Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday's Tackle: Creating a baking center

I have been less than thrilled with my kitchen lately. It is small but I believe there is adequate storage space for the things I need. My problem was that I don't think I was using the space in the best way. There was only a rhyme and reason to a few select shelves and the rest of the cupboards and shelves were a hodgepodge of whatever happened to land there. I sat down with my niece who is here helping me till mid December. We made a plan of some "little bites" we plan to do this week to help meet some goals and deadlines. Then after lunch we tackled one area of the kitchen. I removed everything from the "book"shelf behind my curtain and turned it into the baking corner. I know that I will be doing a lot of baking in the next 2 months and the equipment and ingredients were spread out all over the kitchen. We sorted through spices and decorating supplies, put some Tupperware containers to new use, gathered up muffin tins and cake pans from to and fro and it is all reunited in this new home. Things that did not relocate are the glass Pyrex baking dishes because they fit perfectly between the top of the microwave and the shelf above it, and because they are also used for casseroles or other cooking tasks. Likewise the cookie sheets will remain nestled on their sides in the small space to the side of the microwave. The mixing bowls will also probably stay where they are in the only cupboard with extra wide shelves and because they are also used for so much more than just baking.
I am happy with what has been accomplished so far. I am very motivated to attack another area tomorrow. Maybe I will create a beverage center or group all the sandwich/lunch/school-snack supplies together.
"Before" Shots

The corner in it's original disorderly state. The hole on the middle shelf is where I normally store the crockpot which was in use today. It is temporarily going to remain on my counter in the corner. Since I removed all the cannisters from the counter I think I have room to leave the crockpot there without feeling too crowded.

This cabinet is probably my least favorite thing about my kitchen. It is a corner cabinet with really deep shelves. The only one I can reach all the way into without standing on a chair is the bottom shelf. The door will only open halfway because it bumps into the hood/vent over the stove. (Definitely poor planning on somebody's part). Although I do not use the food coloring and cake/cookie decorating supplies I had stored on the higher shelves that often, I will be using them in the next 2 months and now they are much easier to get to. I also discovered several half-full bags of salt, baking soda, etc that had gotten pushed to the back and then I had purchased another one, not knowing I had some in there to refill the smaller containers that I use to hold these items for daily use.

The corner cabinet as it is now after relocating the baking supplies. Almost 2 full shelves now empty and waiting for something else to be stored there. Something used rarely and not too small so as not to get pushed to the back and lost there. Any ideas?????

The microwave shelf-unit still holds the Pyrex baking dishes and cookie sheets, but the cake pans, bread pans, muffin tins, and some other assorted baking things have moved out of their old home in the bottom shelves and over "behind the curtain". The shelves over by the microwave are some of the easiest to get to and I am feeling like I should use them for pots and pans, plastic pitchers or some other items that I use every day.
The "After" Shot:

Cannisters have been relocated to the comfortable middle shelf which should make it almost just as easy to grab flour while cooking as it will be to get to for baking. It's just not on the counter anymore. If I find I absolutely cannot live without having my flour right by the stove for dredging meat and thickening sauces, I may just keep a small tupperware of flour by the stove and maintain the large cannister in the new spot.
Let me know what you think of the new plan. And check out what others are tackling today over at 5 Minutes For Mom.


Mom D said...

looks good - maybe stuff you use periodically like bathroom things - tissue - kleenex, etc. - could go up there and Stephen could get them down when you need them. Keep up the good work.