D.I.Y. (Kitchen Edition)

I love D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself). There is nothing more satisfying than being able to solve a problem, quickly, efficiently, and, best of all, cheap.

So when we moved in our home last August, we had a couple issues we needed to resolve. The first was organizing our kitchen, and the second was keeping Ethan out of our kitchen island cupboard. Here’s the story.

SMALL KITCHEN: Our last home in Eugene was filled with kitchen storage space. You could pack in the bread machine, mixers, salad shooter, pots, pans, dogs, drums, whatever you needed. It was wonderful. This kitchen is the opposite. We were able to maneuver a pizza pan and two sets of kitchen towels before we filled up. It’s horrible. The worst was where to put our pots and pans. They are bulky, the lids are awkward and Ethan loves to play with them. I did some research on the internet, found some options that may help us, and then went to work.

For our pots and pans, we chose to hang them on the wall. We looked at hanging racks, but they’re expensive! Also, not readily available. Our friends Matt and Sophie had a great layout in their Eugene home. The first lesson in life is “Don’t reinvent the wheel” and I didn’t plan on it. I stole the idea. I bought some hooks, threw ’em on the wall and, presto, worked like magic.

LIDS: Once the pots were hanging, the lids were just piled into a cabinet…horizontal. Lids are useless, and terrible to organize when they are horizontal. The only time a lid is good horizontal is when it’s on top the pot or pan. That’s it! So what to do? I have to thank the great contributors at Lifehacker.com. Someone posted their idea about purchasing a desk organizer and using it for lids. “Bling!” What a great idea. I had Laura run down to Office Depot, find one and come back. Unfortunately, the width of space was too small…so I had her run back to Office Dept, return that organizer, head to Office Max, and buy a different one. Blam! This one works like a charm. Thanks Laura! We can put our lids and extra pans in the organizer and keep them organized. I love it when an organizer actually organizers. It’s awesome.

carabiner2CHILD: Ethan, Ethan, Ethan..my son…I love you buddy, but daddy does not like it when you open up the kitchen island cabinets and pull out everything. Everything! Some of you may say, “Hey buddy, let the kid do whatever, he’s 18 months!” To that I say, “Hey buddy, come clean up my kitchen 10 times day.” Someone else may say, “Hey buddy, buy those latches so he can’t open up the door.” To that I say, “Hey buddy, I did for the others, because they had a piece of wood to latch them on. The island doesn’t.” What to do. Laura rummaged through some baby stuff donated to us and pulled out some device for us to use. As you can tell, that device took two hands, set of feet, and pliers to open. Postive side: Easy to close. Back to the drawing board. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. No wait, actually it was 4 days later I was in the garage, rummaging through my rock climbing gear, thinking “I never use this stuff these days, what should I do with it”. Then it hit me. “Blam!” Carabiner! I grabbed the golden latch, raced into the house, threw off the middle evil latch device and threw on the carabiner. Ahhhh….it’s beautiful. And so easy to use.