Container Store Adventures

For those who don’t know, I am a junkie for organization.  I dream of rooms that are neatly organized, where everything has its place.  Minimalist, well designed, efficient storage.  That is my dream….

So one day I got it in my head that I needed to organize my kitchen.  I don’t know where I got that idea.  Maybe it was the brushes with death on kitchen stools trying to reach the appliances on top of the cabinets.  Or the fact that anytime I opened the drawer above the microwave, the plastic storage containers fell on my head.  Or the shelf in the pantry that seems to be bowing to the pressure of holding up 8 cans.  Or maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t find any of my measuring cups (and I have 3 sets).  Or that I always seem to be buying flour, but I can never find it (I had about 5 – 5lb bags!). 

Either way, I scoured Real Simple‘s website looking at dream kitchens and organizing tips.  I finally decided that I’d spend the weekend going through each cabinet/closet individually, get rid of what I don’t need, dust, clean, then decide which organizational stuff to get. 

So I cleaned.  I dusted.  I was grossed out by the top of my kitchen cabinets.  And I conquered.  (And I got to shop at Container Store! Woot!)

So I bought shelves for my pantry drawer, a pot/pan lid organizer that pulls out,  extra shelves for the cabinets, wood to make an extra shelf in a cabinet, and dove in.  I started out with a general plan, but then found that it kinda changed and evolved to fit my needs and what was available at the Container Store. 

Baby & Baking Cabinet | Cabinet Door Storage | Dishes & Cups

Adding storage to the pantry door | Cleaning Supplies | Lid organizer

So here are some of the results.  We still have a couple more things to do, like add one or two more shelves to the pantry (and fix the one that is bowed), and adding shelf and drawer liners, and investing in some Oxo-like storage containers for food/cereal/sugar but I am so proud of the work we did.  The kitchen flows better now.  Everything is where I need it and I’m a happy lady.  Now I can get back to cooking! 🙂

But if you’re organizing your kitchen, here are three tips that really helped me. 

  1. Maximize your vertical space in your cabinets by using cheap shelves.  It allows you to free up a lot of space when you are able to stack things on top of each other.  But make sure you can still access everything you need.
  2. Rank your items by what you use the most.  They should be in the bottom two shelves of your cabinet, or in a very easy to access spot.
  3. Group things together that make sense.  For me, when I’m grabbing a plate, I’m usually grabbing a cup.  So I moved my cups, plates and bowls to the same cabinet.  Also, I put coffee and coffee cups together, right above the coffee maker!  So convenient.
  1. Your kitchen…is my dream… please come do this to my kitchen! Actually, to my whole apartment. Matt never lets me go to the container store because I would spend all our money and then he would have to help me organize 🙂 and he hates that. See, so I have no Mandy to help me re-organize, you should come to Austin and help.

    I got to spend $1000 at the container store for work to organize a bunch of supplies, and let me tell you, it was dream to purchase all the supplies and blissful to organize everything. *sighs*

  2. Kelly, I am so mad jealous about your $1000 splurge at container store. And yes. I will totally do this for you and your kitchen! 🙂 I love organizing. Does that make me weird?

    • not at all, because I love it too, I just don’t have the time these days to execute my vision.

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