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An Organized Kitchen with Aimee Wimbush-Bourque of Simple Bites

 

You all loved last week’s post with 8 smart tips on organizing your kitchen.  I thought it might be fun to peek inside the homes of a few well loved food bloggers and see how they organize their kitchens!

First up, is Aimee Wimbush-Bourque.  Aimee is an inspiring writer, chef, and the talented editor behind Simple Bites, a food blog that provides practical cooking tips, nourishing recipes, and an encouraging perspective to help the everyday parent provide great food for the family.

Aimee Winbush-Bourque of Simple Bites

photo copyright Tim Chin

Your resume doesn’t have to read Martha Stewart Living for you to have an organized kitchen. There are simple actions everyone can take to stay on top of clutter and keep even the most unruly of spaces in apple-pie order.


Aimee's Kitchen

Aimee’s Kitchen

Cupboard and pantry ‘sprawl’ used to be one of my biggest organizing issues. I lived with it for far too long; but then one day I discovered some mysterious ‘critters’ in my dried goods and decided that was that.

I found that using containers to categorize items is one easy way to establish a degree of orderliness to all areas of my kitchen and pantry, not to mention, keep things air-tight and free of invaders!

Containers help organize because they group items and help combat the sprawl that tends to happen behind closed doors – and drawers. By confining items to one place, they make clean up less of a chore because that container can quickly be removed and washed under. Also, with proper labeling, containerizing can prevent ingredients and items from getting misplaced.

What qualities should a container have? Here are three that I look for:

    Durable. A container should be sturdy enough to hold up to repeated use and be suitable for the task.

    Spacious. Be sure your container has ample room for the items you wish to store and that the lid closes properly.

    Charming. Choose containers that you love, have sentimental value or add aesthetics to your kitchen.

spices in jars

Work with what you have before you go out and purchase containers. For example, a large Christmas cookie tin that sits unused for most of the year can house cookie cutters or baking ingredients from January to November.

Think outside the box–literally–when scouting for a container; glass, metal, plastic, wooden or cardboard containers can be square, round, rectangular or freeform and all can find their place in your kitchen cupboards.

Here are ten of my favorite containers for keeping my kitchen items in check. Some traditional, some out of the ordinary, all are helpful for organizing the kitchen.

10 Container Ideas for your Kitchen

1. Tins. Square or round, large or small, tins are ideal for containing small, easily scattered items like rubber bands or piping tips or even bulkier things such as cookie cutters.

2. Jars. When I share How to Store Pantry Food for Maximum Shelf Life, you’ll see that most of my dry pantry items are stored in glass jars; they are great airtight storage and ideal for showcasing their contents.

dry goods in jars

3. Jugs & Canisters. Counter-top canisters keep kitchen counters neat and tidy by grouping frequently used utensils together and keeping them handy for everyday tasks. And you can use a summer juice jug to stash away wooden spoons, plastic cutlery or those pesky fondue forks that you seldom use.

4. Baking Pans. The antique loaf pan holds some of my smaller cake decorating supplies. It does a fine job of preventing them from getting strewn about the cupboard, and they are still easily accessible.

organizing supplies

5. Can racks. A worthwhile investment if you stock up on canned goods, a heavy wire can rack holds most sizes of cans and is a lot safe than stacking cans three high.

6. Pot lid rack. Ikea has nifty wire pot-lid racks that house ones pot lids neatly, as opposed to strewn around the cupboard.

7. Tupperware & RubberMade containers. There’s no question Tupperware rules when it comes to pantry storage solutions. It’s expensive, but durable. I love Tupperware’s Modular Mates for stuffing pretty much anything in, but mostly for those items that tend to get scattered over the pantry such as crackers, granola bars, dried fruit, and the like.

kitchen container storage

8. Cutlery holder. Not just for forks and knives anymore, pick up an extra cutlery tray for your ‘junk drawer’ and sort those tacks, pens, twist-ties, clothespins and AA batteries.

9. Plastic Bag Dispenser. Mount this cheap and simple organizing tool inside a cabinet or pantry door and keep those billowing plastic bags in check.

10. Baskets. Baskets can have many uses in a kitchen from housing bags of spices to folded cloth napkins. They are also an ideal choice for kitchens with open storage or for grouping dried foods on pantry shelves.

I hope this has inspired you to tackle your kitchen and bring it to order. Remember, start small, one drawer or cupboard at a time, and have fun!

Aimee IS………a TIDY MOM!

Are YOU a Tidy Mom?  Do you use containers in your kitchen?  If so, I’d love to hear about them! – feel free to post pictures on the TidyMom Facebook page of what works for you!

 

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Aimee Winbush-BourqueAimée Wimbush-Bourque is a food writer and expectant mother of two, living in Montréal. She draws from her rural, whole foods upbringing as well as her professional training as a chef to prepare simple, unprocessed home cooking on a daily basis for her family. On her award-winning food blog, Simple Bites, she chronicles her kitchen experiences with stories, cooking tips and recipes. For more whole food inspiration and everyday delicious chit-chat, follow Aimée on Twitter and Facebook.

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About TidyMom

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

Comments

  1. 1

    awesome post! I love Aimee!!

  2. 2

    Im feeling inspired to go reorganize my kitchen!!!! And put spices in fun jars! Love the post!

  3. 3

    Hi Cheryl,
    I was a real pleasure to see Aimee’s kitchen and her storage ideas. We also enjoy using creative containers – with function and style. And we have a system for reducing the amount of plasticware with missing lids, too.

    Day 4 – Getting a Grip on Storage Containers (Reducing the clutter)
    http://www.cookingatcafed.com/2011/10/31-days-to-more-organized-life-day-4.html

    Day 8 – Creative Uses for Food Storage Containers (Part 1- Non-food uses)
    http://www.cookingatcafed.com/2011/10/31-days-to-more-organized-life-day-8.html

    Day 26 – Creative Uses for Food Storage Containers (Part 2 – Food uses)
    http://www.cookingatcafed.com/2011/10/31-days-to-more-organized-life-day-26.html

    I can’t wait to see the rest of your series!
    All the best,
    ~ Dana
    Cooking at Cafe D

  4. 4

    What a pleasant surprise to see you this morning on Tidy Mom ! I’m a silent follower of your site for the past year. I’ts because of you that I have the word pantry (garde-manger) in my vocabulary for the past year and making better choices in the product that I buy. Thanks Aimée !

  5. 6

    I love Aimee! What a fun feature!!

  6. 7

    I love this new series! And what a great post. Wow, is she organized!

  7. 8

    I’m going to have to go and buy myself a whole load of tupperware aren’t I? – I love the idea of having such an organised kitchen!

  8. 9

    Love this organizer post by Aimee – I need to reorganize my kitchen!

  9. 10

    How exciting to see that as pictured above I too reuse pretty jars for storage . My favorites are the Smuckers jelly jars that have the gingham lids! I have also printed out clear labels for the Tupperware modular mates that I have staples in. I may not be as unorganized as I think I am!

  10. 12

    I am an avid organizer- otherwise my life spirals out of control- great ideas!

  11. 13

    Wow – such an organized space!

  12. 14

    This is the only house that my kitchen has not been completely organized within a week of moving in. IN fact three moves ago when we moved out of base housing the moving inspector did his preliminary count and figured it would take 20 boxes to pack everything. I just smiled and shook my head. When they were done it was 36 boxes which came out of our tiny organized galley kitchen. They were shocked! In fact the crew chief said it reminded him of a clown car… it looked all neat and orderly but more and more kept coming out! It is amazing what a person can do within an organized space! Now I wish I could figure out how to translate this over to the rest of the house! LOL :)

    So now I’m off to work in my kitchen!! organizing it, of course! :)

  13. 16

    What are those big blue containers under your Tupperware Modular Mates in your pantry? Who makes them and where can I find them? They are super cute.

    I just did a post on re-organizing my pantry at my blog and followed much of your advice. Except for that part about cute glass containers. That might be next for me. But for now, I just wanted to use what I had or buy cheap and get it in order.

  14. 18

    i like the baking pan idea!

  15. 19

    An excellent idea for a series of posts and a great first! I adhere to many of Aimee’s suggestions and being organized in the kitchen saves me from going mad:) I also believe in collecting old jars and repurposing odd containers (I have an old, clay wine bucket on the counter that houses my wooden spoons, ladles, whisks, etc – much easier to get to).
    I use metal wire office (or locker) dividers and baskets and affix them to the side of my fridge with magnets. They are perfect for storing small, but useful things like scissors, sharpies, scotch tape, wine and beer openers, etc. that tend to get lost in the drawer.

  16. 21

    I recently had pantry moths….most likely brought in from the grocery store. After dealing with that, I’m totally rethinking how I organize my pantry. Thanks for the great post. I did read (in my research) that these moth larvae can even get up under jar lids. Be careful with the jars.

    • 22

      I just checked with my hubby, he has his own pest control business. He said yes, they CAN still get under a lid, but it’s not all that likely, and they usually only make it under the lid, not all the way into the container. – so he says jars are better than nothing. Thanks for sharing that!! I had no idea!!

      • 23

        I found these pests right before Christmas. Everything suspect was thrown out and anything I salvaged was put in a big rubbermaid container and is still sitting in my dining room….no bugs have shown up in it.) We cleaned the shelves and cabinet real well and then sprayed well with bug spray. I’m scared to death to put anything back in there yet until I’m sure no eggs hatch out. Ask him how long would it take before eggs would hatch. It has been almost a month. I make my husband check pantry out every few days with a flashlight. So far so good. And believe me…I look over everything real well now when I pick it up off the grocery store shelf.

  17. 26

    Thanks for sharing this :)

  18. 27

    awesome post ! i use baking tins to store baking supplies, love doing that. i find tupperware useful for storing leftovers, especially liquids (curries/gravies) so in case you drop it, it doesn’t open and spill. i reuse nutella jars & the likes for storing icing nozzles, small cookies cutters. food products that come in strong plastic boxes are useful for storing extra spoons, forks, cupcake liners etc

  19. 28

    i wrap the baking tin with a plastic cover and then store the baking supplies in it, so in case anything spills on the tin – saves me the trouble of cleaning the tin . also prevents scratches

  20. 29

    Aimee is so adorable, and so is her kitchen. LOVE all that wonderful organization!

  21. 30

    I wish my kitchen looked that good! One day… thanks for the tips!

  22. 31

    Gosh, such a FUN peek inside Aimee’s kitchen & I love the idea of this new series! Wish I was a Tidy Mom. Perhaps I could spruce things up a bit if you wanna peek inside ours ;)

  23. 33

    I use clear shoe-box size bins for pantry items like pasta, specialty flours, dog bones, even a collection of dry goods like bits of lentils, pearl barley, etc. Contents are visible, and being rectangular, they use valuable pantry space very efficiently. If I could figure out how to post a pic, I would, but. . .no such luck.

  24. 34

    Aimee’s kitchen is inspiring. I have to admit I’ve fallen victim to the kitchen sprawl latley, time to get it under control!

  25. 35

    Wow, I can definitely use some of these tips! Thanks, ladies.

  26. 36

    Awesome post! I’m a half and half container girl :D

  27. 37

    These are some great ideas. Thanks to both of you ladies!

  28. 38

    I justread your post ,then reorganized my cabinet using my loaf pans!! what a great idea, it worked perfectly! Thanks again

  29. 40

    I totally love this new series. How exciting!

  30. 41

    This is great – what wonderful ideas. I always struggle to keep everything under control in my kitchen.

  31. 42

    These are great tips. I have to keep my kitchen clutter free or both my hubby and I go insane. Thankfully he’s even more of a neat freak than me so together we keep our kitchen very tidy.

  32. 43

    “I’m lovin” these kitchen organization posts! :)

  33. 44

    Love your organization! Great job.

    I would love it if you shared this post with my readers on my organizing link party. I think they’ll enjoy it too:

  34. 45

    Wow, Aimee – I am impressed! My pantry is in need of a serious overhaul which I plan on doing tomorrow. I love your Tupperware!

  35. 46
    Rebecca C says:

    I use old jars. Not just mason jars. When I finish spaghetti sauce or apple sauce or something I clean the jar and use it. This is great especially if you buy out of the bulk bins at the grocery. Wheat bran in one, flax in another, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and on and on. The only thing is I need to figure out a nice way to label these jars. I am the only one who can identify the contents of most of them by sight alone. You can spray paint or cover the lids with cloth to make them the same. Maybe I can paint the lids with that chalkboard paint? Just had my own idea :0)

  36. 47

    bundt tins can be used to store small loose bottomed pie tins. place the ring over the middle tube of the bundt tin. the base of the pie tins can be stored in the leftover space in the bundt tin

  37. 48

    Hi! Love the post! I have a question though…I too have Tupperware modular mates, but some have the old ugly orangish red color do you know if there is a way to paint these that is durable?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] few weeks ago Aimee was my first guest in the Organized Kitchen series.  Today I’m excited to have Lori from Recipe Girl here sharing some of her kitchen [...]

  2. […] Aimee of Simple Bites on Using Containers to Organize your Kitchen  […]

  3. […] Aimee of Simple Bites on Using Containers to Organize your Kitchen  […]

  4. […] Using Containers to Organize your Kitchen  […]

  5. […] Using Containers to Organize your Kitchen  […]

  6. […] Using Containers to Organize your Kitchen  […]

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