Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | January 17, 2014

Getting the Kitchen Organized-Tweak 3

We all know that a well-organized kitchen is inviting. And adequate storage is necessary to keeping a kitchen organized and functioning. In the winter months my thoughts naturally turn to getting things in order. My kitchen definitely needs some help and I’ve been doing this in stages; first the countertops, then the pantry, the counter stools and now the cabinet above the refridgerator.

Litchen overview best use no curtain

The view of our kitchen from my pantry wall. This is the view I see from my sink.

My kitchen is really decent in size;  14 ft.  long (including the pantry wall) by 13 ft. wide. The maple cupboard are in good shape, the island works well, and two years ago I replaced the old laminate counters with granite and extended the counter creating a bar. I added five matching thrift shop stools (only $12.95 each!) and have found this bar works especially well when we have company. I use it as a buffet to hold food and my grand daughter likes to sit and color there while I am cooking.

Appliance garage corner vertical good

The appliance garage in the corner hides our Cusinart, blender and toaster. You can see some of my blue, white and tan crock collection on top of the cabinets.

Yes, I would like to make more changes but in truth we have what we need and I have always been fairly happy with my kitchen. But with not enough dish cupboards and pan storage,the lack has definitely made this room underperforming space.

2014 TWEAK ONE: I replaced a vintage music cabinet that I was using to store recipes and cookbooks in with a vintage open shelving unit that works so much better. Details here:…fore-and-after/

Corner all entire

The new-to-me cabinet in the corner holds my cookbooks and some of my brown crocks. My pantry is to the left and our open dining and living room is to the right.

2014 TWEAK TWO: I changed out my old, too tall studio stools for counter stools. Details here:…counter-stools/

Horizontal kitchen overview use

The north east view of our kitchen from the living room shows our thrifted Chippendale style stools.

My maple cupboard are fine but I only have one cupboard for all my dishes and glasseware and just two cupboards for all my pans, cookie sheets, trivets etc. It’s been really tight. Then one day I realized I had a “wasted space area” above my fridge or is it like some bloggers say, an “opportunity!” Once I realized that a cupboard could be added in that space – as wide and as deep as my fridge – I knew I was onto something.

I ordered a new cabinet for over the fridge to hold my cookie sheets, cutting boards and cooling racks. This will help to organize these items while making room to reorganize my heavy pans and baking dishes that are currently all jammed into the few remaining cupboards.


One style of vertical storage for cutting boards and other tall and thin items.

I looked for years for a vintage or antique cupboard thinking it would be more affordable as well as add interest. But when I seriously thought it through I realized what I really need is a cupboard that allows me to slide in those cookie sheets and other thin items in and out.


A second style of vertical cookie sheet cupboard storage.

This will also free up an entire large size cupboard where the sheets are being store for other pan distribution. I can take all those pans out that currently takes up my only other available cupboard and divide them between the two. This will really help to organize my pans as well as save the current pan cupboard from being broken, which is it on its way to becoming as I have too much weight on the lazy Susan.

Cupboard long shot

My kitchen maple cupboards before the new above fridge cupboard addition.

I feel lucky that even though this kitchen was remodeled by the previous owners 20 years ago, I was able to get the same cabinet front profile. The maple stain on the new cabinet might be oh so slightly off in color but I’ve decided that “perfect” is not that important. This new cupboard is separated physically from the others as it will be hung over our fridge and overall this change is about being practical and useful.

Stove wall horizontal best

This wall holds our appliances. You can see the bare wall about the refridgerator.

It will be 4 to 6 weeks before this new cupboard is installed. Then it will be time for a MAJOR pan cupboard reorganization and photographs of the completed project.

This is a good winter project for me! Here’s to better organization in the new year!

Small House / Big Sky Donna


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