We have an abundance of storage at The Park but it's still smaller than homes we've owned. As empty nesters and wanting to downsize, I thought I'd share with you some ideas you can adapt to fit your own needs should you be faced with small spaces in which to call home. Let's start in the laundry. The above photo are the cabinets above the washer and dryer. (Yeah, I know! Cabinets and NOT plastic ClosertMaid shelves!) On top I have some fall arrangements that were too large for the cabinets, along with chargers and platters too large for the lower cabinets. I have a step stool folded up beside the washer that makes getting these items on top a breeze.
As I was loading the cabinets with items I knew would be there, I became frustrated that my cleaning supplies wouldn't fit! Solution?! Take out the shelf, reposition the plastic holders, replace shelf, and John had one happy housewife that evening! Do it! It's so work it!
Still have lots of storage in the upper cabinets and I can get my cleaning needs in here easily and nicely without stretching a muscle to get them or having to leave them sitting out on top of the washer. Yuck.
When we were living in the two bedroom, we had a bit more room in the laundry and I was able to hang first a large mirror, and then a large framed print over the electrical box. Because the dryer door swings so closely to the box that idea didn't work here in the townhome. Drat. I decided against painting this laundry. Had I done so, I would've painted the box. See the shelf in the corner? Hobby Lobby and so light weight. We love it. The bottom shelf holds place mats and a basket with all the plastic sippy cups that were running over in my cabinet by the sink. This way, each child can go choose their own and I don't have to store them. The next shelf up holds snacks and there's a Ball jar holding straws behind the basket. Top shelf is my shelf that holds photos and drawings that makes me smile.
This is the wall facing the appliances. I have several hooks here to hold delicates that need to dry and an insulated bag I take to the pool. If you have a blank wall opposite your washer and dryer, that's an ideal place for hangers and hooks! Use it. You'll need every inch of space in a smaller abode.
Our refrigerator is on the wall going into the laundry and I would really like for you to pay attention to what I'm about to tell you. Are you ready? Please don't put cereal boxes and food and stuff you can't find a place for on top of your fridge. If you'll organize, throw away what you don't eat, what's past it's prime date, you can put a decorative vignette up there and you can even run an electric cord and a night light. This one came from Kirkland's and stays lit 24/7. I think it's a 4 watt bulb and yes, I change this area out with the seasons. Food does not go on top of your fridge. In it. Not on it.
We do not have the drawers I am used to so I have had to be inventive and one of those ways was to use my Pampered Chef holder tucked into the corner by the refrigerator. I placed a square framed print behind it, and a iron and crystal candle holder to dress up an otherwise useful area. Another option would be to find three crocks and separate your utensils into wood/bamboo, stainless, and items not used often. I like that the black makes it blend in rather nicely against the side of the fridge. And while we're on the fridge, I'm going to step on toes here, but try to keep items with magnets to a minimum. We keep a calendar on our counter so there is no need for one on the fridge. If you have to, try to use the sides, not the front that will be seen.
There is a large opening running from the top to the bottom of these cabinets, which enabled me to have a night light on the top and one by the coffeemaker. Again, all of these came from Kirkland's and stay on 24/7. They never get hot and we've never (in 27+ years) had a heat problem. Just dropped a long electric cord down and it was easy to have holiday lights up there as well during the winter months.
The three set by the coffee maker came from Kirkland's and holds our Splenda, and two flavored coffemates. The corner is always decorated at our homes, as I prefer not having a large mixer out since I do not cook with one that often. The tray is propped against the wall as I use it and didn't want to try and find a place to put it and possibly forget about it!
We only have three small drawers. One holds table utensils, another ladles and large knives, another slim drawer holds my plastic spatulas and the other holds smaller knife sets. Which left me wondering where I was going to put the hand towels. A basket and rolling the colorful cloths solved that problem. It's easy to grab one and they make for a pretty combination under the print. At Christmas, I changed them out to match the Wintry print I had there. Plate holders?! Gotta have 'em in a smaller space. The ones we are using for the season stay here. Others stay in a cabinet above. I love plates, salad plates, and dessert plates. This was a handy idea to accommodate my collections!
Here's one of the narrow drawers beside the oven.
Using Rubbermaid items can really maximize your space!
This is above the oven and a good place for it.
Again, the smallest pantry we've had but with a little thought and organization, you can actually put so much in your space. Use baskets, use jars and large open containers. If you Google 'organized pantry' and click on Photos, you'll find a world of pics to learn from. This one works for me.
I love the turn-arounds!
When we moved in, I noticed a problem right off. Where to put the trashcan! Or rather, where to put it so that we didn't stumble over it or have to move it out of the way to get to a bottom cabinet. There wasn't room in the laundry and I didn't want it in there anyway. My sweetheart came up with a plan and it works! I hung a wreath hanger over the door (should paint it white!) and the bag hangs there until about half full at which time we take it down and it hangs on the laundry room handle for the next day or two.
The scented bags make the pantry smell good, too! Here's why we couldn't put it on this wall. The air return is there. But to tell you the truth, I like having it hanging and not worrying about keeping finger prints off a silver trashcan!
Again, you can see I love Rubbermaid organizers!
And the University of Alabama!
The Melamine plates are for the g'babies.
Lightweight and happy looking.
Again, more organizers!
I hope this has given you some fresh ideas and that you'll find time to organize your kitchen a bit so that when you open a cabinet, a drawer, or just walk into that part of your home, you want to smile. Chaos creates stress and anxiety. Try to get to the point that you're bringing serinity into your home. As mothers, wives, and working women, we need all the calmness we can find. Can I hear an Amen?!