A few new storage solutions!

In my quest to make my kitchen a tad more "user friendly" I stumbled upon a nifty little storage gadget at Lowes that will help me manage my casserole dishes and mixing bowls a bit better. 

As I have mentioned, in my "dream kitchen" I have nothing but big deep drawers in my lower cabinets. Unfortunately that is a "dream" so I have to work with what I have and digging around in a lower cabinet for heavy casserole dishes and keeping all my mixing bowls organized has become an issue.  

Again, and I can not stress this enough, the number one key to getting organized is PURGING!

Pull it ALL out and ask yourself...DO I REALLY NEED THIS?! In my kitchen cabinet, I had several casserole dishes that were duplicates of what I have but they didn't have lids. Do not need! I had 5 large 9x13 casserole pans...do not need them all! I had 3 stainless bowls the same size, which made stacking them a impossible...do not need! I have FIVE crock pots...two smaller ones just for dips and such. I DO need those but only once or twice a year so there is no need for them to take up valuable kitchen real estate. So off to the hall pantry they went! 

I contemplated building and installing either 4 drawers or 2 large drawers in this cabinet base. Lots of work! So when I found these nifty little metal storage drawers at Lowe's I knew I had found a relatively easy solution.

The problem with these metal drawers is they are not custom sized so I was going to end up with a lot of "dead space." I decided to only install one for my bowls and casserole dishes since those are things I use almost every time I cook. I left the other side shelf space for crock pots and dishes I only use occasionally.

The drawer component lets me easily get to my bowls and casseroles dishes without wallering around on the floor and pulling everything out to get to the stuff in the back.

A perfect, and simple, solution for organizing a tough space.

When Brian and I went scrounging around the flea market out in Tontitown last weekend, I found this neat little wall decor. A framed chalkboard with two "distressed" wire baskets. I knew it would be perfect for organizing magazines that tend to get piled up in the coffee table, which in turn means they get ignored!

I'm pretty sure it is probably something one could pick up at Hobby Lobby, or something I could easily make with an old frame and paper storage racks from an office supply store. But it was there, and it was done...the only thing I did not like was the original  finish on the frame...kind of a "white-wash" natural wood looking thing. I immediately painted it with some chalk paint and distressed and sealed it. Great for magazines or mail. Remodelaholics featured a bathroom with a similar one.

I like it in the bathroom but I am of the opinion that if you are in the bathroom long enough to read an article, you probably ought to seek treatment. Just saying....

Last fall I bought this awesome antique sewing machine at an auction. The "lid" flips back to reveal the machine

I immediately fell in love with the little wood box that covered the machine. After a little research I discovered they are called coffins....most often in mahogany or walnut. BEAUTIFUL! I immediately jumped on Ebay and found a few of these amazing little boxes.

Naturally they needed to be refinished, but a little magic mixture and a few coats of tung oil and they are amazing!

My original plan was to use them in the "kitchen reset," but there really was no good place for them so I have them scattered around the house for storage. In the den, I use them to store some of my photo albums. They would be darling with little castors for "rolling" storage. l absolutely love them! 

When I reset my kitchen, I dug around in my flea booths looking for "functional decor." In other words, pretty with a purpose! A few things caught my eye.

The first was a little glass pumpkin...perfect for this time of the year! I usually keep my coffee in a crystal decanter, but this little pumpkin is perfect for the fall season.

Now I am going to be on the look out for one I can use for the Christmas season!

I also found this little sterling silver piece. I THINK it might have originally been for sugar since it has a little notch in the lid where a spoon may have rested but most sugar jars are smaller. Regardless, it is the perfect size for my coffee filters. 

And of course the need to store 1/2 of my dishes when I built my floating shelves...seriously, who needs 20 plates! I purchased this little basket from Kaufmann Merchantile with a gift certificate from my son but I also found some on Amazon and have ordered 3 for my holiday wrapping station! (I'll share that little project when I get it set up!)

I have mentioned time and again that I really don't decorate much with  "pretty" without "function" or purpose...unless something has sentimental meaning. 

I am learning that these little touches are what really give a home "character." No need to use boring old plastic containers or cardboard boxes if you can "think outside the box" and find interesting pieces that are "pretty" but can also serve a useful function! 

Anything that can make my life more organized is great...the fact that it is pretty or interesting is a huge plus!