List of stuff in kitchens?

sautesmomJuly 17, 2008

Now that I am getting close to actually installing my DIY kitchen, I am trying to imagine actually working in my new kitchen. First I think I want a cabinet with drawers, then a pull-out. I've been living without cabinets for so long (I'm sure I've hit a record!) that I am having a hard time visualizing what I will put in the cabinets I have decided on. I have planned on stuffing as many cabinets in the kitchen as possible because my house is very small and has literally no storage. But what will go in them all?

For those of you who have worked with kitchen designers, have you seen a list of things to go in cabinets/drawers? Such as pots, pans, lids, silverware; but also things like birthday candles, serving platters, etc.?

I'm hoping for a checklist so I can make sure I'm not forgetting something big.


Carla in Sac

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One book I had recommended that I make a list of everything I have in the kitchen so that I my new plan included a place for everything. It really saved me - I used it to review my plan and double check that everything was accounted for. It was tough to figure out if things woud fit in the space alloted so I left a little extra room. Just this weekend I unpacked everything into the new cabinets! I had marked where everything went on the plan when I was evaluating it - so I used it to unpack - woked great! The pots & pans didn't fit well in the big drawers I had planned (handles were too long) so I moved them to the super susan. You should try to build in some flexiblity that way. THe other great thing was making a list of everything I liked & hated about the current kitchn so I could plan those in/out. Anyway here's my list from planning..

Hot pads
drinking glasses
coffee cups
food processor
rolling pins & baking gadgets
measuring cups & spoons
spatulas & wisks
coffee pot
toaster bread box
espresso machine
pasta bowls
mixing bowls -2 sets
serving bowls
salad spinner
wine glasses
margharita glasses
dog food
dog meds
wraps & ziplocs
pots & pans & lids
stock pots
bakeware pans
broiling pans
fruit bowls
lasange pans
can goods
paper plates
paper plate holders
trash can
dish rack
sink gear (veg brush, scrubbers, stoppers)
step stool
cookie sheets
large platters
large bowls
cutting boards
waffle iron
crock pot
coffee grinders
dishwasher tabs
dish soap
butter dish
lunch box
plastic bag collector
hot mitts

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 9:02PM
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I made up a WORD document listing all my cabinets and shelves so that I could then list everything I wanted to put into them. Great idea at the time, but I've never used the list, and now my cupboards are pretty full!

One thing I found by living out of boxes for a long time, is that I am reluctant to bring things back in. So, I am forcing myself to declutter and get rid of those things that I very seldom use. I realize that we have way too many spices- so many that I don't want to admit how long some of them have been lingering in my cupboards. By not having my new shelves and drawers jam-packed, I can see what I have, and it gets used! No need to buy duplicates of things I already have but can't find!

I understand your question, but as everyone runs their kitchen so differently (just look at the dissenting opinions on the post what you hate...), I don't think a generic list would help you much. But, if you want a starting point,a wedding gift registry list from one of the major department stores would probably be a good place to begin.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 9:09PM
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great list! i too made a list and then assigned the items from the list to the cabinets in my plan. it was very helpful. the larger tupperware stuff takes up a bit more space than I would have accounted for. The tupperware fits where I wanted it too, but I have to keep it all very organized. The salad spinner takes up a lot of space and I have a whole draw just for colanders.

I was very keen on having a draw for my kitchen dish towels and I have loved having them so handy and having enough space for them that they aren't crammed in. I am also VERY happy with the space I designated for our saran wrap, foil, baggies, etc... This is a draw I access several times per day so I wanted it really handy and it certainly is making kitchen life easier!

I have a whole draw just for electrical gadgets such as my little one cup chopper, food processor, hand mixer, stick blender, etc... I like having all this stuff together and having it in a draw is working out pretty well. Originally the food processor was supposed to go in my "appliance garage" but I ended up putting my heinously ugly toaster oven in there instead. Having that out of view is GREAT! and taking the food processor out of the nice and roomy draw is not a hassle at all (in my old kitchen it was shoved in a tiny narrow cabinets with all sorts of stuff spilling out everytime I accessed it, which caused me not to access it as often as I would have otherwise).

but again, hats off to bethv for that great list... much more comprehensive than the one I came up with and a great help I am sure to many... it is a good process to go through when designing a kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 10:16PM
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That's a great list and mama's add-ins are great, too. I'll also add the following:
In one drawer we have
scotch tape
packaging tape
measuring tape

and then under the sink we have
white vinegar
baking soda
dishwasher soap
liquid soap
dish towels
bug spray
oven cleaner

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 10:40PM
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To indirectly answer your question, here's the storage planning "guide" I came up should help you figure out what you want to store in the kitchen and where.

Once you've finalized your basic design, it's time to analyze your storage needs in each zone. The results of that analysis will drive the size/configuration of your cabinets and drawers. (The following is a general write-up I've come up with...)

  1. First, make a list of everything you plan to store in your new kitchen, regardless of where it's stored, basement, dining room, etc.

  2. Next, take the list and group the items according to function. Will they be used during prep? cooking? baking? cleanup? Some items, like pot holders, may belong in two different zones (in this case, cooking & baking). You can either find storage between the two zones or have duplicates and store one in each zone.

  3. Now, determine where each of your zones will be (prep, cleanup, cooking, baking, storage, etc.)
    The next step depends on the stage you are in the design/order process...

If you've already ordered your cabinets, then you will have to work with what you have. So...

  • Identify the storage potential in each zone and list them on a piece of paper with a section for each cabinet (base & upper) and one line per drawer or shelf in that cabinet. This includes your pantry for your "storage" zone.

  • Take the two lists and, while imagining yourself working in each zone, put the dishes, tools, etc. that you will be using in cabinets in that zone. Fill in the lines in the cabinet list with these items.

If you are still in the design phase, you will have the opportunity to plan your storage to meet your needs in each zone.

  • Take your list and imagine yourself working in each zone.

  • Go through the motions to determine the best locations for each item that will be used and stored in that zone (don't forget that you will probably have both upper and lower cabinets).

  • Now that you know where to put the items, determine what the best way is to store those items (drawer, shelf, etc.) and what size (e.g., pots & pans work best in 30" or 36" drawers)

  • Lastly, transfer what you've done to your design & tweak as necessary.

You should now have a well-thought out and highly functional kitchen!

This not only helps you to "see" how things will fit, but it also will help when you move back into the won't have to think about it, you'll be able to just put things away. It will also be a handy "map" for everyone to help find things the first few weeks w/o having to open every drawer or door!

Oh, and don't forget the Junk Drawer! Most people end up with one, so you may as well plan for it so you at least have control over where it's located!

Common Zones, Appliances In That Zone, and Suggestions For What To Store There:

  • Storage--pantry & refrigerator--tupperware, food, wraps & plastic bags

  • Preparation--sink & trash--utensils, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls,...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 12:13AM
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Thanks for posting that again, buehl, I had seen it somewhere but couldn't find it again!

I'm trying to think through all of this before I post my layout for suggestions...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 12:40AM
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Like Raehelen, I created an MS Word document...well, actually two.

The first was a list of everything I had in my old kitchen plus everything that should have been stored in the kitchen but wasn't.

The second document was a "map" of my kitchen. First, I took a picture of my kitchen design and, in MS PowerPoint, labeled each cabinet & shelf/drawer. There were two pictures, one for each side of the kitchen. Then, I saved them as "jpg" images. I then inserted them into an MS Word document, each on its own page. I then created a table with one row for each shelf/drawer.

My last step was to map the items from the first document to the cabinets & shelves/drawers in the second document.

That document is now in our new kitchen and is used by everyone to remember where everything goes.

This process worked great!

Now, here's my map/list (sorry the pics are so big, but when I made them smaller they were illegible!):


    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 12:45AM
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My strategy was MUCH simpler: I looked at cabs in my current home-- 18" 4drawer, 36" 2drawer/2pullouts, etc.

Looked at what was in them, which were over stuffed, which were under utilized, which were in need of weeding.

I learned I needed less storage for storage: too many rubbermaid food savers. Too little for pots and pans, too little for tools like whisks and apatulas, too much for phone books and cutting boards.

Since I'm not in the new house, I'm not sure how accurate my assesment will prove to have been. But I feel very secure in this reguard, even if I'm less so about some aspects of the design...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 2:43AM
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Oh dear...I was just hoping for a nice drawer to store a cork screw....

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 3:39AM
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Buehl, I have copied your drawings and list to review my kitchen plans with. What would I do w/o GW? I don't think I even know what's in all those boxes that I once called my kitchen :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 8:45AM
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WOW! What a wealth of fabulous solutions!

Mine started with an inventory of what I had, using broad categories, 'linear inches' of storage, and 'primeness of space' ratings, along with notes about what items I had too many of. My ratings system was:

- A for prime real estate - knees-to shoulders zone, right by point of use.
- B for good space - ground level or second shelf but still within reach, up to a few feet away.
- C for seldom used - needed a big stretch or step-ladder.

My list looked something like this:

Dishes: 18" A + 18" B (Cull mismatches) + Good China - 24" C
Glassware: 24" A + 12" B + 30" C (Cull mismatches, too many mugs)
Pots and pans: 2 x 36" A + 36" B
Utensils: 2 x 36" A
Silverware: 18" A
Spices: 2 x 18" A (Drawer?)
Baking Pots & Pans: 2 x 24" C (I rarely bake)
Tupperware: 2 x 30" C (Cull & consolidate!)
Candles & Party goods - 24" C

This system was very effective for planning and for restocking my eventually-finished space.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 9:17AM
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Like others who have posted, I created a Word document listing every cabinet with its drawers and shelves, and I assigned what items would inhabit those spaces when we move back into our new kitchen. I even drew diagrams of how things would sit on the shelves in order to use vertical space most efficiently. Because our new cabinets are taller, I also indicated where I'd like extra shelves (to be cut out of salvaged shelf material from our old kitchen) to be installed. So I don't think I've got anything new to contribute there.

But here is a related vow I made to myself: To stop using the kitchen as a warehouse. DH and I cleaned out our garage and attached storeroom, and we have made space for storing those humungous quantities of household supplies that we can't resist at Costco. From now on, only ONE of each item will live in the kitchen; the remainder will live on shelves and in drawers in the garage and storeroom. So when it comes time to change the paper towel or waxed paper rolls or to replenish the sandwich bag supply, yes, we'll have to go downstairs and get another one. But our kitchen will no longer be a warehouse.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 12:09PM
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Wow! Thanks everyone! I am alternately inspired/awed/insanely jealous of all your space! The lists are great, especially at helping me figure out whether I was glass on all my upper cabinets or not (I think not, because some stuff can't be tidy all the time!) In my little 700 square foot house, I could definitely benefit from all your organizational skills, not to mention your storage rooms! Fortunately I also have a converted one-car garage for those Costco runs, but unfortunately at this time it's filled with my power tools and stuff to be installed in my kitchen (sink, cork flooring, tiles, etc.)

Thanks again,

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 7:26PM
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Bethv, I had the same issue. I finally figured out that I have a few inches between the back of the drawer and the back of the cabinet, and just stuck the handles over the top of the back. They fit now!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 7:49PM
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Thanks to everyone, esp. buehl. This is so helpful!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:31AM
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