January 28, 2013

Organizing the Kitchen (part one)

After living in our house for nearly a year, I finally got myself in gear and tackled our kitchen “situation”. When you first move into a home, sometimes you find yourself just tossing things into cabinets, for the sake of getting it off the counter and out of sight. And then, when things are slowly unpacked and life goes back into routine, you sort through the cabinets and put things away where they actually function. Well, not us.

Nope, since last March I’ve been living in an unorganized kitchen of chaos. It was a good time, but we were more than ready to say goodbye to the 2012 kitchen and hello to fully functioning (and prettier!) kitchen in 2013. And really, who doesn’t get the organization itch at the start of a new year?

Today we’ll cover the kitchen drawers, and follow up with the cabinets and pantry later in the week. Now, let’s look back at this mess.

Don’t judge me.

BEFORE:

First up, our “junk drawer” on the left. I completely avoid this space at all costs. You’d literally have to commit a minimum of 10 minutes to find anything in there. And on the right – ziplocs, aluminum foil, cling wrap, random sponges (?), etc. Not so bad, but we rarely use any of these so we figured they’d be better suited in the pantry.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

I always find that the most effective way for me to go about organizing is to start with a clean slate. So, I started by emptying out all the drawers. It was a disaster, but it almost always gets worse before it can get better. Try to picture half the counters filled to the brim with the contents of the drawers and the kitchen island counter drowning in a sea of new products for organizing. I may have gone overboard. Although, for the record, every last product was used.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

Once the drawers were good and empty, I began the lining process. The insides of our Ikea drawers are super easy to wipe down and clean, so the liners I made were really more aesthetically driven. I ended up using a combination of peel and stick laminate and some leftover fabric from our kitchen window shade. I had attempted to use wrapping paper instead of fabric, but applying the laminate to it was just way too tedious. I wasn’t about to have a mental breakdown over some kitchen drawers. So, while the fabric wasn’t my first choice, I’m SO glad I landed on it. It’s gorgeous. And worst case scenario, if you have a major spill, the contact paper is adjustable. Just remove it temporarily, throw the fabric in the wash, and reapply it when clean.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

And what fun would pretty liners be if you can’t see them? Insert, clear drawer dividers. It’s the little things people. I first saw this idea from Jen over at IHeartOrganizing. Blew. My. Mind.

AFTER:

We kept the left drawer a “junk” drawer, but did some serious purging. For example, do the cat’s flea treatments really belong in the kitchen? Um, no. And after moving everything in the right drawer to the pantry, we opted to start a “tool” drawer. We find ourselves dipping into our tool collection on a daily basis, so it just made sense to keep a few smaller tools in a central location. Aka- Jess doesn’t want to put her shoes on to go into the garage for a screwdriver five times a week. #firstworldproblems

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

BEFORE:

Between the sink and the stove we keep extra sponges, dish towels, and an embarrassing mess of kitchen utensils.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

AFTER:

We replaced our plastic set of utensils (the first set we ever bought over six years ago) with a new collection of bamboo utensils, scored on One Kings Lane.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

BEFORE:

At the far right end of the kitchen, beside the stove, we have the weirdest collection of nonsense. A hoard of cooking sprays, oven mitts that needed replacement two years ago, extra mixer parts, and.. a stamp collection. It gets crazy up in here.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

AFTER:

I pared down the cooking spray, splurged on some new silicone over mitts, and moved our knives from the countertop to a knife tray in the drawer. Oh, and the stamps found a new home with the other art supplies. Genius.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

BEFORE:

Our silverware drawer, in the center of the island, mostly just got a facelift and few extra pieces.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

AFTER:

Prior to organizing the kitchen, the two drawers below this one actually housed all of the girls’ dinnerware – kid-safe bowls, plates, bottles, sippy cups, spoons/ forks for Zoey, and baby spoons for Lizzy. But with the new makeover, came a new purpose for those drawers (more on that in a sec), so their things found new homes.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

BEFORE:

The two aforementioned drawers below the silverware.

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com(top drawer)

Organized Kitchen Drawers | Cape27Blog.com

(bottom drawer)

AFTER:

We previously had a trash can on the side of the island, across from the refrigerator, but it was a nuisance. Which, considering that it was placed in the middle of a walkway, could have  been guessed. So, after taking some inspiration from Lindsay, we whipped up a new (and hidden) place for it.

Ikea Hack Trash Can | Cape27Blog.com

Ikea Hack Trash Can | Cape27Blog.com

We simply removed the bottom of the top drawer.

Ikea Hack Trash Can | Cape27Blog.com

And secured the two drawers to one another using the front doors. Any kind of scrap wood will do the job, but we had a leftover piece of filler wood from the cabinet toe-kick. Just be careful to use screws that are the appropriate length, so they don’t poke through the front of the cabinet door.

Ikea Hack Trash Can | Cape27Blog.com

The can itself fits perfectly sideways. The lip of the handles sits snugly on top the drawer sides, which keeps it from sliding around when opening and closing the drawer.

Ikea Hack Trash Can | Cape27Blog.com

There is still quite a bit of unused space behind the can. We’re playing around with the idea of adding a small shelf at the top to hold extra garbage bags. For now, they’re just sitting on the lower shelf.

Ikea Hack Trash Can | Cape27Blog.com

We’re about 75% finished with project “organize the kitchen”. Check back later this week to see how we’ve organized the cabinets and our progress made in the pantry!

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23 thoughts on “Organizing the Kitchen (part one)

  1. Gaby {lifeineight.com}

    HI Jessie, those drawers are looking great! This is probably a silly question, but I’ve been trying to understand how you put together the fabric and the contact paper. Sticky side on patterned side of fabric? If so, how did you attached this to the drawers?

    Thanks!
    Gaby X

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Not a silly question at all! We put the sticky side of the contact paper onto the pattered side of the fabric. It’s not actually secured to the drawers, we found that the weight of the drawer contents keeps everything in place. Plus, the liners are cut to fit the drawer pretty closely. If we ever do decide to secure them, I’m thinking a few strips of double-sided tape should do the trick! Hope that helps!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  2. Hillary

    You have done such good work so I hesitate to say this but I too once had a trash can in a cabinet below my silverware drawer. My experience was not good, the trash smell ended up filtering into the silverware drawer and stunk up all the items in it. We ended up reluctantly going back to the exterior trash because I wasn’t willing to empty my trash daily or create rules about what went into that particular trash can. Perhaps a simple cover for your trash can in the drawers could prevent this issue? All that being said, you have inspired me to go back through my drawers this evening, yours really do look great!

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Oh no! So sorry to hear that :( We already use a garbage disposal for any discarded food and we have an extra trash can in the adjacent laundry room for any super smelly things. Hopefully that’ll be enough to keep any unwanted scents under control. We didn’t have smell issues with our previous trash can, so here’s hoping that stays the same! Thanks for the heads up :)

      Jessie

      Reply
  3. Bethany

    Thanks for the great idea with the fabric and the contact paper!! I, too, have experienced the beginnings-of-a-mental-breakdown that come with trying to cover wrapping paper with clear contact paper. I ended up having to take my wrapping paper into Office Depot to be laminated because I just couldn’t deal with it. :) Your solution seems much more affordable and customizable!!

    Reply
  4. Jenn

    I love the idea of lining the drawers with fabric and clear contact paper! I never seem to find contact paper that I like enough to commit to, but fabric opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Did you line your upper cabinet shelves the same way?

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      We love the fabric too! We haven’t lined the upper cabinets with anything just yet, but may down the road. We’ll keep ya posted :)

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
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  7. mamasgotkids Andrea

    I love everything, especially the hidden trash. I might have to do that. We used to have the pull-out drawers in our old house (with soft close, so wonderful), I really miss that. It makes it so much easier to find things. Did you put the contact paper on the top or bottom of the fabric? I have two drawers that look exactly like your ‘before’ cooking utensil drawer! I think I need some plastic bins! stat!

    Reply
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  9. valerie

    I love the idea of the clear contact paper with the fabric. I have 30 year old cabinets that look so drab. I’m painting today and trying to figure out how to line them. Do you think the fabric/clear contact would work for cabinets too or would it not stay flat without something like the drawer organizers staying on top? Of course the food or plates and glasses will sit on it but i don’t want it moving around. What are your thoughts? I hate to stick something down because I’d like to use a pattern but don’t want to be stuck with the same pattern forever. Would love to know what you think. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      I’m thinking the fabric and contact paper would work on cabinets but you might need to secure it, rather than it just resting in the drawers like I did. Nothing a little double sided tape can’t fix. Hope that helps!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  10. Thirkellgirl

    I don’t know how I didn’t find your blog before, since I’ve been looking at every Ikea kitchen remodel I can find online, but I love it! We are about to do our 10X11 kitchen with Ikea Adel and I cannot WAIT. We have a kitchen built on site in the 1960s. It’s even better than you’re imagining, lol. Your undermounting of the sink is EXACTLY what I need. FANTASTIC tutorial. THANK you.

    Reply
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