We are in week 2 of our kitchen remodel. The best thing happened this week when my husband announced that we were done tearing things apart and were now moving towards putting things back! It’s mostly him doing the hard work right now so I’ve been planning kitchen and organization for once we can put everything back.
Here’s a progress report on where we are this week-
First up, everything in the kitchen is removed. No more cabinets, countertops, or sink. The soffit above the cabinets is also gone and has been patched with new drywall. That’s major progress folks!
Also, although you can’t see it, the electricians came and installed two new circuits in our junction box and installed two boxes in our kitchen. These are for the disposal and dishwasher. We are going to be so fancy ;).
When we moved the stove around and rewired it, it suddenly stopped working. That was super sad because we’re mostly cooking at home even during our renovation. Luckily the electricians we hired are amazing and came to check on it. They fixed our wiring and it’s now working again. I was really scared for a minute that our new stove was broken!
The cement board is starting to go up on the back wall! One day that’ll be covered in cabinets and subway tile. Progress at this point feels sooooo good.
3 beams were installed in the doorway between the living room and kitchen. These are all 4″x6″ beams and cost about $60 in materials.
They’ll be painted white and are the perfect stopping point between the two rooms. As you can see, the wallpaper now has a good place to end. It’ll also provide a stopping point for the shiplap ceiling we have going up in the kitchen. And it makes it so we can do crown molding in the kitchen and not have to also install it in the kitchen at the same time.
Speaking of shiplap, we decided to cover the ceiling in it. My husband and I loooove this look! We’ve shiplapped the ceiling in our playroom and main bedroom in Utah. The reason we decided to do it in this kitchen is that when the soffits came down, they needed drywall repair.
We had two choices- spend days getting the drywall perfect, or do the drywall good enough and spend $275 in materials and shiplap the ceiling. The look is better and it’s less terrible work. I’m soooo excited about this detail!
We haven’t quite finished the ceiling. The light box needs to be moved. We used to have a long fluorescent over the cabinets, so having a simple brass light will be lovely.
how to Plan kitchen storage and organization during a reno
When I shared the floor plan for the kitchen, the best comment was left on the post and really had me thinking. Here is the suggestion I received-
“Beyond thinking about what looks good, also think through where everything will go. You probably have already done this, but I found it super helpful to inventory my kitchen supplies and find homes for all of them on my plan before ordering everything.
That kind of planning allows you to think of configurations you may not have thought of before. For instance, I ended up being able to fit in a trash cabinet (a real desire for us!) when I realized I could size the cabinet next to it down to just 12 inches and store baking sheets there. Can’t wait to see what you end up with!!” -Katie
Usually, when I’m redoing a kitchen, I just make sure we have more cabinets than what we used to and figure it’ll all work out. Not this time though! This time, I’m planning where everything can go! I figure, I can change things around faster on paper then I can in person, so I sat down and got to work.
Even if you’re not renovating, if your kitchen feels unorganized or if it’s just not working for you, I hope these tips are helpful! Plus I’m sharing some organized kitchen inspiration pictures that are getting me excited to have everything in order.
Before we tore our kitchen apart, I took pictures of the kitchen so I could have an inventory of everything. That way, I could make sure to have a plan for where it would end up. It’s a tiny kitchen, so we really only had basic items (this is not a gourmet kitchen). Here’s what I needed to plan for-
- everyday dishes (plates, bowls, cups)
- glassware (mugs and goblets)
- pots and pans
- baking ware (cookie sheets, cake pans)
- cooking utensils
- baking ingredients
- Measuring cups
- fire extinguisher
- roll of garbage bags
- reusable grocery bags
- plastic wrap/ aluminum foil/ baggies
- coffee maker/ k cups
- extra water bottles
So I put my plan for my kitchen on Picmonkey and figured out what would go where-
Here’s what I decided-
A1- Coffee maker and K-cups
B1- mugs and goblets
B2- everyday dishes
B3- everyday dishes
C1- Tupperware and extra water bottles
D1- Baking ware
D2- Measuring cups and strainer
E2- Cooking Utensils
E3- Aluminum foil/baggies
E4- Pots and pans
F1- Dish soap, garbage, garbage bags, fire extinguisher, extra dish soap
G1- Baking ingredients
G2- Don snacks
start with everyday dishes
Whenever I do an organizing project, I like to start with at the easiest, most obvious point. For a kitchen, that’s everyday plates, bowls, and cups.
Those should be placed closest to the dishwasher as possible so washing and putting away dishes is as convenient as possible. Dishes are what you use most, so they should be placed in the prime cabinet space at eye level.
The next step to organize are the drawers- silverware, cooking utensils, plastic wrap/aluminum foil/ and baggies/ Next pots and pans, then serving ware, baking ware, and big items like coffee machines or crockpots. Continue with food and spice. Last, finish up with the hard to reach areas.
When organizing, really think about the activity you’ll be doing. For example, I love to bake so the lazy Susan in the corner will be dedicated to my baking. I’ll have my sugar, flour, and all other ingredients in one spot. I don’t have a mixer for this house, but if I did, it’d be sitting on the countertop right on top of the lazy Susan to keep things as efficient as possible.
Stations work for all sorts of activities. Another one that’d be great would be for coffee. You could keep the machine, mugs, k-cups or coffee beans all in one area. It’s a great way to streamline an everyday task.
One thing I’m always encouraging Don is to be self sufficient. Sometimes he does a (hard for him) task and is so proud of himself- it makes us both so happy! In the kitchen, I’m planning on keeping a few snacks and some kid dishes in the Lazy Susan so Don can help himself when he’s hungry.
use drawers in the lower cabinets if possible
If you are designing a kitchen from scratch, consider using drawers in the lower cabinets. I can’t tell you how much better it is to be able to pull out a drawer instead of getting on your knees and digging something out of the back of a cabinet!
In the drawers next to our stove (aka the best lower cabinets location in the kitchen) we are having our utensils, cooking utensils, knives, and pots and pans. It’ll be really convenient to have the cooking tools right next to the stove! Especially in a pull out drawer.
While we were at IKEA buying all of our cabinets, we also purchased drawer organizers for the flatware and cooking utensils and knives. It’ll be so fun to put everything away and have the perfect home for each item. The secret to an organized home is to have an exact home for each item. It mades me smile SO big thinking of the future organization!
create beautiful and functional displays
I like to take the opportunity in a kitchen to create moments of beauty. A few weeks ago, I stressed over what to put on my open shelves. I knew I wanted to do a rainbow display. My husband suggested that since the kitchen is so small, it should be something useful we’ll use too. Of course, he’s right.
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So I became a woman on a mission and started looking for rainbow dishes that we could use and that’d be beautiful. I am thrilled to say that I found the Danish company Rice who carries absolutely beautiful melamine cups, bowls, and plates in a rainbow of colors. I believe that’s what’ll be on my shelves- I’m so excited!
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no pantry, no problem
Our upper cabinets will hold our food. It’ll be nice to have tall enough cabinets to accommodate the tall plastic containers we use to keep our food fresh. The old 1950’s cabinets were so small, we had to have most of our food in a lower cabinet. Everything was jammed in, I think storing them in a more narrow upper cabinet will keep them more organized.
I truly believe that the more movements you have to make to get to something, the less likely it is to put it in it’s correct spot. So if a cabinet has to be opened, a food bin has to be moved, and then you can get to what you need- that’s way too much work (believe me, I know!). Keep it simple so that it’s easier to keep organized.
up, up, and away
One of the key components in our kitchen renovation was to remove the soffits so that we could have our cabinets go all of the way to the ceiling. This makes it so we can store more in what used to be wasted space!
However, the high up cabinets will be the most annoying to get to since I’ll need a stool to access them. So up top, I’ll only store things I only use on rare occasion (like extra water bottles).
When organizing a kitchen, the most important step is to get rid of items you no longer use. Or duplicate items. Only have what you really love and it’ll be so much easier to maintain an organized space!
Also, over time, items will build up again. Every 6-12 months, it’s smart to declutter again. Pull everything out and only put back what you really use. The excess items can be donated and go to a home that really needs it!
contain and label
When organizing any space, I like to pay attention to the containers and then label them. Ideally, the containers will be the same- this creates visual order. I’ll link to my favorite food organizers. Then, having matching labels again is beautiful, but it’s also a great way to keep everything organized going forward since they make it obvious what goes where.
a picture of my organized pantry in Utah
I love using these affordable and beautiful plastic containers for food because it keeps them fresh, it’s easy to see what needs to be replenished, and they’re nice to look at. Way better than keeping everything in the containers they came from the grocery store in.
plan a place for garbage cans
I love, love to not see a garbage can in a kitchen! We’re planning for ours to go under the sink. The cabinet under the sink will pull out and then have place for a small garbage can, recycling bin, and also extra garbage bags.
pet supply storage
We have two dogs so we’re planning on keeping their dog food in the kitchen. I also love the idea of having a speciality place for dog bowls.
Do you see in the inspiration photo that there’s water just for filling the bowl?! So smart! We don’t have space for something like this, but I love the idea!
Ok- so there’s all my thoughts and rules on kitchen organization. When the day comes that I can actually unpack all this stuff and put away, I’ll be so excited! I can’t wait to have the kitchen back for holiday baking. It’ll be magical!
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