Dude, Get On That Already!: Kitchen Edition

This is what our Nook looked like, upon us moving in. I'd like to say that Mr. Moon and I made a mess of it all moving in, but the truth is it looked worse than this before we cleaned it up and then made a mess again, and half of this isn't even ours.

Let's review what we're seeing here, shall we? To the left is a pile of boxes full of towels needing put away, and almost-unpictured is a stack of small appliances for the shelves that were built under the lip of the lunch counter. Behind the red curtain is a mess of canned goods needing sorting, though by the time we took this picture the dry goods had been put away in the sewing cupboard next to it. You can also see the drawers of Mum's yarn, tucked away back in the corner where she couldn't get to them because of the kitchen table that was just a catch-all for all manner of everything. We had brought in the recycling bins already, because the floor had been just a pile of recycling waiting to be picked up "later." In front of the table is a chair with a huge roll of foil, both of which still realistically need a home.

The Transformation!
Please let's just ignore the strip of white that needs a paint touch up. There was a shelf there before. But anyway, here we have our new nook!

The angle is a little off, so you can't see the nicely-open floor in front of the small appliance shelves. You can see the canned goods shelves, now with nicely-organized and labeled containers of dry goods. See our nice new kitchen island? I built it myself! I mean, it was a kit, but it still required the use of power tools and even if it took me twice as long as it would have someone else because I kept having to stop to rest, I put it together myself in an afternoon. You can also see here the recycling bins which have spent the last two months in the middle of the floor, newly power washed but still needing re-labeling. What we have discovered is that the bottom one is just too low for anyone to reach, so it gets swapped for the top one when the top one gets full but not overflowing. (Yes, that's a litter box on the floor, and thankfully now it is not right by Mum's head.)

The cart in the corner is full of wine, and had been an ill-used side table in the living room that was just too tall for its purpose. We decided we'd rather have it over in the corner to leave room for the litter box over there, and we could use it as a beverage station (which had previously been a bin taking up space on the counter). So instead we switched that and the yarn drawers, which you can see here! It was only a table cloth to take it from "stack of storage boxes in the corner" to "piece of furniture with visible contents." I also took a couple knick-knacks from the over-crowded mantle, and voila! Side table.

Oh, that basket is our "outdoor" basket. It has a couple pairs of gardening gloves, a large-brimmed hat, a button-up long-sleeved shirt, sunscreen and bug spray in it, all easily accessible when we head out to work in the garden. I'm not sure why exactly the blow-up beach ball ended up in there, and the watering-pitcher probably doesn't need to be, but the most essential piece of equipment there is the stack of blue baskets and the scissors. I like to keep them handy so that if I need herbs for dinner, they're easily accessible.

The most important thing we accomplished here is this feeling of open-ness we found in that nook. More things have a more logical home that is easier to access, and we're less tempted to just toss and stash. I call that a win in my book!

This was the other major project...
You know that junk drawer everyone seems to have in their kitchen? This was ours. I was most of the way through it before I realized I was working on a project, I was really just looking for something, but the next thing I knew... well it was high time anyway.

But wait, if there are no before pictures that means... this is after?? Yes. Trust me, it's so much better. Instead of things just rolling around in there and papers we don't need laying on top of the trash bags we need daily, everything is a lot more logically placed. Down in back is a stack of manuals for things like the toaster oven, the vacuum, etc. Those are things we need handy when we need them, but how often do you need them? So on top is the box of matches, some pens and markers. Unpictured: A measuring tape, a level and a couple binder clips. Then to hold that stuff back from the stuff in front, a box of snack-sized zipper bags next to a stack of sandwich sized ones. And two zipper bags full of twist ties and bread clips, with the roll of trash bags conveniently hanging over the front of the drawer.
* Caveat: Zipper bags seem to be the #1 disposable item I can't quite seem to replace. Besides the fact that we have a veritable buttload as seen below, they're so convenient! Things take up a lot less space than putting them in containers. I used to re-use my bags as much as possible, though I got out of the habit moving away from Michigan and have yet to get back into it. There has been so much on our plate, I just couldn't bring myself to wash them, and find a space for them to hang dry.
Every time we opened this cupboard, something fell out. It was driving me absolutely bonkers, and since I'm having a better day I finally got down there to fix it. Four rolls of plastic wrap. Four rolls of foil. Six boxes of trash bags, not even the right size for our kitchen trash can. Five boxes of zipper sandwich bags, plus three fold-overs and two more of quart-size freezer bags. Three boxes of gallon zipper bags, one of them is even restaurant-case sized! And let's not forget the stack of shower caps used as bowl covers, and a box of bowl covers in different sizes that are actually marketed that way.

In time, I'd like to get the extras stored back out in the garage, and possibly gain a whole shelf in this cupboard. On the other hand, I have no idea what else we would even need to store in here, and the space in the garage is at a premium. Still, no need to have this much back-up around. So once we get through it all, I'll have an extra shelf to use. Wonder what we'll put there? It would be nice to have my french press and coffee grinder a little closer to the rest of the coffee station...

Have you done any re-organizing or re-arranging of furniture lately? Did you find anything exciting in the process? Anything you just need to shake your head and laugh at how much extra you've got sitting around? Or how about just a project you've been putting off for a while that you finally finished?


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