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