November 15, 2013


As an Interior Designer, I often look around my apartment and mumble to myself, "Physician, heal thy self!!".  This is one of those spaces.
I love to cook and this space is so frustrating to work in!!  There is so much wasted space.  And, don't get me started on the functionality of it all!!  So, I made this my project.  As you can see, the check list is lengthy.

Dead corner solution, top shelf can't reach wasteland, spices falling on each other where I don't even know what I have until I buy 3 dry mustard jars shelf, tea, cookbooks, fruit, cooking utensils, bowls and gadgets, pasta and beans, and on and on...

If I had my druthers, I would rip out every, single cabinet, re-configure them, and do it how I like it.  This being a rented apartment, my options are limited, so I set out...and thought I would share what I came up with, so as to help you if you have the same situation.
After trips to Dollar Tree, 99cent Store, Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Home Goods, and The Container Store, this is the result. (thus far!)
Nothing major, but it is MAJORLY different to work in here.
Jars are always a good solution to store your dried goods.  You can find them at flea markets, goodwill, dollar store, and anywhere else.  Be sure to make a list of what you will fill them with and how many you want to put out on the counter.  This will help you when you are shopping for quantity and sizes. Mix them for a little texture.
You can pick up mason jars for a bargain at your local hardware store.  I am always shocked when I walk into Ace Hardware.  They have some really cool things for cheap, cheap!  The "step" spice shelves really help to see the ones hiding in the back.
I found these cute spice jars at the 99 Cent Store for 2 for $1.  The shelf is from The Container Store.
P.S.: DO NOT DO THIS!!  I thought it would be cute to put the red spice shelf above the range...WRONG!  As soon as I made dinner, they were starting to heat up!  So, don't put a shallow spice shelf in this space =)  I will be moving mine somewhere else today.
I placed some of my cookbooks that I use regularly on a new bread box I got at Target.  The others, I put in another room.  The little jars are a silent auction item win from the recent All the Arts for All the Kids annual pin auction.  Great "win/win"!  (Made by one of our great local teachers.  Thank you Rebecca!!=)  As you see, I need to keep my daily vitamins out where I can see them so I don't forget ;)  The other jar holds hemp seeds for salads.
I put all of my tea bags into their own container as well.  I marked the containers that are not glass, so I know what is in them.  With the oatmeal placed in a jar, this creates a nice little breakfast station.
How could I leave out the pantry?  I picked up these pantry pull-outs at The Container Store.  24" deep pantries are always a pain to reach.  You can't "cram" as much stuff in, but you can actually see what you have and then you have to use or throw out items before you buy more!  The "Good Grip" suction containers were about 1/2 the price at Home Goods compared to Bed, Bath, and Beyond!!  BB&B is actually pretty expensive.  So be sure to look around.
Another tip:  My Cuisinart hand blender was only $19.99 at Home Goods.  The lime green one was about 5 bucks cheaper than the white one.  They were the exact same one!  So add some color to your world and save money at the same time! ;)
Finals:  I am in the process of designing an insert for an upper, dead-corner cabinet.  I was hard pressed to find a solution for that! There are plenty of solutions on the market for lower corner cabinets, but nothing for the upper.  (I found ONE! But, it did not pass my standards =)  To reach the high, high places?  Well, I just opted to get a step stool that I can tuck between the cabinet and the fridge.  (Again, I got one for $5 cheaper because of the color!  Crazy)

If you have any great organizing solutions, please share!  I am always trying to see how to make life a little less stressful. =)

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