31 Days of Creative Homemaking :: Day 4--What's in My Kitchen?

Yesterday I shared about where I store supplies for entertaining.  Today I am sharing an extension of that in what is stored in our kitchen.  Our kitchen is mostly filled with everyday cooking essentials but I have a few things tucked away here and there that are used mainly for entertaining.

I apparently didn't tidy up before taking these pictures so welcome to my real life tour of the kitchen!

1. Dishes above the cabinets--my hope is to not use this space as storage but for now I haven't found another place for these dishes or are ready to part with them yet.  It is mostly my collection of extra white dishes that do not get used a lot but I have a hard time getting rid of them as they are a good staple to have.  They come in handy for big parties and as extra serving plates.  I also have a stack of cake pans that were used for my country backyard birthday party last year.  But for now they are out of the way and are not too bad of an eye sore so they are staying for now.

2. Cabinets--these hold all of our dried and unrefrigerated food as well as my water bottle collection above the fridge.  I usually try to keep the top of the fridge clean but it often collects large items that do not fit in the cabinet.

I try to keep the cabinets roomy so that I know what we have and food doesn't go to waste.  I organize most of it with Ikea containers or glass containers I have collected at thrift stores.

3. The bottom drawers hold our silverware...

Random seasonings...yes we love our Taco Bell sauce!

Below that is where I store our tupperware bottoms.  We had a lot of leftovers so it is looking pretty bare.  I also have a baggie of twisty ties that I use to tie up our frozen fruit and vegetable bags after opening.

One drawer down are all the lids.  I spent some time figuring out what type of tupperware I wanted and bought a few sets so that they all matched.  The round lids are plastic lids for canning jars, my new favorite thing.  They are easier to take on and off with leftovers without using the regular canning lids.

Plastic bags, aluminum foil and plastic wrap nearby.

Bellow that are some small appliances.  Just like with the food, I try to keep the items easy to reach so that they get used more often and do not require taking out ten things to get something in the back.  On the bottom drawer is a plastic container (on it's side as it only fits that way) of baking and cookie/cake making supplies.  Since there are a lot of small pieces it is easier for me to have them all in one compact place.

On the opposite side is the stove.  I do most of my cooking prep on this side so I have been working on keeping it clear of clutter.  This is not a very good example of this!  But since taking these pictures, I found a better place for the cook books and the counters are now clear and clutter free!

1. We track our spending by receipts so I have a small basket where we store receipts.  It usually starts overflowing by the time I get to them so it helps that it is small or I may never get to it!  I will go more into details about our budget tracking in another post.

2. One of my proudest drawers--the spice containers.  Using a cricut to cut out chalkboard contact paper labels, having the spices in an easy to grab place makes cooking much quicker.  I need to cut out one more label hence the sticky note.

Below that is my bake ware.  It is still somewhat packed but has been downsized multiple times to get it to where it is today.  By stacking I am able to reach items in the back easily by pulling out the whole stack.  On the second level muffin tins and other baking pans are held up vertically by a bookend tucked between them and the slow cooker.  My magic bullet and chopper are up front as they are used almost daily.

3. The drawers by the stove are filled with all my cooking utensils.  The knives get there own drawer lined with felt.  Not the most effective use of space but the knives are kept in better shape when they each have their own space to breathe.

Basic kitchen utensils are below like our pizza cutter and ice cream scoop. 

The next drawer holds measuring cups and hand mixer.

The last drawer holds our mandolin slicer and dough/baking tools like a biscuit cutter and cake knives.

One of our biggest space savers is a pot rack.  This one is from Crate and Barrel and it is so handy to have.  I have no idea where I would store all these pans in cabinets if I had to.  And I promise I use every single one of these pans regularly!

On the side by our sink I have a cabinet full of baking items.  Most of these things are replenished on a regular basis so they get pretty labeled containers.  Hanging over our sink is a candle holder that I made into a sort of chandelier and they hold my measuring spoons and small kitchen items.

This small drawer holds a few extra spices as well as my flower shaped flower cleaner.  It is used to scrape off leaves from flower stems before putting them in a vase.  My florist mom gave it to me.

Below the sink--cleaning supplies in stackable green containers, store bags are stored in a reusable plastic bag that keeps them standing upright.  A few extra drink containers we use regularly for Crystal Light and plastic bags (in a bag but it is see through but you cannot tell it is in a bag in this picture).  I only keep plastic bags that fit in it's bag.  When it starts overflowing, I take out a handful and recycle them at the grocery store.

Open cabinets hold our everyday dishes.  We use most of these dishes regularly so I rarely deal with dust from the open shelves.  I have a few patterned bowls I have collected that add a little bit of color to the display.

1. Large cake stands are hard to store so I put them out on display.  Whenever I have baked goods like cookies or brownies, I store them in these stands so they serve double duty.

2. On the shelves is a collection of stackable bowls that are used for cooking and serving.  With items that stack I can have a larger variety of bowls without taking up extra space.  Colorful plastic bowls are great for everyday use and outdoor parties while white ceramic bowls look nicer for entertaining.

3. I tuck in cookbooks to use up every piece of space.  Plus they look pretty.

We have a pretty large sized bar on the opposite side of the kitchen.  Right now we are using it to hold our computer but I would also like to eventually move it into our craft room when it gets better organized and now that we have a laptop.

Aprons and my nephew's bibs hang for easy access.

Because the bar is so large I am able to use part of it as extra storage space.  Again, another place I would like to be empty but until I figure out how to fit these items somewhere else, the space works well without being a total eye sore.

Small appliances that are used more often are stored here and some cupcake holders are tucked away on the side.  From the regular view of the kitchen and with the bar stools there, these are barely noticeable.

My husband and I usually eat at this smaller table though we have a bigger table in the dining area.  I also often do paperwork at this table and my nephew eats at his baby seat here. 

Around the corner is our very large microwave.  When we were looking into a microwave I wanted one that was big enough to fit a casserole dish.  Unfortunately I did not consider how much counter space it would take up.  We lucked out when this hutch seemed to be made for this microwave.

I also store my larger containers of baking ingredients, manuals to our small appliances, and a basket of tea bags that can easily be put out when guests are over.

In the hutch drawers are my taller small appliances.

And the top drawer holds extra large pan lids, a big baking mat, and my coupons for the week.  Coupons get changed out with weekly ads and whenever they expire.

The kitchen is one of those places that seem to never have enough space, but with some creative organizing and purging, it is possible to use the most of small spaces.  I am forever rearranging it but am happy that it is a place where items are easily accessible while still pretty.

Any great kitchen organizing tips?

Check out all 31 Days of Creative Homemaking series here.


31 Days of Creative Homemaking for the Modern Day Woman is now available as an ebook!  Click here to find out more about this entire series in an easy to read PDF download!