Kitchen Cabinet Organization

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Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com

When we updated our kitchen, we also organized all our cabinets. Everything had to come out of the cabinets to paint them, so we took the time to declutter before putting the kitchen back together. It was worth a little extra time and money to get the kitchen cabinets and kitchen drawers organized.

Step-by-Step Kitchen Cabinet Organization:
1. Remove everything from all the kitchen cabinets.
I’ve found that the best way to declutter is to completely empty the space. With everything out of the cabinets, you can see what all you have.

2. Get rid of everything you no longer use.
Separate everything into keep, donate, and trash groups. Have a trash bag handy, and toss all the stuff that needs to be trashed. Put the donate items in boxes or bags. Once all the items have been gone through, put the boxes/bags of items to donate in the car to drop off next time you’re out running errands.

3. Sort through the “keep” items and divide them into groups.
It’s easiest to keep things organized when like items are grouped together – glassware, dishes, appliances, etc.

4. Pair groups with cabinets and decide how to organize each cabinet.
Move things around until you find a layout that will be easy to use. This means finding the right cabinet space for a specific group of items, and arranging those items within the cabinet space. For example, decide which cabinet would be best to keep the glassware, and then how best to arrange the glassware in that cabinet.

5. Purchase cabinet organizers for your items.
I bought a few cabinet organizers to help make a better use of space and keep things tidy.

6. Put cabinet organizers and items in cabinets.
Install the organizers in the appropriate cabinets and organize your items.

7. Always put items back in their designated places.
This is key to keeping the kitchen cabinets organized!

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com

In our new kitchen we have less cabinet space than we did at our old house, but we built a walk-in pantry in our new home, so we store some things in there. I considered our kitchen design and decided on cabinet usage based on the layout and if Gavin could get into it. Gavin can only get into the bottom cabinets, so they have to hold items he can mess with or have a child safety lock on them. Our basic design is lower cabinets hold cookware and plasticware, while our upper cabinets hold dishes and glassware.

In some of the bottom cabinets, I installed cabinet organizers. The cookware organizer is great. It helps our pots, pans, and lids fit easily in a small cabinet space. In the same cabinet, I installed dividers to help keep cutting boards organized. In another bottom cabinet, I installed two cabinet baskets to make getting to items easier.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com
plasticware
aka Gavin’s cabinet

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com
cookware

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com
cookware

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com
cookware

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com
cookware

The upper cabinets mainly hold dishes and glassware, and they are placed in the cabinets without using any cabinet organizers. We keep our frequently used dishes and glassware closest to the refrigerator, and our rarely used dishes and glassware further away from the large appliances and food prep areas.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com
dishes & glassware

I did hang our measuring cups and spoons on the inside of the upper cabinet to the left of our stove. This was the most handy space, plus I keep spices and mixing bowls in this cabinet. For our measuring spoon storage, I used a small board that was cut to the width of our cabinet door. I measured the inside of the cabinet, marked the board with a pencil, and cut it so I had two pieces to hang inside the cabinet. I painted the boards with the same white paint I used on the cabinets. To mark the measuring sizes, I created a stencil on our Silhouette Cameo and used a black Sharpie to write on the painted boards. I spaced the hooks to allow enough room for the cups and spoons to hang without overlapping.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com
measuring cups & spoons

For our spice organization, I used glass spice jars and made labels on our printer. To keep the jars organized, I keep them on a tiered shelf.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization | rainerlife.com
spices

It’s so wonderful to have all the kitchen cabinets and drawers organized… and it looks good!

Kitchen Drawer Organization

Kitchen Drawer Organization | rainerlife.com

When we updated our kitchen, it was the perfect time to tackle organizing our kitchen space too. Everything had to come out of the kitchen to paint the cabinets, so we went through everything and got rid of a bunch of kitchen items that we weren’t using. Instead of dumping everything back into the cabinets and drawers, we invested some time and money on a few things to help keep the kitchen space clean and organized. To keep the drawer space looking good, I made custom drawer organizers.

Step-by-Step Kitchen Drawer Organization:
1. Remove everything from all the kitchen drawers.
I’ve found that the best way to declutter is to completely empty the space. With everything out of the drawers, you can see what all you have.

2. Get rid of everything you no longer use.
Separate everything into keep, donate, and trash groups. Have a trash bag handy, and toss all the stuff that needs to be trashed. Put the donate items in boxes or bags. Once all the items have been gone through, put the boxes/bags of items to donate in the car to drop off next time you’re out running errands.

3. Sort through the “keep” items and divide them into groups.
It’s easiest to keep things organized when like items are grouped together – silverware, cooking gadgets, serving pieces, etc.

4. Pair groups with drawers and decide on an organization layout.
Match each group with a drawer and experiment with different layouts. Move things around until you find a layout that will be easy to use. This means finding the right drawer space for a specific group of items, and arranging those items within the drawer space. For example, decide which drawer would be best to keep the silverware, and then how do you want to arrange the silverware in that drawer.

5. Make custom drawer dividers for your items.
I chose to make drawer dividers, but lots of different dividers are available for sell.

6. Put drawer dividers and items in drawers.
Place the dividers in the appropriate drawers and organize your items.

7. Always put items back in their designated place.
This is key to keeping the kitchen drawers organized.

In our kitchen we have 14 drawers. I considered the kitchen design and decided on drawer usage based on the layout and if Gavin could reach the drawer. Gavin can reach the bottom drawers, but not the top drawers… yet.

Kitchen Drawer Organization | rainerlife.com

Kitchen Drawer Organization | rainerlife.com

I made custom drawer dividers for five drawers – silverware, cooking utensils, food prep gadgets, serving pieces, and junk drawer. The drawers for Gavin’s stuff (sippy cups and bibs) stay a mess because I let him play with them. The drawers for towels, oven mitts, and cleaning stuff don’t really needed to be divided, so I keep those drawers tidy without dividers.

Hot to Make Kitchen Drawer Dividers:

Supplies:

Wood
Ruler
Pencil
Saw
Wood glue

 

How-to:
If you are making your own dividers, you can create all sorts of different layouts. Each drawer can be different, and probably will be. Once you decide how you want to organize the drawers, sketch the layouts for each drawer. This is for two reasons – to remember the layout designs and to make notes on measurements. Use a ruler to measure the drawers and make a note of the lengths of wood you will need. After measuring all the drawers, figure how much wood to get, and purchase what you will need for this project. I bought 3-inch X 2-feet pine boards. A variety of boards are available for purchase – different woods, heights, and lengths. Get whatever works with the look and design you have in mind.

Before cutting the boards, I measured the drawers again. After double checking the measurements, I marked the boards where they needed to be sawed. Since the boards were small, I used a hand miter saw and miter box to cut the boards. After the boards were cut, I glued them together. I spread paper in the bottom of the drawers, and glued the boards together inside the drawer. I did not glue the dividers into the drawers because I want to keep it easy to change things out in the future. After the glue dried, I took the paper out of the drawers and inserted the dividers back into the drawers.

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How to Make Kitchen Drawer Dividers | rainerlife.com
cooking utensils

After the dividers were in place, I put away all of our kitchen drawer items. It’s great having everything organized, and it looks good!

Kitchen Drawer Organization | rainerlife.com
food prep gadgets

Kitchen Drawer Organization | rainerlife.com
serving pieces

Kitchen Drawer Organization | rainerlife.com
junk drawer

Zero Inbox

Zero Inbox | rainerlife.com

Zero inbox is the idea of keeping your email inbox empty (or mostly empty). Email management is something we all deal with in our tech-filled lives, and ineffective management can cause extra stress in your life. All the to-do items associated with emails can add up, so let’s nip that in the bud!

Let’s Get Started!

If you have a full inbox, don’t worry about getting it down to zero all at once. Start with the most recent emails and work your way back.

Moving emails into folders may help with this process. Create folders to only organize the important emails – finances, current projects, etc. Don’t go crazy with creating folders… and remember to periodically clean out the folders you do create.

When you have a few minutes to spare, delete what you can in those few minutes. Delete all unnecessary emails! If you have a chunk of time to sit and go through emails, go ahead and knock out as much as you can in one sitting. Be smart about your deletions! If you’re not sure, move it to the appropriate folder and go back to it later.

Ways to reduce future emails

Reduce the number of emails you send, and keep your emails short.

Unsubscribe from newsletters and other mailing lists. Use Feedly or another RSS reader to keep up with news and blogs.

Turn off email notifications for social media. Below are directions for how to turn off email notifications for some of the more popular social sites.

    Facebook: Account Settings > Notifications > Email > Check “Only notifications about your account, security and privacy” or turn email notifications off for specific items (e.g., comments, likes, tags, etc.)

    Twitter: Settings > Email notifications > Uncheck items under “Email me when” that you don’t want emails about

    Google+: Account > Google+ > Uncheck items under “Manage subscriptions” and “Receive notifications”

    Pinterest: Settings > Email notifications > Uncheck “Get email notification” or turn email notifications off for specific items

Don’t spend too much time checking emails. It can be a major time waster. Only check emails a few times a day. Anything that can be handled quickly should be dealt with then – don’t keep it in your inbox to get lost in the shuffle later.

Once zero inbox is achieved, keep it that way. Make it a habit!

Organizing Garden Supplies

Having a garden means also having the tools and supplies that a gardener needs. I had set up a baker’s rack near our back door where I was storing all my gardening and backyard items, but this area was kind of a mess. So, I wanted to get the area under control and make it look nice. Items that are housed in this area include: gloves, spray bottles, hand tools (shears, trowel, cultivator, and weeder), twine, extra seeds, watering can, bird seed, and squirrel food.

The garden supplies area before organizing.

I found a plant pot in the garage that wasn’t being used, so I’m now using it to hold the hand tools, twine, and extra seed packets. On a recent trip to Ikea, I bought two beige bins with lids. I’m using these to store the bird seed and squirrel food. Everything else fits on the shelves around the bins and pot.

Garden supply area after organizing.

To spruce up the bins, I used our Silhouette Cameo to create some cute labels. I used the Baskerville Old Face font and a couple of icons I purchased from the Silhouette Online Store. The bird icon is part of the assorted birds design. The squirrel icon is part of the 4 fall icons design. I used black vinyl for the material.

Storage bin for bird seed.

Storage bin for squirrel food.

Homemade Carpet Freshener

I like to keep a clean home, and one of my regular cleaning chores is vacuuming. One reason I vacuum often is because I have an inside dog. Love my girl, but she does shed and sometimes even smells a bit doggy. I prefer to use natural cleaners, and mixing up some carpet freshener is super easy.

Materials:
1 cup baking soda
5-10 drops essential oil (I normally use orange)

Mix together the baking soda and essential oil. Pour into a container (I use a glass cheese shaker I picked up at the dollar store). Sprinkle on carpet. Leave it on the carpet for 15-20 minutes, then run the vacuum.

Mixing baking soda and essential oil.

Carpet Freshener