Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mission Impossible: Kitchen Clutter

Our kitchen is the center of our home. It's where we spend the majority of our time. Heck, we have our laptops on the table, next to a center counter.
There are cabinets to the ceiling (many of which cannot be reached, and thus are empty - but we'll tackle that another time), and because of this, among other things, many things get left out on the counter. Not to mention papers, bills, magazines... Oh boy.
This weekend, I made a list of everything I deem urgent in our home. I sat down and decided which of these things could possibly get done in only a couple days.

I chose:
  • Under Sink
  • Cup Cabinet
  • Counter by Fridge
  • Bathroom Drawers
There is still an overwhelming amount that needs to be done on the list. However, I tackled the first three of those things - and still have time to get the fourth done this weekend.

First, let's start with under the sink. It's never really been touched before, except to shove extra dish detergent and vinegar down there. Well, it was time to change that! It was a mess. The whole right side was never cleaned since moving in and was full of debris, a broken shelf, and some random pot lids that must have belonged to a former owner.

I emptied everything out, and began cleaning. It was very discouraging though, especially because the bottom dipped down... and then there was the massive hole for piping. How could I store anything down here?
 Not to mention it was extremely filthy.

 After some scrubbing, I got it cleaned up. Then came the problem of actually utilizing the space. I didn't want my things touching that. Can you blame me?

My husband had a solution, even though he didn't know it. He proposed covering the hole with some of the remaining wood from a desk we had taken apart. An idea was born! How about covering more than just the hole? Covering the entire bottom even? Brilliant!
So he set off to cut just the right size from one of the sides. It took some work, as we are severely lacking in proper tools, but he managed.
And then I got to do the fun part. Organize and decide what could go down there.

The right side. Unopened vinegar, dish soap, extra Brillo pads (stored conveniently in tupperware, rather than the unsightly box they came in) all went onto the shelf I feared I couldn't make used of.
Below, I put unused sponges into another plastic container (we use three different types for different purposes), and in another plastic container went the water-plug-things (don't I just have a way with words?) that we never really use anyway. In front of these, I placed the mat that preluded our dish rack, and on top - the dish rack. It finally had a permanent home that was not the counter. Voila, instant counter space.

Now the other side. What did we even have left?

The left side. Carpet cleaner went to the back right, glass cleaner to the back left, and opened vinegar in the front right. I also decided this would be a decent place to put our plastic baggies (gallon sized are what is in the jar behind the boxes) and tinfoil. I plan on getting one of those racks for them at some point, but for now, this works. We also now have extra washcloths under there. They will soon get a small bin.

Look at that progress! I was so proud, already. However, we couldn't be done yet. Next to the fridge is an awkward section of counter that is a bit tucked away. That had been collecting everything for two years now. During the process of working under the sink, we moved all the junk from by the fridge (minus the microwave - that got to stay put) out onto the counter. Now it either had to go back (what?) or find new homes.

We started with a shelf. It could house our coffee and like items that usually lived on our main counter. We decided to place it above a set of hooks that were already over there. On the hooks live cat collars that we don't use - but they have tags on them. If we ever take the cats somewhere, the cats get a pretty collar until we are safely home again. They have only been used for vet trips thus far, and it's definitely reassured me for those spay/neuter trips.

 Below the shelf, we placed non-dairy creamer and sugar. Behind it is a jar of dog treats, and next to that is the kettle, and microwave.

We kept a box of pet things, and moved it to the pantry until we can do a complete makeover to that, and we got rid of pretty much everything else. Amazing how much more space this created. My husband is extremely happy about it all as well.

The other thing we did was go through all of our cups and put those that we don't use aside to post on Craigslist.We still have some disorganization, but honestly, it's nothing that a pretty shelf won't fix.
I was thinking of buying this:
Bamboo Stacking Shelves from The Container Store
So now, the kitchen is a bit of a better place. Hopefully we can keep it up. And want to see what we decidedly got rid of? (Somebody is supposed to come get it all any minute actually.)

I also added some other random things since the picture was taken. Tongs for grilling, a whisk, and a picture frame that just wasn't my style.

I love the feeling of making my life easier.

1 comment:

  1. Such a great start! I love your drive to get more organized and on a budget! Congrats girl! I am cheering you on from here as you continue!