Losing her drawers ;)

karinaOctober 26, 2009

Hi all,

A first time post from a long-time lurker on this forum...

My mom (82 yrs) is moving out of her home into an apartment. Her new kitchen will have plenty of cabinet space but only 2 drawers. One she plans to use for silverware, the other for the cooking utinsels and other gadgets. What are your favorite organizing tools and gizmos that might work inside her cabinets or on a countertop to corral things like: pot holders, dish towels, plastic wrap and baggies, "junk drawer" items, etc.?

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My favorite thing in my kitchen is a hanging waste basket that fits inside the cabinet door right under the sink. Easy to pop in garbage from cooking messes, etc. They are somewhat hard to locate, try a store like Lowes or Home Depot. if they don't have a hanging waste basket, go on-line.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 10:11AM
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does she still do a lot of cooking at her age, or not.
if not..maybe she should give away any duplicates or things she will no longer need in the apartment.

a container by the stove with a few cooking utensils..or a hanging rack nearby is always helpful..i hang almost all my pots and pans and utensils..but i have a dishwasher to keep them all clean so i can do that without worry of dust.

just toss them in the dishwasher a few times a month.

i love pullouts..esp on the bottom cabinets...a long magnet strip will hold knives..or a knife rack..that will go on wall under cabinet or on counter.

also one of the best things for plastic ware is to make sure what you have is all similar in size and will stack well..i switched a lot of my plastics to ziplock and gladware as they stack and their lids are interchangeable from size to size on deep and shallow containers.

also underbed pullouts are great in apartments for things that you don't have room for in the kitchen that you don't use often..if she is able to pull things out..on rollers..from under the bed.

my mom moved into an apartment from a 5 bedroom huge home..and she had to get rid of a lot of stuff..but found clever ways to store things..one thing she did is place shelves up around the ceiling (there was also a decorative beam in her apartment and we put shelves on both sides of the beam) she puts decorative tins and boxes on the shelves and she stores things in them that she doesn't need all the time..like holiday items..etc.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 11:05AM
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pot holders, dish towels, plastic wrap and baggies, "junk drawer" items, etc.?

Pot holders and dishtowels are in a drawer.
Plastic wrap and baggies are on a shelf in the pantry.
"junk drawer" items --- can't say... I don't have a junk drawer so I don't know what people put in there....

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 11:38AM
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Hi Karina,

There are several styles of holders for plastic & other wraps - maybe one of these will help your mother.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wrap organizer

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 3:42PM
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I wonder if a small free-standing cabinet would work for kitchen linens?

Here is a link that might be useful: towel storage cabinet

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 3:48PM
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We have ZERO drawers and got a freestanding buffet.

Because storage can be extremely limited in an apartment, and since she's living there alone, personally, I'd put only cookware int he kitchen and get a hutch for the dining room with SOLID upper doors. The microwave could live on the hutch top, freeing up some counter space (if there's not a microhood), silverware, plates, towels, and less-used casseroles, etc., can go in the drawers, and the upper doors can be her pantry.

I had one apartment in which the kitchen consisted of a 24" stove, a 30", and 24" of countertop, with a fridge on the opposite wall. There was one upper cabinet, 24" long. Put in a microwave, and countertop space was ZERO. A junky old dresser saved me!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 6:06PM
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Thank you all for your responses and the links. I will definitely pass along all the suggestions you have made as she gets moved in.

I think she will be particularly excited about one of those wrap organizers, kathleenca. She has a huge drawerful of that stuff in her current home.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 6:13PM
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one of those plastic drawer sets. they have them close to the size of a kitchen drawer. maybe she could put one on the counter if she has more counter space. or inside a door cab.

I have several that i use for odd stuff. i have a very small one in the bathroom for my makeup (no drawers in bathroom here). a larger one in the kitchen for cooking utensils. and one in the hallway for misc stuff - scissors, batteries etc.

they're at Walmart for 10.00 plus - depending on the size of it. they have some with a skinny drawer on top and deeper ones below or with all skinny drawers - which i like best.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Fori is not pleased

I love the tool bar things. They can be expensive, but the ones from Ikea and Lee Valley are reasonable (and can be mixed).

is an example from Lee Valley.

I've also nailed up flower boxes in my kitchen in the past...

Here is a link that might be useful: Lee Valley's bar stuff

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 8:55PM
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I use a lot of 10x6x4 inch plastic baskets and plate or extendable plate storage racks.

2 baskets fit comfortably on top of the extendable one. I use the baskets for extra things like extra spices and small things like jello or pudding packets, but a couple would also hold tea towels and pot holders and dish cloths. Underneath the shelf I store storage bags and saran and stuff.

The regular plate rack allows me to store baking pans in a small space. Mt 9x13 pans go on the bottom and they hold my 9" pans and smaller ones. On top I have my roumd pans and pie plates.

I'm a great fan of these shelves they not only give me extra room but keep things organized. She might consider putting her cooking utensils in a decorative pot on the counter and dividing off a portion of the second drawer for the little gadgets and using the remainder for tea towels.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 8:02AM
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I, personally, wouldn't waste the drawer space for utensils. I'd look for a crock or such for the cooking utensils--as long as there's a counter spot for it that would not require her to reach over a burner to grab a spatula or whatever. And they make divided carrying basket kinds of things ("flatware caddy") she could put her silverware in, as well as napkins (and if she has room for a table in the kitchen, she could just leave it on the table).

I keep cooking utensils out in a container on the counter--I know they probably collect a little dust, but I don't care too much about that. I just give the utensil a quick swish under the faucet.

The little things we collect in the kitchen--bag ties, a little can opener, corn-on-the-cob holders--that's the stuff we really need a drawer for.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 1:50AM
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Lots more great ideas! Thank you everyone. Can't wait to share them with her.

Fori, that tool bar is cool (I may have to get one for myself!).

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 10:04AM
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