Project Feature: A Classic Chicago Kitchen

Does anyone else absolutely LOVE kitchens? Maybe it’s because I love food, or maybe it’s because kitchens remind me of helping my mom prep buckeyes and buffalo chicken dip for Ohio State game days (O-H!).

Regardless of if you love them or hate them, we’ve got to face the fact that we spend a lot of our time in our kitchens. For that reason, they should be as functional as possible! A kitchen and pantry overhaul can do so much for you, like saving you time and bringing you peace of mind.

Kitchens are great, but Chicago kitchens are tricky…

I recently completed a Chicago kitchen organizing project, and if you know anything about Chicago kitchens, you know that most weren’t designed very efficiently. Because of that, it was extremely important that I maximized the space the client had to work with. It was a really fun challenge, and I’m going to take you behind the scenes of three of my favorite transformations from that day.

Using mountable organizing solutions to maximize cabinet space

This cabinet wasn’t overflowing, so it really just needed a bit of outside perspective. Two ideas came to my mind right away that would help maximize space – using a mountable organizing solution on the cabinet door and taking advantage of vertical space on the bottom shelf.

An inexpensive door mount was perfect for the the gallon size baggies, and stacking things like the cups, smaller plastic baggies, and paper towels allowed for more items to fit horizontally.

In addition, I went ahead and moved anything that didn’t belong in the paper/plastic category to create a cohesive space that makes sense. It’s a simple cabinet, but I can’t stop looking at the before and after photos!

Thinking outside the box to create a functional pantry

My client’s pantry space isn’t lacking, but the difficult part about it is that most of that space was found through deep shelves. When I say deep, I mean deep – like 2 feet deep.

Since most containers don’t come in dimensions friendly to this situation, I had to put on a creative thinking cap. Putting backstock behind all the containers seemed to help maximize space as well as using some tiered solutions.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the client also now has clear zones (i.e. cooking, breakfast/bakery, snacks). Plus, because they wanted some items decanted, they’re not only saving space, but money as well. How, you ask? When items are decanted, you can easily see what you’re running low on, and when you go to the grocery store, you buy only those things!

Picking the right product for pull-out shelves

An awesome feature of my client’s kitchen was this pull-out cabinet shelf. When shelves are deep, something like this is a game changer! That said, things were still a little cluttered, so I got right to work selecting the best product for the contents of the pull-out.

I recommended this YouCopia StoreMore pan and lid rack and this Target lid organizer to my client for pan and lid storage, which they quickly agreed to. The difference these two basic products made speaks for itself!

Not only do things look better, but digging around for what you need (and in turn, scratching the pans) has been eliminated. I like to say that The Organized Aesthetic is found at the intersection of function and style, and I don’t know about you, but this looks like that intersection to me!

With some creative thinking and product sourcing, this Chicago kitchen was transformed and is (hopefully) serving my clients well. I’m a firm believer in kitchens being easy to maintain, because whether you love to cook or not, you should enjoy being in one of the spaces you spend a ton of your time in.

If you’re interested in your own transformation, don’t hesitate to contact me. I offer both in-person and virtual organizing services and would love to help you tackle your space! Cheers!

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