Click to Print

Kitchen Sweep

Jodi and Marty Frank need help getting their kitchen organized and back in working order.

The kitchen is the spot for family gatherings in most homes. During the five years Jodi and Marty Frank have lived in their home with their two young children, their kitchen has become a magnet for papers, mail, plastic containers, newspapers, toys and junk.

Piles of stuff occupy virtually every inch of counter space and spill from the cabinets--mountains of newspapers, ready-to-be-recycled bottles and heaps of plastic containers in lower cabinets.

The spice racks cannot be reached because they sit up high on a cluttered shelf, and an island that sits in the middle of the kitchen eliminates even more space. The refrigerator is somewhere underneath all of the bills, school calendars, schedules and magnets. What began as a small amount of clutter has grown out of control.

The Franks feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the number of things lying around and doubt they can ever have a serene, inviting and efficient kitchen.

Professional organizer Vicki Norris arrives with hope and a plan. She explains to the Franks they have a "set it aside" mentality in which things are not dealt with (i.e. stored or filed appropriately) immediately. She adds that the organization process will be a long one, since the kitchen is full of small and diverse "stuff."

The desk in the built-in cabinetry is covered in clutter.

An out-of-control collection of plastic containers spills out of the lower cabinets. Tops and bottoms are hopelessly separated. Newspapers are scattered everywhere in the 11-1/2- x 16-foot kitchen.

The refrigerator is camouflaged by an overwhelming collection of magnets and papers.

The first task is to clear surfaces and get the papers under control. Every sheet is sorted into a box labeled Read, Shred, Trash or Donate. Then old newspapers are thrown out. The next big hurdle is organizing all the plastic containers Jodi collects--enough for 10 children instead of two. Three large boxes are filled with containers and then whittled down to a reasonable number.

All the paper scattered around the room is organized into a sorting system housing everything from bills to homework and unopened mail.

To keep all that paper and plastic under control, recycling bins were installed in a handy spot underneath the sink.

Vicki convinces the Franks to remove the island and pull up the carpet that covered only half of the kitchen. New wood flooring is put into place, which now gives the illusion of one big room instead of two.

Shelf extenders are added to the cabinets, along with a pop-up light that allows for more storage and easier accessibility. A section of the kitchen now serves as a small office space with a designated area for bills and mail.

Finally, the walls are accented with a fresh coat of paint, and a new kitchen table brings everything together.

Hardwood flooring and a removed island unify the area and give a sense of spaciousness to the large kitchen. The built-in unit is now used for display as well as a kitchen hub/office area.

Before: The kitchen area was covered in clutter, making it difficult for anything or anyone to function efficiently.

After: With all the cabinets neatly organized and bins and a recycling center underneath the sink, the kitchen is now a functional place.

Products from Organized Living:

stainless-steel sink strainer
24" x 32" cork board
dry erase accessory kit
10-liter bulk food storage piece
six-piece spice spoons
two-shelf cabinet, Westport Collection
6.6-gallon Clearstacks storage container
17-gallon Clearstacks storage container
paper bag organizer
drain board mat
in-sink dish rack
three-step ladder
18" x 48" chrome shelf
Slide 'n' Stack, narrow
12-can beverage dispenser
wire shelf, small
magazine and letter holder, Borneo Collection
remote caddy, Borneo
pencil cup, Borneo
in/out tray, Borneo
magazine butler, Borneo
waste basket, Borneo
magazine file, Borneo
stationary box
Pet Stuff tower
curved corner gift-wrap organizer
8' Cord Control

Sherwin-Williams paint colors used:

Rose Tan SW0069 Everclean/Lowluster
Caenstone SW0028 Satin Superpaint
Dover White SW6385 Ceiling
Dover White SW6385 Satin Everclean

Product from Lumber Liquidators:

Bellawood Brazilian cherry flooring 31/4

Product from SBR Designs:

"Let's Party" cake plate

Advertisement will not be printed