Organizing Your Kitchen Utensils and Silverware Drawer

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?

 

Welcome back to the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.  It seems that I can’t ever do this challenge on the same day each week.  I think I’ll do it on Monday or Tuesday and suddenly it’s Thursday.  I’m still going to aim to get my organization project done in time for Monday or Tuesday each week, just realize I may not always hit that mark.  :)  Either way, I’ve been really enjoying the improvements I’m seeing.  I know they’re so very gradual, but…when I open that storage container cabinet, it makes me happy to see that it’s not a horrible mess!  Now, I’ll feel the same way about my silverware and utensils!

Organizing Utensils

 

Organizing Kitchen Utensils and Silverware

 

This is what my drawers look like right now.

My silverware was all dirty when I started this, lol.

Organizing Your Silverware Drawer

 

There were so many things in this utensil drawer, that they were getting broken!

 

Organizing my utensil drawers

 

I’ve got one drawer for my silverware, one very overstuffed drawer for my most used utensils and one less stuffed drawer for my utensils that I don’t use that often.  My silverware drawer gets all sorts of stuff  around, beside and underneath the organizer.

 

We have a bad habit in our family.  We leave drawers and doors in the kitchen open.  Not always, but often enough to where we get crumbs in them.  I know, you’re going to think we’re a big slobby mess by the end of this series, lol, but that’s OK.  I’m telling you all the worst about us.  I wouldn’t want you to think we’re perfect or anything.  This year has been hectic and I’m trying to get back into my groove.  You get to come along for the ride.  I hope you’re joining me for the ride, even if your house doesn’t look quite as bad as mine.

How My Drawers Look Now

I was able to throw away several old medicine dispensers for children and get rid of some grilling tools and several knives.  The one drawer is still really full, but things will not be getting broken in there any more.  Also, it’s nice and clean and wiped out, no crumbs inside.  :)  Here’s my finished product for now…..

 

In the silverware drawer, I took out all of the loose stuff around the silverware organizer and added two Sterilite baskets.  I bought the pack of 3 baskets for $1 at Walmart.

Utensil Drawer 2

 

In the utensil drawers, I pretty much have one drawer mostly for grilling tools.  I could probably cut down a little more on the drawer on the left, but I do use a lot of these on a regular basis.  The cheese grater handle is broken, so I need to replace it, but refuse to get rid of it until I do.  Eventually, I’d like to organize my drawers with a drawer organizer like this (I love how easy this is to make!), but I’m a little worried my drawers aren’t big enough to give me enough success.  Maybe if I moved everything out of the right drawer…I could combine everything from both drawers into one.

Organized Utensil Drawers

 

5 Ideas for Keeping Your Kitchen Utensils Organized

  1. Keep them on your counter in a utensil container.  This can help accent your decor, too!
  2. Hang them on the wall
  3. Only keep one of each item (except maybe a spatula)
  4. Get rid of things you don’t use very often
  5. Make or buy drawer dividers.

 

Shared on Facebook:

Traci says:I have 3 drawers – One is for silveware.  Two is for all the utensils I use for BAKING. Three is for all the general utensils such as a potato masher, can opener, etc.  Now if I can just get the kids and hubby to put the right things where!

 

Robin says:  I have a 3 drawer small organizer for spoons forks and knives. Easy for the smaller kids to get them.

 

Cindy says: First of all, I do not have fancy silverware. Sam’s Club sells packs of 36 of each utensil, 36 forks. 36 big spoons. They also have 36 small spoons and 36 butter knives (I do not have either of these.).   I keep the 36 big spoons in my coffee drawer, under the coffee pot, under the coffee cups.  Forks are in silverware drawer with the 4 small spoons and 4 odd butter knives that I own. In this drawer I keep my pizza cutter, can opener, sharp knives and a couple of other misc items I use.  Why 36 forks and big spoons, I noticed years ago that even when we had company, that everyone only used forks. Spoons became necessary later, so I got a pack.  When I bought mine, they were about six bucks. Now I think they are more but less than 10.  My plastic cooking tools are in a big can above the stove in a cabinet, but I am gonna change that soon.  (Sarah here….after I read this, I realized I must have more small spoons and found that Walmart had packs of 4 for 88 cents.  I bought 3 of those and realized how nice it was to finally have enough!).

 

Purfyle says:  How much can I bore you? I had so much silverware it took up 2 drawers just for the standard cutlery, knives, forks, spoons, teaspoons. I had another drawer for wooden spoons and serving spoons etc, and another drawer for knives and sharps and another drawer for gadgety bits like peeler’s and corkscrews and pastry cutters. It took forever to wash the cutlery type things. I have pared back and pared back. My kitchen knives all fit on a magnet knife holder. My wooden spoons and 5 pairs of tongs are kept in a wine ice bucket, and the stainless steel masher, ladle, whisk and slotted spoons that can be hung are hung on hooks off a chain suspended from the ceiling. The actual cutlery is down to a single set of 8 serves and all the rest has been put away and I have lived very happily without them. And finally all the other bits, can-opener, peeler, lemon squeezer tool, olive piper etc. that are too short to fit in the ice bucket are in an upcycled wipes container. (the rectangle kind) I know that sounds like a lot but it’s so much less then what we had. If they don’t fit in those containers then it doesn’t belong in my kitchen. 

Products That May Help You:

(affiliate links)

 

 

What product do you think would help you organize your utensils the most?  Have you been joining in on this challenge?  How have you been doing?

Organize Silverware

NEXT WEEK:

Next week, we’re working with our glasses, mugs and sippy cups.  Do you have a great system that you use to keep your glasses, mugs and sippy cups under control?  I am in need of hearing from you!!!  This is another place that I feel is out of control for me!  Please leave me a comment, say something on Facebook or email me.

Don’t forget to check out the Organized Home Challenge, to see what we’re doing next!

 


Organize Your Food Storage Containers – 52 Week Organized Home

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?

 

Hey!  Have you missed me with this Organized Home series?  I know, I know.  I completely dropped the ball.  Our family troubles got the better of me and my organizational efforts ended up getting the back burner.  So…instead of beating myself up about it, I’m going to pick up where I left off.  Did you quit when I quit?  Jump back in with me.  It’ll be worth it!  Our houses will thank us!  We will be much more at ease, too!

Tips for Organizing Your Food Storage Containers - Sidetrackedsarah.com

It is (finally) time to organize my storage containers.   Let me tell you, that is my least favorite cabinet in my kitchen.  If any cabinet is going to be a mess, that will be the one.  It is the cabinet where we open the door, throw the containers in and shut it as fast as we can so that hopefully they don’t come back out.  Not a good plan, I know.  There have been many days where I am walking through the kitchen and see that cabinet wide open, with a bunch of lids or containers sitting on the ground in front of it.  Ha.  Such a welcome site.  This is what my cabinet looked like at the beginning of this challenge:

 

Ideas for Organizing Your Storage Containers

 

My problem is this.  My containers have no rhyme or reason.  I keep old ice cream containers, I sometimes keep old yogurt containers and I usually buy a pack each year on Black Friday in hopes that they’ll last until the next Christmas.  It seems like the lids always last and who knows where the rest go.  What a mess though, right ?

 

In asking on Facebook what other readers like you do to keep their food storage containers organized, this is what they said:

Louann said:  “I buy lots of zip lock containers in two different sizes. They all use the same lid. Never have to search for a lid. They all stack in less than a foot of space and I have close to 50.”

 

Kelly said:  “I have all the same brand, threw out all the mismatched different ones. They stack/nest nicely together in the cabinet and the lids are stacked/snapped together in a drawer.” Tracy said:  “I actually just cleaned and organized my stuff because of your list! I had to think of something for the clutter so I actually pulled out my huge popcorn bucket and put all the lids in there. They all fit perfectly. Made a huge difference in the cupboard as I used to try and keep each container’s lid under it – all that did was get crazy.”

 

Around the web….

Ginny at Organizing Homelife will put her lids next to her containers, leaning against the cabinet walls.  She is also sure to only buy containers that stack nicely, getting rid of the rest.  Check out the post she wrote about it here.

 

The Kitchn.com suggests the following:  “Keep lids together in a box, basket, or zip-top bag, or arrange them standing in a dish rack or napkin holder.”  Read more about how they do it here.

 

Your To Do List:

 

1.  Go through your food storage container cabinet or drawer and make sure each container has a lid.

2.  Get rid of any that do not stack well or that you do not use often.  Get rid of any extra lids.

3.  Throw away any containers that are damaged or lids do not fit on well.

4.  Store containers and lids together in a single space.  Decide how you plan to do this and keep them organized.  (Use a method from above, or another completely different one that works better for you.)

5.  Commit to putting them up correctly, to keep them organized.

6.  Consider starting over with a new set, to give yourself a fresh, new start, making it easier to keep them organized!  You may be interested in the following products from Amazon (click on photo to view on Amazon):

Rubbermaid

 

 

What I did:

You know how they say you can do anything for 15 minutes?  Yeah.  I totally cleaned out my cabinet in 15 minutes.  Why did I wait this long?  I decided to go back with my old method and put all the lids on top of the containers.  While I realize that I’m not saving a bunch of space by doing this, it helps me to know what I have.  I do have enough storage space to keep them that way, for now.  I also threw away at least 50 lids.  50!  I did keep several that had no match, because I’m not convinced I don’t have some of them around the house in weird places yet.  I put them in the back, inside of the 2 ice cream buckets I kept (we tend to use these occasionally and it’s nice to keep them on hand, however, I had no need for 10 ice cream bucket lids, lol).  I will throw away my straggler lids if they don’t find matches soon.  I’m still contemplating completely matching my set…but if I do, I’m waiting until Black Friday.  Here’s my final product:

Storage Containers Organized

 

Much better, right?

 

Do you use another method for organizing your plastic and/or glass food storage containers?  Leave me a comment and let me know how you do it.  We’d all love to hear!  

 

NEXT WEEK:

We’re going to be working on our silverware and utensils.  Do you have a great way to store your silverware and utensils?  How do you decide what to get rid of?  How many utensils is enough?  Please share here with me, email me or share with me on Facebook, so I can share your ideas.  Pictures are always appreciated, too!

 

Also, if you want to see what you’ve missed and what’s coming, just go here:  52 Week Organized Home Challenge.


How to Store Your Off Season Clothes & Keep Them Organized

Welcome back to Week 4 of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.  Are you joining in on the fun?  Are you getting organized?  I’ve intentionally scheduled some of these weeks for my own convenience.  Like, right now, I HAVE to switch out my clothes.

 

(If you’ve missed the other weeks, be sure to check out Week 1 - Socks, Week 2 - Vehicle and Week 3 - Makeup Bag & Purse)

 

How to Store Off Season Clothes

 

I began this horrible, dreaded task last week.  I absolutely DREAD the clothing switch.  Not only does it take FOREVER, I’m also highly disorganized.  Plus, I have a dust allergy and every time I go through large amounts of clothing, I get the sneezes.  I guess the dust that settles into the clothes, comes out when I start unfolding and refolding all of them.  I keep a box of tissues handy, and I break it up into bits and pieces so hopefully my nose doesn’t get too drippy.

 

My Current Strategy

 

Keep any decent clothes that another of our kids could grow into.  The exception is, I don’t keep my 17 year old’s hand me downs for his 3 year old brother.  There’s just too many years in between.

 

Store them in bins, according to sizes.  Usually, they’re labeled, “Savannah to grow into”  or “Girls, Summer, Size 8″, etc.

 

So far, this strategy has worked, but….I’m getting frustrated with it.  We have too many clothes in the house.  There are 7 kids and 2 adults living here.  We usually have to switch out clothes twice a year for all of the younger kids.  The older kids take care of their own.  My goal is to downsize the amount that I’m keeping.

 

I’ve spent years feeling like I didn’t have enough money to buy the clothes that we need.  But now, I do not need to keep everything, just in case it may work.  I can afford to buy some things, a lot more than I used to be able to.  I especially don’t need to keep all of the play quality clothes or the clothes that just don’t seem to go with anything or haven’t gotten worn in quite some time.  It’s time to downsize.

 

My Rules – What Goes?

 

  1. If it’s stained, it goes.
  2. If it has no match or won’t look good with a pair of jeans or matched together in another outfit, it has to go.
  3. If it has holes, it has to go.
  4. If it’s ugly, it has to go.
  5. If it doesn’t look nice on, it goes.
  6. If you’ve had it for 2 other kids and nobody’s worn it, it goes.

You may be laughing about the “If it’s ugly rule”…but seriously, I have a reason for this rule.  One of my daughters has been known to not really care what clothes she wears.  She prefers to be comfortable.  Who cares if it’s a red shirt with a purple pair of pants. She has no sense of style whatsoever.  She has this one winter shirt that someone gave us that she always wears because it’s comfortable.  I always cringe, because she looks like an old lady in it.  It’s ugly.  So….this year, it was put into the get rid of stack and I will replace it with something that makes her look nice.

For me, I don’t think I’m going to change my system, I’m just going to drastically cut down on the amount of clothing I’m keeping.  We are trying to finish a room down in our basement and we can’t store as much down there any more.  It’s time to be rid of the clutter.  Not to mention that it keeps trying to take over our home!

 

Ideas From Sidetracked Sarah Readers on Facebook

Michelle says:  I switch out clothes with space bags and store those in the tops of closets when out of season. Works!
Sandee says:  October and May I swap out the winter versus summer clothes. The out of season clothes are stored in my luggage.
Amy says:  I am in a super small space with four people (2 adults, 2 teens) and I only have 2 small (and I mean SMALL closets for all four of us). I do have a coat closet that I also use to store the vacuum, cleaning supplies, and partial pantry. (Don’t ask) I have no attic space, basement and just a small shed for garden tools. I thought I was going to die when we rented this spot. Now I love it. It is in a great neighborhood, and I have a yard and it is only 15 minutes from my husbands work – that is my trade-off. He used to have an unbelievable commute. In order to accommodate seasonal anything including clothing – I rented a storage unit. I got a a small one (5 x10) but it is like a big walk in closet. It is an indoor unit (not climate control but I do insure it. I do have a filing cabinet in there, multiple shelves, and a small portable closet! I purchased it at Walmart and it zips and keeps most of our out-of-season clothing hung neatly inside. Sweaters and such are put into those zip bags and stored on the shelves. I hang cedar bars in with the clothes so they stay fresh and the zip bags are always fresh. I put a drawer sachet and pack tissue inside shoes and they go in a clear tote that is labeled on bottom shelf. Everything is generally very easy to find and we just repack at the end of each season. Instead of boots – sandals, sweaters – tanks & shorts, and in our little closets would be seasonal coats/ dresses etc. Everything is mixed but there are only four of us and we don’t have much. I only have two closets in my home anyway! Staying organized is the key to living small. In a crowed, expensive area we have found that some things were worth paying for and having Dad at home in the evenings was definitely worth it.

 

Jenni says:   Rubbermaid totes. All 4 of us have our own color. As for shoes, we always keep out 1 pair of tennis shoes no matter what season and our snow boots for winter. Other shoes are put in a separate tote.

 

Katherine says:  I make it easier on my self by taking clothes I don’t need or wear that much to a local consignment shop where we split the selling price 50/50. It’s easier to get rid of clothes when I know I’m making a couple bucks off of them!

 

Melinda say:  I change to seasonal clothing in spring when a week’s worth of temperatures are 70 and above and in autumn when a week’s worth of temperatures are 69 and below. The seasonal clothing I’m not using is in a flat plastic storage container in the floor of my closet.

 

Ces says:  organize my clothes by putting pants & skirts at one end, and sorting my shirts my work appropriate (school shirt, dressy shirt, solids & stripes) and ‘everything else’ so I don’t have to think very hard when I get dressed for work.
My boys clothes I keep in a bunch of lateral files my husband received. I have one drawer for all the sizes up to 18mo, and then each of my other drawers, up to 12, have 2-3 sizes in them. After 12, the clothes are just too large, so I keep them reduced until I have a child wearing that size, and they are currently in labeled trash bags for lack of energy for a better method.

 

Tammi says:  With my kids still growing so much… Each season I clean out the outgrown clothing to give to friends. As I purchase the next size I keep them to the open side of their closet or spare drawer. That way I can keep track of what they have and it makes switching out clothing much easier.

I also keep a box or bag in their rooms for those things they outgrow before change over time. That way those items are already stored to share with others.

 

Anna says:  Back of the closet: long sleeves and sweaters, front of the closet t-shirts…when it gets cooler the t-shirts go to the back and the long sleeves/sweaters move to the front…same for shorts and pants 

 

Jane says:   I have a hang rod and dresser in basement plus I use bins and shoe organizers.  With a designated area to switch it becomes very easy!

 

Susan says: I have a walk-in closet. Warm weather clothes to the right–cold weather clothes to the left!

Ideas from other bloggers

 

  • Kendra is a large family mom like me.  She keeps an inventory of clothes.  Check out how she does it in her post Clothing Swap Survival.
  • Linda, also a large family mom like me, shares about their Semi Annual Clothing Switchover.  She even has her kids empty all of their clothes out of their bedrooms, makes sure they’re all clean and then fills the drawers and closets back up.  That’s a great idea!
  • Amy’s system looks similar to mine, but hers seems a lot more orderly.   You can see exactly how she does it in her post, Storing Hand Me Downs.
  • Gwen shares about how she uses giant ziploc bags inside of storage tubs to keep the clothes sorted and nice. Read about it on her post Storing Out of Season Clothes.  She also has a great post that shares 12 more tips on how to get organized, perfectly!
  • Jamie tells about how she keeps a simpler wardrobe, so she doesn’t have to store that much.
  • Shirley, of Light, Love, Hope says:  In my closet, we have upper and lower levels. We hang our Spring and Summer clothes on the top, while the Fall and Winter clothes are hung on the bottom. That way we don’t have to switch out clothes in our closet. They all remain, we just pick the clothing we wish to wear either from the top or the bottom based on the changing seasons. 
  • Kelli says move to Florida, where you don’t have seasons!  (Ha! now that’s an idea!)

 

Products That Can Help

(affiliate links below)

  • Space Saver Bags.  Just put your out of season clothes in, and suck the air right out of that bag with a vacuum cleaner.  Many people love storing their clothes this way!

 

  • Dymo Label Maker – Wherever you put those clothes, you need to make sure you keep the containers labeled so you know what’s in them!

  • Portable Closet – What a great place to put your out of season clothes and keep them from getting dirt or moths on them!

  • Storage Containers – This is the old standby and what I use all the time!  I just need to eliminate the amount of containers that I have!

 

 

 

 

 

Next week:

We’re moving into the kitchen and working on storage containers.  Do you lose all of your containers like I do?  I have a ton of lids, but barely any containers.  Time to purge them!  What about you?   If you have any tips that would work well for others and make our lives easier, be sure to share them here in a comment or on Facebook!!  We will all thank you for it!    if you’re still following along, let me know how you’re doing.

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?