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I love to cook and I love gadgets; therefore my kitchen drawers are overflowing with so many things that I can't find what I am looking for. For organizing your most used items, you must first take out all seasonal items and put those in plastic shoe boxes with lids and label them for holiday baking, summer fun, etc.
The Summer Fun box is for my kids Popsicle makers and snow cone making items. The Holiday Baking box is for all the cookie cutters, the turkey baster, etc. These boxes are for specialty items that you don't use regularly but need to come out seasonally. These are things that you don't want to get rid of.
The next step is to take the rest of the gadget drawer and empty it into a box. This box remains on the counter for one month. Every time you use something out of the box, wash it, and then put it back into the drawer. After one month, anything left in the box gets donated or sold in a garage sale. The things that are in the gadget drawer after the month are the things that you use most regularly. The others you can live without.
By KimberDnTX from Corinth, TX
By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario
Now, everything is ready and in one spot. I find that with my cups near by, my bread and toaster within 2 feet I can literally have a nice quick breakfast without having to walk all over the kitchen.
If this helps someone with limited space and a problem with mobility, then I am happy to share.
By Sandi from Salem, OR
This isn't a new hint or even one I thought up myself but it's helped me many times over the years and I think it could help others. When you finish a meal and get the table cleared, set it for the next meal. It really helps to get a head start on the evening meal when the table is ready to go.
In the kitchen do whatever you can to prepare for the next meal, especially breakfast. I set out the oatmeal bowls, pan for cooking, and juice glasses. I measure the water and oats and cover them for the night. When I'm still fuzzy headed in the morning it really helps to have this all done. It only takes a couple of minutes to do all this but it sure seems to cut down on the prep time for the next meal when you're tired.
By Glenn'smom from Elgin
Attach a plastic Walmart (or grocery) bag to the door of the oven. Just slide one side on door. Then put garbage or recycling in it while you're cooking in the kitchen. When I open can of food, dog food, etc., I just rinse the cans out and put it in my bag.
At the end of the day, I tie it up and throw it in a large garbage bag or empty it into a recycling can. It's always nearby when I need to throw something out.
My kitchen drawers were full of kitchen tools and hard to zoom in on what it was I needed without digging for it. I have fallen in love with the metal cup hooks I got from the hardware store, very inexpensive, very useful.
Use a clipboard for storing place mats. It will hold several and if you mount it to the wall, it could be a decorative item.
I am about 4 ft. 12 in. tall, so in other words, I am pretty short. Standard cupboard shelves present a real problem for me. Then I thought "why do I have to use them for things I use everyday?"
To make good use of a kitchen countertop that has no cupboard above it, place a 2-3 shelf bookcase on top of it and use it as a hutch. You can paint one that you already have around the house to match your decor, or buy one very inexpensively at Target.
To organize cookie sheets and other flat kitchen items, use spring tension curtain rods in the cabinet. Insert them vertically and place the items in between.
Now is the time to buy those neat little locker caddies they sell for use at school! I got some and I love them to use on my refrigerator! Things that tend to get lost in my junk drawer find their new home very comfy!
Make an area in your kitchen for important information. We have a phone in our kitchen and under it I have our billing center. I have an in and out box for mail and beside it is a place for envelopes, stamps and pens.
I always hang an empty plastic grocery bag on the top cabinet drawer handle below the sink, which is next to the stove. That way, as I empty packages or cans of food, I put the empty containers into it.
When I buy a box of garbage bags, I put the whole roll or box of bags in the bottom of my garbage can. Then each time the garbage needs to be emptied, the bags are right there and no need for anyone to go looking for a clean bag!
When cooking, making sandwiches, etc, my boyfriend and I had different tastes. I always put "his" dish, sandwich, brown bag lunch, etc, on the left side of the counter, table, or fridge, and "mine" on the right.
A neat and easy way to store placemats is to lift up your chair and sofa cushions and put them under the cushions. This will keep them flat and out of the way thus freeing up valuable storage space. By Carole