©2009 Professional Organizer -
Lea Schneider is the author of
A Mom to Mom Guide available at
one-on-one organizing advice via phone and email through Organize Online
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Her advice is featured
here at What's Cooking America in a monthly column. You may have read her
expert organizing ideas in Woman’s Day, Natural Health, College News, and
Better Homes and Gardens Kids’ Rooms magazines and newspapers. She is a member of the National Association of Professional
Organizers and the Association of Food Journalists.
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Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.
Out-Of-The-Kitchen for Storage
You’ve pulled things out, rearranged, shoved them back in, and you
just can’t make everything you want fit in that kitchen. The first piece of advice you probably received was to pare things
down. Let go of those extra wine glasses. Ditch the things you don’t
use all the time. However, if you are like me, then you like to
entertain so that advice just isn’t reasonable.
If you’ve got too many goodies to fit in the kitchen, it’s time to
think outside of the kitchen. There are other places you can make
use of in your home. The trick lies in knowing what to store where
and how to store it.
The basic rule of thumb is to store things in the kitchen that you
use on a regular basis. I know you don’t want to leave the room to
cook on a daily basis.
Store things out of the kitchen that you use occasionally. These
might include extra wine or bar glasses, serving platters, holiday
or party dishware and occasionally used appliances such as a big
standing mixer, if you are not a big-time baker.
Here are some creative storage ideas:
Closet storage: This closet was repurposed
to hold kitchen overflow. Items used only
for entertaining, from the holiday turkey
platter, to the large coffee urn, to serving
bowls and trays, extra linens, and cookbooks
of party ideas were grouped together.
sure to use the inside of the door as we did
with these over-the-door hooks.
Garage storage: It’s handy to have a punch
bowl and cups, as see in the box labeled
“Party,” but storage of such large items is
difficult in the kitchen.
Organize a shelf
in the garage to hold kitchen extras. Be
sure to store them in tubs or boxes to keep
Ditch that cabinet of old VCR tapes you don’t watch or board games
with missing pieces. Use that entertainment center storage for bar
related gear from bottles of liquor to ice buckets, extra glasses,
cocktail napkins, and bar tools.
Remove the accumulation of clutter that really isn’t related to
laundry - from light bulbs to cat treats to floor polish. Create a
home repair/gadget center in the garage to hold household
maintenance supplies. Repurpose laundry room storage so that it can
hold extras from the kitchen.
Make a quick shift of sheets from the linen closet to the bedrooms.
Storing the correct size sheets in each room with that size bed
actually makes life easier. Clean out accumulated bottles of lotions
and potions from under the sink and move your towels there (or roll
them up and put them in a large basket in the bathroom). Now that
you’ve opened up some linen closet shelves, use them to store extra
items for entertaining or rarely used but still wanted appliances.
Dining Room: Make the best use of your existing buffet or china cabinet. It isn’t
often decluttered, so do it now by removing items that you really
don’t use. Make the most of display space by standing up platters or
serving pieces along the back of the cabinet. If your cabinet isn’t
designed for standing plates, then purchase some inexpensive plate
stands and use them. Stack dishes in lower storage so that you
maximize the space.
Add a set of shelves for kitchen related items or rearrange existing
storage. The key is to store your cooking-entertaining related items
together so you can find them. Garages are dusty so do store items
in boxes or tubs.
Vertical: Don’t forget to think “up” when looking for
additional storage for kitchen items. If you have a second fridge (in the laundry room or garage), the top of it makes a large storage
area. Or, consider adding hooks to the wall and displaying items,
while storing them at the same time. This is great for baskets and
other pieces such as galvanized drink tubs or platters displayed in
plate racks. I’ve also seen a shelf added above the door jamb,
running the length of the wall for extra storage, but also used as a