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8 Kitchen and Pantry Workhorses Home Organization Challenge-Day 15

In a week I’m going to help a client with a move. She has determined that her priorities in this move are the kitchen, the pantry and the master bathroom. I’m so psyched to be helping in these areas. I love setting up a beautiful kitchen and the pantry will be awesome because I’m starting from ground zero in a hallway closet. I’ve ordered components from The Container Store’s Elfa line to create open shelving and extra drawers. I’ll post next week on how it all comes together. Stay tuned!

Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite storage and organizing solutions in the kitchen. If you’ve used these with great success, let me know! And, if you have other favorite workhorses in your kitchen, let me know that too.

  1. The Right Silverware Divider This expandable, bamboo silverware drawer divider is a wonderful way to keep it all together and separate enough to be organized. We found ours at Target a few years ago, but they’re easy to find everywhere. Bamboo is beautiful, sustainable and easy to clean. I’ve put a non-slip liner underneath to keep it from scooting around.

2. Tray for Coffee Bar Opposites attract. He likes tea, I drink coffee. Can this marriage be saved? Yes! Coffee and tea come together are nearby, and all the mugs are directly above in the cabinet. But this way, the coffee, decaf coffee, coffee grinder, Earl Gray tea, teapot and sugar canister can all live in relative caffeinated harmony for daily use. And they all lived happily ever after.

3. Cutting Board Storage Once upon a time, I had so many cutting boards, even I didn’t know how or where to store them. Most days I use two or three cutting boards during meal preparation to avoid cross-contamination of allergens and raw meat products. As I was stacking them haphazardly against the backsplash, I was reminded of a file sorterI had stashed away in my office. It fits nicely in the corner and perfectly holds my cutting board collection.

4. Magnetic Knife Bar Right next to the cutting boards, you’ll find my knives. I absolutely love these magnetic bars from IKEA. They look great straight out of the box, (though I’ve dreamed about covering them with a wood veneer) and they are very strong. I don’t ever worry about knives falling or dropping. I’ve mounted two side by side and it’s all I need for storage of my best knives and other cutting implements.

5. Sealed Jar Storage When Roland and I got married, I actually added some of these storage jars to our wedding registry. They have served us very well with only the occasional replacement of a rubber seal. Over the years I have added a few more in various sizes and we supplement with Mason jars. They are the best for dry goods storage, easy to clean and we always know how much we oatmeal, granola, pasta, vanilla, or rice we have.

6. Open Shelving When we moved into this house, the kitchen was a u-shape with little counter space and not enough functional storage. We found this island at IKEA which added open shelving on one side and a seating area on the other side. It’s my command center and it gets heavy use every day. Here you can see our lunch snack basket, our rotation of pots and pans, the mixing bowls and some serve wear.

7. The Utensil Caddy I think I’ve told you before how I am not a minimalist in the kitchen. I truly believe in keeping your daily tools available and within arms reach at a moment’s notice. This kind of caddy helps me keep like things together (for example all wood and bamboo vs. black plastic and stainless) and they always look tidy.

8. Cohesive Dish Ware This one isn’t exactly a tool so much as a design choice. Having dish ware that matches helps limit chaos in your cabinets and gives you easy access to setting a beautiful table every time. I bought my first white plates in my 20’s from Habitat Housewares in Anchorage. I later found similar enough in size and quality from IKEA, so I’ve been able to maintain my collection. I’ve found secondhand coffee cups from Dansk at garage sales, beautiful latte cups from Pier One (these are great for soup and chili) and various other white and blue dishes from thrift shops all over.

What works hard in your kitchen? What everyday items do you turn to again and again. If you need help setting up or sorting out your kitchen, give me a call. I would love to work some Northwest Home Coach magic on your home.

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