Saturday, February 28, 2015

Peek Inside: A Professional Organizer's House {Kitchen}

**Before I get started, I want to make it clear that by no means am I doing these "Peek Inside" posts as a way to brag, or to insinuate that I have a perfect home. In fact, it's far from perfect. (Hello, I do have two small kids!) In fact, I've actually heard that word a lot...."perfect"....and it really irks me. I do work hard to have a clutter-free home most of the time, but that's because I've spent a lot of time putting systems into place, and "training" my other family members to utilize these systems. It's a lot of work, but to me, it's worth it. So, hopefully, my "Peek Inside" series will inspire you, rather than irritate you!**

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ that off my chest. Now we can begin!! :)

Since we've been talking about organization in the kitchen all month long, it's time to finally reveal MY kitchen and how I keep it organized....

1. Chore charts - I found these online here, and laminated them for the kids. We've had them for almost a year now, and they have been the best charts I've found to date. (Of course, Nate has to help his little sister read the chart every now & then, but usually he's happy to oblige.)

 2. Pantry - I did a post earlier in the month about pantry tips; click here to check that out. Since we have a narrow cabinet, the pull-out features are a must, and I also made sure to utilize the height of each cabinet. Click here to view the Etsy store where I got my custom red vinyl labels.
 3. Freezer - Click here to read my recent post with "before & after" pictures of my newly updated freezer. My new bins make all the difference!
4. Fridge - I'll be honest, when I at these pictures of my fridge, it looks kinda empty for a family of four. But then I remember, we are lucky in that we have a second fridge in our basement to store bulk quantities of water, juice boxes, beer, etc. With that being said, I still try to keep things in "zones"....yogurts in a bin, kids' applesauces in a bin, juice boxes in a bin, condiments together, lunch supplies together in a drawer, and breads together.

 5. The "Junk" Drawer - yes, even Professional Organizers have a junk drawer in the kitchen! Ours holds a bunch of miscellaneous items - pens, chip clips, wine stoppers, scotch tape, etc. But the key is to corral them with a few plastic organizers, so they don't get out of hand.
(All of mine are from the Dollar Store!)
 6. Baking dishes - Under our junk drawer is where we keep our recipe books & pyrex dishes. Pretty straightforward here....just stack the rectangle ones together and the square ones together!
 7. Tupperware - Oh, the dreaded Tupperware cabinet! We store ours in the (awkward) corner cabinet, and again, store them by shape. I think the key for us is to not have too many, and to make sure the lids are either stacked underneath them, or to the side.
 8. Appliances & Pot/Pan Lids - This corner cabinet holds our crockpots, rice cooker, mixer blender, mixing bowls, and pot/pan lids. So, a little bit of everything! :) The lid racks are key to keeping our pot/pan lids organized.
 9. Open Shelving - I would never imagined having open shelving in my "dream house," has it. And I love it. Sure, it gets dusty more often, but goodness, it's pretty to look at! And since the dishwasher is almost right below the shelving, it makes unloading dishes go very quickly.
 10. Utensils - We use a mix of metal & mesh organizers for our utensils,
all from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
 11. Pots & Pans - Again, we were super lucky to move into a house that already had pull-out features for the pots & pans. We stack by size/type, and store the lids in a different cabinet (see #8).
 12. Miscellaneous Utensils - This drawer can easily get out of hand, so we try not to have duplicates of any item. (Exception: pizza cutter - we eat a lot of pizza in this house!) I store my cooking utensils in a bucket on the countertop by the stove, so this drawer just houses a few odds & ends. Again, drawer organizers are key!
 13. Paper goods & food wraps - We have a super deep drawer that holds our paper plates, cups, ziplocks, plastic utensils, and food wraps. Of course, only a small amount of paper plates & cups can fit at a time, so the remainder are stored in the basement.
 Now we move onto the right side of the kitchen, where I spend most of my time slaving over a hot stove :) Good thing it has 6 burners!!
 14. Under the Kitchen Sink - Click here to see the "before & after" post about this cabinet. It was easy to simplify this cabinet, once I emptied it all and saw all the duplicates / junk / unnecessary items in there! My most favorite DIY project was recovering a wipes bin with contact paper to make a new trash bag dispenser :)

 15. Coffee Station - My husband is the only coffee drinker in our family, yet we have a whole cabinet dedicated to his obsession habit. (Well, I have a few measuring cups thrown in there on the bottom shelf, since I'm a shrimp and can't reach much higher!)
 16. Spices - Click here to read my recent post on our spice cabinet. Those spice clips are a lifesaver, since it's a narrow cabinet. As are the $1 baskets I found from Target and the white bins that hold cookie cutters and toppings on the higher shelves.
I attached the mini-chalkboard labels with Velcro!
 To the right of the stove & carport door, we have our family's command center. I wish we had a bigger area, but this house came with about a 2 feet wide wall there, so that's what we have to work with. I designate daily activities for each child on the wipe board (N=Nate & A=Abby), and then each child gets a wall pocket that holds their weekly work and things they bring home. I clean these out at the end of each week & change the wipe-board schedule when necessary.
**UPDATE: As of May 2016, our family command center has gotten a facelift. It's still in the same tiny spot, but now looks like this:
 I added a nail to hold 2 clipboards - each of my children has a clipboard with important announcements or homework assignments for the week. Plus, one of my fabulous clients told me about this Erin Condren schedule pad. It is amazing!! I've color-coded our family's activities. Abby=pink, Nate=purple, and Greg & I= teal. It's so nice to have everything all in one place, and I've found my husband using it quite a bit too! I usually post up 3 weeks at a time, and just have them pinned behind the current week.
 And here is our humble little kitchen table. It's perfectly suitable for our little family, but I have grand plans of building some shelving on this big open wall, as well as getting a custom farmhouse table & banquette seating. Who knows when that will happen, but a girl can dream, eh?!
 And that concludes my kitchen tour! Thanks for stopping by and hopefully you saw something that you can implement into your own kitchen.
Starting tomorrow, March 1st, I will be discussing kids' bedrooms (all month long), so make sure to check back for that!
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