Organizing -- A 14 Week Plan!

Hey everyone!  Just reading the title of this post, I'm sure many of you are doing the old "eye roll," right?  Sorry, but the "OCD Organizing Elf" is at it again!  If you have followed my blog for very long, you know that I love to organize "stuff," I truly do.   I probably could have made a career of this, but too late now, I'm retired from the work-force.  What I enjoy equally as much, is seeing how others organize their homes; so when my friend Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons put together this 14 Week Home Organization Program," I had to join in.  Toni is probably one of the most organized people I've ever known, & she has such good ideas.  Truly, you should go visit and see her brand new home, too.

I won't be participating in every challenge, but only in the ones that are pertinent to our home.  Since we just finished our kitchen redo (you can see that HERE), it seemed like the perfect time to tweak a few cupboards & have my kitchen well organized as we roll into the holiday season.

This is just an over-view of how our kitchen is laid out.
As you can see, it's a fairly large kitchen with quite a few cabinets, plus a nice desk/buffet and pantry.

Let's start with my coffee station.  Am I the only one on the planet without a Keurig?

I found the glass containers at World Market, & I plan to add some kind of knob on top.  
One holds my tea & the other holds coffee.

The first shelf of the glass-front cupboard is where I keep my Fiesta mugs, some espresso cups & my
Emusa Espresso pot.  This area is just to the left of the sink.

A dish soap dispenser is built into the sink, but I like having a great smelling hand soap
and a good lotion near by. 

The first drawer to the right of the sink is perfect for dishcloths, some bar towels, a few older dish towels,
a couple of sponges & some disposable gloves (I glove up for all messy jobs!).  I keep my nicer & more
seasonal dishtowels in the hall linen cupboard.

Just below this drawer is our recycling center.  Our community makes it very simple to recycle, no big
sorting issues.  Each week there is a general trash pickup & all recyclables pickup, so this 2-bin
pullout system is perfect.

This cabinet to the right of the sink is where I keep our every day dishes & glasses.  Our ceilings are 10', so
our cabinets are extra tall.  I'm not....lol, so I try to keep my most-often used items on the first two shelves.
All other shelves require my step-stool.

Yes, I love Fiesta Ware & like having them in groups of colors that make for pretty table settings.


On the counter, just to the right of the sink area is where we have our smoothie machine.  

Since we have a smoothie for breakfast almost every day, this work-horse has earned a permanent place
on the counter.

The canisters hold our favorite protein powders & The Man's ice tea bags.

This drawer is just below the smoothie area & holds some measures, scoops, juicers, various size
funnels, etc.

Just below that drawer is this "dead zone" cabinet!  You know, one of those that requires
putting on a hardhat & a miner's lamp to find things!  I don't like this cabinet, but it does have 
some great storage.  I only keep a few things back in the depths -- the turkey roaster, a humungus stockpot, 
huge mixing bowl (for when I make homemade cinnamon rolls for all my neighbors at Christmas), 
& 2 large coffee dispensers.  Didn't know there was that much room in there, did you?  Collanders,
wire strainers, beverage pitchers & my mandolin are kept front & center.

Moving clockwise around the kitchen..... 

This cupboard is multi-functional because of its location.  I don't like having my toaster out 
on the counter, so this is a good spot for it with a small container that keeps
 the bread within easy reach.  This is also handy for other ingredients that we add to our
smoothies, as well as rice, quinoa & other grains & dried goods.  The 3rd shelf up is a good
spot for molds & the coffee grinder that I use more for spices & such than coffee.  The top
shelf is empty.  I added a cork square to the inside of the cabinet door to hold a recipe while I cook.

I know these aren't very popular anymore, but I really like my herb spinner & use it
every day.  I keep it tucked back in the corner away from the stove-top & the under-cabinet
lighting.  They stay fresher that way.

Next to that & just to the left of the stove-top is a large ceramic pot that holds my most often used utensils.
This is also where I have a pretty pot of olive oil, a garlic keeper & a cute dish of sea salt.  The cutting board 
is here because most of my cooking and prepping go on in this spot.

The door on this cabinet is usually open while I'm cooking, because this is
my "savory" collection -- oils, vinegars, special seasonings, etc.

                                                       I used a tiered organizer so I can see things more easily.

                                                       Here I used a lazy susan for my specialty oils & vinegars.

Some things I like to buy in large containers, like taco seasoning -- yum!
The top shelf is where I keep my collection of jars.  For those who might be thinking
that "purging" would be a good idea, I use and re-use these jars all the time -- I'm keeping these!

There are 2 drawers in this prep area.  This one holds my grater, garlic press, pizza cutter, etc.

This one hold my knives, meat thermometer, my pod can opener, etc.

This is the lower cupboard in my prep area.  Here I keep my saucepans, Dutch oven,
& my Cuisinart -- age 25+ & still working!

The cabinet above the microwave is empty -- it's just an obnoxious space to use!

The cabinet below the stovetop is where I keep skillets and extra cutting boards & mats.
I'm using one of those lid racks to hold the smaller skillets -- works great!

This is my baking center.  It's perfect for almost anything I do, but if I do need more
space, I have my large island right across from the baking center.

This upper cabinet holds everything I use on a daily basis as far as baking is concerned.  Sometimes I keep my stainless canisters on the counter, but for now I'm liking them up here.

This tiered space-saver is an expanding one that I found at Target & it covers almost the full width of this cabinet.  There is just enough room on the side for my Vermont Maple Syrup bottle that is now filled with my homemade vanilla.
I like the little glass spice jars from IKEA for all my spices & need 2 more sets.
On the left side I keep my glass measuring cups & prep bowls.  I also have a cork square on both doors for recipes & notes about baking that I might need at the ready.  The round containers with red lids hold baking powder, soda, & cornstarch.

The 3rd shelf up holds some candied fruits (you can never get too early a start on the holiday baking -- ha!), small bottles of homemade vanilla all ready to give as gifts, & a container with my assortment of cupcake liners & sprinkles.  The very top shelf is empty.

Here is a closeup of my cork square.  

There are 2 drawers -- one holds my rolling pin & mat, my cookie spatulas, & cake decorating tools.

This drawer hold my measures, extra stirring spoons, whisks, etc.

The lower cabinet holds my mixing bowls, pie plates, & my Cuisinart Smart Stick which I use almost every day.

Over to the island......
This drawer houses wraps, storage bags, labeling pen, scissors, baggie clips & a few paper napkins. 

I've had the stainless utensils in several places here in the kitchen, but here in the island seems to be the best fit.

This island cabinet is about 4'x4' & is open all the way through to doors on the other side, so there is a ton of space.  I like to keep my crockpot & GF Grill down here, because I usually use them right on the island.

This side holds some serving dishes, casseroles & the larger glass baking dishes.

On the breakfast room side of the island is where I keep some special serving pieces, platters & 
large pitchers.

Bread baskets & some party servers are also in here.

Now, over to the oven and refrigerator side of the kitchen.
The reason this set is white & the rest of our appliances are stainless -- price!  Double ovens, with the upper also being a convection, are SUPER expensive & neither of these had hardly been used before we bought our home.  They don't even make the replacement skins for this particular set anymore, so.....they are staying.  Beside, I've never had double ovens before, and I love them. 

This large cabinet above the ovens is perfect for my cookie sheets, muffin pans, etc.  I have one of those wire divider
racks to keep things within my "short" reach.  The upper shelf is great for some of my larger items that I don't use every day.

The large drawer below the ovens holds some extra potholders, hot pads, bread pans, & some large baking pans & racks.

The cabinet between the ovens and the fridge serves several purposes.  The upper cabinet is where we keep all meds & vitamins.  We use a mail order system for our vitamins, so they come in large quantities -- that's why we have so many bottles of stuff. 

 On the inside of the door is where we keep a calendar & some notes about recycling.

The lower cabinet is for plastic storage and sippy cups for our younger Grands.  I keep all the lids for the storage containers in the yellow plastic basket.

The drawer here is quite large and took some effort to get a system going on in here.  I keep my coupon pocket here, and there are some note pads in the back.

This is a business card holder that I had used in my business before I retired.  It's now being used to contain cards for all those home, garden & medical services that we need to reference frequently.

I set up 2 of these pocketed folders with one being for HOA info and area service info & coupons.

The other is for all those restaurant menus & coupons that come in the mail almost daily.  We only keep the ones we
really like.

I love to decorate the top of the fridge, and that works out great because I don't have to store anything in the cabinet
above the fridge.

This is the perfect spot for my little step stool that I use multiple times during the day!

Now, over to the new desk-buffet that we just recently added to our kitchen.
We will probably use this quite often as a buffet, but I'm really having fun with all the 
extra space to decorate!

The Man is planning to build pull-out shelves, but that's not on his "priority list" right now!
He even asked if he could have one of the shelves for his portable drawing board & tools -- how could I refuse?

I had this wire basket and it makes for an easy holder for all my placemats and napkins.  I have a small
container sitting beside it that holds napkin rings.  On the shelf just below (see the previous photo) is
where I keep chargers.

The cabinet on this side is home to my cookbook collection.  Can you tell I love cookbook?

There was also a spot that was the perfect size to hold this basket where I keep
our small supply of paper plates, plastic cups & utensils.  I generally only use
plastic & paper if we are serving the Grands outside!

I hope you haven't had a "Photo Meltdown" at this point, but I thought I'd share just 
a couple more shots of different views of the kitchen without doors & drawers open -- heehee!

Thanks so much for taking this tour.  I hope I've inspired you in some small way.  We don't all have 
brand new kitchens, but even older models can come-to-life with some special
touches & organization.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and I do hope you will go visit some of the
other "organization" posts over at 


  1. Whew! Enjoyed it immensely. That is a lot of STUFF. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow, you have been very busy! I loved things organized and yours are amazing! I love your coffee station! I also love the way you have your items labeled! Thanks for sharing your ideas and lovely kitchen!

  3. Beautiful and functional--the perfect combination, in my opinion.

    Your Fiestaware is lovely. If it is vintage, you might want to know that old Fiestaware was made with uranium, making it radioactive. (I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but on the other hand, I would want to know if I was eating off of radioactive plates.)

  4. Goodness, CAS ... you're making us look bad! I'm sooo envious of your organized kitchen! You have a place for everything ... love it! You're inspired me to chedk out the challenge and get my Fall organizing groove on. Thank you!

  5. Holly Cow girl are you organized. Maybe you should rent yourself out to others. Love the ides of laying the large spices down and writing what they are on the lid. Great tip. Beautiful space and love all the bright colored dishes.

  6. I only THOUGHT I was organized until I saw yours! Wow! Everything is so neat and tidy in every cabinet and drawer. It helps that you have so many spaces to put everything. I don't have a pantry, so some of my cabinets house food. I would love to have a built-in trash can set-up like you have. I can't spare a cabinet to set that up though. Thanks for the tour! You shared some good ideas.

    1. Could you come help me? I am not the most organized person...My drawers and closets need some major help! I would rather decorate I guess...Glad you are enjoying the magazine! Kristen

  7. I love how organized you are! I try to be, but somedays, I get lazy. It really feels better to be in a tidy home though.
    Good idea to have a measurement/conversion chart on your cork square.

  8. Oops! I put my comment in the wrong place...sorry!

  9. Awesome post! I sure could learn from you! I love an organized home and i am always trying to keep up! Great inspiration!

  10. Everything is so organized! I was going to mention the little wire shelfs to use in your dish cabinets but then I saw lower down you had one. I use the little wire shelfs for my dishes so I won't have to stack so high and also won't to remove 20 plates to get the bottom few! Thanks for the tip about my candles and the visit! Next time I'm in town, I'll have to go by Michael's!


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