Confessions of a Great Kitchen

  • By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com
  • 16 Feb, 2016
Kitchen
It amazes me to see, even in newly built homes, that certain nagging storage issues continue to plague us. When designing or renovating a kitchen, it is wise to spend time considering all the functions we carry out in the kitchen, and then consider ALL of our inventory to plan for specific storage solutions. For example, do you juice? […] 
It amazes me to see, even in newly built homes, that certain nagging storage issues continue to plague us. When designing or renovating a kitchen, it is wise to spend time considering all the functions we carry out in the kitchen, and then consider ALL of our inventory to plan for specific storage solutions. For example, do you juice? recycle? compost? feed pets here? take supplements or make powder shakes? have oversized dishes or holiday dishes? save plastic or paper bags? are you an avid baker? do you can or grow herbs? is homework done here?
You see what I mean. The mundane details matter or these everyday things get shoved awkwardly away.
When planning with your designer or builder, take some time to review together a day in the life of your kitchen. Here are the top items I recommend addressing to customize storage to your needs:
1. Built-in, under-the-sink storage. For decades, the area under the sink has been a wasteland of difficult-to-use space. But building around the hardware and using the available vertical space transforms this hollow area to one of the most useful cabinets in the kitchen.
black_frame_under_the_sink
2. In fact, except for when planning for tall items, there really should be no wasted vertical space in cabinets. Make sure you do not have too many “top empty” lower cabinets.
3. Speaking of cabinet size, you can eliminate reaching into deep L-shaped cabinets or lazy susans by using angled glide-out shelving that practically delivers the items to you! Excellent for corded or heavy items.
4. Built-in vertical dividers. So necessary, I recommend them especially for 3 types of items: cutting boards, platters, and baking sheets. Make sure you have plenty!
5. Lid Storage! Lid Storage! Lid Storage! If you don’t use deep drawers or deep cabinets where the lids can sit atop the pans, then designed lid storage is a must! The options range from glide-outs to door hangers. You can’t go wrong here. And don’t forget the food-saver lids too.
6. How do you like your spices? If you cook, I recommend finding a way to keep your spices and measuring utensils together near the stove. There are excellent pull-out spice cabinets and cut-to-fit spice liners for drawers. This is my favorite type because the labels are visible:
black_frame_spices3
7. Do you serve the beverage trifecta: coffee/tea/juice? If you do, these activities deserve designated cabinetry and countertop space. The cabinets need to be ample enough to hold your large mug collection, to-go cups, water bottles, shaker bottles, and all the accoutrements you use to flavor your favorite drinks. Don’t forget that your blender and coffee maker should fit assembled on the counter, and have plenty of receptacles to power up when needed.
8. Are your mops, swiffers, and dust pan crisscrossing each other on the floor or hanging awkwardly on a hook? If these can’t be managed in the pantry, then well-camouflaged cabinetry is just the ticket:
9. Adjustable drawer dividers in your utensil drawers render them highly versatile. Do separate cooking from baking and from grilling if space allows. There are also excellent hanging options for your backsplash if the look appeals to you.
10. If you collect, plastic bags, handled bags, or eco-friendly bags, a dedicated drawer might be necessary. I recommend a deep drawer to any of the wall-mounted products available.
11. If you recycle, there are countless built-in options to explore that make life so much easier.
12. Kitchen towels in use. Skip the over-the-door towel bars. These often look so much better tucked away discreetly with built in bars on the inside or our cabinet doors. Usually these are most useful near the sink and stove.
As you can see, your inventory and frequency of use matters when it comes to storage planning. Think of all the things you do and all of the things you have when finalizing your design plans. We are happy to help you consider your inventory and your storage potential.

Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
By Tera Harmon 16 Nov, 2017

For even the most novice cooks, between now and the end of the year, many kitchens are about to get a workout. We may be hosting parties, holiday meals, trying a new recipe or two, participating in pot lucks, or baking with friends and family. Would't it be great if everything we need is at our fingertips--clean and functional for when we need it?


So often the tools and items we rely on at this time of year are somewhere in the back of cupboards, sideboards, or stored on basement shelving. I recommend gathering, cleaning, and staging the items you know will be needed in the coming weeks. In last week's post ( https://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com/the-ready-made-pantry ) we talked about a well-stocked pantry for the holiday season; for now, let's focus on the items we will likely need in the kitchen and dining areas.
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Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
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