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! 

Kitchen Organizing – Before and After Photos

This is not my kitchen.  Unless I am sleeping and dreaming.  In that case, this is my kitchen.

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I have missed you all this week and I wanted to share what I have been up to.  A friend of mine recently moved into the home of her dreams (and everyone else’s dream for that matter) and she quickly unpacked like we all do.  She was yearning for some real organization in the home to make her life easier.  The home is beautifully decorated and completely uncluttered but she never got around to fixing the drawers, cabinets and pantry.  She has three little kids…you understand.

She recruited me for the job.  I concentrate on the blog but since my passion is organizing I decided it was a good opportunity for me to do what I love while taking pictures to later share with you…my fellow order seekers!

Don’t you love a good “before and after”?  I used to record the show Hoarders and I would completely fast forward through the middle just to see the after photos.  All the drama is in the middle and that stresses me out.  No matter how bad you think your house looks, you feel like a domestic goddess after watching the show.  Am I right?

Well this home is nothing like Hoarders, its more like a home featured on Better Homes and Garden.  It just needed a couple of baskets and some turntables and the results follow.

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The pantry is HUGE and from this picture you can’t even see the side shelves or the drawers on either side.  My friend is blessed.  Yes she is.

We emptied the pantry and made the kitchen look really bad before making it look really good.  We discarded anything that had expired and set aside items that they didn’t like or use.

I created stations for everything so that she could quickly find what she needed.  The items that were kid related I placed at the very bottom and without lids so the kids could easily access snacks and juice boxes.  The kids love cereal and they all have their favorite so we purchased matching cereal containers.  They serve a dual purpose since the cereal stays fresh and it looks so much better.  Here is the after {music please!}

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Many of the OXO containers pictured above she already had but wasn’t using them.  You can find the containers {here} in the amazon store and sometimes you can get lucky and find them at Homegoods and Marshalls.  OXO containers are awesome but undoubtedly expensive so if you can’t go out and purchase them, any other matching container will do.  If you don’t have matching containers you can make them look cohesive by adding the same label to all of them.  In this case we used chalkboard labels and the label maker (which at this point I wear around my neck).

They have a ton of nutritional smoothie ingredients so we purchased a very large turntable to make it easy to find what they need.  If you have the cabinet space to put such a large turntable (which I don’t), you can find it {here}.  Here is the before and after:

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I did the same thing for the oil and vinegar but in much smaller turntables.

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The sodas, the kids juices and snacks are at the very bottom where they can easily access them.  I purchased my favorite Target baskets for this.  I also wear them around my neck.

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Lunch Snacks:

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There were already built-in drawers in the pantry but I added some small baskets to corral items such as bars and packets.  All the small white baskets are from the big red circle as well (I get tired of writing the “T” word).

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I placed the cans in tiered shelves and by the end of the project, even the paper towel looked decorative!

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Here are a couple more shots of other areas in the kitchen that we tackled.  I forgot the before shot of the other drawer.

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After.  This is the first time I use this drawer organizer kit. L-O-V-E-D it!  I added it to the Amazon store and I am ordering one for myself.  You can find it {here} or possibly at a The Container Store (perhaps even Bed Bath and Beyond?).  I don’t recommend it for every drawer if you have a lot of utensils (like me) but I like having one drawer in which items are perfectly organized and accessible.

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Then we organized under the sink.  We took everything out, cleaned the cabinet and placed a pretty liner before placing any items back.

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On one side I placed a baking rack to hold all the cutting boards upright.  On the other side a cleaning caddy with essentials.  In the center dishwashing items.

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Then the spices:

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Using a tiered shelf and two turntables gave everything a home.  If you don’t do this you will end up with 5 bottles of pumpkin pie spice because you will buy one every year around thanksgiving when you can’t find it.  Here is the after:

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I will continue working on her home and I will keep posting pictures to keep you all updated on the progress.

When your pantry is organized you will find that so many things are easier.  It is easier to grocery shop because at-a-glance you can see what you are missing.  It is easier to put the groceries away because everything has it’s place.  It is easier to cook when you are not rummaging around trying to find an ingredient.  Mostly, it is visually pleasing to open a cabinet that looks so nice.  Organizing is definitely work but very gratifying.

Thank you for being patient with me this week and if anyone needs pumpkin pie spice, I have 4 bottles that I can part with!

Let me know what is the next project you are going to tackle.

Until next time,

Maria