What’s behind closed doors is not always pretty and functional – but it sure can be! I hope you’ll be inspired by my new baking cupboard organization, enjoy hearing about my process and take advantage of my free “Baking Cupboard Essentials” printable checklist.
*This post has been sponsored by Rubbermaid. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I sure am grateful that so many of you come to my site for lovely decor inspo and handy DIY’s, but in all honesty, things are not always so pretty behind the scenes – as I’m sure you could have guessed with 4 kids and all. But I’m about to prove just how crazy it can get.
I made it a goal to get more organized in the new year, and I wanted to start small with this cupboard.
Sure, it looks nice and peaceful when the doors are shut – but it was one of those cupboards that you open up and stuff falls out, you dig and dig to find what you need, you buy more of what you already had because you couldn’t find it, you shove, you stuff – and it is completely dysfunctional and disgusting. Please tell me you have one or two of those cupboards in your home.
Well when Rubbermaid challenged me to use their new line of Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers to get organized, I knew exactly what cupboard needed saving and what I wanted to do with it.
I could use these containers for so many things, but because they are air-tight, leak proof and stackable, I knew they would be perfect for keeping all my dry goods fresh and looking beautiful.
I want to share with you my organizing process in hopes to inspire you to tackle a cupboard or closet that needs a bit more beauty and function for your life. It’s really so simple and extremely rewarding!
Also, if it’s helpful for you, I created a free printable checklist that lays out dry foods that are great to keep in a baking cupboard, and other dry goods that would benefit from being stored in air-tight containers. I’ve also created an empty checklist for you to fill out your own custom essentials if that works better for you.
I love providing freebies to my subscribers, so if you’d like, fill out this form and I’ll send the Baking Cupboard Essentials printable right to your inbox as well as get you access to the complete TIDBITS SUBSCRIBER LIBRARY.
Now, let’s go through the simple steps of organizing a space.
STEP ONE: GATHER & FOCUS
The first thing I did was gather all the containers I currently had and wrapped my head around what exactly I wanted the purpose of this space to be. A baking cupboard could hold lots of things, but since I only had this small space, I wanted to designate it just for dry goods and find a separate home for oils, extracts, fats, etc. I knew this separation would make it easier to organize and keep my whole family in line with what actually goes in this cupboard. You always want to consider long term organization, and make it as easy as possible to designate “a place for everything”. In my experience (and I have lots of it) if you have the mentality of “oh, just shove it in there somewhere”, your space will be out of control before you know it.
STEP TWO: EMPTY & CLEAN
After you’ve gathered all the containers or bins you have and want to use, it’s time to empty that cupboard or space completely. That’s right, pull it all out and enjoy all the surprises tucked away that you forgot you had. Or in my case, the realization that a lot of my items had gone bad, had weevil (eeeeeeeewwwweeee), or smelled rancid and needed to be tossed. It was at this point that I realized that these airtight Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers were going to save us on spoiled food and wasted money in the future, making them a very wise investment.
While the cupboard was empty, I also took the opportunity to scrub the shelves until they were shiny clean, which is a great thing to do while organizing.
STEP THREE: GROUP
Once all the items are out for you to see, it’s time to group like items. This helps you wrap your head around what you had in there, and what you will need to find organized space for. It’s important to remember your focus and goal for the space while doing this, and chances are you will find you need to rearrange other spots to house the items that you don’t want in this newly organized space.
After I had grouped my items, I realized that I would need to make space for my spices, oils and extracts elsewhere, which led to rethinking the purpose of a couple of drawers and how I could maximize my space better.
So I promptly emptied out 2 drawers near this cupboard that were a ridiculous mess (I can’t believe I’m going to show you this), and grouped those items as well.
STEP FOUR: PLAN
At this point, with all the junk all over the countertops and spread out everywhere, it is easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed. This is why planning is so important.
Get out a paper (or my handy dandy checklist), and jot down all the things that you want to go back in the cupboard or space. Try to envision your end goal or even sketch it out! This will really help you keep focused among all the clutter that is now everywhere.
STEP FIVE: DISCARD & PURCHASE
Motivated by your plan, now take the time to throw away or donate anything and everything that does not belong in your space. Stuff you haven’t used for a long time, little bits of random leftovers, and anything else that has gone bad.
You may also find that you need to purchase a few things to complete the project, though not always necessary. For example, after listing all the dry goods I wanted inside this cupboard, I realized I needed a few more containers of the same size so I made a list of the Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers I needed to go find at Walmart or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. (This line is also sold at Meijer). Or you can even order them on Amazon!
I also looked at all our measuring cups and cooking utensils and did a great big purge. I was really tired of the old plastic mixed/matched measuring tools we’d had since our wedding 13 years ago, and threw away many of the duplicate items that we just did not need. This purge felt so so good!
I proceeded to add to my purchase list and decided to treat myself to matching sets of new measuring cups and spoons if I could find them at the store.
The hubs was kind enough to let me go shopping for these items without kids that night, and it was the funnest shopping trip I’ve had in a long time! With strict purchase goals ahead and leaving the mess behind, I was able to find exactly what I needed.
I used some non-damaging hooks on the inside of my cupboards for my new measuring tools, which freed up a lot of space in my drawers.
STEP SIX: FILL AND ORGANIZE
This is the best part! Start filling your containers and finding the perfect place inside your space for each and every item. I kept the items I use most frequently on the bottom shelf, and went up from there. I really love how the Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers are stackable allowing me to make the most out of each shelf while keeping it neat and tidy.
These drawers became so much more functional as well. I blame the disaster before on having little ones help me unload the dishwasher, but I know realize that they love to organize and place things in the right spot if there is in fact a spot for them. I’ve probably saved myself so much time a day by not having to dig around for the tool I need any more.
I’d like to leave you with a few additional tips for organizing.
- Avoid stacking items in front of other items
- This is a sure fire way to nurture the shove and stuff approach . . . which you probably want to avoid.
- Buy flours and commonly used dry good in bulk
- We go through a lot of these things, so I’ll buy them on sale in bulk and store them in our basement in 5 gallon buckets. When these containers run out, I can quickly go refill from the storage room.
- Avoid buying too much to store
- Meaning, if you don’t have a storage room full of buckets, only buy as much of a product as your containers will hold. Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ products specify on the container how many cups or ounces they will hold, so taking note of that will help you avoid having to find a place for half empty bags of flour because you bought more than your container will hold.
- Make it a family affair
- If you want to involve your family in the organizing, that’s great! You have more patience than I do! But if not, be sure to walk each member through the new order and place for the items, so they can be sure to help you in your efforts to keep things nice and neat.
Now I want to know, did you enjoy this post?! Do you want to see more organization ideas and spaces from me? What do you need help with or do you have a space you would like to see me organize and share ideas? I’d love to help you in any way I can, so please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you!
Finally, remember to fill out this form to subscribe and receive my free Baking Cupboard Essentials checklist and complete access to the TIDBITS SUBSCRIBER LIBRARY.
Big ol’ thanks to Rubbermaid® for helping me organize my home! It made such a difference!
*For more info on Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ products and kitchen organization ideas, please go HERE.