Monday, March 17, 2014

Kitchen cupboard organization

This is a long post, sorry ahead of time but I want to walk you through how I organized my mess step by step. 
I do not have a pantry.  My kitchen is just too small.  I do however have several cupboards that I use to hold spices and food staples such as cereal, rice, can goods and such. 

When we did our mini makeover in our kitchen I was determined to get these cupboards organized.
This is what I started with....

I started by taking everything out of these cupboards.  I went through and looked at the expiration dates on every item.  Several were out of date, oh heck a lot were out of date.  I also had duplicates and even triplicates of some things.  Those, I donated to Care and Share, our local food bank, the expired ones I threw out. 

After I cleaned the shelves I had to decide if I wanted to put shelf paper on the shelves.  I decided no.

Now, how to organize everything. 

I have a lot of can goods and things in boxes and needed to be able to store everything in an easy way, not only so I'd keep it organized but I needed things easily accessible and easy to see so I wouldn't have 6 of 1 thing. 
I went and bought 4 of these things..

The are specifically for cans.  I put 2 on the top shelf and 2 on the bottom.  One I used for peas and green beans and one for corn.  Another I used for soups and one for can fruit. 

I also bought several of these in different sizes at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
The have a grip on the bottom and on the inside.  In these I put odd things like extra condiments, vinegars, tuna fish, peanut butter, ramen and the like. 
It is very organized now and in a matter that I can keep.  I need to get a container to put the egg noodles in yet but I'll get that soon. 

In the next cupboard I usually keep the cereal, coffee and teas. This is what this cupboard started out like...
 I bought some baskets from Target,
 I got 2, one for coffee and teas and one for hot chocolate packets.  The square labels were bought separately at Target.  I also used more of these to hold syrup's
Also at Target I bought 2 of these large containers for cereal and 2 small ones for pancake mix and bread crumbs.
The larger one, shown above, holds the contents of a medium sized cereal box.  I need to buy a couple more for the rest of the cereal that I have. 
Again I took everything out of the cupboard, cleaned the shelves off and went through everything.  Anything with an expired date I tossed, anything that I had multiples of I donated all but one to Care and Share.  I had a lot of multiples and a lot of expired things but this is what I came up with.
As you can see I need more of the cereal containers. 
Then I moved on to the spice cupboard.  It was also a mess.  Sorry I didn't take a before picture.  I again went through everything, cleaned the shelves and looked at all the expiration dates.  Spices also go bad.  If baking powder or baking soda don't fizz when combined with water they are old and you should throw them away.  If you have an McCormick spices in cans, they are really old and should be thrown away. 
I used more of these bins I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond along with this mini step shelf I also got at Bed, Bath and Beyond. 


I put the bins on the bottom shelf and put gravy, taco and other packets in them.  The mini step shelf, I bought 2 and put one on each shelf for spices. 
This is the outcome:
We did add contact paper to the shelves. 

I also organized the old pots & pans drawer.  Well there are no pots just pans - cookie sheets, colanders, muffin tins and cooling racks.  It was a mess. 
We pulled out the old piece of linoleum that was in there and put down new contact paper.  I also bought 4 of these from Bed, Bath and Beyond, my hubby screwed them in place for me. 
I went through all the things I had and got rid of the red quesadilla maker as I never used it.  I also donated the Cuisinart grill.  It was a great idea as it laid flat like a griddle or could be used like a Panini press.  The problem was it was really hard to clean. 

But I purged  and this is the outcome.
Much better!  I bought a wire bin and put it in the garage on an eye level shelf for potatoes. 

OK now to the cost., I will tell you that this wasn't cheap. 

The rubber bins I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond were $5.00 for the small ones and $6.00 for the larger ones.   I bought a total of 6 small and 6 large ones.  They have rubber pads on the bottoms and on the inside they are lined with rubber to be non-stick.  These were the least expensive ones that BB&B sold.  I also bought the racks from BB&B (4) they were $5.00 each.  The large mini step shelves with the rubber on each shelf - I bought 2 for $10.00 each.  I also had my 20% off coupons.

Next, I bought 2 baskets, some clear containers and a set of  labels at Target.  The baskets were on sale for $7.29 each - they came with the cloth liners.  The large clear container was $4.00 and the 2 small were $2.00 each.  The labels came 2 in a pack for $2.00. 

Finally the can good racks, I bought 4, at Wal-Mart for $3.00 each. 

I also bought rubber shelf liner for the dishes and glasses.  The rubber is easy to work with and really nice for glassware and dishes.  The liner was $10.00 a roll.  One roll did 4 shelves. 

It has been organized for 2 weeks now and I have been able to keep it organized, so has my family, which is a plus.  I even went grocery shopping and not only was I able to make my list faster because I could see what I have and what I need but I spent less at the grocery store because I wasn't buying things I though I needed but had and just couldn't see!

Now that my kitchen is organized I want to tackle other area's like closets, bedroom drawers and closets and my craft closet.  I will tell you however, that organizational things are E X P E N S I V E
really expensive.  Price things out, watch for sales and save your $$.
Do you have cupboards that you use to store things?  I'd love to hear your ideas for organization. 
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1 comment:

  1. You did a great job. I like how you sorted and organized everything, and really the syrups should be stored in a bin because they're easier to wash than a cabinet. I also like the idea for gravy packets and taco packets.

    I thank-you for posted your organizational tips. The only thing I have organized: spices. THat's it. We are so space challenged in our kitchen. We've given-up storage for a wall of windows, but I do love the windows.

    Great post!