Creating Order in Your Kitchen is Priceless
To tell the truth, the phrase “on a dime’ probably dates me. What can you do on a dime these days? I guess the true title is “Organizing on a Dollar.” Push me in the general direction of an everything-in-here-costs-a-dollar type store and I am happy!
Sometimes, cost becomes an excuse for the disorganization, especially in the kitchen. You visualize fancy pull-out shelving or new, polished cabinets. Then you sigh and shove the contents of the pantry back in. It really is possible to get organized without spending dollars and dollars on fancy new cabinets or organizing products. I shared that recently with someone. They wrote to me and shared this situation.
My friend’s kitchen pantry is very deep. I suggested we put in the sliding shelves for her. She said she cannot afford to spend any money. She told me she also hates Lazy Susans, which are another cabinet option. Finally, she does not use her bottom cabinets much as health issues make it hard to bend over. Do you have any ideas for me?
In her pantry, repurpose boxes, even shoe boxes without lids. These become organizing containers to hold similar items. Take some printer paper and cover the end of the box with a big piece of white paper to make it visually appealing. Then you can label it pastas, rice, granola bars, and so forth. That way, she can slide out a box to find a pasta or item and things are less likely to get lost way in the back. If you label the lip of the shelf too, the box will get back into the right spot.
As for the bottom cabinets, perhaps they can be used for the items she refuses to part with but uses seldom – like a punch bowl or wok. If the cabinet edges were labeled, then she would not have to bend and hunt much. I bet she does not like to dig through them. Also, if she does not want to install sliders, I have used rimmed baking sheets or trays in lower cabinets and stacked stuff on those. That way she can slide it out and find things.
While you can make use of free boxes, you can also head to the dollar-type store. For a dollar, you can find drawer organizers as well as other plastic containers to hold this and that. Small $1 basket are great for napkins, taco seasoning packets and more. Larger baskets can hold similar items. Clips will help you keep open packages closed.
Do not let the mighty dollar keep you from getting organized. You can indeed organize on a dime.
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.