Could a baking center help you get organized in the kitchen?

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Does it take you 15 minutes to grab all the ingredients to make a simple batch of cookies? Do you often begin a recipe only to find out that you are lacking a simple staple? Does the way your kitchen is set up deter you from cooking?

Maybe a baking center would help.

It is no secret that I have an affinity for organizing kitchens. I love the huge difference that a few hours can make. I work in a full spectrum of kitchen sizes and with a different budgets/needs. The size of your kitchen does not limit its ability to work hard for your family. If you enjoy baking and cook frequently, a baking center could greatly simplify your life.

Kitchen Zoning

The concept of a baking center is centered around setting up “centers” in your kitchen. Julie Morgenstern, author of  Organizing From the Inside Out, does a terrific job illustrating the various kitchen zones. Delineated areas within the kitchen should be centered around the family’s natural activities. I encouraged clients to list the various activities that occur in their kitchens. Some of these zones may include:

  • coffee zone
  • baking zone
  • lunch/left-over zone
  • beverage/bar zone
  • trash/recycling zone
  • food preparation zone
  • food storage zone
  • daily cooking zone
  • arts and crafts zone
  • home school zone

A Baking Zone

The baking zone could be set up in a cupboard, in the walk-in pantry, on a set of kitchen shelves or on a rolling kitchen cart. The mindset behind each of these zones is the same-to consolidate the necessary items required for tasks and simplify storage. An organizing fundamental that consistently works it to put like items together.

Baking Zone In An Existing Overhead Cupboard

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This wonderful client loved to bake and already owned most of the pieces we used to assemble her baking cabinet. Building upon her existing Rubbermaid storage set, we adjusted the cabinet shelf heights, gathered all her necessities next to the stand mixer below this cabinet and a baking cabinet was born.

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This client designated an over-head cabinet in her newly built home for her baking necessities. It is important to take into consideration the largest size quantity of any baking staple you normally purchase and choose containers to accommodate this size bag. An organizer can help guide you to the correct pieces and capacities.

Baking Center in a Walk-in Pantry

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A professional can not suggest storage solutions and its dimensions, but also tie the items together with custom labels. The perfect labels are not only a visual incentive for things to return to the correct place, but they also unify the various zones in the kitchen to reflect the client’s style.

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 Keep A Modular Footprint

A common mistake many homeowners make when setting up a kitchen baking zone is not using uniform containers. The containers do not need to be expensive, as is seen in the next photo using dollar store options, but they do need to all be modular.IMG_2756

Sometimes you don’t have to purchase any new containers. This client only needed a couple of extra containers to make her existing set work after we searched her kitchen. A quick wash and repurpose and we had a baking center.

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Think Outside the Cupboard With Your Baking Center

I love to use this inspiration photo to set up baking centers when there really aren’t any cupboards or a pantry to use. This is often the case with apartment and condo clients and those renters who need to customize their rental for a short period of time. I love this chrome shelf option because it can later be reused in a variety of spaces in the home and garage. Source: http://theeverygirl.com/feature/alaina-kaczmarskis-chicago-apartment-tour

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A rolling cart also makes a fabulous baking center and can move to various spaces. This is my present inspiration for a darling client with a love of baking.

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Do you love to bake? Vacaville Organizer would love to help you create a wonderful baking station in your home. Consultations for local, Vacaville residents are free. Call (530)902-5960.

Happy Organizing!-Lorinda, owner of Vacaville Organizer

Two “C” organizing ideas-Cleaning supplies and Caddies!

Some quick and easy organization ideas!

Over the door shoe organizers!

cleaning#1( I apologize for the horrible photo-my dark, narrow hallway was not cooperating!) Not all over-the-door shoe holders are created equal.  With this organizer, you really get what you pay for in durability and easy of use.  I recommend the Real Simple version that can be purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond.cleaning3Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 10.50.43 AMIt retails for about $20, but you can use a 20% coupon.  Whatever brand you decide on, make sure it anchors well at the top and bottom of the door and the pockets are reinforced well to withstand contents.

These storage beauties have endless possibilities.  I use one in my home to corral all of my cleaning supplies.  (Obviously only recommended for those who do not have small children.)  I love that all of the supplies are in one place, I can easily see what products I am running low on and everyone can find the “right” bottle or supply quickly.  I also like that it has labels so things get put back where they belong.

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Cleaning caddies to the rescue!

My tiny kitchen and limited cupboard space has forced me to be creative.  Like many moms, I make bag lunches almost every day.  I found myself opening drawers, pulling things off the fridge, rummaging through cupboards and expending a lot of energy EARLY in the morning just to put together lunches.  I realized that I needed a way to corral all of the lunch making “tools” in one place.  I found this beauty at the dollar store and it has really simplified that morning job.lunch 2

Here are all the things I had to pull out to make a lunch:  two sizes of baggies, plastic dipping/dressing containers, plastic utensils, small condiments and bags.

lunch 3By putting them all in one place that fits in my teeny tiny cabinet, I can pull everything out at once.  Some other wonderful ideas for caddies are as follows:

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 10.41.56 AMHomework Basket

This is especially helpful for early grade-schoolers who do their homework with you at the kitchen table.  I love this example from Toni at a Bowl Full of Lemons of how she organized all the supplies needed to get homework done.  She has a wonderful blog full of great ideas for busy moms.  Be sure to click over the check it out!

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 10.40.09 AMMorning Get Ready Basket

This idea is especially helpful for multiple kids who share one bathroom.  The dollar store generally stocks this type of basket and you can designate a different color for each child’s toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, gel, de-tangling spray, brush or hair supplies.  I like that the caddy can go to different locations in the house for getting ready and that the child can easily be expected to put their things back when done.  Caddies could be tucked under the sink for a clean counter top.

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 10.38.36 AMDiaper Changing Caddy

Another wonderful idea from Pinterest to keep diaper changing supplies handy.  Slip in some wipes, diapers, cream and a changing pad and almost any location can be diaper changing station.

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 10.43.22 AMTool Caddy

Many times the tools we need for a particular job need to go with us to the “fix-it” location.  Caddies are a perfect answer for loading up the things required and keeping them handy.  Home Depot has a great, durable caddy for less than $5 that really does the job.  Caddies are especially helpful for sprinkler installation.  Keeping all the small risers, fittings and pipe pieces with you as you make your rounds around the yard saves your back and some aggravation. A great Father’s Day gift idea!

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Meal Caddies

Caddies are a great solution to keep lunch contained for toddlers on the go or in the car.  It is much easier for little hands to manage the large openings of the organizer and it holds the drink upright. Road trip ideas!

Great organization always starts with a problem.  Find an aspect of your life that is a daily irritant.  Maybe a little organization can save your sanity and time!

Happy organizing!-Lorinda at Vacaville Organizer

 

 

 

 

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