We’ve finally landed in our new home. It’s been a LONG haul and a very much anticipated transition with bumps and curves along the way that no one could have anticipated. We’ve been “in” the house for just a week now and we are quickly coming to love it.
We feel very lucky to have found it, it’s pretty much exactly what we were looking for in a fantastic location. After living in a house in MD that was big but still didn’t fit our needs and then not having any space of our own we feel like we’ve found just the right size which includes a new studio space for me to create art and textiles and a workshop for my husband’s tools and business.
Now to share with you some of what we’ve been doing in the house and some tips on organizing your way through unpacking. Start with the basics! Last week I mentioned some supplies to have on hand to make the transition easier but the next step should be to get your Bedroom(s), Bathroom and Kitchen set up. These are the first areas I unpacked since I wanted to be able to really start using the space. I got the clothes in the closets (removing all the wardrobe boxes from the picture), next came unpacking luggage into our dressers and linens and toiletries into the linen closet and bathroom. With these practical things out of the way we could find clothes to dress and go about our normal routine. May seem obvious but man did it feel great to put clothes into drawers and closets after living out of luggage for quite some time! But I’ll share closet organization in another post…
Next I focused on the kitchen. I had 20 boxes of kitchen, dining room and bar supplies! We have a small house built shortly after WWII and the kitchen is a galley type with no pantry. I have 1 curio and 1 china cabinet to fit all our non-essential dining items and I was quite concerned that I wouldn’t be able to fit it all in the cabinets!
Somehow I managed, with room to spare (not much). I started by really thinking about how I would use each zone of the kitchen and since it’s not eat in I wanted the dishes and silverware to be easy to access from the dining room (which adjoins the kitchen). I determined which items I wanted in each cabinet and drawer (roughly) and then started the process of unpacking and putting things away. As I came across the inevitable items I’d forgotten about and didn’t yet have space for I set them aside on the dining room table. I also mentally reserved space in certain spaces for these and other larger items as I worked through each box and cabinet. Since I don’t have much counter space our microwave, toaster and mixer are the three items I knew I would have to keep out. The rest of the small appliances went into the cabinets.
I had certain organizing pieces/tools I used that are flexible and can be made to fit various configurations, like baskets, that hang from the shelves (below) and risers (above), these can be great help if you have tall cabinets and in some situations they can almost double your useable space. I find that containing smaller items (like lids, spices, utensils etc) in baskets or bins makes the space easier to keep tidy and it makes it easier to grab what you need and return the rest without disrupting everything around.
Finally there were the cleaning supplies under the sink. I wish I could tell you the name of this contraption that I used, I’ve had it for ages and the great thing is that the “shelves” snap in place and can be configured around pipes and other obstacles. I’ve used it in the last 2 houses and it’s a great organizing tool (I’ll see if I can find it and post a link soon).
Overall I had to be flexible and re-think how I organized quite a few things since I use to have a pantry and a lot fewer drawers. These cabinets are also much deeper than I was use to, which makes for extra storage but I will have to move things to get to the less used items. That’s okay with me. Each person has to customize their space to their needs and that’s the fun of organizing for me, finding a fit for each person’s specific needs and desires.
PS…I have no garbage disposal in this kitchen and that white bin on the top left is my compost bucket:) fits perfectly!