Friday, January 11, 2013

Clearing Out Kitchen Clutter and Chaos

As many of you know over the summer we moved into a new home and my kitchen is now half the size of my old kitchen. Given that I regularly cook up to three meals a day this has been a source of ongoing frustration for me.

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First and foremost I purged all the dishes, gadgets and other paraphernalia that I had not used in over a year. That lightened the load considerably. The new kitchen layout was used how it best suited me and I took advantage of wire shelving to make the most of tight spaces.

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I am still completely in love with the fridge coasters I made back in early November. They have helped create a super quick cleanup on more than one occasion.

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My spices continue to look pretty and be well organized.

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But there are still problems. Horrible, embarrassing problems.

Please make sure you attempt to see the basket buried under a pile of rags and covered by cascade and comet. This had been my attempt at order. It obviously wasn’t working.

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The under the sink area is like a giant black hole! As I emptied out the contents I found:

Five dirty toothbrushes used for cleaning. (Eeewww!)

Four badly used sponges.

Three boxes of half used dish detergent.

Two half empty bottles of liquid soap, copper cleaner, and window cleaner.

One empty box of light bulbs and trash bags.

So first and foremost I have a problem. When I buy a product and it doesn’t work I don’t just throw it away. (I can hear my grandmother saying “Wasteful!” :)  Are you guilty of this too? Please say “Yes!”

So I gathered up all the unloved products and put them in a box marked “FREE” on the curb. It was gone in an hour.

I also threw away the trash.

Then I wiped down the area and surmised the situation. While a garbage disposal is nice, it eats up a lot of good storage space.

I accepted that my basket method was not working so I measured the space and went to Target.

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First I laid down a layer of rubber shelf liner. It made the area look so much cleaner. I did reuse the plastic bin to hold my cleaners. Since I had eliminated/combined several bottles they now all fit. Storing them in a bin has been a blessing on more than one occasion when a bottle had a leak, etc. The mess is contained and easy to clean.

I assumed that the reason the former basket did not work well because it was difficult to access the contents inside.

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But I am hoping a pull out drawer will help the situation immensely. I know, storing dish towels under the sink is strange. But I literally have NO WHERE else to put them that is convenient. I also stored my scrubber and sponges on top so I will quit buying them when I think I have none.  Anyone else do that???

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One other thing that was shoved in the WAYYYYY back of the cupboard was a gift bag. Inside it had a few dishtowels that I had received for my birthday. Back in August. My thought was to jazz them up a bit. Back in August.

I’m such a go getter.

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I set the timer for 10 minutes. In that time I pinned on some pom~poms and ran it through the sewing machine.

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I ended up with a minute and twenty five seconds to spare. Seriously! What have I been waiting for?

Because now the towel is cute and useful versus taking up space in the back of the cupboard.

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Did you happen to see in the towel “before” picture that my stainless steel stove/oven was smudged with fingerprints? No? Ok, scroll back up, I’ll wait here.

I try to use products such as Mrs. Meyer, Method, etc. but the stainless steel products did not work for me. So I was using lemon oil to clean the stainless. The problem with that is that I live in Arizona which is a huge dust bowl. The oil attracted the dust like nobody’s business.

So I spotted these cloths and gave them a try. THEY WORK!!! Really well.

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Ok, one more towel makeover. The Fashionista knew I would love it.

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This towel received larger cream colored poms and some vintage gold/silver trim.

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I love vintage pom pom trim! It is made from cotton versus the polyester poms found today. While much of mine has come from old table linens found at estate sales, you can also check out etsy and ebay.

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Speaking of darling dachshunds let’s close out this post with something funny.

My fur boys ALWAYS want to be where I am. Which makes me think of this: 

I had blocked off the kitchen since I was dealing with cleaners as a safety factor. (This is a good tip for both pets and children.) Rudi, the little squatty one, wasn’t having it and tried to make a detour via the painted provençal buffet and got stuck. Ack, I love him!

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A group of organizing bloggers are hosting a kitchen organizing revolution. Go visit HERE for more inspiration. Décor To Adore is listed at # 125.

Laura

30 comments:

Audrey @ Neverending Decorating said...

Awww, I love your little Doxie, I have a mini, he's black, love him to pieces! Have a great day.

The Comfort of a Safe Place said...

Great post! I love the refrigerator coasters - all of your ideas. The towels look so much better with your additions! Have a great weekend!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

This is a wonderful post Laura, filled with such great ideas!
I would love to see pics of your whole kitchen, I need lot's of ideas for organizing.
My under sink area is scarier than yours.
Hugs friend, I hope to be getting to Phoenix soon!
Cindy

Chubby Chieque said...

OMG... the kitchen is I guess, a chaos to all of us, right? I had done mine last year and now, it still look clean. Kiddos moved out. One got his owm apartment as 27 and lil Missy in a dorm in University. I guess this is the reason that I keep the order.

My spices is hidden in a cupboard just above on our kitchen range. In that way you can't see them on your kitchen counter.

TY for the inspiration ideas. This must be appreciated.

Happy w/end.
/CC girl

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I just got done organizing under my bathroom sink... it was DRIVING me nuts!! We have no medicine cabinets in the bathrooms -- so I have had to become pretty creative under the sinks :) I loveeeeeee the trim you added to your towels!!

Cindy said...

Way to get it done! It's a very rainy day here...maybe I should tackle a cupboard or two!? (Rudi getting stuck is too much! :)

openid said...

Laura,
I too am constantly battling the accumulation that is my kitchen. I may incorporate your under the sink storage drawer for towels. The dachshunds towel is adorable and fitting. Speaking of fitting -- Rudi is a riot!
Your Friend,
Deborah
FairfieldHouseNJ.com

Kelley Dibble said...

Well done! You get another gold star!

Kelley~

Linda said...

Thanks for the awesome ideas, Laura!! Even easy enough for me to accomplish - yippee! :D

Everything looks great!

Love,
Linda

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

When I saw the title I thought "she just moved in!" but it does not take long to mess things up especially over the holidays. Actually keep your towels under the sink makes sense to me. I sure have used alot of wire racks in my kitchen at 1515..not much cabinet space and it really can double your capacity.
Thanks for showing the stainless rags, i will have to look for those.

PinkGranny said...

Thank you for sharing...it looked like my cabinet does now! I am inspired to get it taken care of now.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

First of all, I didn't realize you had moved. Maybe that's because I was gone from blogging for several months.

I am so impressed with your organization, and yes, I am exactly like you. I save everything, even if I don't use it. I did something similar a while back and gave things to someone who needed them, but it appears I need to do that again. Where does the clutter come from and why does it end up under the sink? I like what you did. GREAT job!

And your towels are SO cute. Very clever way to jazz them up, Laura.

If I could remember what I just read about cleaning stainless, I would post it. Maybe I can find it again, and if so, I will.

XO,

Sheila

hsmominmo said...

Yes! I'm guilty! of the I-paid-good-money-so-I-just-can't-throw-it-out Syndrome. Funny thing is, once I do throw it out (or give it away or whatever) I feel soooooo much better. Thanks for your sharing your kitchen with us!

Shelia said...

You're my hero!! I love seeing your kitchen organzing! I go through spurts! Love the poms on your cute little towel.
be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Hope Filled Living said...

Oh my goodness, you've been a busy bee! I have to share with you that my cupboard under the kitchen sink looks like your before picture. There is just not enough room! I love the little trim touches you put on your dish towels. How sweet! And Rudi, poor Rudi...got stuck? Lol. My furbabies follow me everywhere too and sometimes I have to block the stairwell to my office just so I can be alone. lol.
xoxo.
Mary

Susan said...

Awesome reorganizing. I need to do something with my area under the sink. It is a total mess.
Your towels turned out beautifully. The trim really jazzed them up!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Funny dog! So cute! Your organization is looking good - I need to start some of that in my own kithcn - again.

lynn cockrell said...

Thanks for all!I went back to visit your refrigerator coaster post, since I didn't know about your blog at the time you posted it. Fabulous idea..can't wait to get mine done. That idea under the kitchen sink is great also. Well, I like it all, especially your little dachs!

Lynn

Auntie Em said...

Your kitchen reorganization is just the inspiration I needed. We had to empty out under the island sink the other day and I did a large cull. (I confess I am a wicked bottle hoarder.) I like your drawer unit. Now I know what to look for when I go shopping.
The towel spruce up is so cute. I have seen little borders crocheted on them too but it would take longer than 10 minutes, at least for me.lol
I go to the $-store for extra toothbrushes. For $1.00 I can get two or even three good stiff toothbrushes (which is even better for cleaning since my dentist said we should only use soft ones on our teeth) and the old worn ones go in the garbage. Yech!
Thank you for sharing your smart solutions! :)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh I so do understand trying to adjust to a smaller house. I have been trying to do that for 6 years now, still trying. You've done a great job with your kitchen and I adore the tea towels. So fun. Hugs, Marty

Tammy_Skipper said...

I love the jazzed up towels and the drawer under the sink. So smart. Great job!

bobbie said...

Even though I'm usually an awesome clutter clearer/organizer, kitchens are my downfall ~ thanks for the inspiration!

LOVE the daschie towel ~ I have 3! (standard longhairs)

Vel Criste said...

OOOH, I love that daschshund towel too!!! And good job with the under-the-sink organization - mine still looks like your BEFORE picture, have to get to that sometime too. :-)

Karen Albert said...

Laura I love the pom-pom towels; too cute with your upgrade!! Storage is always an issue; I am in a small condo with very little options. You have inspired me and cheered my day!

Love and Hugs
Karena

Art by Karena

Denise said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the good info in this post. For some reason, I think that cabinet under the kitchen sink is a problem for most of us. It really is hard to arrange around all that plumbing.

I really LOVE your darling dish towels. I thought they were pretty to begin with, and the addition of border and pom poms makes them extra special.

That little Rudi is so precious. :-D We do love our dogs, don't we? Bless his heart, he looks so uncomfortable squashed inside the buffet. Glad you shared this.

Denise at Forest Manor

Diane | An Extraordinary Day said...

I think that under the sink is my biggest problem area too! To complicate it for me...I keep my garbage there too. Thanks for the inspiration!
I wish I had known about the "party" sooner. I'm trying to figure out how to get on top of these things. It seems I always come upon them a bit on the late side.

Lindsay said...

What a cute pup! I got my friend the dachshund valentine planter and mug from Target, for Valentine's Day. They are adorable! Love your Pom Pom tea towel!

Liz Hockamier said...

Lots of great ideas. I need to clean out under the sink .... AGAIN...sigh. It just never stays organized. Love the t-towels to! :)

Have a great weekend!
~Liz

Kit said...

The towels are so great! Makes me think I need to add some pom poms to some of mine. :) Kit

luvmommy7 said...

That looks so great! I need to work under my sink as well. My only suggestion would be to put your scrubbers in a cute little basket to eliminate any drippy mess on the top of your drawer..