It’s January and for many people that means it’s time to get life back in order!! Does anyone else have the sudden urge to organize!? There’s just something about the chaos of the Holidays in December that makes us want to simplify and be productive in January.
Let’s talk KITCHENS for a minute. How’s your kitchen doing? Mine (Alisha’s) could use a little help right about now.
Welcome to Alisha’s “spices and seasonings and a bunch of other stuff cupboard!”
You are feeling inspired already, aren’t you?
Do you have an “AND OTHER STUFF” cupboard as well? 🙂
It could be worse, right? But it could be so much better, so we reached out to you and asked,
“What are your best tips for kitchen/pantry organization?”
Your responses were great! We thought we might share one or two of your ideas, but there were so many that we liked that we decided to make a whole post devoted to sharing your ideas! Thank you to those of you who have responded and allowed us to share your insights with all the MPM readers.
We hope you find one or two ideas in here that will inspire you to make your kitchen more organized in 2017!
Here are some of the really smart things you guys have going on in your kitchens that we love. . .
1.Find things easily with clear Containers.
Steph gave this advice: “Group like things together. Don’t hoard things in bulk and put what you can into clear containers.” Here is a picture of her pantry. Check out all those large clear containers, baskets, bins and small containers. Steph, everything so organized and easy to find! Kudos to you!
2.Make a Baking Station.
Steph also shared with us a picture of her baking station. She said, “Another thing that has worked for me was to create a baking station outside of the pantry” She puts her mixer onto a lift and the drawer underneath the mixer pulls out and has all my baking stuff in it (minus flour and sugar). Smart idea, Steph! Thanks for sharing! (Your kitchen looks fantastic, by the way!)
3.Upside Down Shelves.
How smart is this!? I never would have thought to do this, but it makes so much sense. Carolyn H. shared this idea with us. She said, “Buy a white shelf like the one in the top picture and put it upside down on the pantry shelf. (Otherwise the sides would fall through the white metal shelf) I love how I can store pans and not have to stack them, glass baking dishes and use for bread so that the bread doesn’t get smooched.” We love it too Carolyn! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
4.Mason Jars and Baby Food Jars.
Amber says, “For the pantry I use mason jars a lot for things like sugar, nuts, chocolate chips because they seal to lock in freshness and out and unwanted nasties. I also use clear stacking cube containers for pastas. Clear everything makes it easy to see how much is left and what the contents are! Baby food jars are great for portions if you buy food in bulk but have kiddos who want to feed themselves snacks!”
5.Clean out the Pantry by Eating What’s In It. 🙂
I bet if you really tried you could live a whole week off of just what you have in your pantry? Kady Jo Hofer said this, “Sometimes we want to get rid of things in our pantry that have been there for a while- so I will plan our meals for the week around what we have already on hand.” If this is you and you would like to try to eat out of your pantry; we have a whole kit with free printables designed to help you do this! Thanks for this reminder, Kady! Eating out of your pantry will save you money, time, and space. It’s a win, win, win!
6.Snack “Stations” for Quick Grab-and-Go Snacks.
Amanda says, “I have bins with handles on them and a shelf that is easy access for my kiddos. I put snacks they are allowed to grab in those, sorted out.” She has a place for nuts and nut bars, granola bars, raisins and other dried fruit, and apple sauce cups. She says that her kids have snack time at school and can grab from these containers. I’m sure your kids love this, Amanda! Thanks for sharing!
Cindy responded to what Amanda said, She says, ” I do this too, but I put a label on the tub too (example: fruit snacks/healthier snacks: pick 1 or fruit from fridge, another tub may have chips: pick 1. Tub with drinks…this way the kids can help pack their lunches easier.”
7.Clear Shoe Organizer on the Pantry Door.
Christine share with us this great tip, “I use a clear pocket holder (think shoe organizer) on the pantry door. It hold snacks for the kids at the bottom and in the higher pockets I put straws, foil, wax paper, storage bags, small lights bulbs, etc. It saves so much space!!” So practical and inexpensive too! Anyone can do this! Thanks Christine, for the great idea!
Bonnie also recommends the clear plastic over the door shoe holder saying that she uses it for snacks!
8.A Drawer/Cabinet Just for the Kids.
Katie shared with us these awesome tips: “Storing all kitchen stuff in glass containers and put labels on them. Always have a little drawer or cabinet that is just for kids (kids kitchen tools, kid aprons, etc.) Also, simplify & purge often.” What a fun idea, Katie! Kids love to know that something is THEIRS and this makes the kitchen feel like it’s just as much their space as it is yours.
9.Keep Track of Expiration Dates.
Meghan says, “I write the expiration date on top of cans when unpacking them from the grocery store. I have them on a pull out shelf but it makes it easy for me to know which one to use first and see when something is expired. Also write what it is on the top…(I.e. olives, chk broth, tom. sauce, etc..).
10.Hide the Goodies! 😉
When asked what her pantry tip was, Heather said, “Lol! Mostly – hiding “special” snacks in a large stock pot.” Heather, so you mean like… dark chocolate you don’t want the kiddos to find? This is a FANTASTIC IDEA!! No kid will ever look there. Why did I never think of this!? 🙂
11.Do we have chicken in the Deep Freezer?
Do you have a hard time remembering what is in your deep freezer? I don’t know about you, but we have ours all the way in the basement, and I know a lot of people keep their freezer in their garage. It can be easy to forger what you have out/down there. Stacey shared this idea to keep a handle on where you put what. “I keep a binder ring with index cards on them. The index cards have items that are in the freezers (we have a freezer chest and then our frig/freezer). The cards have names of the food and initials that represent where to find the item on the card.” Stacey’s example was that she would want to freeze the extra portion of taco soup she made so would write, “Taco Soup” and “DF” for deep freezer. This way she can make meals and know what’s freezer it’s in. Great idea Stacey, and thanks for the picture! 🙂
12.Wire shelves and Labeled Bins.
Cynthia, owner of Parsnipity Cafe says: “If I ever cooked in my home kitchen again, I would forgo cabinets and use these shelves that I use at Parsnipity Cafe. It’s a wonderful thing to have everything in view and within reach. Those blue bins in the background are labeled and hold utensils. It’s not pretty, but makes prep work so easy!” Sure does Cynthia! Thanks for the idea and for sharing pictures! Love it!
I (Alisha) have to admit, this one is actually my favorite one. Maybe this should have been number one! 🙂 Bobbi said, “Purge! So many things seem to multiply….such as cups?!” SO TRUE Bobbi! Every once in a while it is good to go through each cupboard and ask yourself, “What in here have I not used in over a year?” and then find a new home for those things that NEVER get used. I (Alisha) just recently went through our cups and get rid of a bunch of them and it was so freeing! It’s amazing how good purging can feel. . . Look at all these pretty little cups in the cupboard now, not fighting for their place in this world! 🙂
14 & 15. Sarah’s Tips: Bakeware Racks and DIY Spice Drawers!
Sarah’s best tip for organizing your kitchen right now is to buy one of these bakeware racks to organize your pans and cupcake holders.
I got one for Christmas and love it!
Another tip from Sarah: If you need help organizing your spices, don’t forget to check out my post on making a spice drawer. I created this drawer a year and a half ago and have never gone back!