Sometimes the Storage You Need is Right There in Front of You

Today’s post is a little story about what happened to me last week when I became frustrated with the lack of storage space in one of my kitchen cupboards. It is a situation where the solution was right there in front of me the whole time. I just had to stop and look for it. And while my annoyance is a simple one, I share it because the steps I took to rectify the problem can really be applied to any organizational situation that might be causing you frustration right now.

Sometimes the storage you need is right there in front of you

As I opened the cupboard door last week and had something fall out on my foot yet AGAIN, I said to myself, enough is enough already. This is not okay and what am I going to do about it?

kitchen storage before

Identify the storage problem:

My problem occurred months before where in an effort to keep my family from eating my Paleo snacks I started stashing them in a cupboard that normally doesn’t hold food. I just started throwing them in on top of the organizational set up that was already in place.

It’s a problem that slowly and steadily grew as I realized this solution was working really well for keeping my family away from my stash (it’s not a cupboard they normally go in).  My current storage solution though was not happy with the additional demands I put on it. It basically rebelled by spitting things out at me every time I opened the door. It took me awhile to get the hint but finally I was like okay, this system is a good one, but I need a more organized way to contain it all.

Determine what is needed to fix the problem:

What I needed was a proper Paleo snack basket (the rest of my family has their own snack basket in another cupboard). I wanted to keep it in the same cupboard I was using but wasn’t sure where to put a basket. So I basically opened that bank of cupboards and stared at it for awhile. I turned my head this way and that.

What could I declutter to obtain the space I needed?

What could I part with that I didn’t regularly use to make room for this thing that I know I’ll use every day?

That’s when I saw it. Right there in front of my nose.

See those sugar and flour bins at the bottom?

I have two flour bins because for many years (before I went gluten-free) I needed one for whole wheat flour and one for regular flour. More on my sugar and flour bins HERE. However because there are only two people in my household that can eat these flours, I only buy small bags of them now and they both fit into one tub. I haven’t used the second tub in years and yet have never thought to take it away. I haven’t needed that space. Until now that is.

Make the necessary changes:

So I got to work. One flour tub was decluttered and the coffee pot moved down as it’s also rarely used. With a little more shuffling in a short amount of time I was able to make space for a Paleo snack basket. A basket that I already had on hand in my “containers in waiting” stash. They get so excited when they hear me coming and I can hear them chanting, “pick me, pick me!”. These Sterilite bins (affiliate link) that I used are some of my favorites.

kitchen storage after

That’s better.

Monitor the situation:

After you adjust or implement any new system, keep an eye on it for awhile to be sure it’s working how you hoped it would. Make necessary tweaks as needed.

Kitchen storage before and after at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

How many of are in a similar situation? Whereabouts are you frustrated with your lack of storage space? Maybe it’s time to take another look and consider the space right in front of you that may be filled with something that isn’t quite as important to you. And I get that decisions between two things can be really hard sometimes, read my stories HERE and HERE, but sometimes we have to make hard choices to make storage room for more current needs. Our needs are constantly changing which is why no organizing solution can be considered a permanent one. Not adjusting to these needs on a regular basis will only leave you feeling scattered, unfocused and disorganized.

It all comes down to paying attention to those frustrations so you can make necessary adjustments before a small storage problem turns into a huge one.

These steps above are a condensed version of my more popular PROCESS steps. If you have a larger space you want to tackle, you may want to check out that post.

  • This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of my site!

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Filed under: Before and After, Kitchen, Organizing Solutions

Comments

9 Responses to Sometimes the Storage You Need is Right There in Front of You

  1. 1
    Mel says

    Those Sterilite baskets are some of my favorites too. I use them all over the house, including in the pantry for snacks!

  2. 2
    Jacqui says

    I thought you were about to hide your Paleo snacks in the flour bin, they’d never be found then!

  3. 3
    Mridu Parikh says

    I love your methodology for this. Assess the problem and then find a solution. :) So often we get caught up in the frustration and our first instinct is “I need more room!” Thanks for going through your step-by-step thoughts.

    • 3.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Just a simple example but it really works with almost any space…if you need some, find some! It’s the decision making part that gets tricky though for many.

  4. 4
    Kelly says

    Where/how do you store your “containers in waiting”? I have these too, but find I need a better way to keep them available but not just another cluttered looking mess.

    • 4.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Kelly, I keep them on two small shelves in my laundry room. In my old house which was way bigger I used an old change table to hold them all. Now I try to just hang on to my favorites that I tend to gravitate towards each time I’m looking.

  5. 5
    Marcia (OrganisingQueen) says

    Laura, I love this post because you shared all the thinking behind it too.

    I love the solution you came up with. And even though I need to get to work now, I feel like going to check on my cupboards downstairs :)

    PS why don’t we show on Instagram where we post a pic of our “containers in waiting” with a hashtag? I used to keep mine in a corner cupboard in the study in the old house, but now there’s a cupboard above my stove where I keep them. It’s the PERFECT space – I’ll show you on IG :)

    • 5.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Oh yes please do, I want to see! I’ll show you mine if you show me yours :)

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