When I first started this blog I showed you how I organized a small closet just off my pantry (here) As a reminder, here is what it looked like when I was done.
It still looks just like this today. I have always been able to clean a closet and get everything straightened out but it never lasted more than a few weeks. So what's different this time? This time I removed everything that I did not use on a regular basis. I did the same thing with the shelves in my pantry which I blogged about (here).
All of the large items that were not used at least every week were placed on a rack in the basement that Mr. P set up for me.
As you can see I have a lot of cooking stuff. I love to cook and with my youngest son studying to become a chef, I couldn't bear to part with a lot of it. But it couldn't stay in the closet or the pantry because there was no way that I would be able to keep it all neat and organized. I tried that and it didn't work.
The top shelf has a fondue pot, a cake carrier, a juicer and some flower vases. The next shelf has some serving trays, loaf pans, muffin tins, pie plates and serving bowls.
I even tie-strapped some metal wine glass holders to the shelf and got some of the wine glasses out of the kitchen cupboard.
This next shelf holds my meat slicer, some more serving dishes, another fondue pot and a bundt pan.
The next shelf hold my deep fryer, some serving bowls, an extra pot and my cast iron panini pan.
The bottom shelf holds my pressure canner, a couple of serving platters and a set of 3 crockpots (great for a buffet).
As you can see there is a lot of stuff on these shelves. The shelving unit is directly at the bottom of my basement stairs in my laundry room and my kitchen is at the top of the basement stairs so it's not too far to go to get something from the shelves.
I am extremely fortunate that we have the space in the basement for a shelf like this. If we didn't have the room I would have had no choice but to get rid of some of the items that are used the least but take up the most room. There are only so many items that can be crammed into one space if you intend on keeping it organized. As the saying goes, you can't organize clutter, you can only get rid of it.
Now this option (a shelf in the basement) will not work for everyone. Many people do not have basements or sometimes people have a hard time climbing stairs making this solution not feasible. But put on your thinking caps and try to come up with an alternative solution. Maybe one of these would work for you:
- add a shelf to the front coat closet to store extra items
- put some shelving in the garage
- if you have a den or perhaps an office on the main level, try converting a part of the closet for storing kitchen items
- use a trunk instead of a coffee table and store extra items there
- add a couple of shelves in a laundry room to store excess kitchen gadgets
- sneak a couple of shelves from the linen closet to use for kitchen items
- use some of the closet space in a guest bedroom
Use your imagination. You may have to decide that these kitchen items are more important than that collection of magazines that you are storing in the hall closet. Get rid of the collection and place the kitchen items there.
If there is simply no other place to store these seldom used items then it is time to make the tough decision as to what needs to go. The kitchen is the heart of the home and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to cook when you can't find your 13x9 pan because it's hidden under your serving platters and has a crockpot sitting on top. A kitchen that is organized, with everything in it's place, can be a joy to cook in.
I will tell you what I would get rid of from those shelves if I didn't have that kind of room in the basement. All of the Christmas serving platters could go (I can simply use the plain ones), the small fondue pot for chocolate would go, the set of 3 crockpots, the plastic cake carrier (I could bring squares instead), the large serving bowls (I still have some in the kitchen), the bundt pan, some of the cake pans, the juicer and the flower vases. Honestly, most of that stuff would be gone. I am enjoying my organized kitchen too much to bring anything back upstairs.
Do you have an interesting idea for storing some of those large kitchen gadgets? Please share so that we can all get organized together.