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organising my kitchen- help! (quite long)

(19 Posts)
tallulah Tue 08-Apr-03 18:17:32

This may sound odd, but I've just joined flybaby & I'm trying to get my house straight. We've got a fitted kitchen where most of the space is wasted- boiler etc & I'm fed up with having nowhere to put anything. Can someone give me any idea what things should go where to give us more space.

There are 2.5 wall cupboards with cakes/biscuits in one, medicines & spreads in the 1/2 & tea, coffee, cke making stuff, gravy etc in the other.

We have 1.5 floor cupboards; 1 has tinned food & pasta, flour & sugar, & the 1/2 has baking tins. (The oven is fitted, only small, with a huge wasted space under, behind the fitting stuff- I used to store the tins in the oven drawer in our last house)

We have a central divider with 2 cupboards under with doors each side. 1 has the plates & bowls; the other has the stuff that won't fit anywhere else- mixing bowls, casserole dishes, breakfast cereal, fizzy drinks & general crap. It goes into a corner so you can only reach the far side from the "dining" side.

The cupboard under the sink is full of junk- bleach (youngest now 11!), shoe cleaner, washing powder, cleaning stuff etc. I need to pull it out & go through it. Is it safe to store baking trays & saucepans in there instead? (I'm not sure about the water pipes- all the plumbing goes through the cupboard, including dishwasher & washing machine).

At the moment my biggest pans & the baking trays live permanently on top of the cooker. I hate the mess!!!

Any ideas gratefully received. Sorry to sound so pathetic!

crystaltips Tue 08-Apr-03 18:25:20

Do you have any space elsewhere - another room or ontop of the kitchen cupboards?
How often do you make casseroles or bake ?
Put all the not often used stuff in the more hard to reach cupboards.
Also remember that your kids need to get at stuff. I changed all my cupboards around and then realised that DD could not reach the cereal ( found this out early one Saturday morning !! )

Hilary Tue 08-Apr-03 18:51:29

Two houses ago, we had a tiny kitchen with no eye-level cupboards at all, only low ones. It was a nightmare for storage but near the kitchen was the under-the-stairs cupboard so we bought a cheap shelving unit from Ikea and put all our pots and pans and oven dishes on there. It also had a box on it with flour, sugar, raisins etc in it. It wasn't ideal but it did free up the kitchen cupboards for other stuff. Is there anywhere where you could do something similar?

Soxwasher Tue 08-Apr-03 19:05:12

we have an old fashioned laundry rack on the ceiling with butchers hooks (s-shaped) on it and we hang all the saucepans, seives etc from there along with a string of garlic - it is over the sink - it is much admired and looks great and I only have to put the lids away. (actually ikea sell great little racks for lids which attach to the inside of a cupboard door and take up no space.)

tallulah Tue 08-Apr-03 20:27:41

Unfortunately there is nowhere else nearby for the kitchen stuff to spill into. I think the other people in our row use the integral garage for extra storage but we had to convert ours into a bedroom! (so we also have the bin taking up space..)

janh Tue 08-Apr-03 20:45:53

tallulah, have you any spare wall/floor space at all? It's hard to know what to suggest otherwise...

I think IKEA kitchens can have drawers that slide under the cabinets instead of just having a kickboard - it's just wasted space otherwise - might that be a possibility? (Our oven housing has a very shallow drawer under for flat baking trays etc but none of the others do.)

How high is your ceiling? Is soxwasher's idea any use?

Racks inside cupboard doors can be useful if the shelves are recessed a bit. Or you can fix stick-on hooks inside the doors to hang things on. Or, again from IKEA, you can get those rails that fix on the wall between the top and base cupboards to hang things on.

Can you expand into the "dining" side with shelves for decorative plates/bowls/glasses?

Alternatively, is there space outside for a rear porch extension that you could put a big cupboard in?

Meanmum Tue 08-Apr-03 20:53:31

If you think about it cupboards take up loads of space and are not very practical. I think we have them because we always have not because they are sensible.

I saw a fantastic kitchen recently which had nearly all draws and the kitchen plates etc were all in draws. If I look at my cupboards the distance between the top of my glasses and the next shelf up is wasted space. Can you reorganise your cupboards with lots of small stuff in one and so on and then maybe get a couple more shelves into them?

I think you have already had the suggestion of taking out those things you don't use often and putting them somewhere else. Do you have space in any other cupboards (or even under beds in a basket or something) where you could store some things. I'm assuming you don't use your cake tins or casserole dishes all the time.

How about storing the tins on top of your oven in your oven. They are at least out of site that way. Another idea is to use your dishwasher as a cupboard. Not very practical really but you could use the bottom shelf for clean and the top for dirty and stack your plates and cups in here which gives you more cupboard space. I know people who do that but I haven't mastered it at all.

WideWebWitch Tue 08-Apr-03 21:29:57

tallulah, could some of the baking trays live inside the oven? I know you'd have to take them out when you were cooking but it would at least only be temporary then. What about a free standing vegetable rack? Have you got floor space for one? It could store pasta, dried stuff etc to free up some cupboard space. Could medicines go in the bathroom, ditto cleaning stuff?
Listen to me, sitting here surrounded by cr*p...

Rhiannon Tue 08-Apr-03 21:54:16

If it's any help I've got loads of space and the biggest mess! Everything sits on the sides, if I put it away I can't remember where it is but if I leave it out I can't find it anyway because it's all piled up!

Linnet Tue 08-Apr-03 21:58:41

Hi Tallulah, from a fellow flybaby. I'd think that once you've cleaned out under the sink it would be safe to put baking trays there, maybe you could relocate the bleach and bathroom products to a cupboard in the bathroom and keep the kitchen things to one side away from the baking trays? We also keep all our medicines in an old ice cream tub in the bathroom cupboard. We've always done this as it has a high shelf that dd can't reach.
We also used to have a full length pulley or edwardian drier, whatever you want to call it. We hung all our pots and pans from that with S hooks, it was great. But once they put in the new kitchen in january they gave us an extra cupboard and it had to come down. I was really annoyed as now I have a cupboard full of pots and pans again. You can get nice metal square ones, from Argos I think it was, for that purpose, we keep meaning to get a new one.
You could always hide the baking trays and pots inside the oven when your not using it, just remember to take them out before pre-heating the oven, speaking from experience here, (blush) that was a long time ago in my very first flat, soon learnt my lesson fast, wondering what that funny smell was

woozle Tue 08-Apr-03 22:39:52

Hi Tallulah,

I too am a flybaby (joined following mumsnet recommendation). The kitchen is of course our current zone.

I think you have got to be ruthless about decluttering and follow some of flylady's suggestions on this. e.g.haev I used this in the last year, do I have another one that is better etc.

I think the suggestion about the edwardian dryer/sheila maid (i've heard if called) is a really good idea.

I'm sure its fine to store pots/pans under the sink - what's the worst that could happen

To add one idea of my own re sorting out what you use from what you don't use. My mum had a new kitchen fitted recently. She took everything out and only put things back as and when she needed them and was surprised how little was actually needed.

I assume you've gone through out of date packets/products etc and generally decluttered here?

Remember the baby steps and don't try to do everything at once! Good luck- I am so proud of you as flylady would say!

Crunchie Wed 09-Apr-03 09:38:53

I have just had a new kitchen fitted and I asked them not to permenantly attach the kick board under the cupboards. I can't tel you how much space this have freed up. I have huge amounts of cake tins etc, and these are all stored here, so is food that I want to hide temporarily (ie for a party). I am very lucky however we also have kitchen cupboards in a utility room at the back of our garage, so spare, bulky pots and pans, posh 'crystal', big jugs etc, all those things that are useful, but take up room, are stored there. I still have a cluttery kitchen, but it is better. Is there any way of looking at using teh kickboard space?

vkr Wed 09-Apr-03 09:49:42

Quick hi-jack please

Just joined mumsnet - what is flybaby ?

Meid Wed 09-Apr-03 09:52:40

We have a tiny kitchen too. We did three things: decided what items we don't really need to use and packed them up in the loft for when we have a bigger house; secondly, baking trays go in the oven (as already suggested); and thirdly, we got some small whicker baskets (I think from Ikea) to sit on top of the higher units with odds and ends in. I need to get a stall to get to them but it looks a lot neater to have baskets than junk lying around. Also, all the cleaning stuff is kept under the sink but in a plastic basket so I can just pull it out rather than having to go through it all to find just one item.
HTH

vkr Wed 09-Apr-03 10:06:50

I too have a small kitchen - here are some of my tricks

Similar to the kick boards idea - our cupboards have a high cornice around and so I hide infrequently used items (fish poacher) up there.

Top of fridge freezers house the microwave, kettle, sterilizer (probably no longer necessary at 11 !) and vegetable box.

Cupboards have jars/tins/packets in plastic boxes so all space can be used and items easily accessible.

Having said all that, items (such as bowls/cake tins/woks) are stacked so high that there is only one way that they all fit and getting dh to empyt the dishwasher and put away means that not everything finds it's home.

ks Wed 09-Apr-03 10:19:08

Message withdrawn

ks Wed 09-Apr-03 10:19:56

Message withdrawn

tallulah Wed 09-Apr-03 19:36:54

Thank you all for your suggestions- I shall make a start this weekend.

DebL Fri 11-Apr-03 00:26:01

I think I need to be a flybaby. My whole house is clutter central, and I am supposed to be a neat and tidy Virgo................

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