The Adventure Starts Here: Purging and Organizing the Kitchen

Friday, February 3, 2017

Purging and Organizing the Kitchen

At the beginning of the year, I shared that my word for the year is going to be focus.  While the word focus applies to so many areas of my life, one of the biggest reasons I chose the word was that I wanted to be more conscious about what we buy and keep in our house.  While we are trying to be better at impulsive purchases, I'm also spending each week focusing on a different room or area and doing a major purge.  Last week I shared how I organize our toys.  This week I'm sharing all about the kitchen.  

On the surface, our kitchen wasn't in that bad of shape.  Sure, we had some things on the counter, but our cabinets were neat and we never had a problem finding things.  But upon closer examination, we had some duplicates and a few things that we just don't use.  So I went through each cabinet and was honest with myself with what we actually need.  I still think we have too many wine glasses, but for some reason I just can't seem to give them away.  After my purge, it was time to organize.  I found that there were better ways to organize the cabinets and moved a bunch of things around.  While it confused Chris for the first few days when he went to look for something or empty the dishwasher, I think we are both used to the changes by now.   

I figured the best way to share what I did was to take photos of all the different parts of our kitchen, label what's in the cabinets and drawers, and then show you inside of them.  And while I could have cleaned my kitchen to make this more Pinterest-worthy, I wanted to show you what our counters look like on a daily basis... complete with drying racks and random papers.  

I wish they had the white drying rack when we got ours back in 2012! 

Before my purging and organization session, Noah's plates and bowls were scattered throughout a few cabinets and we had 2 sets of outdoor plates.  Once we got rid of the older melamine plates and bowls, the set we did keep was able to fit into the smaller cabinet.  I then moved all of Noah's plates and bowls into the larger cabinet.  I love having them right above the dishwasher as it's super easy to unload the dishwasher this way... it's amazing how many plates and bowls we go through each day!

To the right of our sink is a cabinet filled with Noah's cups and our plastic cups.  And below, we have this awesome pull out cabinet that is deep and narrow, perfect for our dish soap and detergent.  

We have some rather large corner cabinets that can easily become a black hole for things to get lost in.  While a professional organizer would probably utilize some lazy susans, I found it's easier to just limit the amount of things kept in each to make sure I don't forget about things in there.  The upper and lower cabinets house a variety of things.  I keep things that we don't use as often towards the back and try to keep things we use on a daily basis towards the front.  When we first moved in, we had every lower cabinet locked.  But now that Noah's older and not interested in playing in cabinets, we have started to unlock them.   This lower corner cabinet is the only one I still keep locked.  I probably don't need to, but I keep our electric can opener, apple slicer, and lighter in here and just feel safer knowing it's locked.

Funny story about these EAT letters.  I just bought them off a FB selling page for my town.  I plan to hang them on a wall, but until then I have them leaning against my backsplash.  While Noah can't read yet, at his angle he saw this and said "what does F-A-T spell?".  I couldn't help but crack up.  Not sure anyone wants the word FAT displayed in their kitchen lol! 

I was beyond thrilled that this kitchen has some pretty large drawers right under the stove.  It's the perfect place for not only my cooking utensils, but also for my pots and pans.  It's such a better way to store them than in a traditional cabinet like we had in our last apartment! 

To the right of the stove, I keep some random things in this bottom cabinet.  I used to have my disinfecting wipes out on the counter, but found it looks better hidden, and really isn't as inconvenient as I thought it might be.  I also like to put our salt and pepper shakers away when not using and have trivets on hand whenever we need to set the table. 

We have a few upper cabinets with glass doors and I love storing my dishes and glasses in them.  They are by far our prettiest pieces.  

I love having this very large drawer for all my small baking accessories.  I used to have more sprinkles in here, but I found that a bunch were expired and we weren't using that many of them anyway.  But having my spices and measuring cups and spoons nearby has really come in handy.  But the spices are still far enough away from my stove that they aren't affected by the heat.  Below this drawer is where I keep serving platters, cake stands, and the rubbermaid that I store all of my baked goods in to stay fresh.  I purged quite a few things in this cabinet that definitely made everything feel a little less crammed.  

These narrow drawers are the perfect size for pot holders, dishtowels, and cleaning rags.  I got rid of some old and ratty ones and ended up with an empty drawer! 

This next drawer is the one that changed the most.  It used to hold our corn on the cob holders and other things that we really never used.  Before, I used a narrower drawer as our "junk drawer" and decided it would be better to move everything into this drawer instead.  I bought some acrylic drawer organizers and tried to get a little more organized.  It's definitely a work in progress but it's been so much easier to find what I'm looking for now.  I find that it's best to go through a junk drawer every six months anyway.  It's really easy to just keep collecting things if not.  

Below is some more baking accessories, like mixing bowls, my hand mixer, and casserole dishes.  Buried in the back are all my cookie cutters as well, that I grouped by holiday in some simple gallon ziploc bags.  While we don't bake sugar cookies a ton, I'm happy to have them for when we do.

And finally, our tupperware drawer.  Chris is known to keep every take out container we ever receive.  But I find they don't hold up well in the dishwasher.  So I went through our containers, got rid of the old ones, and we have started to upgrade to better quality containers, including a set of glass dishes.  

We have one more set of narrow drawers.  Just recently I decided to dedicate them all to Noah's art supplies.  More on that in a future post.  

Next up is this butcher block island.  It's not a permanent cabinet, but I love the extra storage it offers and prep area.  This is where Noah and I do most of our baking.  It has two small drawers in the front, where we keep all of our vitamins and random coupons.  

I used to keep our baking tins in a nearby closet.  But I found that they were taking up a good amount of shelf space while these baskets in our center island were being extremely underutilized.  I instead, moved my cupcake and bread tins to one of the baskets, using a divider for some extra support.  The other basket holds random things like the charger for my vacuum battery, Noah's lunch box, and some reusable grocery bags.  

Above my oven is where I keep vases and wine accessories.  I still plan to go through this cabinet one more time and get rid of the vases we never use.  I also want to add a small wine bottle rack to store the few bottles we keep on hand.  Underneath the double ovens, we have a shallow drawer (that I forgot to photograph), that holds my baking sheets and cooling racks.  It's the perfect size and location for my baking sheets.  

One of my favorite features of this kitchen is all the storage.  We have a pantry located in the actual kitchen and a large walk in closet right around the corner.  The pantry is where we keep all of our food.  I try to keep Noah's snacks on the lower shelves so that he can grab what he wants without asking me non stop.  The closet is used for multiple things.  I keep all my baking supplies (sugar, flour, chocolate chips, etc) as well as my cooking oils.  In addition to that I keep our vacuums, swiffer, ironing board, and even our off season candles.  I also keep Noah's extra paints and playdoh in this closet.  More on how I store Noah's art supplies in a future post.  

So that's our kitchen.  This was probably the first room that I ended up throwing things out more than donating.  I'm always amazed at how easy it is to forget about expired food in the pantry!  We did have a box or two to donate, but nothing crazy.  I'm happy knowing that what we have in our kitchen are things we actually use now.  And if we don't use them in the next year, I know it's time to finally get rid of it!  

While I tried to provide links for our new organizational pieces. If there's anything that I missed, or products that I have in my shelves that you are interested about, just let me know in the comments.  

Was one of your goals this year to purge and organize your home? If so, how are you doing with it now that we are a month in???

*affiliate links may be used... see my disclosure for more information


  1. I just love you kitchen Meghan! Makes me wish I had gone with white cabinets. Darn Russ and the cabinet guy talking me out of it. I also love where your microwave is. Ours is hidden away. In fact it even has doors and I LOVE it being out of sight.

  2. Loving SO MUCH about this!! The vertical stacking of the pans (so very Marie Kondo!), the lower cabinets for art supplies, the basket for lunch box - your kitchen is darling to boot :)

  3. I really need to figure out how to manage my spices. I don't have room to lay them down like that and I have them in a drawer standing up, making it difficult to see what's what.

  4. I wish we had those large drawers for pots! My mom has that and it works great. We have cabinets here and it's annoying. I love how you organized everything!

  5. Also - so funny that the letters looked like F-A-T!

  6. Oh my! I'd die for a walk in pantry!

  7. Whoa! Your kitchen is so organized. I love all of the drawer and cabinet space.

  8. Just came across your blog and at the perfect time too... I need to organize my kitchen. I love how organized your kitchen is...thanks for sharing! I have some good ideas now :)


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