Organising kitchen cabinets and drawers

16 November 2017
One of the things we did during the blog break was to continue on our quest to make things accessible and easy in our home. I'd been thinking about how I could rearrange my pots, pans and baking trays to have them at hand and easy to get at. They've been sitting in a corner blind cupboard next to the dishwasher for many years and many of them were shoved to the back well out of my reach. I didn't use those pots and trays and was surprised by a few of them when they saw the light of day again.

Like many of the readers here, I do a lot of cooking and baking and my equipment must be easy to reach in the storage space I have available.  The need for that will be greater in coming years. I don't want to give up baking just because I can't reach my trays and baking tins.
 


We always try to use what we have here and happened to have a set of metal drawers that I bought years ago at Howards.  I've been using it to store various types of clothing and colours waiting to be washed. Hanno fit it into the cupboard space and with minor tweaking, it fit - giving me four good sized drawers to fill with my pots and pans.

But I still had bakeware and frying pans to deal with. I cleaned out the lower large drawer under the stove and placed all the frying pans in there.  They're easy to get at as they're just under the stove. Perfect!  


Then the toughest group, the bakeware. They're all different sizes - bread pans, biscuit trays, cake pans of all shapes and sizes, pizza trays, wire racks, muffin trays, quiche and tart tins. I had these in a lower cupboard but few of them were the same shape or size so they were very difficult to store. Often when I needed something, the whole lot toppled over and I felt like throwing them out. So, simple solution, I went to Howards and bought two heavy metal racks like this, and they're working brilliantly on the top and bottom shelves. Now I can see everything I have in there and it's only my bread and loaf tins that are stacked on top of each other.

This system is so easy. I can see myself working with it well into the future.  All it cost was time and effort in cleaning out the drawers and cupboards, and about $30 for the racks. I'm very pleased that I made the effort to do it because already it's made the world of difference. Do you have spaces like this in your home that need reorganising? They usually take a couple of hours work but it's time well spent if you dive into it.

26 comments

  1. I desperately need to do a kitchen/laundry declutter, sort and rejig. I usually have most of January off work, so I'm hoping to use some of that time for a big sort out. In the meantime, I have been decluttering small areas of the house, giving some to charity, throwing some away, and selling some. I'm reclaiming so much space, it's very liberating!

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  2. Yes, bakeware which I have in a drawer under the island bench. Odd shapes and sizes so unable to stack neatly. Also have a thein cupboard next to the oven with two shelves. I have all our pizza trays, cooking racks, cookie sheets, large baking tray. The idea of having a rack would work there. I’ll keep my eyes open.
    The tray you need is always at the bottom too of course. Sometimes I’m that loud trying to pull something out everyone asks just what it is I’m doing in there.

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  3. I love your drawers, Rhonda.
    Recently I got rid of my broken dishwasher and placed a drawer unit there. It is so easier pulling out a drawer than reaching into a lower cupboard.

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  4. What a brilliant idea I have one of those cupboards that is in a blind corner and with my bad back I can't bend down to retrieve anything in it so I think I will put my pots in the cupboard as I don't have many and put my baking stuff into the drawer.

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  5. I love this so much! A few years ago, I set out to make my small apartment easier to navigate as I get on in years. Recently, I bought 2 plastic shoe boxes to store my canned goods and crackers etc that are housed on a high shelf. I never could get to anything in the back and now I just pull down the shoe box and can easily get to what is inside.

    I agree, getting older is all about making life easier and better!

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  6. I have a very similar set of drawers with my hand towels, paper and plastic wraps and potatoes in it. Would be excellent for pots and pans but nowhere to put another one. I already have a narrow cupboard for trays and boards. The kitchen is the next room I am going to "do" so who knows what might happen?

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  7. Looks great. I have a corner cupboard that is so difficult to navigate, very frustrating. Some excellent ideas for us all.

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  8. Thankyou Rhonda for giving me this excellent idea.
    I have been wondering how to use the space under the bench from my broken dishwasher too. I also have one of those basket drawer units from Howards & it has been in the space room doing nothing for a year.
    Now I know what its new use will be from today! lol
    I've just finished spring cleaning my pantry to bring everything forward to the front edge of the shelf for ease of access since my arms don't work very well now. To access shelves above head height I had to get the ladder which I was sick of doing. Now I have one row of pantry goods sitting along the front edge of each shelf along with several narrow baskets screwed to the inside of the doors to hold herbs & spices.
    Much easier now. :)
    Its all good!

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  9. Much to my partners disgust (he is a hoarder) I declutter and organize our home at the change of each season, cupboards,wardrobes and such. I also return things from where I take them and encourage my kids and partner to do the same. I have found over the years that it helps lighten my mood if my home is kept this way and I work more effectively. I sometimes wonder if other people feel mentally weighed down when there homes are disorganized and cluttered or am I just odd lol

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  10. That looks fantastic. My kitchen cupboards are pretty well organized. I need to redo my dresser drawers, though. I have too many hand knits. They are bulky, but I love them and use them.

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  11. what a brilliant idea!
    ohhh yeh, have lost many dishes to the far reaches of the netherlands at the back of the cupboards! lol but drawers sounds like a good solution.
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

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  12. Hi Rhonda,
    I love reading your blog. This is my big dilemma too. Actually my utensils drawer is the worst. Do you have any tips for organising that? It does make life so much easier if you can have deep drawers for pans, trays that you can just pull out.

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    Replies
    1. I have never found a solution that works long-term in the utensil drawer. I just throw all mine in, clean it out every 4 - 6 weeks and it stays reasonably tidy. I think the deep drawers are a must in a kitchen. I have 4 deep drawers containing my plates, bowls, mixing bowls, serving plates and now, frying pans.

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    2. I read a great tip for utensil drawers years ago..... Put everything into the drawer handle-first!! That way as soon as I open the drawer I can see the utensil that I need, be it the potato masher, a ladle, a wide wooden spoon or tongs! My drawer is fairly wide too so I've put a cutlery tray in there and short utensils (think ice cream scoop, melon baller etc) go in there so I can always find them. But it was the turning-utensils-around that made it magic!

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  13. Hello everyone. I'm helping Sunny choose her floors, tiles and cupboards this afternoon so I'll be back later to add to the discussions here.

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  14. Great idea those metal racks! I have a deep drawer under my oven for all my baking trays/tins etc but I'm forever hunting and scrabbling through it. Not very accessible and my husband (who often puts away the trays from the drainer) hates it! I'll definitely be looking into getting some of those. Ps So glad you are back blogging Rhonda!

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  15. I need to do my "plate" pantry and the cupboard with all the bake ware it. My kitchen is very small and poorly designed, so will have to do the best can with what room I've got. Cheers Lyndie

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  16. I have been doing exactly the same as you, for exactly the same reason. My baking tins are a problem I haven't managed to solve so I am going to look for some similar metal racks to see I can use my cupboard in a similar way. Many thanks for your idea.

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  17. Ive been trying to write comments on your blog for ages and couldn't quite workout how to do it. I am working through your Down to Earth book at the moment and loving every bit of it. I am a 38 year old mum with 2 little ones, trying to simplify my life, growing veggies, making my own bread, yogurt, ricotta and loving learning from your blog and books. Thank you for sharing al your recipes, tips and life on this blog. Clare

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  18. Oh Rhonda how I wish I could rearrange my kitchen cupboards, some are deep and low with hidden spaces . To get at many things I have to get down on the floor and stick my head in to reach. This is extremely difficult for me as I have arthritis in my knees and have lots of trouble getting up and down from floor level. How wonderful it would be if we were given the insight at a younger age to see what we would need as we lose mobility in old age, alas that does not often happen. Hope your kitchen continues to provide you with comfort and joy, Judi

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  19. We've been remodeling our entire kitchen for what seems like ages and one of the things we decided to put in were lots of large drawers for storage. I'm still uncertain where all my baking items will go, but we only have one cabinet done so far, so hopefully once all the doors and drawers are finished it will be clear. Before we started our project, I was pretty amazed at how many unused kitchen items I had been keeping. I did a final clean out and reduced down to the items I use the most and that seems to help. Soon my kitchen will be in order and I can turn to organizing the rest of the house. It seems to be a project that never ends.

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  20. I think we all have those hard to get to blind kitchen storage cupboards,
    You have done a great job of reorganizing your Rhonda.
    We too decided our new kitchen storage wasn't working and are in the midst of doing a rearrange as well, Wish me luck !.
    Cheers
    Jane.

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  21. I like the wire drawers idea. All I had ever thought of was the expensive units that can be added to base cabinets and I just cannot stand the thought of spending so much in them. I had mine well organised until my daughter cleaned out her home to move to Germany and I hauled home some of her pots. I do use them but my cabinet feels cluttered now. You have given me something to consider.

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  22. Love your blog Rhonda. Thanks for the great wire racks idea - never could figure out what to do with all the baking tins. I had a special drawer built for trays, but it's not big enough for the cupcake tins etc as well. This idea will work for me I think.

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  23. Great idea for the baking trays Rhonda...need to do something with mine...a declutter will probably help in the first instance!

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  24. I have the kitchen thatvcame with orgaizing stuff built into cabinets and drawers. I love what you have done.

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