Unexpected Organizing in the Kitchen

This fact may not be particularly unexpected, especially if you’ve read my books: I don’t like cooking.

So, I may not be the very best person to write about unexpected organizing in the kitchen. But, as always, I’ll show you what I do and challenge you to think about what you do. Perfection has never been the point of these posts, anyway. (Whew!) 


As I wrote in Building Your House, I have my kitchen stuff stored in very functional ways (dishes stored between the dishwasher and the table, food prep items stored by my “big” stretch of counter, pots stored by the stove).  These things definitely fall under the category of “expected,” so I didn’t take pictures of them.

However, I also wrote about my kitchen island “baking zone,” my favorite part of our kitchen. (Shout-out to my friend Elise for the idea!)


Inside of the drawers, I have baking tools like measuring cups and spoons, a rolling pin, icing decorators, a kitchen scale. (I also laminated some scrapbook paper and taped it to the sides of the drawers, just because it makes me happy!)



One cabinet holds mixing bowls, a hand mixer, and a pancake griddle. (Oh, my friends, please do remember that, in the spirit of transparency, I did not clean this up for you.  These pictures are very real.)


The other holds baking ingredients, including a basket of spices, a baskets for cookie decorating (sprinkles and food coloring), and a basket for sugars and chocolate chips.


The other side of island had an slight indentation underneath a the jutting countertop that was really too small for chairs or even stools (not to mention that anyone sitting there would get hit with the fridge doors). So, we installed some shelving under there for cookbooks and a large mixer. (Shout-out to my friend Liz for the idea!)


Here are a couple of other random things about my kitchen (not sure if they’re unexpected, but hopefully they’re good ideas):

I love baking cookies for holidays and have quite a collection of cookie cutters. I keep them in the small cabinet above the stove so they’re out of the way during the 350 days I don’t use them. Also, they’re very light, so if I happen to drop a box they’re not going to crack the cooktop.



I didn’t have a great place for cookie sheets, so I asked my dad to help me knock a shelf out of one of my cabinets.  I placed a plate drying rack inside and store my cookie sheets vertically (and have never regretted it!).



Also, my husband loves ice cream, so we have a drawer fully dedicated to ice cream paraphernalia.  (I view ice cream mainly as a vehicle for chocolate.  He views ice cream as very serious business.)



And here is the cabinet that I don’t want to show you, but in the interest of realism, transparency, and humility, I will. On rare occasion, my husband likes to cook, and when he does it’s fancy and delicious. He loves fancy gadgets, and fancy coffee. Blessedly, he loves to grill all summer (and I love to eat grilled food all summer), so he has a lot of grilling items. He definitely has more of a keeper mentality than a tosser one, and the poor man is inundated with free mugs, water bottles, carafes, and other containers for liquids at professional conferences.  The older he gets, the better about tossing stuff he is.  I’m really proud of him.

So, he has a large cabinet in our kitchen that’s just for him. I love this cabinet because it holds what he loves. And it definitely has that limitation factor… when things start to fall out, he has to let go of some of the older stuff! Sort of.


I bet you weren’t expecting that on an organizing blog. (Notice this photo does not feature the Organizing You logo.) Really though, this is a Christian blog. Jesus knows my house isn’t perfect, but He also knows that I try my best to be like Him, and that means living with grace. Grace for my kids’ messy rooms. Grace for my husband’s crazy cabinet. Grace for myself and all of my own messes.

Done is better than perfect. Functional is better than pretty! Accessible stuff is better than more stuff…

And, in my opinion, baking is better than cooking. 😉


Take the challenge:

Your kitchen is arguably the most important room in your home, the one in which you probably spend the most time. It can give you a lot of spiritual clutter if it’s organized poorly.  Ask yourself,

  • Is your kitchen really functional? Does the layout make your cooking and baking routines easy for you?
  • What are some particulars about how your family eats? (Do you need the equivalent of an ice cream drawer?)
  • Is there a certain kind of cooking or baking that you love? How can you make that easier?


But watch out for:

It’s so tempting to buy a ton of cooking gadgets and try to be fantastic at all things food-related. Here’s the truth: You don’t have to be awesome at everything. If you haven’t used a super-fancy kitchen gadget in a while, let to go. Embrace what you do well. Get special with what you love—you make even want to make yourself a baking zone!


Tell me about it:

How have you unexpectedly organized your kitchen?  I’d love to hear your ideas!


I’ve written lots more about kitchen organization in Building Your House—be sure to check it out!

And please do share this with other moms just trying to live like Jesus!  Here’s a Pin-friendly image:

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