Kitchen Organization: Clean & Clear for the New Year!

Kitchen Organization: Featured Image

Kitchen Organization: Clean & Clear for the New Year!

It’s out with the old and in with the new in 2016! We’re all scrambling around to meet the resolutions that we’ve made to eat more healthy, get in shape, and to get more organized! Kitchen organization is often overlooked – taking a back seat to cleaning out your bedroom, attic, or other space that seems to attract everything you will never need. However, the kitchen is – in my opinion – the epicenter of the home. In my fathers kitchen he even has a TV in there so he can eat, read the paper, and watch football without having to leave the room! This year resolve to change that! Get your kitchen organized to keep up with life and the rest of your resolutions! So how do you organize a kitchen? We’ll give you some of our favorite kitchen organization tips to organize the different areas of your kitchen and how they’ll help you in other aspects of your life!

Pantry Organization

Kitchen Design: Trends & Resolutions for 2016: Pantry Organization The pantry is always in a state of semi-organization in my house. All the canned stuff goes on this shelf, except for one or two particulars. Cereal is at the bottom, and the floor is just covered in unused shopping bags. Other than that you can put whatever your want wherever you want – if I’m hungry enough I’ll dig for it. Going through your pantry, organizing it and throwing out old food stuffs will help to declutter the space. Set up some kind of organization system, large (wide) magazine holders hold canned goods well and shoe organizers that hang on the back of the door are a life saver when it comes to organizing spice packets! A popular tip seen on Pinterest is to use plastic bins (or wicker – if you want that rustic-chic look) to organize the different kinds of food-stuffs you have, like pastas in one bin and after-school snacks in another. Cynthia Ewer posted a great, in-depth article about organizing your pantry over on Organized Home where she states that “A Pantry’s Not a Place: It’s an Attitude.” You can read that article, here, for more tips to get your pantry into shape! Remember that canned goods are often still good way after its marked date; unless the metal is starting to rust, it should still be good to keep. If you do feel that you want to get rid of it consider donating your unwanted (but still good) canned goods to your local food bank!

Refrigerator Organization

Kitchen Organization: Refrigerator Organization You probably already go through your Refrigerator every once in a blue moon to get rid of expired goods and clean it out. But having a system in place can help to rid you of this process and not have to touch another moldy bowl again! Of course, if you don’t go through your fridge that often, my first piece of advice is to start to. Go through, organize and clean your refrigerator at least once a month, more if there’s any extra messiness. When I worked at my local deli at the beginning of college we had an extremely strict cold-box organization system – and we had to clean it out every week. My boss at the time had previously worked at a high-end restaurant as a cook and this is apparently how others taught her to organize a professional kitchen refrigerator. The system organizes the foods by how long they need to be cooked; foods needing little to no cooking time at the top to raw meats and foods that need to be cooked to higher temperatures/for longer at the bottom. This kind of kitchen organization reduces food contamination. So it’s organized similarly as follows:
  1. Top: Foods that can be eaten raw or need little to no cooking. – Leftovers, beverages, deli-meats, ready-to-eat snacks.
  2. Middle: Raw foods that will be cooked. – Veggies and eggs.
  3. Bottom*: Raw ingredients that must be cooked, but need to be cooked longer or to higher temperatures than the shelves above it. – Meats.
  4. Door**: Condiments and items that can be left out or do not have to be refrigerated.
* The bottom of the fridge typically has a couple of drawers that are designed to keep in humidity for fresh produce like fruits and vegetables. While these items can be kept higher in the refrigerator if you decide that you must put your produce in a bottom crisper drawer, keep one drawer specifically for raw meats and another for produce to prevent contamination. If your drawers are on top of each other, stick with the top down rule – meat in the bottom drawer, veggies in the top. ** The door is the warmest part of the fridge, so anything that must stay cold like milk, raw meats, or eggs should be kept in a colder part of the refrigerator.

Kitchen Organization: Food DriveFood for Thought:

The more often you’re able to go through your pantry or fridge – the more often you’ll be able to clear out old, unwanted, or unhealthy foods – and we all know that the less often that pack of cookies is staring you in the face when you open the pantry looking for a snack the more likely you’ll be to stay on track with eating cleaner! Likewise, if you can see fresh fruits and veggies in your refrigerator you’ll be more likely to much on them from time to time!

Shelf & Cabinet Organization

Kitchen Organization: Horizontal Cabinet Trend An upcoming trend that I briefly mentioned in last weeks blog is the move towards horizontal cabinetry. This trend is highlighted by more shallow depth and wider cabinets and shelves. It’s being more commonly seen in upper wall cabinets than base cabinets as decreasing depth there would mean sacrificing counter and prep space. What this kitchen organization trend aims to do is to allow for more room to display and organize kitchen ware such as cups, plates and bowls and also cooking utensils without having to layer things backwards and have to go searching for something. Kitchen Organization: Pull Out Shelves An alternative to this are pull out drawers that are also helping to ease the hassle of having to find a skillet or other item in the back of your cabinet. Builders Surplus offers two different lines that can do some version of horizontal cabinetry and pull-out shelving. Wellborn Cabinets and Waypoint Living Spaces (our custom lines) both offer some options to control the depth of your cabinets and add pull-out shelving!

Kitchen Organization Products

Kitchen Organization: Products

Click here to shop our kitchen organization products!

Kitchen organization can be a daunting task – just like organizing any other room in your home but it’s an important part of home improvement. While magazine racks, shoe organizers, or other kitchen organization hacks might be frugal, little times are they stylish. Builders Surplus favorite kitchen organization tools come from the 11 minutes or less brand. Each item helps tremendously in helping to organize your kitchen and they can all be installed in 11 minutes or less! From trashcan pullouts to lazy susans for your cabinets we think these products are some of the best and make life in the kitchen so much easier!
Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation! Written By: Kat Flaherty

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How To Video: DIY Wood Pallet Shelves

Hi Everyone! This is Allie Bloyd with another awesome how-to for you – wood pallet shelves! As most of us know, wood pallets are pretty incredible. You can make just about anything your heart desires with these versatile boards (and for cheap!). With the holidays coming up, I thought this would be a good project to share. I have made these shelves for gifts, and they were a big hit! The construction is pretty standard, but the fun part is decorating the insides to reflect your personality or there personality of the person you’re giving them too. Lets get started!

Wood Pallet Shelves Materials:

For this project, you will need

  • A wood pallet
  • A hand or circular saw
  • Your stain of choice
  • Wet wipes or disinfectant spray and rag
  • Sponge for your stain
  • Screws
  • A drill
  • 1/8 bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Knobs of choice (optional)
  • 1 yard of burlap
  • At least 4 decorations. I go for 2 picture frames and 2 other objects.
  • Safety Glasses

Wood Pallet Shelves

How to build your Wood Pallet Shelves:

Step 1: Cutting your wood pallet

First of all, you need to select a wood pallet that has some character but is still in pretty good shape. We can sell them at Builders Surplus for $9.99 if you’re looking for one. You are then going to need to use a saw to cut it. If you are not comfortable using a saw, I recommend that you find someone who is to help you. Safety first. If you are using the saw yourself, get your safety glasses on. You are just going to make a straight cut right above the second board from the top and bottom.

Step 2: Cleaning your Wood Pallet

After successfully cutting your pallet, you will need to clean it to make sure there is not dirt, grime or cobwebs on it (depending where you get it, you never know what you might find!)
I used some simple disinfecting wipes. I brushed off all the big stuff first and went back and got the smaller particles. It is not going to mess things up if you have a bit left on there like it would if you were painting, which is nice. Stain is much more forgiving, and with a rustic look, old dirt can sometimes work for you!

Step 3: Staining your Wood Pallet

I used Minwax ‘Weathered Oak’ for my stain. It is a nice compliment to the natural color of the distressed wood pallet. I took my sponge, and went over both pieces of my pallet. You don’t have to do this perfectly, the imperfections make it beautiful. The stain is to give it a more uniform look all over, but it is not required, just my personal preference!

Step 4: Cutting your Bottom Boards

This next step also requires a saw, so again, use safety and your best judgement. Take your measuring tap and measure the full width of your wood pallet as well as the width of the bottom opening. One side of my pallet was cracked and missing (which I love!) so I opted to do two separate pieces on the bottom, to make sure I lined it up in the right spot, but most of the time you can just use one solid piece. Outline on your plywood the length and width that you need (2) times, for both of your shelves. Cut them out stain the edges of them with the sponge you used on your wood pallet.


Other versions of wood pallet shelves


Step 5: Securing the Plywood To The Wood Pallet

Now, you will attach your plywood to turn this wood pallet into shelves! Take your drill & screws and secure all 4 corners of your board or boards onto the bottom opening. If you need to touch up any stain, now is the time to do it.

Step 6: Adding Decorative Knobs & Decorations

After step 5, your wood pallet shelves are technically complete, but not in my mind. These shelves are about more than storage, they are about charm and character. I love old rustic knobs, so I took some that I found and spread them out evenly over the front of one of my shelves. Three to the left of the center board and three to the right. I took a sharpie and measured the spaces, and then marked the spots that would make it a proper distribution. Switch your drill to your 1/8 bit and pre-drill all 6 holes. Then, take your knobs and screw them through the holes. Attached your washer & bolt to the back to secure it.
Now, I will position my decorations in my shelves. I like having 2 picture frames to help with the personalization, but you can choose whatever works best for you or your home! I also chose two other decorations, and for these shelves, that was a burlap flower bouquet and a cardboard & sign that I painted with white acrylic paint.  I think one large item in each of the “pockets” works well, but again, you can mix it up how ever you like!
After I’ve positioned my wood pallet shelf decorations, I will break out my burlap. I my yard into 4 strips of my desired width. I like to place the burlap behind the items and spread it out to give it a more cozy look.
Below is another set of shelves that I created, where I took wooden letters and used hot glue to cover them in moss. I decorated with some flowers and an old door knob. The options are unlimited!
For more amazing wood pallet projects, check out our Pinterest board, Wood Pallet Wonders!
That’s all on our How-To Tutorial For DIY Wood Pallet Shelves! I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Please check back to see more how-to’s on decorating, installation, crafting, and more! To see how to build a leaning shelf set out of an old door, check out this tutorial!
Builders Surplus is a full service remodeling company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, which comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building supplies ranging from unused surplus, to first quality in stock, to high end custom order and everything in between. We also provide measurement and full installation services (in our Louisville Location, partial in our Newport Location). Our core products consist of kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities (single vanities and double vanities), interior doors, exterior doors, sinks, faucets, granite countertops, quartz countertops, laminate countertops, windows, and more! If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. Happy Remodeling!
Written By: Allie Bloyd