What Makes a Handy Kitchen?

 I’m rethinking how our kitchen is organized.  Nothing firm in mind at this point, but I’m fishing for tips on ways to keep things “handy.”  I’m a big believer in keeping things were we use them.  We have a fairly small kitchen and we both cook so minimal crossing of paths is a good thing. 

An example: we pretty much only eat cereal and drink coffee at breakfast time, which is also when we use our mugs and cereal bowls. As a result, the cabinet over our coffee maker is our breakfast cabinet where we keep all of the cereal, bowls and mugs.   Coffee filters and coffee are both within an arms reach.  No steps, which is good for me in the morning since I can barely walk before 8:30. 

Anyway, those are the kinds of step-saving tips I’m looking for.  I’m also looking for kitchen cabinet organization and space saving advice.  Don’t assume something will be too obvious.  I’m someone who has yet to put shelf paper down and we’ve been in our house for 5 years!  Speaking of, what is the best kind of shelf liner? If I come across any tips I’ll let you know.  If you have any, please share.

9 Responses to “What Makes a Handy Kitchen?”

  1. July 25, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    I like where your knives are on the wall – very close to a chopping surface.

    I have my pots and pans in the cabinet by the stove, the glasses by the refrigerator, and the silverware closest to the table (although we don’t really sit at the table when just the two of us eat).

    That’s as far as I’ve gotten. I’m sure Julie will jump all over this post. Just get ready to purchase a label maker because she will insist it’s imperative.

  2. July 26, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Shelf liner from Rubbermaid. DON’T USE ADHESIVE TYPE. It’s kind of a pebble grain finish. You can get it anywhere. Easy to size, cut and clean. I am concerned that the counter space behind the stove adjacent to the refrig. is underutilized. Am I correct?

  3. July 30, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks Dave and Jennie. Here are some other things I’ve come across since posting. Some of them relate to your ideas Jennie:

    A. If you do something (bake, prep and chop vegetables) more than once a week, set up a special spot just for that task with all the tools you need to do that job. (In general, things that work together should be stored together.)

    B. Keep spices that you use frequently in one place or better yet alphabetize your spices. (I probably won’t alphabetize, but I can do the first part.)

    C. Remove from your counters anything that you do not use on a daily basis.

    D. Buy see-through (I would add glass) flat-lidded leftover containers and only keep a few.

    E. Freezer and Refrigerator – Group like items (beverages, leftovers, condiments) together.

  4. July 30, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Regarding C: Do canisters count? I don’t use them every day, but I think I’d rather use the counter for those than give up cabinet space.

  5. July 31, 2007 at 1:35 am

    Handy shopping tip. Last month, Target had the best food storage containers in The Dollar Spot. They had square and round shapes that were clear with rubber seal lids. They had a handy dated dial on the top so you could set the dial on the date you put the item in the frig so you would know how long it had been in there. So handy and only $1.00 per container.

  6. 6 crystal
    August 28, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    okay here are mine because i literally have 2 counters, and 3 cabinets. 4, if you count the one that’s completely gutted on the inside to get to a leak i had in the bathroom:

    I bought a peg board and I use that to hang up pots and skillets. I bought magazine holders to hold my cookbooks and cook-magazines. But my all time favorite for the spices is a lazy susan and a 3 step thing a ma jig. I use the 3 steps for the ones I rarely use, like fennel seeds or something. And the rotating one is for salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, etc….

    I do group utensils together. I keep things like my microplane, handheld grater, cheese slicers together.

  7. September 3, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Crystal, so glad for the tip for magazine and book storage. We have a stack issue.

    Jennie, I keep my sugar and my flour out on the cabinet. Don’t think I could put them away.

  8. September 12, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    I know it would be a fairly major redo, but when we built our house I had a cabinet put in with sliding drawers. That is where we keep our skillets and pots and pans. It is so easy to just pull that drawer out to get to the skillet in the back.

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