What's behind the cupboard doors? (More kitchen photos)

The boys are both napping, so Ruth and I decided to give a tour of our kitchen cupboards and drawers. :) I'm open to advice or ideas about any of this stuff, too, so feel free to give suggestions! :)

Down-sizing before our move was a lot of fun! I dislike clutter and for some reason, having an excuse to give away things that we used on a less-frequent basis was like a wonderful de-cluttering spree for me! :) And I would much rather do without a few things than to have the cupboards jam-packed and difficult to navigate. :)

From this post, a picture of the whole kitchen:

Now, for what's behind all those doors:

Above the sink, I put our drinking glasses, tea/coffee mugs, cook books, extra bags, cookie cutters, etc... I gave away a number of glasses, cook books, and misc. kitchen things, and was pleased with how well everything fit here! :)

Below the kitchen sink, I have cleaning supplies, dish soap, gloves, and brushes. The paper bags are double-layered and have potatoes and onions in them. I didn't really want to store food under the kitchen sink, but where else could I put the huge bags of potatoes and onions from Costco? Any ideas? The laundry closet, which is really small, gets too warm when they dryer runs. Although I suppose this cupboard gets warm when hot water is used for the sink or dish washer. Maybe in the master bedroom? But it seems odd to store perishable food in our bedroom. What about in the storage closet on our balcony?

What ARE the best storage conditions for potatoes or onions, anyway?! :)

Beside that cupboard is a small cupboard where I have baking supplies, flours, sugars, and some dried things like beans and rice.

And on the other side of the dishwasher, is a big cupboard for all my pots and pans. I stashed my grain mill in the back. My pie plates, baking dishes, springform pans -- it's all in here. I got rid of a few oddly-sized/shaped baking dishes but was able to bring most of that stuff.

And yes! That cookware is a more recent addition; we got it a month or so before we moved. I love it. My old stuff was mostly Teflon and was wearing out. When I got down to 4 pans (2 skillets and 2 sauce pans -- nothing bigger than 3 quarts!) Joshua finished researching cookware and got me this nice stuff. It is so nice and I feel very blessed! :)

Above the big cookware/bakeware cupboard, I have our dishes and containers, bread pans, and misc. I got rid of any extra containers, and any extra "fancy" dishes, only keeping the basics. We've been here almost 3 weeks now and I haven't missed anything yet! I like keeping things simple. Getting to "pare down" was a huge perk of moving! :)

Okay, time for the other side of the kitchen.

Above the fridge: all of my can't-live-without-it-sometimes stuff. Blender, crock pot, sifter, waffle maker... Stuff I would really miss every now and then. :)

Beside the fridge, I have 4 drawers!

The top drawer, as usual, has silverware. And a small but wonderful cheese shredder, since we're picky about shredding our own cheese. It just tastes better! :)

Second drawer: Cutting boards, plastic wrap/foil/bags, and knives. The knives are kinda hidden in the back to prevent small children from finding them.


Third drawer: Mixed, measuring cups/spoons, can opener, meat thermometer, all that good stuff. Way too crowded, so I organized it and stuck the salad shooter in the cupboard above the fridge.

Fourth drawer: Dish rags, dish rowels. I should have moved the stained ones to the bottoms of the piles. Sorry! They're all clean though. :)

The big flat blue thing is a spongey clothy thingy called a Skoy cloth and I'm going to give some away here on my blog when I get around to it. It's pretty cool. :)

The drawer under the stove is a great place for cookie sheets, pizza pans, cooling racks, and my muffin tin! :)

Above the stove: Oil, honey, homemade vanilla extract. :)

To the left of the stove: Spices, pasta, snacks.

To the right of the stove, my favorite cupboard: Recipe boxes, tea, vitamins, and kid cups. :)

And below my favorite cupboard, I have: grains (in jars), bibs (in plastic basket), Food Saver, and part of a bag of oats. Kinda random. :)

We're finished! :) Thanks for taking our tour with us! Now, time to put the pans back. :) Hope you weren't too bored! :)

Comments

Ruth is just too cute!

Thanks for the inspiration. I have a big kitchen, but I do need to par down as well. After I get out of my first trimester and am not sick all the time, I see some decluttering/nesting happening!

And I think every apartment in WA has those same cupboards. When my husband and I were renting that's very similar to what our kitchen looked like, but we didn't have that awesome pantry!

Do you have room for an onion & potato bin? I found one a few years ago at a thrift store. If you are not sure what I am talking about you can look on ebay. They don't usually take up a whole lot of room and since they are freestanding they could go in your bedroom. Just a thought...
That way they won't be under your sink...

Stacey

Hi Tammy,
I live in Oregon and I often thought the same question. If I had a cellar then in would go the root veggies and onions. Last week I tried placing a bag of onions and potatoes in the back of the house by our back door. So far so good!. Do you have a little patio or covered spot out in the back?

I'm glad you are getting settled in and posting again! Apartment kitchens are not really made for people that cook & bake from scratch and buy food in bulk are they? Don't forget what the Tightwad Gazette book stated about usable storage under your beds. I probably wouldn't store potatoes and onions there but you could get roll out plastic bins for canned goods, beans etc. Ruth is getting so big and still has those cute chubby cheeks. Thanks for the update on your family. Blessings, Kelly

What a little cutie Ruth is!! I have learned quite a few decluttering tips from you and will definitely be putting them to use very soon!! Thank you for sharing your life and family with us...its so refreshing to see such a positive, loving family.

We have limited space in our new house! I bought wire organizers, that create a shelf, in a extra tall cupboard space. We set the plates on top & the bowls under. I use these for my baking pans, plates/bowls & one is a "file" I set the pan lids up on edge. You could use the unit for lids of any type (food storage).

They were a set, very cost effective & I think I got them at a Shopko - but are probably in every store.

The "shelves" also keep items from setting on top of each other & toppling over when you reach for an item on the bottom of the pile.

Here are some space making ideals:
You could get a shelving unit with doors and place that near your table if you have room. I would get something that could hold a lot of weight per shelve. Old kitchen cupboards could work. You would want to use the upper ones since they are narrower then the lower. We are using some we found really really cheap at Lowes on clearance, for our homeschool books.

If you could found a bench(or toy box with a lid) with deep storage it could be used for the boys to sit on at the table and store items. Benches are great for littles ones especially if they have a back. We can fit three of our little ones on one bench.

When we lived in apartments with two small boys we used a lot of plastic totes and just stacked them.
I stored all extra dry goods in boxes.

As for the onions and potatoes if you have a coat closet that may be a good place.

Hope this is of some help
Dionne

Just a thought!

I put all our dishes and cups down low by the dishwasher so the children could unload the dishwasher for me and also set the table without getting on a chair! It works great for mom's with young children. I had four ages four and under so this trick worked really well for us.

Ruhamah

I love your kitchen! Thanks for the tour, and your helper is ADORABLE!

I use a plastic basket with holes in the sides (for circulation) to hold my potatoes and onions, and I just dump them all in loose. To avoid damp warmness under the sink, maybe you could try switching the beans/rice with the potatoes/onions? I've heard that potatoes and onions like cool, dark, dry places...someone please correct me if I'm wrong!

Awesome new cookware, too -- does Joshua feel like sharing his research? :)

--Jamie in TN

I also want to hear about Joshua's research! Thanks!

I agree with the previous comment about the cupboards, but I have lived in apts in WI, MN and Texas and have seem the same cupboards. :)

But I really agree with you Tammy about decluttering when you move. We have moved several times (about once a year) and it's amazing how quickly all the stuff "collects" everywhere! Thanks for sharing and I'm glad that your move went well and you guys are getting more settled.

My MIL in law said potatos are to be kept at room temp, like the person said above, maybe a closet? I was going to keep our in the garage but it's a bit too cool.

Oh my goodness, Ruth is so adorable. That smile made me melt!

Thanks for this post. I'm feeling so inspired now. We live in an apartment too and I think our kitchen is about the size of yours. I'm getting in there as soon as the little one is in bed. I can't wait to have it organized!

tammy,

thank you for sharing all of that! it gives me inspiration to organize my kitchen again and get rid of things that i don't use!

It looks like you have room for a bookshelf at the end of your cabinets leading to the dining area. That might be a great place for cookbooks, bibs and other meal time things. We have a small white cabinet we moved from our bathroom to the kitchen, just below the phone. We use it for cookbooks and recipes as well as take-out menus and phonebooks. I has glass doors that I wrap a safety latch around so wee ones can't "re-organize" my recipes for me. Just a thought...

Glad you've been updating Tammy!
We've missed you.
:)

My family and I just moved into a new house too, and getting stuff arranged in the kitchen is the hardest!
Keep posting pictures, you're giving me ideas!

-Jen

I am glad you didn't move the stained ones! I thought I was the only one with clean, stained rags!!! LOL
You did a great job!

Wow. She is adorable! I can't believe how she's grown. Thanks for sharing. I gleaned such inspiration on cleaning out more of my kitchen! And the rest of the house for that matter!

I loved seeing your photo tours too. I'm glad to see you settled in and posting again. :)

ruth has grown so much!! She's beautiful like her mommy:)
I love paring down. One of my "hardships" of having a large family is that you can only pare down so much!!! There is just more of everything because there are more people to use them and as a result more messes to clean up:)
Tereza

I can't believe how much Ruth has grown....how old is she now.

Tammy, Thanks for that look into your kitchen. It is comforting knowing that someone else has a few stained washclothes :). Oh, and at the risk of sounding repetative - Ruth is such a cutie!!
About the potatoes and onions - did you know that they last longer if you store them seperately? I believe that it is the onions that release ethelene gas that makes the potatos rot faster. I know that probably doesn't solve many problems - sorry. We had lived in an apartment about that same size a couple of years ago and I stored my onions under the sink like you have there and the potatoes in a little closet that had the water heater in. I have friends who use those potatoe boxes that you can buy and like those but I bet any type of wooden (breathable) box with a lid should work.
Putting our bed up on risers (any chunks of wood) gave us a few extra inches to store more stuff under the bed. We called in the princess-in-the-pea bed because it was a bit higher than normal. We had a BUNCH stored under there though - even my Crock Pot and extra kitchen wares.
Good Luck :)
Betsy

My two suggestions...move the cleaning supplies from underneath the sink (and move something from a higher cabinet to beneath the sink) or get so really good child-proof locks. ( (maybe you have them on there, I can't see them for sure) How heavy are those bags of potatoes and onions?

We store our potatoes and onions on our basement steps, but I have stored them before in the pantry, on the floor.

I can't get over how big Ruth is!!!!!

I've been needing to replace my cookware and was curious to know what you purchased. Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us.

Wow, not much cupboard space to work with. It's a good thing you're so organized!

It was 16 degrees here in NW Ohio this morning. I bet that's one thing you don't miss!

I would also like to know what kind of cookware you bought? Ours seems to be on its last legs and we're considering replacing it with Swiss Diamond since we can get a good deal on it here.

Oh Tammy, Ruth is soooooo beautiful! She has gotten so big. Thank-you for sharing with us. You have inspired me to de-clutter my stuff.
Blessings to you!
SuzeQ

I can't believe how adorable and grown up Ruth is! I am in no hurry for the stage, I have a 9mo boy, but it sure is fun seeing her into everything!

I too recommend keeping potatoes and onions away from one another, and not in too cool a place or too warm. Currently in our apartment I leave the onions in a woven/breathable basket - in an old cupoboard under the microwave. Potatoes, unfortunately for now - just sit in the bag purchased in - and rest aside my big butcher block counter (kinda tucked out of sight) -not ideal, but it works for now.

I am glad you are all safely moved and getting settled!

I learned that when I started assigning the clean dishes to be put away by the children that I found a low cabinet for the clean dishes, bowls, cups & such. So. they can easitly put them away and get to them to set the table. Everything looks great! Lisa

I enjoyed the tour of your cupboards. :) Ruth is getting so big, I'm sure her brothers just adore her. :) As for potatoes and onions I have kept my potatoes under the sink too. :) It is so good to see post from you again!! ~Tanya - mama to 5 :)

Not that is makes any sense with this post- but I am so glad to have you back... You blog is one of my staples!
While you were gone I ordered from Paul's Grains. A friend and I split the shipping which really helps and we have been enjoying oat groats and popcorn ever since! Thanks for introducing them to us- they are really nice to work with!
And I have to add that Ruth is a sweetie- those boys are too!

for the tour of your kitchen.You have inspired me to get more organized.I never thought of putting things under the kitchen sink besides cleaning products that I have to many of and trying to down size on them.I will be moving things around to make more space after seeing how organized your kitchen is.Thanks for the inspiration.

Ruth is so adorable.I just look at her in photos and she makes me smile.

We keep our onions in the fridge and our potatoes in our food cabinet, to keep them in the dark. But we're only dealing with 2-6 of each at a time, not huge bags.

My parents have a three-layer wire hanging basket that they use for produce that doesn't have to go in the fridge, like onions. (I think they keep pasta in there too?) They keep potatoes in a box in the laundry room (which is a proper room, so the dryer doesn't overheat it).

I think your onions would do fine under the sink, but they do need air to breathe, so paper is not the best.
Onions do better in a dry, warm climate if I remember right and potatoes, are better cool and dry, so next to the dishwasher will make them rot more. I had one of those large plastic bins I got at Walmart with holes in the sides, I used to keep on my laundry room shelf for potatoes.
Check the temp of your stoarge closet on your balcony, if it is like 40 degrees, it is perfect for potatoes, but you do not want them to freeze!

I keep our potatoes and onions in our basement as it is cool there without being cold. They will keep fine at room temp, but often there is alot of humidity in the kitchen from cooking and cleaning so for long term storage I find they keep longer without the potatoes sprouting if kept slightly cool. Storage closet on the balcony might be a good spot if it stays cool there? Also,if your potatoes start to sprout...you can put them in the fridge for short term storage. The other thing I do is take potatoes and fill my canning pot and boil up alot of potatoes (you can peel them first or not..I peel mine.) then put them in your fridge to use as needed. Cut them up and they will fry up in just a few minutes, add some hot chicken broth to them and mash them up,heat in the microwave for quick baked potatoes, or shred them for hashbrowns...this has cut massive amounts of time off my potato cooking, and it's a good way to save potatoes that might go bad if not used. Once they are cooked they will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks easy. Love all the pictures of you new place!!!!

Angie

If I put onions in a plastic ice cream bucket and put holes in the sides of the bucket so I could use the lid do you think they would keep ok?How about potatoes in ice cream buckets with the lid on?Does it need holes with a lid on it?I would like to keep them under the sink but sometimes my sink will have a small leak and I am afraid of them getting water on them.I do not have bigger containers to keep them in.Any suggestings in what you store them in under the kitchen sink cabinet?I am so looking foward to organizing my kitchen today.

Your kitchen looks so well organized! We're terrible at keeping things nice and neat. About once or twice a year, my husband will take everything out of our main lower cabinets (which hold everything from storage containers to appliances we can't fit anywhere else.. like the bread machine) and reorganize. It's amazing how much space he manages to find! haha

Ruth is growing up so fast! She's such a cutie :)

This may be a little outdated, as I only found your blog on the web this morning. I loved that you posted pics of your apartment and kitchen. By now, you have most likely solved your storage problems. But I had a thought when I saw the pictures...you have a nice sized dining area. I have lived in apartments in the past also, and one area of storage that helped me was to have a set of shelves in the dining area or kitchen. I think someone has already suggested a white cabinet. Anything with a storage area, like an old cabinet, or shelves. Or even a sofa table, that you can put things on and under. When I saw your dining room pic it looked perfect for a set of shelves or table to go against the wall. You can store those tubs you have in your dining room already, and the bibs, and cookbooks, and potatoes and onions in baskets.

The best storage conditions for onions and potatoes are cool and dark and dry places. So since you live in Seattle, a storage container on your porch might work well. As long as it's sealed so animals couldn't get in it, I would think that would work well. I think I might start buying in bulk and storing on our deck in large Rubbermaid containers (now that it's fall, it'll be cool enough). I'll have to move them to the basement in the winter though.

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