Feng Shui Friday—kitchen organization

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Happy Friday to you all. Today I have a little kitchen organizing tip to share. You know that drawer that holds all of your containers for leftovers? We all have one. My mom's cupboard is full of containers in a million different shapes and sizes. I used to give her a hard time about saving old cool whip and butter dishes. No offense, Mom :) Does you Mom/Grandma do this?

As for me, I can't stand the mish-mash, so I buy Gladware or Ziplock containers in uniform sizes that stack neatly. I also have a set of glass dishes for leftovers that need reheated. These nest nicely together. Still, the drawer would drive me nuts because of the various sizes of lids floating around. This is how I fixed the problem:


I used two inexpensive tension rods to hold my lids in place! These are only a few dollars a piece—and effective!

While we are on the subject of kitchen organization, I thought I would share a little bit more about the organization in my new kitchen. I realize not everyone has the benefit of designing their kitchen from scratch, and most of us must make the most of what we have. But since I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to create what I wanted, I put a LOT of thought into the storage and organization.

I designed my kitchen around "zones"; prep, baking, cooking, cleaning, etc. I weighed this even more heavily than the infamous work triangle. Then, before coming up with a cabinet plan, I listed every item in my kitchen according to which zone it should be stored in, and what kind of storage it would be best suited to.

What I ended up with was lots and lots of drawers:

Do you have any idea how great drawers are? My old kitchen (in Utah) had mostly cupboards in the lower half. When I moved here to the farm, this kitchen (even before) had lots of drawers. Eureka! I didn't know what I was missing before! No more crouching with my buried in the back of a cabinet to find what I need. If you ever design a kitchen, plan on putting in as many drawers as possible. Trust me.

Choosing wall ovens and a separate cooktop allowed me to locate two wide, deep drawers beneath the cooktop for storing my pots and pans. I absolutely love this.


I even keep my glass and metal bakeware in deep drawers. I do have a corner lazy susan cabinet, and this is where I store my taller items like my stock pot, slow cooker, and blender. Besides the sink cabinets, this is my only lower cabinet.

I utilized these great containers from Ikea to corral kid dishes and sippy cups. They keep moisture off the bottom of the drawers (plastic never seems to dry completely in the dishwasher). Storing the kid dishes in a drawer keeps them at their reach. The drawers are tall enough to store stacks of cups and bowls and sippy cups standing up.


The top drawers of course are much shallower, but wide, making them ideal for my utinsels. 

I was determined to keep as much off the counter as possible, so I purchased this in-drawer knife block. You can often buy these sorts of inserts directly from the cabinet companies, but they also charge up the wazoo for them, so I bought this after-market online for much less. This drawer is right next to my prep sink and super handy. I'm not a fan of pull-out wooden cutting boards. They seem unsanitary... just me?

Another after-market insert I purchased was a spice rack that we trimmed to fit this drawer perfectly. I already had the spice jars that I used in a rack in an upper cupboard previously. Isn't this pretty? The uniformity makes my heart sing! I do love those narrow vertical pull out spice racks, but in the end I didn't want to chop up the long run of drawers. 

Other organization trends I passed on:

A pull-out trash drawer. When I brought up this cabinet option to Tom he said "sounds like an expensive trash can to me". We opted for a stainless lidded trash can instead. I do think locating one next to my prep sink would have been awesome, but in the end I couldn't sacrifice the storage needed for other things.

Vertical cookie sheet/pan storage. These are pretty slick as well, but I have a small drawer below my double ovens that does the trick.

Still one of my favorite organization solutions in the kitchen is the backsplash behind the cooktop:

You can usually buy these to match your cooktop exactly from the range manufacturers, but we purchased ours (on sale) from Pottery Barn for less than half the price. The shelf holds oil cruets, salt, and pepper for easy access. I also LOVE the hook rail that keeps two sets of measuring cups and spoons within easy reach. I could stack them up for a cleaner look, but I love being able to grab just the size I need without having to disturb the rest of the stack. The backsplash is easy to wipe and is magnetic. It came with some cute clothespin clips that I use to hold the recipe I am working on.

I hope you found some useful suggestions for your own kitchen. Working in an organized kitchen is a pleasure—it even makes unloading the dishwasher fun. I'm not kidding! Where I'm not doing so well:

The pantry! But great news—we brought home my new pantry cabinet today! I am already working hard on ideas to make this rather small pantry space function like a dream. Hopefully I'll be back to share my progress soon.

Do you have any fabulous organization ideas of your own to share? What kitchen organization utilities do you feel are most worth splurging on? Is the pull-out trash we opted out of your favorite thing ever? Do tell.