Before we moved to our current home, I used to bake like I was the sole provider for a bake sale (good thing I’m not, since the profits would be eaten before even placed on display). With that said, I still bake up some fun in the kitchen here and there. For the most part I enjoy this immensely, with one exception: assessing what’s needed. Not every creation made in my kitchen was complicated by unreachable embellishments – but, for the many that are: problem solved!
My absolute favorite books for baking inspiration are:
With those books in the kitchen, one must keep several baked good embellishments on hand. And the ones on hand, organized. These little edible gems are kept on a shelf in my kitchen…top shelf.
The first time I attempted to organize this, I thought I had done a decent job. I had used a parts organizer:
It worked ok, but not great. One, I’m 5’3″ on a ‘tall day.’ Not only does it make reaching my stuff a challenge, but I most definitely can’t see whats in the drawers. Yes, I could label them – still wouldn’t be able to read them where I’m at.
Second, it’s not conveniently located to where I use it. Decorating baked goods with lots of detail takes time, so I prefer to sit.
Want to make creativity in the kitchen more convenient?
Decorating baked goods is a lot like painting. Most of the work is in the preparation. The time it takes to actually make the goods pretty isn’t long if you’re organized. After much thought and deliberation, I have finally come up with a system. It works, it’s convenient, and best of all it was free!
Here’s what I did:
1. I moved the location to a place that was more ‘user friendly’ for me. I chose the drawers by the kitchen table as they solved the current problems of height and location. The drawers are shallow and allow everything in them to remain clearly visible.
2. Containers were placed in the drawers to keep them organized. I was able to use the drawers from the drawers from the parts organizer by removing them from the tower they were in. They were shallow enough to still allow the drawers to close, small enough to contain the small embellishments yet not waste storage space in the drawer. And just as great as the price (free!), was the fact that I was able to up cycle an item. (I will consider this my good deed for the day.) 😉
3. Like items were grouped together, allowing a quick glance to inventory what I have. No more purchasing duplicates, and no more trips to specialty stores to find items I already have on hand. Time and money are saved, both of which are valuable (allowing more time to decorate!).
4. Jewelry bags were used to separate each type of candy by the color it comes in (for example: M & M’s were separated into red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and brown). Now I don’t need to stop in the middle of a decorating project to sort out the colors I need. Blue eyes, green eyes, black noses, brown noses, etc. are all in their own little bag begging me to use them.
Frost, Embellish, Package, Serve
5. Drawers were also organized in a logical progressive order from left to right. Since more space was provided by the drawers, items used to package baked goods could also be kept there. Scissors, ribbon (these two weren’t pictured as they were in use in another project), cellophane bags, cupcake liners, etc. are now located in the third drawer – a logical progression or order with the first two being items used to decorate. The fourth drawer contents are serving related. Anything fun that dresses up everyday mundane meals. Hot dog liners, connecting straws, fun picks – all within easy access to add to a meal making it more fun. I admit an umbrella in an occasional pina colada instantly transforms me into vacation mode. Why not add an umbrella to my childs H20 with hopes it makes the water seem like a ‘treat’ – or at least a little more interesting.
And there you have it. A free (depending on what you have on hand) way to organize your ‘kitchen creatives.’ Yes, I know that every kitchen is different. As are items available to assist with the organization. And the needs of the baker in the kitchen. But, it’s the idea. The concept that you can reuse and repurpose things you already have in a more efficient way. Or change where something is located. Or change from cupboard to drawers. Don’t be afraid to step back from your kitchen and try seeing it from a different viewpoint – or even ask someone else what they would do in your kitchen. Sometimes a simple change can yield big results.
Hopefully this post sparks an idea for organization for you – whether in the kitchen, or elsewhere in your home. Happy organizing!
Oh, wondering what went in the cabinet in its place? Extra flour, sugar, canola oil, baking powder and soda – used to refill the more conveniently located containers I use everyday. My need to access those items is MUCH less often! 😉
This post was featured @ Thrifty Decorating.