Cowgar Family Adventures

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Kitchen Organization Start

It has been a LONG time since I've updated this blog....a VERY LONG time! Considering Henna will be 2 in another week, a super LONG time! Ignore the pictures at the top and at the side...the blog is very outdated. Life has been so busy. Four kids, a host of extra activities, home schooling, the photography business, my part-time job... a blog was the farthest thing from my mind...

I had a conversation with my friend Charlotte recently, about how cluttered we both feel our homes are, and how we need motivation and accountability so we can get through this hurdle in our lives and get organized. She suggested that December be my kitchen month, and so I thought about it, got on Pinterest, and dove in to find organization methods I thought we could pull off in the kitchen.  I thought of keeping tabs with my progress on Facebook, either my personal page or my craft page, but I think the old blog would be better to store everything at, so I could go back and look through the progress easier, and I can just share a link on Facebook when I update this.

Before we go any further, here is the link to my Pinterest board on the ideas I came across for kitchen organization.

Ok, now, take note that we have lived in this house for 9 years.  We bought it with the intention of flipping it, but the market crashed and we became stuck, had a few kids, and then decided, "Oh, maybe we should actually start fixing the place up so it's more livable now that we have kids." Last winter we did a major overhaul on the kitchen. We had little cabinet space, and since we use the backdoor as our main entrance (we park the cars in the back of the house), the kitchen was a cluttered catch-all, with doors to the bathroom, outside, basement, and the upstairs (we removed this second staircase and turned it into a coat closet). I'm no Martha Stewart, but I'd like to be one day, and the previous kitchen had no hope of me ever learning to cook.  This overhaul gave me the chance, and now this December organization will hopefully make that chance a reality.

Here are a few pictures we dug up of what our kitchen looked like before we did anything to it.  Note that the pantry was enclosed, and we had shoved our fridge into one side of it.  There was no place for a fridge, except right beside the window, and then when you walked through the backdoor, it was BAM, a fridge. The two doors after the pantry are for the second staircase and the basement door. Then there is the window, blocked by our chest freezer, and a few cabinets on the wall. Those cabinets were not there when we moved in, those were free from a kitchen display tear-out when I worked at Lowe's. Then the backdoor, and notice the built-in dishwasher...that's not built-in..LOL! And the cabinet above it was a free Lowe's display as well. Beside that is the door to the bathroom, and then the sink and main cabinet area, which was all there when we moved in. We did however, rip those out and rebuild the soffit. Then the stove, and then the doorway to the dining room.

We knocked the pantry wall out on one side, to allow more room for the fridge. The spiral staircase was closed off to create a coat closet. My ultimate goal was to have more countertop space, so we made the radical decision to move our backdoor to where the window was, and make the entire corner cabinets and countertop space. On a cold December day in 2012, we decided it was time for a change. Here are some before, during, and after pictures of that tear-out process from last year.

Since then, we've finished putting the tileboard backing up behind the cabinets. We have some trim and paint, some cabinet hardware, some baseboard, and other odds and ends. We still have a lot of work to do, and a lot of organization that could happen, so the time is now. December 2013 is it! Now for the ultimate embarrassment... Here are some pictures of our current state.

 Notice the stroller hanging out, dirty dishes piled up, next to zero countertop space, plants on the dirty floor, an expired carseat, shoes and coats everywhere (since access to the coat closet is blocked), a complete mess on the pantry shelves, and chicken food and bedding, plus lots of paint, tools, egg cartons, etc.

I don't expect us to get new flooring this month, that is an expense we just cannot handle right now. What I would like to see during this month of organizing, is not only for us to utilize our cabinets, countertops, and pantry in the best ways possible, but also to finish up some odds and ends of our construction process, and to de-clutter unnecessary items in the kitchen, with everything that belongs in the kitchen, to have a home.

Here is a good portion of the construction list of what still needs accomplished in the kitchen to finish it:

  • ·         Install cabinet handles
  • ·         Caulk gaps in crown molding
  • ·         Texture mud the ceiling (it is very uneven from taking out the pantry wall, so texture it is)
  • ·         Paint ceiling
  • ·         Buy and install ceiling fan for the main light
  • ·         Install quarter round trim around cabinets
  • ·         Move register vent (right now it's blowing under one of our new cabinets)
  • ·         Install countertop ends
  • ·         Replace stove gas line (right now the stove doesn't sit back against the wall like it should)
  • ·         Touch up wall paint
  • ·         Paint trim
  • ·         Install outlet
  • ·         Get deadbolt re-keyed and installed
  • ·         New microwave bulb (here to remind us...)
  • ·         Paint closet door and backdoor
  • ·         Possibly get a new bathroom door and paint it (the previous owners installed it upside down!)

Here are some of the organizing goals I want to achieve.  I am sure there are many more, but these come to mind easily:

  • ·         Contact paper for inside cabinet doors (print, chalkboard, and possibly metal and cork to add)
  • ·         Spice racks
  • ·         Pot lid storage
  • ·         Pots and pans storage
  • ·         Herb garden
  • ·         Storage for small appliances
  • ·         Snack center for the girls
  • ·         "Communication" center for the family
  • ·         Meal plan/grocery list center for the family
  • ·         Better utensil storage
  • ·         Buy or make an oven gap guard
  • ·         Above the fridge storage

I plan to take before and after pictures of each cabinet as we purge and reorganize them. I will also take pictures and post updates as we get construction projects accomplished, or if I do something amazing in there :) Now I just need everyone to hold us accountable for all of this!