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Although we’re always decluttering, there are some gadgets that can truly help organize your home, especially in the kitchen. I thought I’d share a few that I’ve used or am watching. There are affiliate links in this post, so you can click through and know where to get these great gadgets.
Yes, a Lazy-Suzan is old news, but today’s new homes have huge pantries, and so they need bigger gadgets. This one is a whole 18” diameter- HUGE- and works perfectly in the corner of a pantry. It’s just recently available in the Container Store, and it’s pretty fun to take for a spin. That’s three boxes of coffee on that baby, by the way. No problem getting to your favorite java here.
Modern moms love their java. But once you have your coffee maker of choice, you need to store those silly pods. For function, I prefer bamboo drawers under a coffee maker, but how cute is this little gal to organize coffee pods?
I’ve kicked the coffee habit, and I am looking forward to owning this someday. Do you know how much air people store in half-empty tea boxes? This puts tea bags within reach, easily organized. Trust me, I don’t bring many things into my home, but I want this one. Or maybe I’ll DIY it some day soon,
Want to get in someone’s drawers? Probably not, if they lean towards clutter. But OXO’s Adjustable Drawer Organizer gets you organized in a snap, literally. The side slides out to fit your drawer’s width, but the dividers pop in and out to adjust to your perfect placement. I LOVE this item so much, I put two OXO Adjustable Drawer Organizer in my own kitchen.
Another kitchen item I can’t live without are pull-out shelves (also called roll out shelves). With just 4 screws, I can give any kitchen cabinet a serious upgrade. Seriously, they take about 10 minutes to install. I order them custom-sized to client’s cabinets, so we don’t waste any space.
Here’s a low-budget upgrade From Help My Shelf that solves so many problems for homeowners who just aren’t that handy. Cover wire shelves with this plastic mat and front bib, and add function and a clean look to your pantry in minutes.
Last but not least, kitchens are family and communication hubs, and where the people gather, so do their gadgets and cords. G.U.S. always has great products, and I love this Zen Portable Tech Station, because it keeps all the gadget cords hidden with an internal power strip, so just one cord gets plugged in on the counter. And when company comes, just grab the handle and clear the counters. Very smart!
Many of these also make great gifts. Something to think about as we head towards Easter and the May/June holidays.
Do you love or have any of these kitchen organizing gadgets? I’d love to hear.
We got a lot done on our latest snow day, including organizing the craft cabinet. My two young girls like to craft, and I love to make it easy to get and put away their supplies. Let me give you a tour, and hopefully some organizing inspiration, too.
We first organized this craft cabinet in earnest about a year ago, when it looked like this.
Triangle cabinets are the worst! It’s hard to figure out how to use the space, especially when we have every kind of shape stuffed in here. Square boxes, round cans, boxes and bags, and oddly shaped glue bottles.
I repurposed as much as possible. A cookie tin covered in washi tape holds the pipe cleaner stash.
Cardboard magazine files hold some paper supplies, and little pails hold paintbrushes and water colors.
A baby food jar holds our eyeballs.
What? How do you organize your eyeballs???
A paper sorter that came from my office holds paper, fabric and notepads. Lunch meat tubs hold just about everything else, labelled nicely.
It took just a few minutes to refresh the organizing systems that we had put in place. Leftovers from craft kits were taking up a lot of room, so we throw leftovers into our little “Parts” suitcase for later. We’re not always headed outside when the kids say/sing, “Do you want to build a snowman?” (Now you’ll be humming that all day, sorry.)
Mostly our systems have held up pretty well, and the girls know where to get something when they need it, especially the all important purple pencil sharpener, front and center!
Never, ever lose your scissors with this little trick. Use 3M Command strips on the inside of the cabinet doors, and hang one pair for each kid.
We didn’t buy anyhing to organize this craft cabinet, but if you are on a deadline, you might want to see what we did to organize some other craft cabinets and, the inevitable result, how to store craft projects they make.
My kids can follow the plan, as long as someone else sets up systems to stay organized. Thanks to labels and habits, they know where it all goes, and they’re pretty good about getting it all back there. Yes, there is some organizing maintenance required, but reorganizing the craft cabinet once a year feels just about right.
Did you like any of these craft cabinet organizing ideas?
What is your favorite repurposed item in your craft cabinet?
If you are lucky enough to have a mudroom, aka the catch-all space in the house, it’s usually the first and last room that you see every day. Instead of having it trashed most of the time, let’s organize and make it work for you with these tips. You probably already have most of these simple tools to organize already in your home.
Here’s the before of the built-ins, the coat hooks, and the closet, which are all in the mudroom.
The organizing had to be done all at once, so we could see what we really had. It’s the same 5-step SPACE process we go through on every organizing project.
One really big change you can see on the large picture above was that instead of having all the cookbooks on the second level of the bookshelf, we moved the less frequently used books up to the top shelf, which is not adjustable, but can be reached with the nearby stool. We also used the dreaded accordion folder to organize printouts of recipes, which can be a perfect use for these types of folders.
All of the adult coats that were taking up space on the hooks can now be hung in the closet. Before, the closet was too packed and coats were falling off of flimsy hangers, so it was a real struggle to even get the adult coats in there, and that’s why they ended up on the hooks. We swapped out the flimsy wire hangers for sturdy plastic ones, but plan to upgrade to wooden hangers before long. So now the little people can keep their coats and bags off the floor and on the hooks.
Did you notice the closet floor and the bottom cabinet? Both had been overrun with re-usable shopping bags, many of which were donated during our purge. What’s left of the bags we are keeping are gathered together in the yellow tote you see on the bottom right.
The real brains of the system is in the bookcase. We stashed all of the home improvement projects and returns in the To Do basket on the left.
The To Go basket on the right holds things needed when coming or going, like the lint brush, compact umbrella, and sunglasses. A change jar sits nearby.
We pulled the clementine box right off the kitchen counter and stashed sunscreen and lotion in there, close enough to grab, but not neatly disguised.
Not everyone has the luxury of space in a separate room, but even if your “mudroom” is only the last few feet of the kitchen counter, it’s wise to give every little piece of real estate a job and a label so everyone at home can help you keep it organized.
The simple tools we used here were:
- Fabric bins
- Cardboard magazine files
- A clementine box
- An accordion folder
- Card stock + Sharpie to label the bins
- Sturdy plastic coat hangers
- Woven baskets for the top shelf of the closet
- A fabric shopping bag to contain the other fabric shopping bags
Do you like any of these ideas for your mudroom organizing project?
If you are staging your home to sell this spring, or if you just wish you could start over with fresh decor, here’s a tip for your bookshelves. Remove the paper jackets from your books. It simplifies the color scheme and makes your whole collection look richer and pulled together.
Can you see how that one little tip instantly improves the look. We would move these books around by height and color to make them even more visually appealing.
You can either store your book jackets and put them back on in your new home. But you might love the look and decide to use it going forward, as well.