Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Peek Into My Kitchen

So, I thought I would show you all a bit of how I organize my kitchen. I always like seeing how other people do things. Now, this is all still a work in progress, as I have a few ideas for how to rearrange our food storage, but this is how I'm doing things right now.

Here is our coffee station. Right below this cabinet is the coffee maker and a large thermos. On the top shelf, I keep the coffee grinder, filters, and a couple extra glass jars. The middle shelf contains the regular and decaf coffee, powdered creamer (which is mostly for guests), and hot cocoa (I fill it with a homemade mix of powdered milk, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar). The teas and sugar shaker are on the bottom shelf.

The next cabinet over is above the stove. I keep mostly hot cereal in there, such as oatmeal, grits, and other host cereals. Sometimes there are crackers, although we don't eat a lot of those. I have a couple of coffee syrups and our wine glasses in there as well, since it's the tallest cabinet, therefore the only place they'll fit.

The corner cabinet is my favorite! I keep most of the baking stuff and all of the spices in this one. I've been slowly switching to glass containers, which has been a slow process, since I'm doing things the frugal way. As we use up foods that come in glass jars (like baby food, pickles, jams, sauerkraut, etc), I wash them out and re-purpose them. All of my spices are in baby food jars. I'm still needing to make official labels for everything, but right now masking tape suffices. Oh, and I'm purchasing all of our spices at Winco in the bulk section, since they're much more affordable that way.

Above the sink is another cabinet that contains the rest of the baking supplies, as well as oils, syrups, molasses, and honey (we're going to be switching to bulk raw honey soon). We use coconut oil and olive oil almost exclusively now.

On the top of the fridge is where I keep our opened cold cereals and chips. The box you see is where I keep all our vitamins, supplements, and daily prescriptions.

And here's the fridge. In the door, I keep our cheese, butter (no more margarine!), opened milk, filtered water, dressings, and condiments.

We almost always have more milk than we need, so we often share our extra. The top drawer there is used for yogurt and other individual items. The bottom two drawers are for fruits and veggies, and the rest of the fridge is normally leftovers and other refrigerated items like sour cream and cottage cheese.
Since we have a small kitchen and no pantry, we've improvised and moved quite a bit of our food in the garage. Here is a bookshelf I'm using right now, which has a bit of everything, mostly canned and dry goods. I'd eventually like to get a couple more bookshelves or some stacked milk crates since they're a bit deeper. Until then, this is what we're working with. My plan is to get some food-grade storage buckets from some local store bakeries for each kind of bean, pasta, rice, etc, so they won't get stale and the pests won't get into them. So far we haven't had any pest, but you never know. I'd also like to get buckets for our powdered milk and grains/flours so they will stay fresh longer. To the right of the bookshelf are some boxes of empty containers I use to freeze or store things. The bag there with the red handles is where I keep all of my reusable grocery bags. In front of that is our recycling box.

Along the wall of the garage is a large shelving unit, which holds a lot of things besides food, but about half of it is used for food/drink storage. The cooler is full of diet and regular soda that we pick up at Gleaner's. We're always ready for a barbecue! Next to that is the bottled water. I've been buying a flat a month to keep in case of emergency. So far I have 3, but I'd love to have quite a bit more just to be on the safe side.

To the right of the water is my favorite part of the shelving unit. This is the left hand side, which has our extra paper towels, napkins, cups, and trash bags. A couple of those cubbies have some small tools, cleaning supplies, and paints. There are also some larger canned goods, extra peanut butter, and bottled drinks.

The right side of the unit is mostly used for baby foods, but there is also some toilet paper and supplies for making laundry soap and stain remover.

Below that is where we keep the rest of the drinks we get from WIC and Gleaner's. On the top is sports drinks, which we use a lot when people are sick. On the bottom shelf is mostly juices, such as vegetable, tomato, grape, apple, etc. There is our jug of extra syrup in the front. We just use that to refill our small bottle inside.

And just to keep it real, here is my pile of dishes ;)

I didn't show you my freezers, but they're full of frozen fruit for smoothies, lots of frozen veggies, frozen apple and orange juice, some meat (both cooked and uncooked), containers of leftovers that have been frozen for lunches, chicken stock, ice cream, and bread sticks. They don't look particularly organized, but I usually know where everything is :).

So, there you have it! I'm always trying to rearrange or make things better, but that's my system for now. What ideas do you use in your kitchen? Do you have a favorite way to organize? Tell me about it!

1 comment:

Meg said...

Hi Becci, How brave you are to share your storage. It's too easy to become chaos instead of organized. One thing I always have done is put my small spices on a lazy susan such as rubbermaid makes. I have a double decker one and I put them in abc order to help in seeing what I have & keeping track when I need to get more.
We have little drawers under our cabinets where I store tea bags, packaged sweetners,, etc. I got the little square boxes to put the packaged sweetner in to keep them better organized. Also put samples of flavorings or special salts in these. The containers I get @ 2nd hand store or United Grocers.