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Cabinet Progress: Step One.

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Wow, you are all full of excellent organizing knowledge. I spent most of this past week unloading boxes and finding places for things so I haven’t had time to make a trip to Ikea, Bed Bath and Beyond or even to browse The Container Store (can you believe we don’t have one in Michigan?). But last night I decided to see what I could do with my cupboards with what I have already as a first step. I only tackled my two tall and deep cabinets, the spices are still crammed into a very small space, though I did manage to find chili powder without maiming myself.

I had a couple baskets, a wire shelf and lazy susan which used to be in our linen closet. The new linen closet is yet another disaster for now, so I took those items out to use in the kitchen. You remember the before, right?

Here is the left cabinet. You’ll note a lazy susan on the top shelf, my pre-existing rice container (with label!), a tomato/pasta shelf and another basket which holds cans and bottles related to anything Mexican in nature we might cook. The very bottom shelf holds a container for cat food and bottles waiting to go to the garage and, eventually, the store so that we might collect our 10 cents a bottle like good Michiganders.

left kitchen pantry

Here is the upper cabinet I’ve decided to try to use for paperwork and my bill paying station. We’ll see how that works, the file and box are from Real Simple’s line at Target. The white boxes are magnetic but in this house we want to keep our fridge clear of clutter, so I’ll likely be coming up with a new bill paying method.

upper cabinet

The right cupboard I’m using for snacks and foods the kids will most likely want to get to. I used a basket for snacks like pretzels and tortilla chips. Another plastic basket holds some of the cans of stuff my little boy likes for lunch like Spaghetti-Os. I could label this shelf, “Madison’s Rung Of Hell” because she will never allow any of the contents of these cans touch her lips. Ever.

right pantry

Why yes, I do have a shelf containing homemade snack mix from a neighbor, microwave popcorn and Pocky. Doesn’t everyone?

I’m not done in there but this makes at least more sense for now. I did some browsing like I mentioned and found this Flickr group, Pretty Organized which is lovely for inspiration. Like this drool inspiring pantry. Wow.

As far as what I’ll be purchasing I found a few items I think we’ll end up using. If we weren’t leasing for this year and not certain we’ll be buying when our lease is up, I would simply buy these great roll out cupboard inserts. At $40 a piece that’s a $400 solution and I’m not sure I’m up for that, not when I have a living room waiting for a sofa.

For spices, I think I might use this pull down shelf and install it on the shelf above my existing spice shelf. The only thing I don’t like about that solution is the fact that it seems a little inefficient to take up 2 shelves in a cupboard just for spices. Something which attaches to the cabinet door may be more space efficient, like this.

I used to keep my calendar attached to the side of my fridge but as I mentioned, we’re not sticking things to our refrigerator anymore. I realize I have a computer and many applications meant to replace the traditional paper calendar. But I can’t help it, I enjoy seeing my calendar in front of me. At Pretty Organized someone shared this idea, using the inside of a cabinet door as a message center and handy space to stash paperwork. I’m thinking I could just use this hook to attach my calendar inside the cupboard without any installation marks to the cabinet since we’re leasing. This will make it easily viewed by everyone in the family.

Not that this means my husband will stop asking me 42 times when exactly we’re leaving on vacation.

Back to cooking next week, I promise.

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5 comments so far...

  • For spice organization, I saw this in a magazine, only it was in stainless steel. But you get the idea anyways. You could even mount the item inside your pantry somewhere?

    Looking forward to more of your cooking posts. They are great!
    Good luck.

    Krissy  |  August 15th, 2007 at 2:12 am

  • Mmmm…Pocky! I am so addicted to Pocky…I could easily buy it by the case. Looks like you’ve come up with some good solutions for your storage. I am amazed at how organized you are…especially since you just moved in!

    Mary  |  August 15th, 2007 at 2:39 am

  • I have that pull down shelf from the Container Store, and it’s my favorite kitchen item. It only takes up one shelf. It sits neatly on one and then if you need the higher items, it pulls down in front of the shelf below it. It is a thing of beauty. And super easy to install.

    cjh  |  August 15th, 2007 at 2:38 pm

  • I like the pull down shelf. We live in an old house with high ceilings and (you guessed it) high cabinets. I could use that.

    Daisy  |  August 17th, 2007 at 2:33 am

  • Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! I have that fold-down spice shelf and LOVE it! Since my spices are in a cabinet that is a little higher than eye-level, this shelf makes it so EASY to find what I’m looking for!

    Karen@FamilyBriefs  |  August 17th, 2007 at 3:37 am