My 3 organizing rules
1. Every thing needs it’s own spot. 2. Try not to own more than one of something. 3. If you don’t use it (or like it), lose it.Organizing series
RefrigeratorFirst I like to clean out the fridge. Throw out food that has gone bad, empty leftover containers and evaluate the always-too-many condiment situation. I bought this set of bins from Amazon to organize the fridge and then used smaller dollar store bins for inside drawers. (If you ever see clear bins at the Dollar Tree, grab a bunch because they can be used everywhere!) I usually make the boys’ lunches for the week on Sunday and stack them in the fridge. Having a specific place for leftovers keeps them from getting left in the back and going to waste. I have a school lunch only drawer too. Because if I don’t my kids will eat all the school snacks in two days! It makes me nuts. I put these silver metal labels on with Glue dots. I used them in the medicine cabinet and pantry as well. It’s working great so far. I did try removing one because I know someone will ask me if they leave a mess. And it came off plastic with no problem. This refrigerator has a drawer, which is great because I tell the kids they can always grab a snack out of there and they can reach it. The dividers came with the fridge, but the three small bins and three-part bin to the left are from the Dollar Tree.
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Cabinets and drawersLet’s move on to the cabinets and drawers. Before I minimized our kitchen the first time, several years ago, our cabinets were overflowing with gadgets and various types of Tupperware. We couldn’t use half of them even if we wanted to because they were so buried. Over a few nights, I pulled everything out of the cabinets and put it in the middle of the floor. I threw out or gave away about a third of it and then organized the rest. I’m very careful about what I bring into the house now, so I don’t have to do major edits like that anymore, but I do mini-purges a couple times a year. When we moved in earlier this year, I took a little time to think about where it made the most sense to put things.
- Cups near the fridge.
- All the cups and mugs together.
- Silverware drawer by the dishwasher.
- Utensil drawer by the stove.
- Spice drawer by the stove.
- One cabinet with all kid things.
- Even a cabinet for hosting!
- chip clips
- paper bags
- plastic wrap
- condiment containers
- plastic silverware
- snacks for the school week
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Ok, moving on to the other side of the kitchen. Our only problem here is that we don’t have enough glasses. Haha! I was fully prepared to get rid of half of these glasses, but we actually had enough room to keep them all! So here they are, all billion of them. This cabinet is obviously not necessary, but if we have space and it make my wine-loving husband happy, why not?! The other side has all our mugs and cups. I try to keep them all white, clear and simple. I bought 12 mugs at the Dollar Tree so I could serve tea at women’s Bible studies. It looks like I only took one picture of the utensil drawer on the left, but that’s where we keep measuring cups, extra knives and kitchen gadgets. If it doesn’t fit in there, I get rid of it. These are plastic knives for kids. I don’t quite trust my six and seven year olds with knives yet, so these are a good compromise for us! They feel like big kids and I don’t worry as much about their little fingers. This spice organizer was the answer to our spice tray disaster we had at our last house. My kids continuously “organize” it for me, so there is no rhyme or reason to the order, but I’m just happy I can see them all at once! Here’s the utensil drawer beside the stove. I used drawer dividers to separate wooden spoons, metal utensils and barbecue utensils. The cabinets below this side hold cookware, pots and pans. This side doesn’t have much to show off. In fact, I think my in-laws took a few of my pans that should probably fit in here as well. But for the sake of honesty, here’s what it looks like! We don’t have a whole lot of pots and pans so it makes it easy to grab one and even allows space for the lids.
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PantryWe have a weird pantry situation going on. We have two smaller pantries behind both of these doors. I use the one right off the kitchen for snacks, breakfast and bread. The other pantry is more for ingredients, oils, pasta, stock piling and cans. They’re pretty hard to photograph because of the narrow spaces, but I actually like having two separate pantries. It helps me divide up organization and keeps the kids from getting into everything. They just get in the snack pantry. These black and white baskets are from Ross ($5) and the cereal containers are from Amazon. I like the way they look, but I actually got them because my kids keep leaving bags open which makes the food stale and the ants happy. I bought them for the easy pour opening on top. And of course more labels. This is the pantry that shares the laundry room space. Nothing too fancy here. Baking supplies are up top in dollar store bins and ingredients are in these canisters also from the dollar store.
Under the sinkI use two caddies to organize my cleaning supplies. The one on the right is actually a shower caddy. It’s smaller and has smaller slots for sponges, brushes and smaller bottles.
Minimalist kitchen checklistSimplifying our kitchen went something like this: Click image to download high-res checklist.
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8 thoughts on “Kitchen organization ideas and minimalist checklist”
Great post! We must be on the same wavelength because I’ve been looking up decluttering and minimalist tips and tricks a lot lately! I tried to go room by room and do a big clean-out this summer but I still look around and see that we have too much stuff! I can’t stand to see clutter, but we do a have a 22 month old in the house so I guess some of that is to be expected right now. Sigh…
I also just read your post on child sickness checklist and love all the suggestions. I do a lot of the same things. My son has been getting a croupy cough and congestion about once a month lately and a humidifier in his room is essential for him at night. For immune boosting, I give him black elderberry syrup and echinacea drops (both from Amazon).
Thanks again for your thoughtful and informative posts!
Hi Kristen! Isn’t it funny how all of a sudden you can decide your home is too cluttered and you can no longer stand it? Haha! Yes, must be on the same wavelength because I’m doing the same thing. I couldn’t wait to get all the baby stuff out too! How is there so much of it? How much does one little person need?! And thanks for the immune boosting suggestions. I think I’ll order them, I’ve got one with a cough and runny nose too! Thanks for taking a moment to leave me a comment. It makes my day. Don’t be a stranger :)
Great post Kate. I love your style and especially those clear bins. And all the glasses make me smile… I love em too.
Love this post!!
Thanks, Anne! Thanks for not making feel feel ridiculous with all those glasses! A minimalist with 50,000 glasses? Haha!
Thanks, Simone! xo
Hi Kate, de-cluttering must be in the air, I tackled my kitchen as well! How stuff can accumulate so rapidly is beyond my understanding. I said to myself, I am done shopping for the kitchen, believe it or not I have the same egg perspex containers, they have been one of the best buys ever, and they are stackable! I wanted to shop for a mat to keep bottles from rolling around, as we don’t drink too much of that I skipped that buy. Containers are grand, just watch we store, it can become a storage place for what we don’t need. The big advantage is everything is kept neat and tidy. Planning and discipline is the order of the day every day throughout the house. It feels great after a sort and clean out….
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