10 Amazingly Simple Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen

by Marica Fick

If you have a small kitchen adequate storage space is luxury. It is therefore paramount to keep your kitchen counters and cabinets organised to maximise space and minimise clutter.

Luckily this does not have to be a complicated or expensive exercise. With a bit of ingenuity and the use of few unusual repurposed items you can turn your kitchen chaos into organised calm.

Here are ten clever “hacks” to help you organise your kitchen:

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Kitchen Tray Vignette

source: Damernas Värld

Hack 1: Keep the Clutter Contained with a Tray

Kitchen counter clutter happens. While it would be awesome to keep everything out of sight and tucked away in a drawer or cabinet, there are certain things that will probably reside on your counter permanently.

The ideal organisational solution for these counter-top items is to group them unto a beautiful tray. Trays have this magic ability to make a jumble look like a well thought through and unified decorative feature. You are creating little kitchen “vignettes” so to speak.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Stylish Dish Soap Dispensersource: Miss Mustard Seed

Hack 2: Beautify the Sink with Some Soap Dispensers

Keep the kitchen sink looking neat and clutter-free by storing the brightly coloured dish soap bottle and scrubbing tools under your sink.

If you however prefer to keep them close at hand you can do what Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, did in her lovely farmhouse kitchen. Purchase a couple of pretty soap dispensers with a pump nozzle that will compliment your kitchen decor. One dispenser can contain your dish soap the other your hand soap. The big plastic soap bottles are kept hidden under the sink allowing you to refill the dispensers as needed.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Coffee Cup Hookssource: I Heart Organizing

Hack 3: Create More Shelf Space – Hook It

Are your coffee cup shelves overflowing with mugs, one precariously stacked upon another? That is definitely not an ideal storage solution and stacking can often lead to cracking and chips.

What your cabinet needs is some inexpensive hooks. Simply screw in a couple of rows of hooks to the underside of your cabinet shelves (side note – aren’t these copper hooks used by I Heart Organizing so pretty?). Now you can hang your cups on the hooks for quick and easy usage. Furthermore, the hooks free up some space on the shelf below. The perfect space to store your smaller cups or saucers – and no more stacking!

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Extra Cabinet Shelvessource: The Container Store

Hack 4: Double Cabinet Space with Shelf Risers

Are you always in search of more kitchen shelf space? Sometimes shelves are built so far apart that one has to stack and pile your various crockery and dishes on top of each other in order to get the maximum storage out of your cabinets. This often leads to quite a mess if the specific item you are looking for is at the bottom of the pile. Sigh – imagine all that staking and re-stacking.

An easy way to add more space without going through the trouble of having more wooden shelves put in is to use metal shelf-risers or under-shelf baskets. Both these items allow you to add an additional “layer” for storage inside you cabinet without directly stacking the items on top of one another.

Hack 5: Organise Those Plastic Bags

Do you also have a drawer crammed with plastic shopping bags? Or one big plastic bag stuffed with all the others? What you need is a nifty plastic bag dispenser. You can make your own using baby wipes / wet wipes dispensers or empty coffee cans (imagine how many plastic bags you can fit into one of those big Ricoffy cans). If you are using a coffee can instead of a wipe dispenser, just make some cuts in coffee can’s plastic lid to pull the bags through.

There is even a special way to roll and insert the plastic bag into your container that it will give you a continuous feed of bags (see video above).

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Drawer Organizer

source: Apartment Therapy  |  photo: Rachel Jacks

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: DIY Drawer Organizer

source: Modish & Main

Hack 6: Box the Junk Drawer

We all have that one kitchen drawer. You know the one – filled to the brim with a tangle of odds and ends – anything from tape to batteries. Then there is the drawer containing all the awkwardly-shaped oversized utensils and gadgets – your braai tongs, whisks, etc. Those drawers are often such a jumble one has search and scratch for what you need.

While drawer organisers would be the perfect answer to keep the mess at bay, the divisions and size of your standard cutlery trays won’t be able to cope with all the items in your jumble drawer.

The best solutions would be to make your own drawer organiser. It does not have to be overly complicated – you can use different sized boxes or containers (I find empty chocolate boxes quite handy – those plastic Ferrero Rocher boxes especially). Or, if you are handy, you can try making your own wooden drawer organiser as shown in this DIY tutorial by Apartment Therapy: here.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: More Eggs In Fridge

source: Raising Up Rubies

Hack 7: Replace the Egg Tray with a Basket

Just like the above-mentioned kitchen drawer, the inside of your fridge can often be another organisational nightmare. Jars, produce, and leftovers stacked all higgledy-piggledy and that one suspect-looking container in the back with rarely used foodstuffs that may already have expired. Yuck! Creating order with some plastic baskets is a must.

If you are a Banter or the like and regularly use a whole lot of eggs, you probably find the egg rack in your fridge on the small side. Jaime from Raising Up Rubies found a fun solution to increase her egg storage. She replaced the standard 12-egg rack in her fridge with a quirky red wire basket. Not only does it look lovely, it also allows for a great deal more eggs.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Kitchen Door Organizersource: The Wandmaker’s Mother

Hack 8: Magazine Organiser Turned Cabinet Door Storage

Reclaim some much needed drawer and cabinet space by fixing a magazine organiser to the inside of a cabinet door. It is the perfect tool to house things like rolls of cling-film and tinfoil or your various chopping boards and smaller trays.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: CD Rack Tupperware Organizersource: Better Homes & Gardens

Hack 9: CD Rack Turned Tupperware Storage

The Tupperware cupboard is always a mess, right? So many lids and plastic containers jumbled together. And somehow one can never find the correct container lid when you need to! Well, this clever hack will allow you to store your Tupperware lids in such a way that you will never need to scratch again.

Do you have an old CD rack lying around? Repurpose it as a handy lid organising tool. Just insert it into your Tupperware drawer or cabinet and stack your lids by size and shape.

10 Hacks to Organise Your Kitchen: Pantry Baskets

source: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Hack 10: Basket & Label Your Pantry

A disorganised pantry can be a kitchen nightmare. Maximise the space in your pantry with labelled baskets, plastic containers and big glass jars. Group similar items together in one basket or bin. Big glass coffee or pickle jars make for excellent storage containers for baking goods like flour, sugar or grains – you can even stow your various dry pasta in them.

Not only would you pantry shelves look much neater and pretty it will also be much easier to find something in a flash.

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Glass Display Cabinets in the Kitchen

Want to know what we here at Design Monarchy are currently crushing on? We absolutely love the idea of using glass-fronted cabinets or vitrines as additional kitchen storage. While the concept seems rather traditional, these type of cabinets can easily fit into a style of interior – anything from farmhouse to contemporary. As one blogger described it, “they are as versatile as jeans or a white t-shirt”.

A cabinet with glass doors allows for practical storage – you can immediately see what dishes you have without having to root around in the cupboard.

It also allows your dishes to become part of the show – a focal point. So much character is added to a kitchen if your gorgeous collections of china, glassware and vases are in plain view. In fact, with the current trend focus on more individual, lived-in interiors and décor, your crockery doesn’t have to be anything special or expensive. It just has to be you.

So whether they are loose-standing or fitted, that is why we have a big ole furniture crush we on glass-fronted cabinets in kitchens. How about you, do you like the idea too?

Glass Kitchen Display Cabinet
I absolutely adore the rustic Scandinavian simplicity of this soft grey kitchen vitrine of Tine Kjeldsen owner of the Danish homeware brand Tine K Home. | Image Source: http://myscandinavianhome.blogspot.se/2012/11/the-danish-home-of-tine-k.html
Glass Kitchen Display Cabinet
Don’t you just love the punch of blue in this beautiful rustic glass fronted cabinet? It looks perfectly at home in this gorgeous Industrial-style home located in Cape Town. | Image via http://www.vtwonen.nl/binnenkijken/vtwonen-binnenkijkers/industrieel-jaren-zeventighuis-in-kaapstad/
Glass Kitchen Display Cabinet
Blogger & interior stylist, Anna Truelsen, designed this lovely glass door cabinet on castors for her Scandi Country kitchen which her grandfather then made for her. | Image via: http://mylovelythings.blogspot.com/2012/04/att-gilla-lite-av-varje.html
Glass Kitchen Display Cabinet
A whole wall of glass cabinets? Yes please! Can you believe this is from IKEA’s kitchen range. I especially love the splashes of warm light emitting from the cabinets! | Image via: http://7thhouseontheleft.com/2011/01/ikea-kitchen/#.Vbi_KvkprKB
Glass Kitchen Display Cabinet
When Lynda Reeves renovated her contemporary country kitchen she incorporated this dreamy full-length glass fronted cabinet to show off her prized crockery. | Image Source: http://houseandhome.com/design/kitchen-cabinet-design
Glass Kitchen Display Cabinet
Can you say Vintage Farmhouse Chic! What a statement this oversized wooden cabinet makes. | Image via: http://www.srgambrel.com/six-swans-hous/#.VbjF5_kprKB

Terrific Tea Towels

I’ve been stumbling across so many gorgeous tea towels recently. It seems that unique and designer tea towels are all the rage, you see them everywhere – tea towels so stupendously pretty or quirky that is would be a crime to use them to dry dishes with! The tea towel is now more than ever, a desirable designer item – a blank canvas for creatives to express themselves on… tiny pieces of art that every home needs. I thought I would share a few local lovelies with you…

Vanilla Concrete who is maybe best known for their stunning feminine ceramics ranges recently released a beautiful textile range. The Notebook Collection consist of various sketch-like designs – products include gorgeous scatter cushions and table linen. The quirky tea towel designs features sweet phrases and cute doodles… love the bunny design!

I simply adore these whimsical floral tea towels by Naqiyah Mayat of niQi. The aptly named handmade design is called “Alice in Wonderland” and the gorgeous spring-coloured scheme of corals & aquas is simply delicious… love the lace and button detail!

Emma Wyngaard, the creative brain behind YumYum Handmade Textiles, designed the awesome vintage cutlery and kitchen scale tea towels above. Don’t you think they would look stunning if framed… far too funky to dry dishes with!

I was just waiting for the right post to feature the drop-dead gorgeous products of Tatum Lataste of Knysna-based company, Wild Rhubarb. She has a stunning range of products featuring beautiful sketchy nature-inspired designs screen printed onto striking bold-coloured cloth. These beautiful tea towels with vintage cutlery design is right up my alley! 

These awesome tea towels reminded me of the children’s classic, the Town Musicians of Bremen – a stacked farm animals… or do you prefer the other tea towel with a African twist featuring a cheeky baboon and meerkat? These gorgeous beauties are from Nest and available via Meekel.

Stumbled across this quirky purple cabbage tea towel on Hello Pretty. Designed by super talented illustrator Euodia, of Touchee Feelee (LOVE the name btw), the cabbage tea towel also comes in pink. Watch this lady… 

Another illustrator blessing the world with her whimsical designs. Kathy Mellor designed the three quirky tea towels above. My favourite is the Eggbeater tea towel, how about you?Hadeda is a treasure trove of awesome awesome product – they import most of it from Central and South America. I simply loved this striking Aztec print tea towel, it’s a total riot of colour and South American inspired patterns are super trendy at the moment! You can also buy this bright beauty for a limited time at a discounted price from CityMob (hurry, go check it out)!

12 Kitchen Accessories Under R200

By Marica

Your kitchen is one of the areas in your home that you spend a decent amount of time in everyday. Now, since open-plan living has become the norm, it is more important than ever to have a presentable kitchen. Whilst entertaining the kitchen will often develop into hub of chatter and food preparation. I really enjoy shopping for kitchenware as there are just so many relatively cheap and beautiful things to choose from. Give your kitchen a little facelift with these under R200 bargain beauties…

Like we have mentioned a couple of times before - typography is big, and these awesome alphabet mugs are super hot! I have a weakness for funky mugs. These lovelies are available from @HOme for R19.00 each.
These gorgeous "embossed" glasses are from Poetry for R35.00 each. Dainty and nostalgic.
Interchange the embossed glasses with these Woolworths beautiful wave tumblers - R39.95 each

I love these lovely glass jars - fill them with sugar, flour and other baking ingredients and display them proudly on your kitchen counter. Mr. Price Home - go for the large jar for R79.99
This post was supposed to be "Kitchen Accessories Under R100" until I saw this beautiful stoneware salt keeper form Le Creuset for R190 on Yuppie Chef .
This gorgeous chopping board is made out of solid Kiaat. Available at Weylandts in various sizes - from R99.00. They also have a larger solid Acacia chopping board for R199.00

I adore these beautiful patterned plates from Mr. Price Home. I'm a totally sucker for paisley and in such a bold, trendy blue - I might actually go buy a set for myself! The dinner plates are R25.99 and the side plates R15.99 each
This Retro washing powder tin is available at Mr. Price Home for R99.99
I love this beautiful mix-and-match cake fork set. Cake forks can be quite collectable and an interesting assortment can be cleverly displayed for functional and decorative feature. These pretties are also form Mr. Price Home @ R129.99

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This cute teapot-shaped teabag holder is from Quirky Me for 60 Bucks. Isn't it just adorable? You can also keep it next to your stove to place your messy utensils on while cooking. Or even on your serving tray for all the used teaspoons.
How could I not include a little Skinny LaMinx loveliness! This gorgeous blue teacups dishcloth is R95.00

And then of course what is a kitchen without cookbooks? This gorgeous book by SA's own "Queen of Tarts", Tina Bester, is filled with delicious feel-good recipes. R149.00 @ Exclusive Books.

Ask Décor Diva: Dark vs Light Wood?

Shaidah recently contacted The Design Tabloid to ask our resident Décor Diva some advice…

Shaidah asks:

“I am building and want to combine a kitchen with the lounge. The whole room is 2.5m x 3m. My plan is to have 1 wall fitted with the kitchen cabinets, stove and fridge and the other wall will play host to a wall mounted plasma and floating shelves. I want dark wood cabinets but I am afraid the whole place will look cramped and dark. Please help!”

Décor Diva says:

In terms of your plans for your lounge and kitchen – the area being small really needs to be kept of light as possible in order to create and maintain that feeling of space. I would venture to say that having all the cabinets in dark wood would be defeating that objective. I would recommend that you either consider a light wood finish or white or cream cabinets with the same colour on the drawers and door fronts.

White would be your better option, but if you are keen on a wooden finish, and then ask your kitchen supplier to show you a few samples along the lighter wood lines.

If you should go the white or cream route, a splash of colour can be added into your kitchen by having one or more of the drawer fronts in either a colour or wood finish. Alternatively there could be one or two doors in a contrasting finish or colour. There is no reason why you cannot mix in the colours and textures. In fact that is the trend in kitchens today and it works well.

All the best with your plans.

Love, Rose  x x x

Design Titbit:

Small dual function spaces like Shaidah’s might sound improbable but is actually quite common especially in Scandinavian or East Asian countries where properties are either very expensive or very limited because of overpopulation. It is essential to keep the space light, minimal and free of clutter. Invest in multi-functional furniture and clever storage solutions.

Image – xJavierx via Flickr: here