Organizing under the Kitchen Sink

Everything but the kitchen sink.  That’s my motto for organizing under the kitchen sink.  As you already know, I do not keep any cleaning products under the sinks to avoid my curious toddler from spraying his face with a cleaner.  Although I am purchasing green cleaners, they aren’t exactly supposed to be gargled so I still try to keep them away from his reach.

So this is what my cabinet looks like.  In order to photograph the items that were tucked away, I took them out of the cabinet to give you a closer look.

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I am using every inch of space.  In the very back I have a ceramic crock that holds all my sieves and giant spatulas.  They used to be in my drawers taking up premium space but they were seldom used and so cumbersome!

I use all those sieves for different purposes, some for straining stock and others for sifting flour.  The point is, I need them all.  I just don’t need them often.  The crock was a good solution.

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All my cutting boards are placed inside a tiered file holder that is meant for office use.  I love how I can see them all and they are easy to pull out since they are separated by the built-in dividers.

You probably already have one of these that you are not using lying around the house.

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I tuck the boards into the very edge of the cabinet.

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On one side of the cabinet I have a pull-out plastic drawer that is full of kitchen towels, aprons, garbage bags and small zipper bags.

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On the other side of the cabinet (right under the garbage disposal) is a wire divider that I use to place all my glass food containers.  I switched to glass years ago to avoid having to worry about all the chemicals that were possibly inside some of the plastic ones.  I still don’t mind plastic for food items that don’t get heated up.

In the very back are really large bowls which I rarely use and in the front are all the frequently used containers.  The dishwasher is right next to this cabinet so they are easy to put away.

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On one door I have extra grocery bags.  I have 4 reusable grocery bags in the car.  I sometimes remember that I have them when I am in the store with a full cart on my way to checkout.  I’m pretty good about it but I still need to work on that habit.

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On the other door I have an organizer that holds foil, parchment, plastic wrap and large zipper bags.

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That’s it!  I couldn’t fit anything else under there!  I hope I gave you some ideas.

I look forward to you sharing with me what items are under your kitchen sink…

Until next time,

Happy Organizing! 

Guest Bathroom Organization

The guest bathroom in our home is pretty small but considering that my first home didn’t have one,  I am grateful.  It was even hard to photograph due to the size.  I looked like Spiderwoman trying to get a good picture.  Minus the latex suit of course.

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The guest bathroom is adjacent to the laundry closet and close to the kitchen.  In theory it would be a good place to store cleaning supplies.  However, since I have little ones I never keep cleaning supplies under sinks.  Instead, I use this space to store all of our beach towels.  I roll them up so that I can circumvent that annoying pipe.  I really dislike that pipe. :-/

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On the other side I have small plastic drawers that hold items that a guest may need:  Toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, shaving cream, small cologne bottles, karaoke equipment (just checking to see if you are paying attention!).   In the other drawer I have a first aid kit and Q-tips.  On top of this I put extra toilet paper.

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Sometimes we forget to use the cabinet doors for extra storage and its the perfect place to put a small caddy.  Here I place extra lotions, soaps, essential oils and a roll of garbage bags.  I have these caddies in almost every bathroom.  They are narrow so you can still have the items inside the cabinet uninterrupted.  I love them!

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On the other cabinet door I use a command hook to hang my cleaning gloves.  I placed a clip that is meant to be used to close chip bags onto the command hook and it is the perfect clip to hold the gloves.  It’s a good idea to hang the cleaning gloves so that they can fully dry after using them.

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A little closer…

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Here is a picture of the whole bathroom cabinet.

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There are systems meant for under the sink that circumvent the dreaded plumbing but sometimes by using a little creativity you can find an inexpensive way to use every inch of space.  Here is the other side of the bathroom just in case you were wondering (ok maybe you weren’t but for the sake of symmetry I will end it with this picture).

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I hope you got some ideas and if you have any ideas for me just post them below.

P.S.  My husband just told me “you realize there is no Spiderwoman?”  Clearly he hasn’t seen me in action cleaning the house when he leaves…

Happy Organizing!

Maria

Kitchen: Junk Drawer Organization

The junk drawer (insert dramatic orchestra music!).  We all have one.  We all need one.  And they all need a little (a lot) of TLC every now and then.  Since this drawer is full of miscellaneous items it is easy for it to look like a mess pretty fast.  I used to have this whole drawer dedicated as the “junk drawer” but I decided a while back that since I don’t have many drawers or space for that matter in my kitchen, I could just use half of it to store my miscellaneous items.  I am pretty sure that was a run-on sentence but I digress.

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On one side I keep the steak knives in that nifty knife holder (from Target…where else?).  On the other side I have a small organizer that holds:

Memo pads, tape measure, toothpicks,  tape, pens, flower food packets, an extra cell phone charger and finally, candles (because you don’t want to ruin that special moment by looking for a candle like a madwoman…not that I would know :-) ).  My timers fit nicely in this drawer and in the middle I keep a notepad for grocery items that I want to remember to buy.  In the very back there is a container for snack bag clips.

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Here is a little container that came with my sons lunch bag.  It is so small that I just had it in a drawer knowing that at some point I would use it for something other than lunch.  My son collects BoxTops for school and they are always floating in the junk drawer.  As I was cutting one off of a cereal box the other day the light bulb went off!  They fit perfectly inside the small container.  YAY!!!  It takes so little to make my day!

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So what do you think?  Maybe you can scale down your junk drawer too if it is way too big or if you don’t need 35 pens in there.  If there is a place for everything then it will stay neater longer.  That is the case for most areas in our home.  We are done with the junk drawer (Insert relaxing classical music).

Maria   

Kitchen: Utensil Drawer

The utensil drawer.  Nothing daunting, an easy-peasy project.  I like projects like this because they offer instant gratification.  You can do this task in 5-10 minutes and then stand back and marvel at the results (I marvel at lined up shiny silverware…I am dorky like that).

Below is my junk drawer and my utensil drawer.  I will later do a post on the dreaded junk drawer.  Let us postpone that nightmare for now!

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As far as the utensil drawer, I encourage you to take everything out even if your drawer looks organized.  Once everything is clear you can wipe down the drawer and the utensil tray.   When you take everything out you will sometimes notice that there are food particles in the very bottom of the drawer.  Don’t ask me how a drawer that only holds clean utensils has food particles.  It is a mystery for sure.

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As you can see my utensil organizer is clear.  I like it because I can still see my drawer liner (from Target).  On the side I place my larger serving pieces that we use at dinner time.  The really large ones (for cooking and serving large crowds) are in a crock on top of the kitchen counter.  In the horizontal spot I place all of my toddlers utensils that are bulky.

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I cant leave scissors in in the front of the drawer (because of my toddler) so I tuck the kitchen shears and a pair of regular scissors in the very back of the drawer.  He doesn’t even know they are there.  I also keep some jar grips in the very back of the drawer.  Having all these things in the back maximizes the organization in the space and keeps my utensil tray from shifting around in the drawer.

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So there it is!  The utensil drawer.  It’s the little things.

Until next time!

Maria