Hey y’all! I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted and I gotta tell ya, I’ve been one busy girl. I’m a tutor “in real life” and I have been crazy busy. Add to that some personal business that needed to be taken care of and it’s been a mess over here. But I will tell you this: I have been so incredibly blessed by Homemaker’s Challenge – 31 Days to Clean. It has kicked me into high gear and I have needed that kick.


This week I spent time catching up on the more “Martha” stuff…you know, the chores. One of the first things I tackled as a blogger was my kitchen, showing you how you can make a small (painfully small) rental kitchen functional. You can find more information on that here and here. They were two of my most successful posts ever! Who knew kitchen organization was such a hot topic!


After living with my systems in place for awhile I could definitely see what was working and what just wasn’t, so this week, spurred on by the challenge I did a little reorganizing (ok a lot) and I’m so excited to share it with you.


Here’s what I did:


First the “before” shot –

Isn’t my kitchen glamorous? Spacious? Yeah, it’s not. But I’ve managed to maximize the space!
So let’s check it out:




The top of my fridge was a cluttered mess. And the cabinets behind it were inaccessible. I’ve never really understood why people thought those little cabinets would be a good idea and they’ve sat empty for 3 years. Recently though, I realized that all that unused space was a pretty dumb idea considering the size of our kitchen, so I remedied that situation.


The over the fridge cabinets now.

I moved some items we don’t use all that often (several times a year) into that space to free up some space in our pantry. I added a shelf that had previously been used to organize the space in our laundry room that houses our pet supplies. I also had enough room to store our fondue pot, extra Brita filters and our meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. By doing this I freed up an entire cabinet in the pantry PLUS another shelf. Crazy right? 

Here’s the top of the fridge now:


Soon, I’m going to add a nice basket to hold all of our breakfast cereals and supplies. Also, the Hubs and I love antiquing and he couldn’t resist that cute Colman’s mustard tin on one of our recent trips. I couldn’t resist making it functional. It now holds our handheld FoodSaver vacuum sealer and power adapter. The Saltine’s tin came from my parents house and it’s vintage as well. There’s nothing in it thus  far, but give me time. 😉

Check out what I did with all that extra storage space in our pantry.


I purchased another cabinet organizer at Bed Bath & Beyond (a $20 fix) to corral my stockpile (yes, I’m a stockpiler, no I’m not one of those crazy people on TV!). I also used a basket I had to hold my spaghetti sauce packets and pasta sauce jars so I could pull them down easily and so they wouldn’t get lost way back there. 

While I was in the pantry I finally got around to changing out the last of the shelf clips and tossing any expired food I found which wasn’t much. Our pizza stone and brush fit nicely off to the side. 

Next while trying to find a small shelf to organize our cups and glasses (which I’m still looking for by the way) I bought this plates organizer at Lowe’s for under $10. It didn’t work for our cups, but it worked beautifully to hold all of our plates and leave more than enough room to move the blue bowls down off the top shelf and within easier reach. I even had enough room to store our saucers on top! I am so excited about this cabinet that I smile just a bit each time I need a dish.


One of my biggest issues in our kitchen was this cabinet. It’s a lower cabinet and it is as much of a black hole as it looks. I had previously purchased the shelf and basket and while it worked, the basket would get trashed any time we had to get something from it.

Here’s the basket/drawer now:


And:


I purged a bit as well as adding a plastic bin with lid that I had to hold all of my cake decorating tips and the attachment tips for my Pampered Chef decorator, as well as the rogue cupcake papers floating around in there. It works perfectly!

The sifter and spider (that long basket looking spoon with wooden handle) were taken out and moved to a normally unused space. I used some inexpensive Command Hooks and took advantage of the vertical space of the cabinet doors! I’ve done the same with my measuring cups and spoons and it’s worked wonderfully! 


I don’t know about you but my under-sink cabinet usually looks like this:


“Oh, I’ll just put that back where it needs to go later, it’s not hurting anything.” Uh yeah. I said that a lot. I’m working on taking the word “later” out of my vocabulary. You couldn’t even see my awesome storage drawers! Here’s what it looks like now:


I’ve had these storage shelf/drawer units forever and they’re a wonderful alternative to more permanent screw in/slide out organization. Since we’re still renting while saving for a down payment on a house this was the best option. On the left shelf are all of my general cleaning and carpet cleaner items and in the drawer unit is extra sponges, silver and jewelry polishes and supplies for cleaning our disposer. On the right shelf are trash bags, dishwasher tabs and my Lysol. In the drawer is my collection of microfiber cloths. I cannot tell you how nice it is to use a microfiber cloth to clean and then get to toss it in the washer. We have cut down our paper towel use so much since we made the switch. It’s insane! (And something very important to us.)



On the inside of that cabinet door is my plastic bag container (which while full, is not as necessary these days since we’ve also switched to reusable shopping bags). I couldn’t use the adhesive strips supplied to hang it so I used (you guessed it!) Command picture hanging strips instead and it stays up fairly well as long as you don’t slam the door.

Here’s a shot of my kitchen today, after all that hard work! 

We are loving the changes! Even my husband has commented on how great it looks. I love this picture because you can see the grid system from the Container Store that we use on the back wall of our pantry/laundry area to hold pots and pans and lid storage. Super cheap and a great way to utilize more vertical space. I cannot say that enough. If you can’t go out,  go up!
I’m working on several other posts of things I’ve been up to so expect to see more soon. I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I hope to make up for it this week and to unveil some exciting things ahead for the blog. I can’t wait! 

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9 Comments

  1. Everything looks great!! I love those “basket/shelves” that you put under your sink. I might have to go pick out a couple! I definitely need to do a little arranging of things in our cabinets…it’s on my to-do list this month. Don’t you just love the feeling of having something organized where everything has a place! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Renee McFadden Reply

    Laughed when I saw your first photo – it’s a replica of my galley style kitchen! I’m still reclaiming it after 3 years as my home daycare and cupboard organization is slower process for me. I don’t actually know what’s in my cupboards above my fridge – I’ll have to check in the morning! LOL Thanks for the inspiration that a small kitchen is not an excuse for clutter.

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