Solving Our Own Kitchen and Cooking Clutter (Plus Real-Life Solutions)
One week ago Caitlin wrote a post about litter boxes. Why?? Well since she’s now spending every waking moment at home, her beloved cat’s “restroom” was visually driving her nuts. She hated it and asked for help and got it! This made me wonder what else is driving everyone nuts since making the shift to being inside 90% of the day?
So I took a poll (the EHD team and friends) and for the most part, the kitchen was the biggest pain point. More specifically… storage clutter solutions. It makes sense. We are all trying to (and should) avoid as many trips to the grocery store as possible but at the same time cooking more than ever. So planning ahead a little is really the best thing for you and your neighbors. I know for at least myself who was used to 2-3 grocery store trips a week, I am now I’m trying to limit to twice a month. But this planning ahead means there is simply more food in your house at once than normal. (Please know that we are 100% against food and supply hoarding. It’s selfish and unnecessary to take more than you actually need especially when so many don’t have the means to do so.) But since some visual organization can bring a little peace of mind, let’s talk about our personal kitchen problems and get a peek into our very real, current kitchens.
Emily’s Problem: Keeping Counter Produce Separate
From Emily: “I don’t know what fruit and veggies should go on the counter next to each other but I do know that I need more space to put them all these days. I feel like it’s overflowing and I would love something vertical – either hanging or on the wall – to keep onions and potatoes. Warm minimalism is what I’m going for so that I can keep fruit with fruit and get these onions away so my fruit doesn’t spoil faster!”
The Solution: Hanging Basket
Here I picked out some great options that could work for Emily and look great in her kitchen. Does anyone have a favorite?
1. Three Tier Hanging Basket | 2. Barrett 2-Tier Fruit Basket | 3. Wall Hanging Basket | 4. Hanging Porcelain Fruit Basket | 5. Seagrass Hanging Fruit Basket | 6. Ria Tiered Hanging Basket | 7. Wicker Hanging Baskets | 8. Hanging Wire 3-Tier Fruit Basket | 9. Artesia Honey 3-Tier Fruit Basket
Jess’ Problem: Not Enough Extra Storage
From Me: “As I said earlier I am used to multiple trips a week to the grocery store. Why? Well, I don’t love to cook (jokes on me now) and I didn’t want food to spoil that I “intended” to cook but didn’t despite my good intentions. Also, I have almost no enclosed storage space which doesn’t lend to bigger shopping trips. But up until now, it wasn’t a big deal due to my “cooking style.” I promise that cabinet isn’t filled with loads of food. It’s mainly the weird cooking supplies (salts, oils, mulling spices, chia seeds, etc.) that I’ve been sort of collecting. So anything extra I buy is now on the floor next to my “office”…including my snacks that I CAN’T STOP EATING. I need a solution or else I will eat nearly all my food in a record-breaking time frame. Also, it’s super ugly and looks disorganized which I hate the most. I think some pretty baskets are my best bet. However, this means my once delicately styled open shelving unit you see up there will have to finally be used functionally. My form over function heart is not excited but my jeans will be. Here are some of the more “modern” baskets I’m considering.
The Solution: Modern Baskets
I know not all of these are 100% budget-friendly but I want to make sure that whatever I buy I love. Who knows… maybe I will fall for function after all:)
Sara’s Problem: Too Many Spices Without a Home
From Sara: “I cook a LOT, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at my kitchen. Take my “spice shelf” for example. Anytime I want a spice jar I have to kneel down and jostle around all the different jars, usually knocking over a few, trying to find the one I want. It’s not convenient, space-saving, or pretty. It’s literally the worst. But I don’t want all my spices sitting out on an organizer using up counter space, or on one of those little spice shelves in a cabinet, where they still fall over. Here is a soliton I am considering…”
The Solution: Slide Out Spice Rack
Sara’s problem is visibility and function when it comes to needing her spices. Since she wants to keep them in that location, a slide out rack will help solve a lot of her problems. She won’t have to kneel down because she can easily slide out the section she needs and no spices are falling over in one of these (unless Sara unleashes her super-strength).
Caitlin’s Problem: A Lack Of Cabinet Organization
From Caitlin: “HELLO, welcome to my very real and VERY MESSY pantry cabinet. (In case you couldn’t tell, I am definitely not one of the people hoarding groceries. Sorry mom, I may have over-exaggerated the amount of non-perishables in my home!)
Unlike some of my lovely coworkers, I actually have a TON of cabinet space in my kitchen, but no idea how to utilize it. Right now I’m just throwing things on shelves pretty arbitrarily, and not to sound too much like an infomercial, but there has to be a better way. Honestly, I think I’d feel more comfortable actually buying groceries if someone just told me HOW to store them. Like, I know this is kitchen 101 and I may have missed the lesson, but guys…how do you organize your shelves, period? Are there rules somewhere that I’m missing? I know how to set a table. I do NOT know which item should go on which shelf. (Do my most frequently used things go on the top or the bottom? Am I overthinking? Probably.) Anyway, I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to have someone give me explicit instructions on how to actually maximize all the space that I’m lucky enough to have.”
The Solution: Lazy Susans, Cabinet Shelves, Canisters
While Catlin doesn’t have any big overcrowding issues (send some over to me girl!), she does want general organization (and feel like a grown adult) when she opens her cabinet. So after discussing with Emily, we think that a lazy Susan (or two) for her sauces and oils will look great and have them be easily accessible, food storage containers will not only look nice but will keep your food fresh longer, a can dispenser screams “Org Queen” and bins are great for keeping packaged snacks in order. Sometime a little bit of help will make you feel SO much better. Then in terms of general placement. I say keep heavy/breakable things like bottles on the bottom self then organize based on most frequently used. If anyone has a different opinion let us know in the comments:) Also Caitlin, we want pics when it’s done!
So those are our issues and I hope they were helpful! But I also know that if you need some seriously storage help, a piece of kitchen “storage furniture” is really what you are searching for. So here are some great and most budget-friendly options.
Unless you have a ton of floor/wall space, think vertically to maximize your kitchen storage.
1. Standing Indoor Wooden Cabinet | 2. Fit-Anywhere Slim Storage Cart | 3. Wide Storage Cabinet with Mesh Doors | 4. HAVSTA | 5. FÖRHÖJA | 6. Windham Tall Cabinet with Drawer | 7. Kitchen Storage Station | 8. Kitchen Storage Cabinet Sideboard | 9. Double Wide Storage Cabinet | 10. Aubrey Narrow Bookcase | 11. Wood & Steel Slim Storage Cabinet | 12. NISSAFORS
That is it for this Monday afternoon. Are you also having some kitchen storage issues? Do you agree with our personal solutions? Is there anything else in your house that recently started to drive you nuts and you want our help solving? Hit those comments and we will be there to help:)
Love you, meant it.
Opening Photo: Photo by Sara Liggoria-Tramp | From: 8 Steps To Building A Smart, Organized Pantry & Mudroom
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