A Little Claire-ification

bright ideas for the busy & budget minded…

31 Days To An Organized Home: Day 26 – The (once again!) Organized Baker

on October 26, 2012

Thanks for stopping by!  This is Day #26 of my “31 Days To An Organized Home” challenge.  If you missed it, you can catch up with Day #1 here!


First things first – our thoughts and prayers go out now to those in the Caribbean and in Haiti who just got hit by Hurricane Sandy as it is barreling North.  It is not lost on me how trivial my “cares and concerns” are in comparison to the loss of life and utter devastation that these people are going through.   I hope that any of you over here on the East Coast that may potentially be impacted by this crazy storm will PLEASE keep safe.


Next, it is funny (at least to me) that I chose to do my 31 Days series on “Organization”!   And since I basically decided I wanted to do this at the final hour on 9/30 (a fly by the seat of my pants kind-of-gal – sometimes that’s just how I roll)  well, needless to say there wasn’t too much any planning ahead.  By next October, I should be “organized” enough to get a post up every day!    Believe me, there has been organizing going on during those in between days too.

After our kitchen overhaul, it’s time to now organize some of my FAVORITE things – all of my baking “accoutrement” (excuse my French – I figured that was better than a four letter word).   I absolutely love to use all of my baking tools and pans, etc. and it’s actually somewhat soothing and can take my mind off of the craziness at work and so forth.  But since we moved, and the kitchen is now less than half the size of what we had before, these items have just not been that accessible, and that makes it harder to be inspired to bake.

And that means less homemade goodies for the people that I love the most.

And that makes me cranky (and, believe you me, that’s just a load of fun – ask The Husband).

So I have to get creative here and get this stuff organized and back in action!

For starters, aside from my most used (and beloved) kitchen possessions (work-horses) – my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and my Waring blender, which are on the counter –  most of my baking items are either here, still in a moving box…

or in various cabinets.  As you can see,  these spaces are maybe not being used to their fullest potential.

Some of my bundt pans, spring forms, pie plates and pie weights, ramekins, my handy kitchen torch (which is perfect for both Crème brûlée AND for threatening disobedient teenagers) and a bread basket are in this cabinet…

And yet another cabinet houses my tart pans and some other random things that someone errantly placed here when they unloaded the dishwasher (hey, I’m just happy someone else unloaded the dishwasher):

(Slightly Very off topic but really.  Is it too much to ask that dishes be dried before being put away out of the dishwasher?  Oh the gnashing of teeth and wailing…  Is it just me??  Had to ask).

Ok, back to the matter at hand.

One more upper cabinet that mostly holds everyday bowls and strainers but the top right houses “the good stuff”.  Well, except for the chocolate.  That’s in the pantry. 😉

Lastly, a lower cabinet with my muffin and popover tins, french bread pans, regular and mini loaf pans, cooling racks,  etc.  This one actually seems to be working out ok but needs a little help so I may come back to it at some point:

Now, I do not want to get into the pantry at this point because I know it really needs some attention as well, but here is a picture so that you can see some other appliances and bundt pans etc. are on the floor.  Bereft.

And a closer look…

Food processor, fondue pot, immersion blender, George Foreman and in the back right corner The Husband’s beloved (old school, non electric) pasta machine (yum).

So here we go – first we got the small appliances arranged under the bottom shelf:

Then I started going through the (crazy) box.  I was able to get rid of a few things but mostly I use all of it so, since we don’t really have drawers other then the 4 on top, I decided to try a rolling cart that could slide easily into the pantry when not in use.  Here’s what I found (shopping details below):

It wasn’t initially what I wanted but our IKEA was out of stock and I’m not aways a patient girl – just want to get it done.  I did look at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Staples too, but found this at Target (and, for those of you who have been following my posts, that comes as a shock, I am sure).

Can you believe all of this was in that box??  I keep getting distracted from posting because I just want to go back and look at everything in all it’s handy “reachable-ness”.   Close-ups:

And, aside from emptying the box, all of my sprinkles and food coloring are now there as well!  Next:

All of my cupcake liners, decorative cutters and mini-tart pans on the middle shelf. And…

All of my cookie and pastry cutters here with a couple of (quite adorable) mini-springform pans.  I think they might have been used before this point had they not been buried under an avalanche of other things!  As you can see in that image there looks to be extra space leftover.  What?  Can that possibly be??  Do I need to run to Williams Sonoma as soon as they open tomorrow to fill in the gap??

I kid, I kid.  I added the cheese grater into that lonely right corner of this bin.  It wasn’t ever happy in the kitchen drawer anyway.  Crank/handle would always catch on the drawer .  Be happy, little cheese grater.  Make new friends.  With the way we go through Parmigiano-Reggiano you won’t be ignored.

Once it was all stocked up, and rolled into the pantry…

I am having trouble getting good light in this picture but you get the idea.   The baking cart is all organized and rolls right in and out as needed.  And, in hindsight, the IKEA cart would not have held as much so sometimes things happen for a reason!  As much as I would like to have more kitchen drawer space right now, this is a solution to the problem.  Once again, working with what we have!  We’ll get the pantry a little more organized as well but I want to paint in there and it really needs better light!   It’s on “the list”.   The Husband can’t wait. 😉

As far as the cabinets go, since I was able to get all of my cake decorations and extracts out of the one cabinet, and better organize the others, we gained more space.

And… didn’t have to do too much here but was able to add a couple of things out of the box I unloaded and get the other bundt pans off the pantry floor:

AND we were able to get our pitchers that were buried in the back of the pots and pans up into the cabinet as well – much better!  And the total cost?  Only $65 at Target ( the industrial shelf – $50 and the casters  – $15).  What a bargain to get so organized!

It feels so much better to be able to just grab what I need quickly so I can bake without it being a hassle!  So, making the boys favorite Peanut Butter Cupcakes was much easier…

And these little Mini Pumpkin cheesecakes with a gingersnap crust are always a Fall hit too!

Happy baking!!

I would love to hear about any projects that you have accomplished where you were working with less than perfect circumstances, but you made it work anyway!

Take care and thanks so much again for stopping by!




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