When I moved into my new house back in June, all I could think about was getting my kitchen as organized and functional as possible. I was a bit nervous when purchasing the home that I wouldn’t be able to function without my huge pantry I was giving up. And although I was picking up a bit more cabinet space than I had at the old house, I wasn’t a huge fan of the layout. But after a few months of cooking in the new kitchen, I came up with a solid plan of how it needed to be organized…and I was super excited to get started.
My first item of business was to get the pull out drawers installed in the lower cabinets to house my pots and pans. I installed these in my old kitchen and they were awesome. I recommend them in every single home in America! They can be purchased in a variety of widths from your local Lowes or Home Depot for anywhere between $50 and $100.
I put one in the smaller of my two bottom cabinets to house my pans, mixing bowls, toaster, and cutting boards. This cabinet was fairly narrow, so there was a pull out that fit its dimensions perfectly.
For my larger cabinet, I had to modify my plan. I would have preferred one large pull out, or two equally sized pull outs, however there were none built to those widths, so I had to go for two that met the total width of the space. One is slightly narrow, so it holds my small pots snuggly, and the other is wider and holds all of my large pots and pans nicely. This larger cabinet was my largest source of frustration over the past few months. There was a lot of stacking, unstacking, and balancing of pots and pans going on in that cabinet on a daily basis. I was super excited to have it organized and functioning.
My next project was to get the drawers organized. If you remember from my last house, I had all of my drawers organized with bamboo drawer dividers and organizers. And it worked well for me in that space. However, at the new house I wanted to step it up a bit. So one Saturday I took out the trusty miter saw and nail gun, along with a number of pieces of craft wood and set out to build custom organizers for my drawers. This was a fairly easy project but the results were fantastic…I believe this is my favorite project to date…even better than my beloved pantry…maybe.
I started with the utensil drawer. I made a slot for each category and had enough room leftover to house all of my aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc. And in true OCD fashion, the parchment paper container was much longer than the others and after a day or two of this, I could take it no more. So the parchment paper met the miter saw and now matches the other. And all is right in my OCD world.
Next I moved on to the larger cooking utensils. Originally I had a large expandable bamboo drawer divider along with a bamboo knife separator. This system worked great for me, so I simply copied it to match the other drawers. I kept the knife separator and simply installed slots for each category of utensil.
Then came the miscellaneous kitchen gadget drawer. In the previous home I had each category in a bamboo divider and again, I just copied this to match the others (and be a more custom fit with no wasted space).
My favorite drawer was the spice drawer. As you remember, I organized all of my spices into small spice jars from World Market and labeled each with Marth Stewart labels from Avery. This has been one of my favorite and most time-efficient organizing projects to date. For this drawer I simply needed a dividing line to keep my spiced lined up and straight. This left me room to house the oven mits and a small nook for my recipes that I use on a regular basis.
Lastly was the junk drawer. This one took a little more time due to planning and cutting of small dividing pieces. But when I was finished I had a compartment for each item I need access to on a regular basis.
This project took just one day and cost very little, I think in total I spent maybe $50 for all of the wood, and it has made my daily life EXPONENTIALLY better in the kitchen.
Check back when I finish my plans for the upper cabinets and those damn corner cabinets. Note to anyone installing a kitchen: NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER install cabinets with hidden corner areas. They are created by Satan himself and must be abolished from all homes in America!