One More Reason To Hate Cooking.

My kitchen runneth over.

It’s official and the new KitchenAid mixer is making me face it – there is TOO MUCH STUFF in my kitchen and not enough kitchen for all of the stuff. And I’m not sure what to do.

I’m fairly sure that this kitchen would be considered a “starter kitchen” – though the house is definitely a family house, it seems the generic kitchen floor plan was designed for a young family that probably doesn’t cook much. Counter space is minimal and the cupboard space and counterspace compete – so it’s a pretty inconvenient kitchen. And if anyone else decides to get underfoot while I’m cooking? Well, we’re tripping over each other.

Unfortunately, construction is no longer an option since we have neither the budget nor the sanity required to undertake another massive home improvement project that would result in the knocking down of an exterior wall and contractors kicking up dust in the main living areas of our house (and if you’ll remember, the last three month project stretched to SIX months, so, there’s THAT).

I need to learn to deal with the space I have, which is a limited L-shaped counter, a stove, sink, fridge, and a small closet size storage pantry.

And I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it. What stuff stays on my counter – and if I take stuff off my counter (toaster, bagel cutter, breadmaker, mixer, kitchen utensils, pot of basil… I’m looking at You. And You. And You. And….), where oh where do I put it? And what about my pantry? What a gigantic tornado mess of crap THAT is – but, it’s like 10 degrees outside, so I’m not too peachy keen on the idea of storing extra stuff* in the garage. Also, why the hell do we have so many canned goods? Blergh.

It’s a new year so I should probably do something productive – so help me organize me kitchen. Tell me your tips and recommendations for not letting your kitchen drive you crazy.

*I’m not talking like Costco quantities of extra stuff… for the most part.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Years ago, I read an organization book that has saved my fanny since then. The gist – divide your stuff into A, B, C, D and store accordingly. A/B in easy to reach places and C/D in harder to reach places. And, in the kitchen, put stuff where you use it so there’s minimal walking. For example, I have all my eating utensils, plates, etc. near the dishwasher in a low shelf area because it makes it easier to unload the dishwasher and the kids can reach it. All of my cooking utensils are by the stovetop. Cups, near the fridge. Baking stuff over the oven. Oven mitts in that weird drawer below the oven. Stuff stays on the counter only if used more than 2-3/x per week. C & D stuff (used only 1/month or few times/yr) leave the kitchen and go somewhere else. Pantry is grouped according to use: Baking, grains/pasta, canned goods, boxed stuff (mixes, mac&cheese); savory spices, etc. so I’m not hunting for cinnamon in a sea of mac&cheese boxes. Don’t neglect under the bed storage. Love it for all sorts of things. Anyway, thanks for the blog and sorry for the very, very long comment and good luck!

  2. Since I just packed my entire house, I can understand what you are going through. As I was packing I was pretty ruthless when it came to filling boxes with the things that I actually use, love and truly want in my new house. When it came to my kitchen I let go of a lot of dishes, utensils, serving pieces and small appliances. How often do you really use it? If you donโ€™t love it and you donโ€™t use it WHY do you have it? Maybe you need to pull everything out of your cabinets and take a good survey and purge your kitchen. Next step then would be to start using up all your canned goods and other nonperishable items in your pantry. Then visit the Container Store online to get some ideas to help use the space that you do have more efficiently. Think about families living in way smaller kitchens like those living in New York apartments or families in Europe who have super small kitchens. You should take before and after pictures. Good luck! My motto~if I donโ€™t use it, love it, need it or want it is GONE. Maybe then you will once again love to cook!

  3. I’m with you. I have a small kitchen, which is annoying, because I spend so much time in that room, cooking and baking.

    I was going to say containers too. Lots of containers for dry goods, etc..

    I organize canned veggies, canned beans, canned tomtoes, etc…together in one cabinet, and baking goods in another section.

    Also, my MIL likes to re-organize my kitchen for me when she comes to visit, and she’s a much better organizer than I am, so that helps. lol

  4. I hate my kitchen setup also – same L-shaped counter, with the cabinets competing for counter space. We have a lot of junk. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I recently went through all my cupboards and got rid of a number of serving bowls, glasses, soup bowls we got as a wedding gift. Stuff that’s been collecting DUST since we moved in here 4 yrs ago. It freed up a lot of space.

  5. We put in new counters this year and I like to use them, not clutter them. Unless it’s used more than once a week, it’s in the basement on a shelf.

    Less than every day (toaster, coffee maker), in a cabinet.

    We store extra kitchen staples in the cellar too. Cans of soup, jars of spaghetti sauce, and dish detergent are down there on shelves.

  6. Ladies – Thanks for your feedback… Most of the on-counter appliances (toaster, breadmaker, and now mixer) are in heavy rotation. I use them all frequently. The problem areas are the pantry and the stupid lazy susan thing with the kids’ dishes – the latter being the most obvious place to start the overhaul because how many plastic cups from TGI Fridays do we need, anyway?

    Now to get the motivation to get crackin’ on that!!!

  7. *snort*

    I love reading your rants ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am not a fan of my kitchen either but you, you make me giggle ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. girl, I feel your pain! ๐Ÿ™‚

    My kitchen currently feels like it’s throwing up on itself….pardon the visual!

    Couple of ideas — IKEA is having a kitchen event and has a lot of great storage and planning tools….also whenever they have an event, you get 10% back in gift cards….for another storage box or something…?

    Also, I recently bought a hutch off of Craigs list that I will paint. I put it in my dining room and will be really maximizing the storage cupboards underneath so I can get some more storage in the kitchen.

    Another idea that I am considering is to revamp my foyer coat closet into a pantry….We don’t really use that closet to its potential, so why not rethink its purpose….??

    hope this helps! good luck and keep us updated!

  9. Delurking to say my kitchen. Oh my hell. I just call my kitchen stupid. It was definitely designed by a man who doesn’t cook, because it’s just poorly laid out and the brunt of my counter space is far away from everything else near the entrance to my family room / garage (where everyone walks in and just tosses their crap, so we can’t even really utilize it for cooking). My husband is the main cook in my house and he hates the way it’s laid out too.

    To boot, I’ve had no time to reorganize. And my cupboards are ridiculously disorganized.

    And the kids crap. Dishes, sippies, bowls. I’m definitely interested in organization ideas.

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