Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Baking Center Needs a Little Help



I love having a baking center.  Upper cabinets for ingredients and supplies.  Drawers undercounter for appliances, tools, and pans.  Also, a cabinet for vertical storage.  Our Kitchen Aid mixer sits out and is used right there on the counter.  In our last house, I had to lift it out of a base cabinet onto the island to use it.  I don't miss that.  The blender, used mostly for smoothies, keeps it company from its special spot at the opposite end of the 4-foot wide space. 

 The drawers of utensils could use a bit more organization, but I can live with how they are.  The storage looks a bit haphazard, but I have no problem finding what I need...as long as the kids get things put away in the right drawers, which is not always a given.  ;-)  Plus, I have plans to thin and divide some of those things out as I add more storage to the island.  


The area with which I do have problems is the bottom shelf of the main upper cabinet.  In the higher shelves, large, sealing containers adequately store and organize bulk items, such as white flour, cane sugar, brown sugar, coconut, and dried fruit.  The bottom shelf holds the little things: spices, extracts, baking powder and soda, food coloring, toothpicks, cupcake papers, decorative sprinkles, birthday candles, etc., etc.  You get the picture.  Mostly small, but of varying sizes, shapes, and uses, and often hidden behind one another in the comparatively cavernous space.



You might have been expecting to hear how I've remedied, or at least, plan to remedy, this problem.  But I don't know yet.  Consider this the "Before Posting." I promise an "After" sometime in the future...and, meanwhile, I welcome suggestions!

10 comments:

  1. Did you get a deeper countertop for your baking center? I wish I did as I am always knocking the upper cabs when working with the stand mixer, etc.

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  2. That counter is just standard depth...By the time I thought of going deeper, we were too far into the design and construction. But that counter is at 33", so I can see well into the mixer bowl. I think that helps give me more space so that I don't have any problem with the uppers, which are at the standard 54" height. I also made them only the customary 12" depth so that they wouldn't be in my face.

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  3. Have you considered one of those 3-tier cabinet organizers? I thinik they're usually used for spices. I have one in my pantry for the smaller items like bouillon, small cans of pineapple, etc. It works great to allow those items to be 3-deep but still be visible. Here's one similar to what I have: http://www.amazon.com/Copco-2555-0188-Non-Skid-Cabinet-Organizer/dp/B0036OQU56/ref=sr_1_4?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1291721774&sr=1-4. The one I have is from Walmart and was even less expensive. The Walmart one is wire but you could put Cushy Cupboards or similar on the little shelves to keep spills/messes contained.

    I keep birthday candles in a loaf pan on the shelf in my downstairs pantry. There are only 4 of us w/two birthdays at the beginning of the year (Feb & Mar) and 2 in August, so they're not used that often! However, you could still do the same.

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  4. Thanks, Buehl. I've avoided one of those so far, because the problems with a lot of the little things is that the bottled things tend to be tippy, and the other things are such odd sizes...but maybe it'd work for a certain selection and will simplify the rest. I will look at one in person and reconsider. Good idea about grouping things into some other kind of container. We have 8 birthdays from December to April, so at this time of year, they seem one after another!

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  5. I'm thinking sub-divide and conquer.

    Maybe put in thin slots that supported either did small stuff baskets or held a tray for small stuff over a bottle corral.

    I'd only do part of the shelf.

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  6. That sounds good, Bmore. Another project for Hubby. He'll be thrilled. ;-)

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  7. Rhome, I am looking at your baking center thinking...that is not a 6 qt. stand mixer! You frugal mama! But it looks like an older model, so the motor is probably super good.

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  8. That KA was from long before the 6-quart ones, and I wouldn't trade. It was my wedding gift from my MIL...in 1985. Now I have hers, too, which is even older, but probably has fewer miles! So both are wonderful Hobart KAs. I have a Bosch bread mixer, too.

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  9. Reminiscent of the familiar "How do you store your spices?" GW posts! I miss the KF but if I get on once I'll end up spending way more time there than I have. Maybe some day soon I'll be able to come back.

    My first thought was a 3-4 small labeled baskets to group like items -- flavorings, spices, baking needs like soda and powder. What about storing the large spice containers elsewhere and downloading smaller jars of each to keep in that cabinet?

    OTOH, if it works for you, why mess with it?

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  10. I hadn't thought of using smaller containers and refilling. Then I'd have to find a place to store the bigger containers, but it's worth the consideration if this new layout doesn't stay organized. Thanks.

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