How We Organized Our Small Kitchen

It’s time as soon as once more to throw open each cupboard, drawer, and door to indicate you ways we organized our kitchen, which we slowly renovated during the last two years (extra on that sluggish however regular reno right here). This publish needs to be an particularly enjoyable one since you’ll see simply how a lot we’ve improved upon the unique group of this kitchen, which we shared in this publish nearly two years in the past. And, as regular, we made a video walk-through of the entire thing too, which additionally explains a couple of future plans involving two out of doors cupboards that we plan so as to add to the close by kitchen porch. So yeah… heaps to cowl.

We’ll begin with the video, as a result of it’s really probably the most complete option to perceive precisely what goes the place in our new kitchen. Sherry additionally snuck some Penny footage in there for you, as a result of she is aware of what you actually come right here to see. Plus you’ll get a sneak peek into our utility closet, which seems to be utterly completely different than it used to when it simply housed our HVAC system & a giant water heater!

Observe: You may also view this video on YouTube.

The final time we shared how we organized this small kitchen, it was September of 2020 and we’d solely lived right here for 3 months. We have been enthusiastic about how purposeful we had made it in such a brief time period by working with what we had – and principally have been thrilled that we’d efficiently downsized our belongings from our final kitchen and it really labored for us. At this level within the pandemic we have been cooking nearly each single meal at dwelling and had two youngsters dwelling full time doing at-home-learning… nearly each single meal all of us ate was saved and ready and consumed on this small kitchen. As a reminder, that is what it seemed like at the moment:

Old Photo Of Kitchen Right Before Renovation With Pedestal Table Mauve Cabinets Freestanding White Fridge

Slowly through the years, we added issues like: a pantry cupboard, new (secondhand) home equipment, up to date cabinetry, backsplash tile to the ceiling on that again wall, and so on – and as you noticed in our kitchen reveal publish, the kitchen now seems to be like this!

So let’s dive into the three main storage areas – the decrease cupboards, the higher cupboards, and the pantry cupboards – to indicate you the entire organizational enhancements we’ve made alongside the way in which. Disclaimer: the video is rather more thorough than photographs can ever be, plus it mentions these out of doors kitchen cupboards we ordered, and the way we predict issues will shift a bit after they lastly arrive – so watch that everytime you get an opportunity.

Organizing The Decrease Cupboards

We really LOST decrease cupboard house as a part of this renovation, which appears like a downgrade on paper, however we gained a complete floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboard + 4 higher cupboards (3 alongside the again wall and 1 over the fridge). So it was for positive an enormous achieve in the long term. To jog your reminiscence, these are the three skinny backside cupboards that we took out:

We eliminated them to convert that window right into a door so we’d have easy accessibility to the porch on the market, the place we now have a grill and an out of doors desk that we use SO OFTEN as a result of they’re so handy to have proper off of the kitchen.

The kitchen porch is sort of a big out of doors extension of our kitchen, which is fairly nice to have in a spot that’s heat nearly year-round, so when you have a smaller kitchen with the choice to create slightly out of doors extension of it at your own home, full with an out of doors desk and a grill (and perhaps even an out of doors cupboard or two for storage of issues like grill instruments), we’d positively advocate it.

That is the previous cupboard space that we had earlier than we added that door to the kitchen porch. The cupboards had such thick wooden framing that it felt very uneven and inefficient. It was troublesome to retailer something wider than 12″ in there and it required a number of bending or squatting right down to see no matter you have been retrieving from the again of the cupboard or that little half shelf on high. For those who evaluate that to a pantry drawer or cupboard drawer, which pulls out and comes proper to you with out as a lot crouching, you’ll be able to see why our up to date kitchen has much more decrease drawers than cupboard doorways.

These three drawers above our skinny earlier cupboards additionally had that tremendous thick framing, which stole a number of room that in any other case might have been used to retailer issues, and like the entire drawers in our previous kitchen, they have been shallow and slender, which vastly restricted what could possibly be saved in them.

Right here’s the place issues begin trying up. By eradicating these three skinny cupboards and including that door to the brand new kitchen porch

… it allowed us to place a brand new 24″ base cupboard in what had beforehand been a completely lifeless nook. As you’ll be able to see from this older picture under, the previous cupboards didn’t have a lazy susan or another fancy nook swing-out shelf like most fashionable kitchens do in that nook. The cupboards that have been the place the door is now actually simply blocked entry to something that might have been saved in that nook.

So although we misplaced about 40″ of previous cabinetry, we gained 24″ proper again the moment we put a pleasant massive cupboard in that nook that was once lifeless, blocked off house.

And since we’re massive proponents of drawers as a substitute of doorways in your decrease cupboards (a lot simpler to get issues out! much less bending! all people wins!), this new 24″ base cupboard… which seems to have 3 drawers however really has 4… is a WORKHORSE.

The highest drawer is our “junk drawer” that we outfitted with two of Ikea’s bamboo storage trays (this and this) that match completely. We had a lot house in it that we added issues like our automotive keys, the canine leash, and my pockets in there too because the drawer is true subsequent to the door that we use most. It’s actually helpful for grabbing stuff you want earlier than leaving, and it’s a pleasant clear look to have them tucked right into a drawer as a substitute of all the time gathering on the counter.

The following drawer down is our essential instrument drawer. Sure, it’s bizarre, however we’ve all the time had a instrument drawer (in each kitchen we’ve ever owned, all through the previous 16 years as householders) and it has turn into a behavior we simply can’t give up. Now we have some lesser-used instruments saved within the corridor closet, nevertheless it’s good to have the stuff we use usually down right here so we are able to seize stuff to rapidly dangle an image, measure one thing, tape one thing off, and so on.

The underside drawer is the deepest, which allowed us so as to add one among our favourite Ikea kitchen options: a hidden drawer! We are able to retailer ALL of our glass bakeware, containers for leftovers, and college lunch stuff in a single place, which is greater than I can say for the previous drawers that have been right here.

We additionally added Ikea’s pegboard organizer to raised wrangle all of our storage containers in our deep backside drawer. It seems to be slightly chaotic on this picture (if it got here in white it could mix with the drawers much more), nevertheless it has been a giant assist. Issues don’t rattle round in right here, and there’s much less digging for what you’re searching for. That open space on the again left is the place the children retailer their lunchboxes, however we took these photographs again after they have been in class… therefore the lunchboxes being gone.

I do know it sounds loopy, however this new 24″ cupboard has made us worlds happier than the previous cupboards we eliminated ever did.

The Underneath Sink Cupboard

Okay, let’s transfer on to beneath the sink. As a reminder, that is what our previous sink cupboard seemed like. The massive wooden divider in the midst of the 2 doorways was slightly little bit of a bummer, however we had pared down sufficient to make it work – particularly with the assistance of these wire cabinets on the doorways.

The brand new cupboard is identical dimension (36″) however the massive full-height doorways make it simpler to entry issues… so we’ve crammed extra in there, I suppose. Ha! I understand that is hardly Pinterest-worthy, nevertheless it’s actual life. We all the time attempt to use the storage bins we’ve (even when they’re mismatched!) earlier than spending cash on one thing new, in order that’s what you see happening in right here. We additionally had saved a couple of stuff you don’t see within the picture above in our laundry closet earlier than (like Sherry’s beloved Folex, our wooden conditioning wax, the Lysol, and so on), and now all of them get to stay down right here in a single spot.

That assertion is true of a number of random objects really. We positively have been simply looking for a spot for issues three months into residing right here after we wrote that preliminary kitchen storage publish – so some issues simply couldn’t be within the kitchen as a result of lack of room – in order that they have been relegated to the laundry closet, the corridor closet, or some place else. It’s VERY NICE to have issues multi functional spot once more, so there’s not that complete “are the magic erasers beneath the sink…? No they’re within the corridor closet!” factor.

Some issues don’t change although – we’re nonetheless counting on lazy susans beneath the sink (we particularly love this clear divided one) to entry our on a regular basis cleansing provides. And we’ve used the identical wire shelves we’ve had all this time to create two ranges of storage that enable us to condense some issues that had been within the laundry space/corridor closet/and so on. It makes the entire space actually versatile for us.

The Cupboard With Our Utensils and Pots & Pans

To the suitable of the sink cupboard is the place we retailer our flatware, pots, pans, and different baking dishes (brownie pan, cinnamon roll pan, and so on) because it’s proper subsequent to the range.

To make extra room on the opposite aspect of the range for a way more environment friendly cupboard than the one we had there earlier than, this new cupboard turned barely smaller than the previous one (solely by an inch or two). However once more, as a result of the Ikea drawers are extra effectively designed with out such thick wooden framing that steals a number of house, it really works tougher and permits us to retailer much more than earlier than. The highest drawer is for our utensils and we used another bamboo tray that Ikea makes (so it suits in there completely with out wasted house) to maintain all our utensils and serving spoons and stuff in place.

I do know it seems to be extremely bizarre that we’ve a drawer with only one single pan in it, however that’s actually how our drawer seems to be. It’s the pan we use probably the most, and I determine if we ever want the drawer house for one thing else, we are able to simply add it in there too, or we might maintain that pan out on the range. At all times good to have room to develop, proper? And sure, it’s this pan (we needed to see what the hype was about) and since I do know a few of you’ll ask for our evaluate: we prefer it, it’s straightforward to wash, we like the colour, we like that it’s non-toxic/inexperienced, and we use it principally each time we prepare dinner dinner, however since so many individuals sing its praises we determine you have already got one too.

The underside drawer has our deeper pots and saucepans (greater than only one – ha! You possibly can see all of those drawers higher within the video, btw), plus we used one other hidden drawer to retailer a few of our steel baking pans for issues like cinnamon rolls and brownies. It’s so good to not have all of that stuff jumbled on high of itself in a single massive drawer.

As a fast reminder, that is what the previous cupboard seemed like right here. We positively made it work, nevertheless it concerned much more bending since nothing was a pullout that got here to you.

Now on to my favourite “transformation,” which we’ve gushed about earlier than… as a result of to know it’s to like it.

The “Oil Drawer” Cupboard

We’ve shared this image a number of occasions as a chief instance of how inefficient the previous cupboard was to the left of the range. That cupboard was 7″ extensive, however due to the cumbersome wooden body, the precise cupboard space within the drawer was solely round 4″ extensive. After some failed makes an attempt at storing spatulas, spoons, and dishcloths in there – every little thing was too massive or cluttered! – it turned our notorious “oil drawer.” As a result of that’s all that match.

Ikea has restricted choices for small cupboards, so we questioned if their 12″ two-tiered drawer might actually make that a lot of a distinction (that’s nonetheless a slender cupboard, regardless of the way you slice it). However IT HAS BEEN AWESOME. The highest shelf is deep sufficient that we are able to retailer a complete slew of oils, vinegars, cooking sprays, and small kitchen devices (can opener, peeler, citrus squeezer factor, and so on) all STANDING UP.

A whole lot of these things had beforehand been saved in these three cupboards we eliminated for the brand new door on the opposite aspect of the room, so it has been nice having it multi functional spot as a substitute of doing that factor the place you open like 3 completely different drawers searching for one thing as a result of comparable issues stay in all 3 locations.

And that’s simply half of the great things happening with this new pullout cupboard, as a result of we’ve that complete backside part too!

The previous cupboard was teeny tiny and couldn’t even be opened all the way in which as a result of door molding. It was vertical so it seemed like it could be good for baking sheets and reducing boards, nevertheless it was all the time sort of a hard-to-see clutterfest in there, and also you often needed to squat down and take every little thing out simply to get to 1 factor behind the stack.

Now we’ve all that stuff on the underside shelf of this pull-out drawer, and we screwed in a few of these metal partitions to maintain issues from rattling round and to maintain all of them from leaning towards each other. So now we are able to attain in and seize the muffin tin or the reducing board with out having to take out every little thing that was previously blocking it. And now as a substitute of fishing round in a darkish slender cupboard, it’s a pullout, so every little thing rolls out to greet us. Plus it’s all a lot simpler to see as a result of it’s not in a darkish slender cave of a cupboard.

We nonetheless retailer flat pans and skillets within the oven warming drawer. That’s a behavior that can by no means die. And whereas we would not have a ton of kitchen devices (we don’t personal a crockpot for instance, as a result of we had one for years & by no means used it) however we do have an enormous skillet for pancakes (it’s onerous to see nevertheless it’s the black speckled factor on the underside of the stack under that’s nearly as extensive as this drawer). What can I say? I take my pancakes severely.

One final thing that I identified within the video too, which could appear easy, however discovering a nice knife block that you simply wish to maintain out on the counter can prevent from having to retailer that stuff in a drawer, so even simply making that change can liberate some extra drawer house and make issues really feel much less cramped.

Sufficient about these decrease cupboards. Let’s look upward to the uppers.

Organizing The Higher Cupboards

The unique kitchen had uppers after we purchased the home, however we took them down after we had the soffit taken out as a part of our preliminary renovations. So by the point we moved in, this kitchen was sans higher cupboards. Which isn’t really a criminal offense to us. We designed your entire pink home kitchen with out them (and the 2 duplex kitchens simply had hood cupboards over the range & a cab over the fridge).

So for so long as we’ve lived on this home, till the ultimate section of our kitchen reno, we simply had some incarnation of open cabinets. We emphatically love open cabinets in a kitchen (our final kitchen had them too, in addition to the one earlier than that!) however over time we determined that the shiny white cabinets subsequent to our kitchen desk have been loads of good purposeful open storage for us, and we didn’t additionally want all of them alongside that again wall of the kitchen anymore.

In order a part of our remaining step of the kitchen reno, we determined so as to add higher cupboards – each for the general look of the room (weirdly sufficient, the ceiling seems to be taller with the higher cupboards as a result of they draw the attention all the way in which up) and greater (perhaps as a result of the muddle is behind them and the fronts are so easy and easy)?

The higher cupboard on the suitable of the room holds plates, mugs, and mixing bowls on the underside two cabinets. The highest two cabinets are extra of Sherry’s ornamental objects – fancier serving bowls, further vases, and so on. These ornamental objects had been in our bed room cupboards on both aspect of the hearth earlier than this level (vases don’t really feel that loopy in a bed room cupboard – nevertheless it’s so good to have them within the kitchen by the sink!). Plus shifting them in right here freed up more room within the bed room for bed room stuff… you realize like our podcast microphone. Ha!

For those who’re questioning the place our bowls and consuming glasses are, these are on the (nonetheless remaining) open shelves subsequent to our kitchen desk. As I discussed within the video, we personal extra glasses and bowls, the dishwasher was simply full after we took these pics/made the video. We love storing glasses and bowls on that backside shelf as a result of they’re simpler for the children to achieve after they make themselves a bowl of cereal or seize a glass of water. Perhaps as soon as they’re taller (which is occurring rapidly) we’ll transfer every little thing collectively to that higher cupboard, however for now this works properly.

We’re nonetheless engaged on the group of the higher cupboards on the left aspect of the room. The big cupboard primarily homes the hidden exhaust fan for our range, however we’ve tucked some bins with further spices, baking items, and different miscellaneous stuff round it. The massive black case on high accommodates our grill instruments, which is able to finally transfer exterior as soon as the 2 out of doors cupboards that we’ve ordered lastly arrive. In order that’ll liberate some further house for extra bins of anything we would have to retailer as time goes on.

There’s one other, narrower cupboard subsequent to this one (you’ll be able to see it within the video) that holds our strainer, nutritional vitamins, and different miscellaneous baking & cooking stuff, together with Sherry’s coconut oil and apple cider vinegar inventory (she is who she is). You possibly can see it within the video if you would like a peek.

We’ve ordered some further cabinets to take advantage of that nook higher cupboard, so… get excited. Replace: they got here earlier than we acquired this publish up, so perhaps Sherry can share a fast peek on Instagram Tales generally.

The Pantry Cupboard

Our pantry cupboard is by far the largest addition that we made to this room by way of purposeful cupboard storage. The house merely didn’t exist within the prior incarnations of this kitchen and boy are we thrilled to have it.

Previous to having the pantry cupboards, we used the 2 Ikea Fjalkinge bookcases as our “pantry storage” on the alternative wall, which is the place our fridge was on the time. All of our shelf-stable meals was saved within the decrease drawers. It wasn’t probably the most spacious or versatile resolution, nevertheless it labored for us for a lot of months.

Now these two bookcases stay upstairs in our household room and we’ve earned much more meals storage on the opposite aspect of the room, thanks to those new floor-to-ceiling Ikea cupboards that we in-built round our fridge, which we moved over to that wall (extra on that right here).

The highest half is all shelving and we’ve used numerous bins and trays to wrangle issues. There’s quite a lot of pantry stuff in right here, however probably the most notable factor is that the addition of the pantry has allowed us to seize a couple of extras of one thing that’s on sale (like cereal or nutella, you realize the essential stuff), as a result of we’ve room to maintain “backstock” meals on the best shelf. That high shelf is simply “surplus” – so we glance up there to refill no matter must be refilled down under the place our youngsters can seize every little thing – and if we don’t have it up there, onto the buying record it goes. We’ve additionally acquired issues like paper towels, coolers, s’mores provides, and even our microwave within the cupboard over the fridge.

A lot of the motion takes place under, within the three decrease drawers. That is principally snack and dry meals central in our family. Each of our youngsters put together their very own college lunches, so protecting these properly stocked helps that occur simply and with out fuss each weekday morning. It seems to be slightly stuffed on this picture, however we had simply gotten again from the grocery retailer. Perhaps it makes up for less than having 4 glass cups on the floating cabinets with the remaining within the dishwasher 😉

That just about covers the entire kitchen cupboards in our new kitchen. By creating higher storage in right here, it has additionally helped us fine-tune the storage and group throughout the remainder of our home. As one other instance, we not need to maintain keys and the canine leash within the laundry closet as a result of they’re proper in that drawer by the aspect door which we now use day by day (we park on that aspect of the home, so it’s an incredible route for strolling in & out).

And as for our revamped utility closet within the kitchen (which can also be SUCH AN UPGRADE), we’re hoping to put in writing a complete publish about that quickly. It’s wild to assume that there used to only be a giant water heater proper behind that door that blocked us from utilizing nearly the entire closet.

For those who’d wish to know the sources for something in our kitchen, from the fruit bowl to the toaster or the runner and the pendant gentle (all of the issues!), they’re linked and listed proper right here on this publish for you. Plus this web page is one thing we put collectively to attempt that can assist you discover the sources for every little thing in our total home.

And if you wish to dig deeper into some kitchen group posts of the previous (or for those who simply wish to nearly snoop by way of our different kitchens), be happy to examine these out:

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