...Take a good hard look at how you're using your space in your biggest problem area. You might not need to buy anything to create more space if you just use the space you have in a better way.
Last week I cleaned my kitchen...really cleaned it...so much so that seriously this qualifies as a kitchen make-over, even though nothing new was installed, painted, nailed, etc. Our kitchen has never looked this good since the day we moved in.
I have never been an impeccable house keeper...and with three kids running around the house and a tiny kitchen...well it's not always pretty.
To our kitchen's credit though...for a tiny kitchen it really does have a lot of storage and is pretty well designed. Hubby's parents gave us a new mixer for Christmas, so I knew we had to make room for it...
...when our kitchen counters look like this...
Sadly, I didn't even take a "BEFORE" picture of the most transformed corner because I didn't intend on doing anything with it when I started rearranging things.
Something had to give...because I really wanted to use that mixer (which I've still be too scared to use...but I think I might go back some bread when I'm finished writing this post.)
So here's a little of what I did...
Remember that cute little can I made to hold the measuring spoons? Well, it didn't really hold them all very well, so Hubby took matters into his own hands and found another random can to be a second one. Which of course meant that we had two cans taking up space and had two places to look for a measuring spoon. I like having a lot of measuring spoons so I don't have to constantly rinse and dry them while I'm cooking...and I don't like them all hooked together with a ring because then you get them all dirty, even if you only use one.
So I decided to try this pretty little crystal dish. It is a wedding gift that has mostly gone unused, and it's the perfect size and shape...narrow at the bottom for the handles, and wider at the top for the spoons...
and just right to sit on our Little Red Shelf...
...which has been de-cluttered and cleaned a bit.
The main breakthrough for this kitchen clean-up was moving the dry goods containers. One of the first things I did when we were unpacking was line them up along the back of the counter, in front of our raised bar. We had a space behind and around our dish drainer that did nothing but collect junk. I figured if I moved the dry goods containers there...then we wouldn't be able to fill that space with junk...and since they're in sealed plastic containers if a little water drips on them now and then, it won't matter.
Of course the dry goods containers neatly lined up, made me want to do something prettier with those little corner shelves. They'd mostly held our vases...which mostly gather dust, and some other random objects that Hubby would put there from time to time to get them out of the way. I also thought it would be fun to add a few more touches of red...
...so I washed out the vases and put a red wash cloth in one vase.
The red wash cloth and the little red dish were both part of this gift, and can act as pretties for the shelf and are still easily accessible when I want to use them. That little flower tile is a souvenir from a trip Hubby and I took to Mexico 10 years ago.
For the other vases, I added some old sweater scraps from this scarf and this hat. (Now those scraps are not taking up space with those craft supplies...and if I find they're in the way, I can always just toss them.)
Those sparkling cider glasses were given to us in the hospital when Sweet Pea was born, and the little cream pitcher is from my Nana.
I used the rest of the sweater scraps to add a little red to one of the glass bowls. It's a pretty bowl that I picked up from a garage sale...It's kind of a weird shape though, so we've never really used it. I don't think we'll keep the bowl long term when we move, but for now I like how it looks in the cupboard...up at the top because I don't really need to use it.
It's in our see-through cupboards, which already had the red bowl I painted a while ago and the pie plate and casserole dish from this gift.
The wooden bowl I'd been using for the oven mits was really too big and therefore collected other things that didn't belong, so I switched it out for this little red basket.
I thought the Pi Plate would be a fun decorate piece, but I think it will go back in the cupboard soon...It's already slipped down a few times. Maybe when I move, I'll get a hanger for it and actually put it on the wall. You can see how I made the fabric covered can for the spoons and spatulas here.
And then I used the wooden bowl to help contain some of the runaway fruit spread across the counter.
...the new mixer.
I picked up that red vase at Goodwill a while back and added it to be pretty. I may put it away soon...it's too tall for those corner shelves and it does seem a bit silly to have it on the main counter without a functional purpose...and that jar of cornbread mix has since been delivered to the neighbors.
There are still a couple of things I'm not entirely happy with...but haven't thought of a great solution. Maybe you have an idea? We'll be moving in a couple months to our new house, so if an easy solution doesn't come up, I'll find something more permanent there.
Here they are...a weird spot behind the printer. I put this cute little white glass jar from Goodwill there. Right now it's empty. I don't quite know what to put in it. I'm thinking that it could use maybe some black vinyl lettering or something...but I don't know what to put on it or in it...or even if it should stay in my kitchen. If I decide it needs to go, it could be a great container to give a gift in.
I'm also not super happy about the placement of my wheat grinder. It's something I use probably about once a week, give or take. If it was put away in a cupboard, I'd probably be too lazy to get it out and end up just using white flour instead of the healthier wheat flour.
And of course...what is better to do in a clean kitchen than cook in it?!? This is Firecracker making our New Year's Cupcakes. It cracks me up how she's lined up all the measuring cups.