Cupboards - Kitchen revamp & organization 2014

Back again with the second installment of our kitchen revamp & organization series! Today, we’re tackling cupboards.

In terms of cupboards, here are several helpful rules:

Store dishes and serving ware by use.
This is a simple rule that makes a lot of sense. Store your frequently used dishes in the most easily accessible place in your cupboards with other dishes and serving ware occupying the higher or lower shelves, depending on your kitchen configuration. This means no more bending at awkward angles for your favorite coffee cup everyday.

Cut down on your dishes.
When Eric and I moved out, we got a lot of dishes from relatives. Sweet, we thought, we’re never going to do have to do the dishes. This is pretty nice until you realize that the dishes don’t do themselves and they’ll just sit there indefinitely, which they did. Finally, we decided we’re going to pack away excess dishes until we have guests over or get a dishwasher, for the love of God.

File similar items and ingredients together.
I try to keep ingredients within the same family together as much as possible. For example, at the front of our shelf, we have vinegar, salt, and Greek seasoning because we use these a lot. Behind you’ll see an array of Asian seasonings grouped together, with the soy sauce easiest to get to because it is another frequently used item. On the left, you can see parmesan, red wine vinegar, and some croutons as these ingredients are generally used together when making an Italian-style dish.

For a stylish touch, label items with washi tape.
Washi tape makes everything more fun and colorful. We used it for our spice jars, but it can be used anywhere. We found three we love:

Use a corkboard on the interior of a cupboard door. Add hooks or measuring cups and spoons, and other tools, as well as push pins for recipes.
A great way to store your common cooking and baking tools that are prone to getting in the way.
For simple corkboard tiles, check out Target.
For a glitzier option, try this luxe gold chevron corkboard on Etsy.
I love these strawberry pushpins, also on Etsy.
Go for a retro feel in your kitchen with these pushpins, once again from Etsy.

Consider using stand-up racks to store dishes and other cookware.
Other cookware suited for this includes baking and cookie sheets and dishes, cutting boards, and more.
For a plastic version, check out this simple white rack at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Crate and Barrel carries a wooden version, for a more rustic feel.

Use spice jars and bins to store loose items.
Again, we used bins as catch-alls for spices, seasonings, some peppers we dried, and more. We got those little spice tins from my parents as part of our Christmas present but you can also find them at a dollar or discount store. They’re excellent items for organization.

Ensure your food storage containers have both a top and bottom for easy retrieval.
In our house, too often will I look in the food containers to find several sized bottoms and only one matching top. When I reorganized, I was sure to match them up in the same bin. In some bins, I added a small black basket (which I got for $1 at Target in the half-off section) to hold the tops so they wouldn’t fall all over the place. Use large bins to hold everything.

Do you have any kitchen cupboard organization tips I forgot?

Kelsey Sunstrum
Freelance Writer
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