Yesterday I spent the day doing something I've been planning to do for months now. I pulled (most) everything out of the kitchen drawers and and cabinets and went through ALL of it. Major purge people. It felt great! Well, when it looked like this, not as great:
It usually gets worse before it gets better. :)
There were areas I hadn't touched for years and it was time to reassess everything. I got rid of a lot and it felt great.
I pulled everything out from the drawers:
In my defense, that was the worst drawer by far.
And took a good hard look at what we used. I feel like a kitchen purge is much like one in your closet. In my closet I stand there and say to myself "Have I worn it in a year? In six months? Do I love it?" with every piece. Same goes with the kitchen. Have I used it in the past six months? If I use it once a year at the holidays do I really love it enough to keep it all year round?
It helps. Like I said, it's been awhile since I've gone through every drawer like this so I found there was quite a bit we didn't use. LOTS of glasses -- we have a lot we never use like martini and margarita glasses. We never sit around and drink martinis. I know you're shocked by that. When we do it's when we have people over and we're most likely drinking out of plastic cups. Fancy.
So I got rid of them. I looked at the multiples of things too -- like three ice picker uppers and numerous wine and bottle openers:
I kept one for upstairs and one for the basement each. That's it!
That drawer I showed you above held a lot of our outdoor serving ware and I can't remember the last time we hosted a sit down meal outside. Again, when we do it's a big group and we're eating off paper. So those went as well.
And it felt SO GOOD.
It is a beautiful thing.
I mentioned last week that I think I'll actually have some empty space in the uppers when I get the shelving up in the kitchen and it's true. Most of this will be on the shelves:
What will I even put in there? I don't even know! Freaking awesome!
I have gained some storage space in the kitchen over the course of the past year because of changes we've made. When we moved the back door and made this bay window area into a window seat:
I gained a TON of storage space for big items:
I shared my pantry organization a couple weeks ago:
And because of smart use of space I'm able to use one shelf for small appliances we don't need as often.
The spices I use most often were on the back of the stove before. I've always heard it's best they don't get warm, so I put them in the pantry:
The metal is a magnetic strip I have from IKEA (originally used on this project). I didn't even use the whole thing -- just the base. The containers are from Meijer and have strong magnets on the bottom. It's nice to get these out of the way but still within reach!
I shared one of my favorite uses of space last week:
The newly extended island is jam packed with storage -- now the microwave sits in there, there's a large area below, we also have wine storage and two cabinets. Plus the little handle (also from IKEA) holds towels and other hanging items.
You know that little shelf in the lower kitchen cabinets? I use it in our larger base cabinet but in the island I knocked one out:
It was actually quite difficult to remove. I removed it before I installed the new countertop and I like that I can put taller items all the way back.
This lid rack from IKEA is awesome too:
Have you noticed a trend here yet? IKEA, you are an organizing beast.
Someday I'd like to make or install those fancy pull out drawers in our other big base cabinet (I wish I would have had drawers put everywhere), but until then a super simple DIY shelf makes it easier to access larger serving dishes:stored in the bookcases we built in the old dining room.
And finally, extending the upper cabinet over the fridge has given us much more usable space:
Because now we can actually reach everything -- funny how that helps! But I also kept the old cabinet in the back and I put very rarely used items back in there. It's double the space we used to have.
I'm still deciding on the best way to make this area work -- I didn't want to install vertical slots because I wouldn't be able to access the back, but I think I am going to do that at least on one side. That way I can still get to the back cabinet.
Last week we took down four cabinets but only one was a full-sized one, so we didn't really lose that much storage. The others were smaller ones around the microwave and now now that I've purged and reorganized everything fits wonderfully! The storage I've added in the kitchen over the past eight months has definitely helped too. Form and function makes me so happy!
Any kitchen organization tips you use and love? Feel free to share! Have you purged your kitchen lately?