doesn’t look messy. If one of the hanging utensils hasn’t been used in awhile, I give it a quick wash or rinse before using it, same with the cups. The red cabinet knobs? I painted those and attached them to the doors which formerly had no knobs at all. I like red accents in a kitchen. To create more light inexpensively I added a slim plug-in under-cabinet light over the sink.

img_20170116_100309_kindlephoto-3409679

Below is a close-up to show you the “kitchen cloth” that hangs on a chopstick – yep a plastic chopstick sitting in as a tiny dowel – that hangs from hooks.

img_20160506_101729_kindlephoto-20121186

Formerly I had a long shelf over the window with storage type things on it. Appliances that didn’t get used often, a dutch oven, a box of untried recipes. It wasn’t very attractive. I always thought there just wasn’t space to have decorations in the kitchen – only room for “useful” stuff – but that area  seemed ideal for decorating. This week I found other places for those items, sawed down the shelf to fit only the 42″ over the window and brought in decorative pieces that had been elsewhere. I love it. I haven’t decided if the shelf should ultimately be white but for now this is fine.

img_20170122_080856_hdr_kindlephoto-4657542

img_20170122_082504_kindlephoto-4314269

To the right of the over-the-window shelf is another scrap-wood project. I have always liked the look of food in glass jars, maybe just because I like being able to look at food. The top shelf holds peanut jars I hung onto (see? I was smart to start sitting on glass jars years ago!) that are excellent for storage. Yes, I eat a lot of peanuts. What’s good about this unit too is that it is high up on the wall in space that would otherwise go unused. Before this week the top of the unit was one of the spots I stuck unused glass jars but no more! It too holds decorative pieces. That Saltine can has been moved all around but now has its home.

img_20170122_082325_kindlephoto-4363895

This is a little Ikea cabinet that came from a yard sale for $5. I painted the doors red, turned it UPSIDE DOWN and anchored it to the end of the existing cabinets.

img_20170122_082543_kindlephoto-4465678

Look at all the stuff it holds!  One day I’d like to make a glass-doored cabinet to display my pretty bowls but for now they live in here. That’s a 1-cup measuring cup on the lowest shelf to give you a sense of size.

img_20170122_095945_hdr

This next shelf isn’t exciting but I am pleased with it nonetheless; it’s one I put in this past summer over the entry way to the kitchen (on the inside looking out). More glass jars! I use those two bigger-than-they-look jars ALL the time (to soak dry beans overnight, for soups, etc). Good place for lunch bags too. Again what’s great is this is space which would otherwise go unused. As you can imagine I regularly eye any unused space with a thought to what might go there.

img_20170116_102236_kindlephoto-10677090

Finally, this is under-the-stairs. Pictured is one of those plant/flower holders people put on the outside of their homes. I found this one thrown out, painted it red, and hung it up here to hold kitchen towels. This is also where I keep brooms and buckets hanging from cup hooks.

img_20170122_082717_kindlephoto-5340205

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Ideas from my organized (small) kitchen

  1. Maggie Wilson

    It looks great! I like how even though one item is not a match for the next, the overall look has a coordinated feel.

    We have about a 6-inch stack of mushroom containers – hubby uses them for when he’s sorting his rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. vanbytheriver

    I’m with you on those glass jars. They seem to be going away. Your “red” works really well here. So many good ways to use space…especially those cup and spice shelves. The S hooks are especially useful. Nicely done. 💗 💖 💘 💝 (more red)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Many thanks! Once I started adding red dashes to the kitchen, I kept finding more places to use it. I wouldn’t want red walls but touches make me happy. I began to be suspicious about phasing hourglass years back. And if you buy glass containers today they aren’t necessarily as thick & strong as old glass. But I don’t have space to take up Serious Glass Hording.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. writerinsoul Post author

          Haha! Good eye! I’ve had that forever. I even tried to look it up online because it lasted so long and when I find anything good, I want more. Sometimes I wonder about the bad plastic it was probably made with…

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  3. Sheila Moss

    Great ideas for organizing! I especially like the little cup shelf. If I ever get some lumber and ambition, I may do it. I like the over-the-window shelf idea too. I read somewhere that if you need more space, look up. Space over doors and windows is usually empty space. Works for bathrooms too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thank you! I may have made that “look up” comment! The way I figure I figure it is more convenient to keep a little step stool handy in order to reach high shelves than to store stuff in attics, sheds, garages, rental units and so on. The little cup shelf is very low tech, easy to do. It gets all those mugs out of cabinet space plus they are pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Sheila Moss

        Except anything left out on a top shelf tends to get pretty dusty and yucky after a while. I like the way they build cabinets all the way to the ceiling on HGTV so you can store things you don’t use much. Chefs leave pots and pans and everything out. Maybe you were channeling your inner chef. I have a pot hook, but no place to hang it. Grrr

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. writerinsoul Post author

          For high shelf storage I use bins that either have lids or they are so close to the ceiling it acts like a lid. I can’t stand stuff getting all icky & dusty! I’ll have to put up some more pictures sometime. The only things “in the open” get used often or are easy to swipe clean. My pots stay out. I would love the kind of floor to ceiling storage you’re talking about. The tallest cabinets I’ve made are 6-7′. If I was there I’d try to find a spot for your hook!

          Like

          Reply
  4. RMW

    I am beyond impressed. I go on throwing out (or donating) and organizing binges. But the second I look away other stuff moves in. Haven’t figured out how that happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thank you! You’re exactly right; there is a real tendency to soon replace whatever we let go of. For me one of the challenges is getting comfortable and not uneasy with the concept of unused or open space. Making progress.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Pingback: The Last of the Mohicans IKEA shelves | WriterInSoul

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thanks! It helps to have them out not all tangled up in a drawer. I think you could even put them on the fronts of cabinets or pantry doors if you don’t have a spot like I did.

      Like

      Reply

Have something you'd like to say about this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s