Kitchen

My Kitchen Organization Plan (I’m Becoming Addicted 2 Organization!)

I have a few more pull-out shelves to build and install in the pantry before I can call it finished, but I decided that before I make those, I really need to have a general idea of what’s going in them so that I’ll know how much height each one will need.

So that required that I go through all of my kitchen cabinets and decide exactly what will stay in the kitchen and what will be moved to the pantry. You know that saying “it has to be worse before it gets better”? Yeah. During this process, my kitchen looked like the cabinets exploded. I dragged almost everything out of the cabinets and drawers, put everything on the kitchen floor and countertops, and then decided just how I wanted my new organized and efficient kitchen to be arranged.

And as of this morning, it’s still a huge mess. I still have stuff strewn on the floor and piled on the countertops…

…but I’m so excited about where things are headed. When this project is finished, there will be a place for everything, and everything will be in its place. And I’m going to have a super organized and efficient kitchen like I’ve never had before.

So after emptying the drawers and cabinets, it was time to decide just what I wanted to keep in the kitchen, and exactly where those things will go. This process surprised me. It was much more challenging than I had anticipated.

Obviously, I knew that cookware needed to be by the stove. Shortly after Matt and I got married in 2002, we bought a set of Saladmaster cookware. It’s the only thing I use, and I don’t see myself ever using anything else. So in my set of cookware, there are four pieces that I use on an almost-daily basis. So those will go in this cabinet to the left of the stove, along with the lids and then handles. (Saladmaster cookware has removable and interchangeable handles.)

That door also has the “skillets” label on it, but I think those will be moved to the other side.

So in order to create my efficient and easy-to-access storage for my most-used pans, I need to build three pull-out shelves — a bottom shelf for the four pans, a middle shelf for the four lids, and a top shelf for the handles. Then I’ll remove the cabinet drawer and attach it as a drawer front on the lower pull-out shelf. That way I can access the bottom pull-out shelf with one pull rather than having to open a door and then pull out a shelf.

The idea will be similar to this design except that mine will have a cabinet door front instead of a drawer front, and I’ll essentially have a drawer and two pull-out shelves instead of a drawer and one pull out shelf.

Above that cabinet will be the cooking utensil drawer. I want to create some dividers to go in that drawer so that it’ll stay organized and look something like this organized drawer. So while that will require a bit of time to cut and glue some pieces of thin wood inside the drawer, it’s not a big project like the drawer-building will be for the lower cabinet.

The upper cabinet on that side is where I used to store all of my cooking oils and spices. It was a mess.

But now that cabinet will now house my mixing bowls, collander, strainer, and salad spinner — basically all of my food prep bowls. I’m also hoping to organize my measuring cups and measuring spoons on the inside of the cabinet door, with a separate hook for each one. I want it to look like this one.

In the lower cabinet on the other side of the stove is where I will store my large pots with their lids…

And I’m also thinking that my skillets will need to go in there as well. That cabinet will also require a couple of pull-out shelves with the cabinet door reattached to the front of the lower pull-out drawer, just like I plan to do on the other side.

Above that is my new spice drawer, which is the only part of my kitchen that’s completely organized at the moment, and yes, I did put them in alphabetical order. 🙂

DIY tiered spice drawer insert - Addicted 2 Decorating

I love how handy and organized my spices are now! You can click here to see how I made the tiered spice drawer insert.

The upper cabinet on this side of the stove will be my new cooking oil/spice/extract cabinet. I don’t think this cabinet will require any customization/building projects. I might need to adjust the height of the shelf, and possibly add an additional shelf, but that’s about it.

The only spices I’ll keep in there are the ones I use in very large quantities, like cayenne pepper, salt, Johnny’s seasoned salt, etc. If I have extras of other spices that are already in my spice drawer, I’ll keep those in the pantry.

The back wall of cabinets is getting completely reorganized. Almost nothing is staying where it was. But thankfully, I don’t think any of these cabinets will require any building projects. At most, I might have to add an additional shelf here and there.

The one cabinet that is staying the same is my coffee and tea cabinet.

Matt loves coffee, so on days when I make it for him, I’ll also enjoy a cup. But unsweet tea from Sonic is my drink of choice. I think one cabinet will be enough to store our Sweet N Low, stevia, lemon packets, coffee, French press, etc., but if not, I’ve left the small cabinet to the left without an assignment so I can spread those thing out to two cabinets if needed.

Other than possibly needing to add an additional shelf inside the cabinet(s), these won’t require any major projects to get them organized.

The cabinets below that used to house cleaning products, but I don’t want those in the kitchen anymore, other than a couple of spray bottles that will go under the kitchen sink. Stuff like that will eventually reside in the laundry/utility room (which has yet to be built), so until then, I’ll probably have enough room in the pantry for them. That frees up that space to now house my four most-used small appliances — the coffee maker, my hand mixer, my new ice cream maker that Matt bought me (he got me this one, and I love it, though I’m still trying to perfect my keto full fat/no sugar ice cream recipe), and my food processor.

Those cabinets won’t need any special projects, and they don’t even need any additional shelves. I do need to adjust the height of one shelf, but that will take all of two minutes.

These middle lower cabinets used to be my “pantry.” The two on the right are where I’d store all of my flours, sweeteners, and other baking ingredients. The two on the left are where I’d keep broths and canned goods. Those will all be moved to the actual pantry now, and this will be our new home for plates, bowls, glasses, cups, etc. I love the idea of having these stored low so that Matt can easily access them.

These might require the addition of an extra shelf, but other than that, there are no building projects required to get those ready.

The lower cabinets to the left don’t yet have an assignment. I still need a place for plastic storage containers and lids, so these cabinets might work for that. But I also have two drawers that don’t yet have an assignment. I haven’t decided yet if cabinets or drawer are better for plastic storage containers.

The good thing is that those cabinets are only 12 inches deep, so there’s not a lot of room for plastic containers and lids to get lost in there. I might need to add one or two new shelves, and then come up with a way to keep the lids tidy (a basket, perhaps?), but I think these might be perfect for container storage.

And then above that will will be our vitamin cabinet and then the cabinet for vitamins and treats for our furbies.

So basically, this entire back wall of cabinets will require nothing more than the addition of a few extra shelves inside some of the cabinets to be ready for my new efficient and organized lifestyle. 😀 That’s a relief, because the other two banks of lower cabinets will require much more work.

Moving on to the peninsula, I plan to convert this outer column of drawers into one large pull-out trash can.

I plan to do it in such a way that it’ll look exactly as it does now once it’s finished, but the drawer fronts will simply be a facade for one big pull-out trash can rather than three individual drawers.

Right now, I have a small pull-out trash can under the sink, and I.HATE.IT. It’s so small that I can throw two things away and fill up the trash can. It’s ridiculous and frustrating, so as the week goes on, I find myself pulling out a big black contractor bag and wrapping the top edge around the end drawer. So then I’ve got a big black trash bag visible in my kitchen. I’m so done with tiny inefficient trash cans and big black contractor bags visible in my kitchen. I’m ready to solve my garbage can problem, but that will be quite a project. I hope I can pull it off!

Next to that will be the flatware drawer, which I hope to organize with dividers in a similar way to the cooking utensil drawer.

The two drawers below that don’t have an assignment just yet. One of them used to be my paper towel drawer (you can click here if you missed that), so I might keep it like that, or I can use it for something else if I find a better use for it.

And I’ll finish off with what I’m sure will be a controversial decision. 😀 I’ve decided for sure to get rid of my dishwasher. I proposed this idea before, but after reading comments urging me not to do it, I backed away from the idea. But I’m back on the “get rid of it” train.

The fact of the matter is that this thing hasn’t been turned on in probably two years. In the time since I did my original kitchen remodel (which I finished in October 2014) and installed this dishwasher, I’ve probably used it a total of four or five times. That’s it. That’s an average of about once a year. I wash all of my dishes by hand, and have for years now, so this thing is nothing but a big, bulky drying rack.

And I’ve decided that I need that space for other things. The main thing I want/need is storage for veggies that don’t require refrigeration — avocados, onions, tomatoes, etc. We eat mostly fresh and frozen foods (nothing out of boxes, and rarely out of cans), so I need as much fresh food storage as possible. Since I hate having things clutter up my countertops, I always end up putting those types of fruits and veggies in my fridge, and then I run out of space in there for things that actually do need refrigeration.

So I don’t need or want a dishwasher. I do need and want pull-out basket storage for fresh fruits and veggies that don’t need refrigeration. I want it to look something like this. So that will be quite a big project. I don’t foresee myself needing all three baskets for fruits and veggies, though, so I can use two of them for for my plastic wraps, plastic storage bags, parchment paper, pot holders, oven mitts, etc.

This was a fun exercise, and I’m so excited about having an actual efficient, usable kitchen that I can cook in every day and not waste time looking for lost items. Anything that can make cooking a little more tolerable to me is well worth the effort.

And now that I know exactly what will stay in the kitchen, I also know what needs to go to the pantry. I have a much better idea now of how the remaining cabinets needs to be arranged.



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73 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Golda
    December 3, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I have 2 nine inch deep 27 inch wide drawers in my kitchen island behind double doors. All the stainless steel pots (I bought in 1962) go into the top drawer except the large soup pot which I seldom use. I use the stainless steel pans daily. There is room for all the lids since they stack with lids upside down on the pans and then one on top of the other and several frying pans are also in top drawer.

    I don’t have to bend over to reach pans I use daily.

    Bottom drawer has large soup pot and lots of bowls, strainer, etc.

    I love the depth of the drawers because I can stack stuff deeper than on the ones I have on the other side of the island that have 5″ sides.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lynette
    December 3, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I love the use of painters tape (and entirely emptying the cabinets) to identify what’s going where. I think I’d lose track once I moved to the other side of the room if not for the labeling. And if you change your mind about placement of a certain item you can easily move the tape.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Eileen from Texas
    December 3, 2018 at 11:39 am

    So killer. Love your process and completely love the pantry. The bleached insert drawer fronts really take it to another level.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Guerrina
    December 3, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Great ideas! I prefer our dishwasher because with a little kid in elementary school it kills germs with far hotter water than my hands can handle. Love the pullout fruit/veggie shelves!

    Hmmm….how’s the pantry finishing up? 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    December 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Love your kitchen and kitchen hardware! Do you remember where you got the pulls? I’ve been looking for some exactly like those for the kitchen remodel.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 3, 2018 at 11:46 am

      I got them at Pottery Barn, but that was a few years ago. I don’t think they carry them anymore. 🙁

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nicki
    December 3, 2018 at 11:53 am

    I SOOOOO agree with pulling out the dishwasher. We rent right now but if we didn’t, our dishwasher would be gone too. I never use it and it just wastes valuable storage space that I would love to have.

    I’m so inspired by your organization. I’ve been steadily working on doing similar work to our house because I hate having to search for things or move a bunch of crap to get at the thing I need. I really love the spice rack that you did and want to do something similar. I think it would make a huge difference in the efficiency of our kitchen. Oh, and I can’t wait to see the tutorial on converting that drawer section into a pull-out garbage can!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Poohla
    December 3, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Kristi, any time you can have pull out shelves, it makes life, and kitchen duties, worth living. Especially if they are in lower cabinets and it removes the need to get down on hands and knees to see what is in the back of the cabinet. I have a deep drawer (the actual box is 8.5″ tall x 25″ wide x 19.5″ deep) that holds a ton of my plastic ware with lids. I don’t need to have a basket to corral the lids, I just stack them together, largest to smallest and stack them along side the containers they correspond to, round or square/rectangle. I like how you have really thought out your use of the kitchen and are planning accordingly.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Carmen
      December 3, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      I can’t agree enough on the pull out shelves. I just love them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sewducky
    December 3, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Great progress!
    A space saving material for shallow drawer dividers (if a source is available like, a past/future project, re-store, or clearance) are slats of from faux 2″ blinds. One careful cut halfway on a band saw or jigsaw is enough for two pieces to fit in a snug “+” shape. Also I don’t know how sneaky the pets are, but take that in to account on designing and picking out any storage of foods below counter height. I know my friend’s pup would find a way into veggie basket occasionally.

    For skillets, my inlaws hung the few skillets they use, by their handles on the inside of the cabinet door it only works well if the door’s wide. For you, you could hang it from the inside of the pullout door or create a narrow bin to hold it to the door panel.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    anon
    December 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Do you have a husband? I used to be able to deep clean and organize like this but then my husband retired and it is very hard to work with him so often under foot. I have been able to organize one room but that is about all.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Joyce Prescott
      December 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Lol….love to see this! I organize and my soon to be retired husband will unorganize it really quickly. Then he will say, where is this, “WE” need to put things back where they belong!! I will have to lock up my mops and dustpan and brush soon because I keep finding them in HIS shed!! Gotta love him!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 3, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      I do have a husband, but he has MS and is wheelchair bound, so when I get in these organizing moods, he just stays out of the way. And he’s not able to do any cooking, so I don’t have to worry about him messing up my organization once I get everything where I want it. If something is disorganized, I’ll be the only one to blame. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan
    December 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    We re-did our kitchen a few years ago and did this, though I still do it yearly – it’s amazing the amount of extra stuff that ends up in your cabinets and drawers!

    We did the inserts in our drawers like the examples you shared – I think I used the same pinterest examples when I showed my husband. We love it – we did our silverware, cooking utensils, baking drawer for measuring spoons/cups, and our junk drawer (I tried desperately not to have one but the hubby insisted, and as he is the cook in our house, I gave up that fight :-). He didn’t want the wooden slats to be permanent, he wanted the flexibility of adjusting as time goes on, in case their function changes so we had an issue with the slats moving/sliding in the drawer. So he put spacers between them, velcroed to the wall of the drawers and that stopped them from moving around. Hope that made sense.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pam
    December 3, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Love the ideas and the process and …. I do all dishes by hand as well. Never had a dishwasher and have no space for one even if I wanted one – which I don’t.
    I need to reorganise my kitchen. I’ve recently lost my hubby and he was the cook/experimentalist/gadget man. I don’t like cooking so basics will do me and will give me much more space once I’ve gone through it all and made it suitable for me. You’ve given me the idea of how to go about it. Thank you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sherre
    December 3, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I just moved into my new house in June and after two cycles I realized my dishwasher didn’t work right. Oh man, do I HATE not having a dishwasher!

    I find myself drinking out of plastic cups to avoid extra dishes, and I cover all my pans in foil so I don’t have to wash them. Not having a dishwasher has turned me into such a wasteful person, haha!

    It’s funny how divided people can be on chores. I hate doing dishes, but I know many people that don’t use their dishwasher at all. I vacuum once a week because I like doing it and I like the lines, but I know people that despise it. And does ANYONE enjoy folding laundry? 😉

    Am I remembering correctly- didn’t you get into a major organization kick this time of year last year as well? I always get into “organize mode” this time of year too. New year, new start! 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Karen
      December 3, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Sherre,
      I actually enjoy folding laundry, so there is somebody for every task apparently 🙂 I just love that I can then store it away and it’s a job done (and it smells nice, too). I hate doing dishes and would be lost without my dishwasher, though…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    December 3, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    What do you plan to store behind your glass-door cabinets?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carmen
    December 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I love that you are putting plates and cups in the lower shelves for Matt. Having pull out shelves might be helpful. My husband is in a wheel chair and we keep the dinnerware and glassware in lover cabinet drawers so that he can access them. It works really well for us.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Lauren Matheso
      December 3, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      I was thinking the same thing – our dishes are in two 24×16″ drawers so the kids can contribute to the chores (including emptying the dishwasher 😁) and we all find it convenient. No fancy basket or dowel system, just stacked like they would be on a shelf. Other than one long open shelf for glasses, mugs and bowls, everything in my kitchen is in drawers. Even the pantry cabinet has an apothecary insert. Worth every skinned knuckle and swear word!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Lauren
      December 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      I was just thinking this too. All our dishes are in 2 drawers. No fancy baskets or dowel systems, just stacked. Other than glassware and mixing bowls absolutely everything in my kitchen is in drawers. Even the pantry has an apothecary insert. Worth every skinned knuckle and swear word!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Margie
        December 4, 2018 at 10:22 am

        My Jim was in a wheelchair and we had most of our dishes and cups in the lower cabinets. A pull out for that cabinet would be a great idea!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laurie T
    December 3, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Pretty much every picture you selected to show us your end goals are exactly what I’d have picked, or darned close.

    Crazy about the pan lids just above the pans on their own pull-out.

    I can see potential for some lazy-susan organizers, especially in upper cupboards like the ‘oils’ space.

    All is just so cool!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Sally
      December 5, 2018 at 4:22 am

      I agree that lazy susan organizers would work in some xabits, particularly on shelves in the upper cabinets. Love mine

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jannelle Kennedy
    December 3, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    To corral my plasticware, I took a piece of peg board and laid it flat in a drawer. I used dowels to create “sections” to fit the size of containers and/or lids that I have. This way they don’t fly around in the drawer, but stay snug in their little areas. It also allows for easy rearranging as the collection changes.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Nikki H
      December 3, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      That’s a great idea! We use two drawers for plastic container storage and never going back to cabinets.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Patricia
    December 3, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    IT’s going to be great for you. We updated our kitchen this year and I had to go through the same thing.
    If you’re not a dishwasher person, then so be it. You’re not worried about resale so no big deal. For me, I love love our Bosch with the third rack for long spoons and flat things. And as has been mentioned, it gets your dishes cleaner with hotter water then you can use by hand. We usually just have the two of us in the house, but I’m so thankful to have a dishwasher.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Missy
    December 3, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Just out of curiosity, weren’t you on the fence about getting a nugget ice maker? Is that still in the cards at some point? Also, wasn’t there a set of stainless appliances (fridge and oven I think) from one of your readers that you were going to use to replace your white ones?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 3, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      I was looking at that tabletop nugget ice machine against just last week because Matt said I could go ahead and get it, but I finally decided to give up on that dream because the reviews are so mixed. It has an equal amount of 5-star reviews as 1-star reviews, and the 1-star seem to all be people whose machines worked wonderfully at first, and then just stopped. And all of them complained about the company’s awful customer service. So since I live so close to a Sonic and can just buy bags of ice, I’m going to go that route. I might change my mind if they improve the design and reliability of the machine (and their customer service) in the future, but for now, I’ll pass. Matt said I could get an actual undercounter ice machine and put it where the dishwasher is, but the only one I’d consider was $2500. Matt didn’t mind that price, but I think it’s insane since I’m the only one who would use that ice.

      I did have a reader who has a stainless steel range. She said there was no rush in me getting it, but I’m not sure just how long she’s willing to wait. She may have given up on me by now. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Czarnecki
    December 3, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    For your oils and vinegars and soy sauce and such, consider putting up a wire or wood rack on the inside of the cabinet door or doors. You may need to cut the shelves back a little, but it is a great way to store these bottles, and it frees up your shelves and gives them some breathing space.

    When you decide to buy a new refrigerator, consider buying and all-refrigerator refrigerator. You already have that great freezer in the pantry, and you will love the new acreage for your fresh produce.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 3, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      I’ve been planning on and looking for an all-refrigerator to replace my current refrigerator. I’ve just about given up on that plan because the only ones I can find that would fit that space open the wrong way and don’t have reversible doors. 🙁 But I’m thinking that the bottom freezer section on this or any future fridge will just by my Sonic ice and ice cream storage, and all frozen food items will go in the pantry freezer.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb
    December 3, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    You continue to amaze!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Gail
    December 3, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I have really been enjoying your pantry renovation. I have gathered a lot of useful ideas from you and you have motivated me to launch into my own cabinet project. Thank you for that! I am looking forward to your next installment and your final take-aways concerning this kitchen/pantry project!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Londa Boone
    December 3, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Love your blog; you are so talented 🙂 I follow https://www.briana-thomas.com/ and she has some great no sugar ice cream recipes. Blessings!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa P
    December 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    With 5 of us, my dishwasher is a necessity. I also think if you do a lot of entertaining, a dishwasher is helpful. But, with the way you are eating these days – primarily 1 meal – you definitely don’t need it. Love the veggie basket idea and had the same question as above re: the nugget ice maker.

    You’re making awesome progress!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    December 3, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    You have commented in the past that you are on the short side. Are you going to need a ladder or step stool somewhere handy? I saw an article where the husband put cutting boards between drawers so his wife could pull them out to step on and reach higher places. Push them back in and they disappear.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 3, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      Yep, I’m only 5 feet tall, so I’ll definitely need to find a place to stash a step stool. I was thinking about this just last night and wondering how I could work one in. I do have one last lower cabinet to the right of the dishwasher that’s not really wide enough to store anything useful in it. Right now, I use it to store the ingredients for our daily green drinks since the blender stays on the countertop right there, but I could always put them all in a basket and relocate them to another cabinet (perhaps the one by the coffee/tea cabinet so that will keep all of our “drink” items together) and then I could use that narrow lower cabinet to store a handy little two-step folding stool.

      I also want to find a place to store one in the pantry. If I need something up high, I don’t want to have to go searching for a stool. I’d rather just have a step stool dedicated for use in that room.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Marianne in Mo.
        December 3, 2018 at 3:35 pm

        If you get a folding step stool, you could hang it on the door under your sink, on the inside. Use a Command hook so no nails/screws. A two step folding ladder for the pantry would be good too, but you would need to figure out where to store it. I would just hang it on the wall by the tall cabinet, opposite the window.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandra
    December 3, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Good for you, Kristi, for getting organized! I love efficiency, and there’s no better way to attain it than that. Depending on the style of your cookware, you might save yourself some work by just nesting the lids on each pan instead of having a separate shelf for them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol
    December 3, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Organizing is so fun! You are inspiring me😊!
    Have you ever thought about putting your plates, bowls and cups in pullout drawers where your dishwasher is? That would be so convenient after drying them?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 3, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      It would definitely be more convenient for me, but that area of the kitchen is a little harder for Matt to maneuver.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathy
    December 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Love it! You’ve taken the time to figure out what works for you. And going against the flow on the dishwasher is what works for you. Bravo! So wise!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jayme
    December 3, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I once had a friend who used a plastic clothes hamper…the kind with a detachable lid and tulip-shaped holes on the sides…as a garbage can. It held a large lawn and leaf bag. I thought it was ugly, but brilliant! I have a tiny apartment kitchen with a converted coat closet for a pantry and I left out half the bottom shelves to make space for the 13 g garbage can…but am now seriously considering seeing if that space will fit a laundry hamper!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    December 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Wow Wow Wow!!! Your pantry and kitchen will be sooo terrific!!

    I use a low tech method for organizing the nightmare tuppers. I have two plastic sturdy plastic baskets side by side that pretend to be pull-out drawers. One holds the plastic ware. The key is that I only use square or rectangle containers that will fit my bin. I have narrowed it down to 4 sizes and no round ones at all. The plastic lids are stored in the other basket vertically and easy to see. Fewer choices has really helped save my sanity. Easy to find a matching lid. Easy to put away. Easy to keep corralled.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sally
    December 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Have you ever considered putting turntables on the shelves of some of your upper cabinets? It saves me a lot of frustration trying to find things, because I don’t have to shuffle through so many things.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Teri L Randall
    December 3, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Kristi..You have inspired me to do the same thing with my lower cabinets. Right now it’s a big mess of pots and pans and lids. I have to get down on my hands and knees to locate a lid or a pan that got shoved back there. I don’t know if my hubs will like another project on my list that has begun to take top priority. I’ll hire it done if he can’t do it. Thanks so much for letting us see your beautiful home! You’re amazing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea
    December 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I understand getting rid of the dishwasher. I have a love/hate relationship with mine. I do however, hate my microwave/vent hood. I hate it. I’d rather have a small microwave out of the way and a legit hood vent than the combo.
    I have several under-used cabinets and drawers, your excitement to organize is inspiring.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      December 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      Andrea I feel your pain on the vent/microwave over the range! Had that at our other house, and almost burned myself a few times trying to get a heavy, hot dish out of it. This time around, we got a stainless steel vent hood on Ebay, and bought a small countertop microwave (to please my husband.) I wanted to have the microwave under the island, but he whined about “bending over” to use it. Wish I hadn’t given in – I could use that lost bit of counter, and I hardly use a microwave myself! Could you convert space in a lower cabinet and get power run there for a microwave?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Andrea
        December 3, 2018 at 4:28 pm

        I have very decent closet pantry right off the kitchen as you come in from the garage-basically a very adequate but small mudroom that I basically have made an extension of my pantry. lol We opted not to add the built-ins that the builder had (stereotypical cubbies and hooks) so it would have more versatility. I am so glad it’s open space. Otherwise I have an medium/small adequate size kitchen (great flow and perfect for me) but valuable space and would rather it just be out of sight. lol I’m hoping for a coffee cart/slash microwave/cookbook storage kinda idea. We’ll see. lol

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kate S
    December 3, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Well, the organization looks great…. but DANG…. I still cannot get over how pretty those floors are!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna
    December 3, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I had to wait for a dishwasher for years. When I got one my favorite thing was having a place to store dirty dishes when company came and not having piles of dirty dishes and a full dish rack in the sink. I can understand it may be different with just two adults day to day. I ordered multiple corelle plates and bowls so we have plenty until we run the dishwasher. Actually, we are now two and I still appreciate the tidiness of the dishwasher. Also, check our what vegetables can be stored together. Potatoes and onions spoil each other if close. I love your modifications of your cabinet storage. You have great ideas.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    chiflipper
    December 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    “Snapware” containers (I have the plastic) are my choice, the drawback is the lids tend to deform if left in the DW during the drying cycle. They “nest”, come in many sizes, and are affordable. Because of the closing method you can depend on them to stay sealed even if dropped. One of my happiest kitchen days was the one where I disposed of ALL the old “odds n ends” I used to use. Isn’t it strange what simple changes make us happy?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathleen Conery
    December 3, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    About the only time I run the dishwasher is when IT needs cleaning because we use it as our drip dryer. We’ve been considering getting rid of ours (it’s pretty old and the door gasket is going anyway) and replacing it with pull out drawer/baskets like you’re considering… I will watch your progress with baited breath!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary O.
    December 3, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Awesome as usual! I’m not sure how much trash capacity you need. But FYI, my trash drawer occupies the space of the bottom two drawers, leaving the top drawer for flatware. I think it’s a 21″ wide cabinet ( the fronts are 19.5″), and it’s 24″ deep. The interior width is 16.5″. I use 2 “Rubbermade large rectangular wastebasket 36 qt.” from Amazon which fit perfectly. The front one is for trash and the one behind it is for recycling. This works great for me. I use the 13 gallon tall kitchen trash bags and it holds a lot. There are two of us and we cook all our food so we have quite a bit of both trash and recycling. You might consider whether you need to sacrifice the top drawer to get enough trash storage. Maybe your cabinet is more narrow than mine and requires turning the container sideways. Good luck on your organization project.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary O.
    December 3, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Another note, the best thing I did in my remodel was to change a 30″ wide lower cabinet into a drawer unit. The top drawer holds utensils (yes it’s really wide and I love it) and the two lower big, deep pan type drawers hold my appliances. It is located right where I use them, making it so effortless to pull them out and use them. This has made my cooking so much easier. Pullouts and drawers of all sorts make kitchen work so much easier.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    December 3, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Those sound like some really great ideas for organization, Kristi! Glad to see you making such progress – it really is a great feeling to have everything organized and handy when you begin food prep. Since my husband and I are empty nesters, we rarely use our dishwasher either, preferring to wash them by hand too. We haven’t even hooked our dishwasher back up since the flood two years ago! One suggestion, maybe you could use the space where the dishwasher now sits as your trash area? That way you would only have to retrofit one cabinet instead of two. Looking forward to seeing it all organized and purtyfied!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linsa
    December 3, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Girl, you never cease to amaze me! How exciting! Plus, I can’t wait to see your finished pantry!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    December 3, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Kristi, your post and photos of the kitchen brought a smile to my face! You and I have the same technique when it comes to organizing. When I clean out cabinets or closets, I bring EVERYTHING out and spread it all over the place. Then, suddenly I decide I need to paint before it goes back, or I need more shelves, or more lighting. I basically make a HUGE mess, but my husband says he can never figure out how it looks so great a few days later, when it TOTALLY looks like a disaster when I start! It’s just our way of doing things I guess. I would have the same look if I was working on the pantry like you. I smiled everytime someone mentioned the floor. My floor is the LAST thing I do – scrubbing it one section at a time to make it perfect.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Janis Hill
    December 4, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Hi Kristi,

    I love the fact that you are going for it regardless of how tedious a job it may be.

    I want to toss this out there just as food for thought. Putting the fresh veggies right next to the sink might not be the best idea. It is a humid and damp area; not the best environment for keeping veggies fresh.

    I would suggest you put the trash container in the dish washer space along with a pull out shelf for smaller items and redo the existing 3 drawers in the island for the veggies.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the end results. In due time, of course!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nicole
    December 4, 2018 at 7:18 am

    I have the same ice cream maker! I bought it a few years ago when I did keto for the first time and never used it. Finally broke it out a few months ago (I re-started keto in April of this year – slower than you but just reached 50 lbs!).

    After tons of research and trial and error, the secret ingredients are mct oil (oil or powder form) and/or vegetable glycerine. I’ve tried the alcohol/vodka approach and it hasn’t really worked out. I still need to leave it out for about 10 minutes, but after that it’s scoopable. The other recipes I’ve tried, even those labeled “soft-serve” or what-have-you, I had to nuke it for like 20 seconds to even be able to get a spoon in there. Hope that helps if you haven’t tried them already!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    BeccaS
    December 4, 2018 at 10:16 am

    I feel like everyone I talk to is purging/organizing things right now ha! Can’t wait to see the finished product. Love those veggie drawers!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angie
    December 4, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I have one question, why the need to attach the door fronts to the drawers instead of keeping it a swing open? My parents have to double doors and they open regularly then just pull out the drawers. I think that’d cause a lot of extra work

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 4, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      Just makes it easier. It’s pulling out a drawer rather than opening a door and then pulling out a drawer. And I did it yesterday. It wasn’t difficult at all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    December 4, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Why not put baskets for fruits and veggies in the pantry? That seems the logical place for them.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 4, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      There’s no need to put them in the pantry when there’s plenty of room for them in the kitchen. My goal is to put things that I use daily in the kitchen, and put everything else in the pantry.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    December 4, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Looks like a big job but you will be so happy when you finish the organization process.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheryl
    December 4, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Kristi – If I understand correctly you will have pans on one pull out, lids on another and handles on yet another. This may get cumbersome daily when you have to pull out three shelves to get one pan. Maybe your four most used all “put together” on the top shelf.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 4, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      I actually just finished it this afternoon. I ended up doing one shelf for my four most-used pans, and then one shelf for the lids and handles. I think that’ll work out for how I use them. And if not, I can always redo and make something else. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ilene
    December 4, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Fantastic organization!
    Please tell me what color the kitchen cabinets are? I’m loving that color so much and want to use in on my kitchen when we renovate it. Thanks so much, you are fabulous!
    Ilene

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      December 4, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      It’s a Behr color called Hallowed Hush. It’s one of their old colors, so you won’t find it on a current paint chip card, but they do still have the formula in their system. I had it matched in Benjamin Moore Advance paint, though.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pam
    December 4, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Here’s a link for a plastic lid organizer I use with my clients. If you don’t like this one, there are other similar choices that would solve that problem. You could make one as well with the dimensions you need.

    InterDesign Cabinet Binz 3 Compartment Lid Organizer https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4IZFE9/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_aO0bCbKWDFHMV

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