Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Kitchen Re-org: Part 1

For months, I have been following the creative endeavors of so many very talented individuals and getting oodles of inspired and gorgeous ideas (especially Jen of iHeartOrganizing. This is a girl after my own...well, heart! So many ideas that I was pretty sure that I was starting to loose all my great ideas. Then Pinterest came along and that started a whole new round of inspiration!

Fortunately for me, my creative outlet has been put into hyperdrive with all the work the house is going through to get it ready for our combined family of seven with five great kids and my wonderful man. Combining a family of three (and two cats) with a family of four has made for some very interesting challenges. Having five backpacks dump out at the end of a school day along with whatever gravel and woodchips they've picked up on the playground makes quite a mess...then comes dinner. Getting dinner on the table that provides the basic food groups, isn't a repeat of mac & cheese, and is something that everyone likes is a whole other challenge. The challenge becomes Everest-like when you take a look at our kitchen.

In case you can't see from the picture, there are only five drawers in the kitchen and they are less than seven inches wide. The majority of items that are kitchen basics don't even fit in the drawers. The counter space is at a premium and the pantry so deep (27 inches) that you can't physically reach the back...and I am 5'11" with the reach to match. I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed, so immediately turned to the clever guidance of many bloggers and Pinterest to save the day. Here are a few of the inspirations that I found. 

Source: BHG 

I love (LOVE) how organized this pantry is and especially how the wire bins have been used to organize meals. That means just picking up the bin and voila! the thinking around what to have for dinner has already been done for you!

Source: Lacybella.com

To add a bit of style to the plastic bins, I really like these chalkboard labels. The ability to see the items and how much you have in a stylish, yet functional container...sign me up!

Source: IKEA

Ohhh and the drawer organization. It, quite frankly, makes my heart sing in three-part harmony. Look at all the places for everything and the fact that EVERYTHING is in its own special spot. If only I had drawers that weren't a measily 6 7/8" wide. Obviously, a thought to the gadgets required to cook and eat a meal was not considered in the design. Here is a little taste of the challenges I am facing.

Despite all of its challenges, I do love the kitchen. It has great light, good flow into the dining room, a clear view of the living area, and easy access to the deck for alfresco dining (I hope to do this a lot this summer!). Not to mention a nice counter/bar area for my coffee prep area.

So with all that inspiration, it was time to get down to the business of deciding what the kitchen needed to be. To assess the kitchen space, I considered the following:
  • What goes on in our kitchen?
  • What cabinets do the kids use most frequently?
  • What is working?
  • What is not working?
  • What cabinet do I go for something that is not there?
The first four questions are obvious, the last one probably takes a bit more explanation. Because we have just combined households, I will frequently go to a drawer for an item as I would in my old kitchen; nevermind that they are not at all set up the same. I still manage to do this at least 2-3 times a day. So after all this Pinteresting and answer seeking, I dug in. In my next post, I will share the transformation.