Monday, January 17, 2011

Does Anyone Else Have This Problem??

I spend time seriously de-cluttering, which is easy when it comes to most of the areas of my house...if I haven't used it in a long time and so on, off it goes to a better home.

But what do you do in the kitchen? I need counterspace and I don't particularly like clutter. My modest pantry is full of some bulk and overflow...but as much as I try to keep unnecessary gadgets from even making it into our house (and believe it or not, I'm NOT a kitchen gadget junkie) I can't seem to find a place to put the things that keep ending up on my kitchen counters.

Does anyone else have this problem? I have a cabinet full of spices, but I keep the ones I use the most right at hand, because if I don't I simply forget to use them. And we use the toaster oven as a substitute for heating the entire oven, quite frequently...it stays out. And the juicer, yep...it was just given to us as a gift and it will be put to use ASAP. The potatoes and onions...aren't languishing in the pantry because there is no room!

Same with meds and supplements...Jack has a few, I have mine, we've tried finding a way to put them where they're logical to take at the right time...and not hidden too well, or we'll neglect them. But who wants to look at them? Not I...and yet...

I corrall "like" things together...spices overflow to this area where I have some different dried beans and seeds, etc. This is as high as they'll stack without falling over or being hard to reach...

...and more spices...



...and yet more stash...

I've even gone through each of these to see what could go...and plenty did...but still, I have a veritable Rubix Cube stack of herb teas that I do use.

...the back of the stove isn't even safe...

For space-challenged kitchens...what do YOU do?? The rest of my cabinets are at capacity with the basics, and all drawer contents have been consolidated and organized.

Whaddaya do with these sorts of things?

We're thinking down the road to an even smaller (much!) house and wonder what in the world we should do about foodstuffs, spices, tools...etc, especially when it comes to counter space.

Homesteaders...help! :) Any suggestions are welcome!

9 comments:

Donna said...

Indeed I do share this problem; after all, I live in a trailer house and the kitchen is small. I don't have as much stuff crowded in as you do, but it's getting there.

Wendy said...

Ahh! The bane of my existence ... my too small kitchen ;). I feel your pain. In fact, right now, I'm participating in this prepping challenge, and the first challenge is to "organize." Eee!

I only have one tiny counter in my kitchen, and I simply can not keep stuff stacked on it. A lot of stuff that should go in the kitchen spills over into other rooms.

Like, I keep cold storage produce in my bedroom, because it's cooler there and it preserves better.

My daughter's room, which is just off the kitchen, has a wire shelf that's been designated at the "gadget" shelf, where I keep things like the stock pots and my canning stuff, for which there is absolutely no room in my kitchen.

I buy flour in 25 lbs increments, and it's put into a 5 gal bucket that just sits off to the side on the floor in the kitchen.

I also put things on different levels. Like, I have a tiered spice rack in my spice cabinet, and it helps me to see everything.

Good luck getting organized! I know it pays to get and stay organized, but it's just so much ... work ;).

jj said...

I'm not going to be much help, I'm afraid, because my kitchen stuff has spilled over into the pantry, the basement, the living room...

However, for spices, I found it much easier to just buy a spice rack and similar-sized jars (we got ours at IKEA, and I had to get two racks, but it was the only one I have ever found with reasonably large jars) and hung it on the wall near the stove. That freed up some cupboard space for us. We buy our spices in bags or in bulk, and whatever does not fit in the jar goes in a ziploc in the freezer until it is time to refill.

For the rest, we are moving to a place with a bigger kitchen and more pantry storage space :P

Melanie said...

All I can say is you're not alone :)

One Acre Homestead said...

I have a TV Armoire that we were no longer using that we added shelving to. This is my new pantry and it sits just outside my kitchen in the dining room. I love that all the doors close and no one can see all the stacks that are inside. I also keep my overflow canning stash in my closet.

Parker said...

Well, I don't have a problem yet as I currently live in a 1920s house that has the largest kitchen with the most storage I've ever seen. However! I'm also in the process of building a cabin (on a 2 axle trailer bed) to live in, starting hopefully this summer, and then for however many years it takes to move to my mountainside property and an underground home. My plan for the cabin is this: KITCHEN. And a little space for sleeping :) Perhaps when you move into your smaller home, you can remodel it to be mostly kitchen - sounds weird, but it's the only way I've figured out to make sustainable living work....
Good luck to you! :)

Robbyn said...

Donna, WEndy, JJ, Melanie, OneAcre, Parker...Hey guys (well, gals!) thanks for your feedback...so I'm not alone! It's interesting what Parker said in comments about designing the house to be mostly kitchen/storage and building the other things around that. I guess we'll have to look carefully at what we ACTUALLY use the most and accommodate it in any future plans if possible. It's funny, but simplicity ideally also has to allow for abundance :)

tina f. said...

We had a spare closet in our living room that was used as our pantry. This was where we stored our bulk items, canned goods, stuff we didn't use as frequently. One note that I'm sure you are probably aware of already, and I don't mean to stress you out any more, BUT... When you do get ready to sell your house you really have to take ALL the stuff off your countertops. I even took my coffee maker off! You may have to rent a storage unit during the time your home is for sale. Trust me, it makes a huge difference.
Good luck!

Robbyn said...

Tina, oh YEAH, believe me when it comes to the point we're ready to show the house, it'll be stripped down a LOT to make it more open and no clutter. NOt sure how close we are, but I'm GOOD at throwing things into boxes and getting them out when motivated to sell! Good advice :)