Add this to the things you now know about me: clutter is not my friend. I despise clutter. It makes me feel like things are always messy, even if it is “organized clutter”. (Gah, that is just an oxymoron). One of the places clutter accumulates on a daily basis is the kitchen. I am ALWAYS in the kitchen; cleaning, cooking, doing dishes and so forth. While clutter gives me the heebie jeebies, at the same time, I also like to have the things that I am constantly using readily available. There is no reason to shove something in a cabinet if I am going to be using it 3 times a day. The above picture shows you what my kitchen counter looked like about a month ago, and seriously, it is making me cringe to look at it. I am going to share with you the laughably simple, and completely FREE, way that I cleaned this area up.
When Jason and I tore out our pantry (to make room for a bathroom that is currently in the works), I made sure to save the drawers and other bits of wood that could be reused. (That other thing you’ve learned about me – I also despise waste.) I especially adored the drawers because they are certainly vintage to our old house and handcrafted. I envisioned using them on the walls as shelves but never got around to finding the right place for them in the house. However….drawers make great storage!
Like most people, you might not have extra drawers just hanging out in your basement. I suggest dumpster diving! No, seriously. You’d be surprised by the things in my home that were found on the side of the road. Is someone you know doing a remodel? Do you know anyone in the construction business? Is there a tear-down happening around you? All these people usually just (tragically) toss this stuff away. None of the above? Visit a Habitat for Humanity Restore, you will easily score some unique drawers on the cheap, and probably a ton of other great finds!
Necessities for me definitely involve my oils and baking ingredients, as I use them so often. And look! This drawer fit them perfectly.
I also needed a space for kitchen utensils. Our plastic one when got when we were first married just didn’t have the space for all of them anymore. I love the farmhouse style of using what is available and using Mason jars. As they are such a staple in my home, I had plenty to spare. I ADORE the rustic look of this drawer and since it already has a compartment built in, I thought it very useful for smaller items that wouldn’t fit nicely in a jar.
As I was hashing my plan out in my head, I wavered on whether to paint the drawers or keep them with their original wood grain and patina. I opted to keep them original, especially since the drawers were handcrafted. Want to paint yours? Go right ahead. Make it match your kitchen. Or go for a fun stand-out color. Or choose the classic Farmhouse white.
I also opted to keep the original hardware on the drawers. It speaks to where they came from, and I love that I found a way to repurpose them in the house they were built in. Want a more cohesive look? Remove the hardware and fill in the nail holes with a little bit of caulk. Sand it down, and paint it whichever color you’d like.
I only ended up making two alterations to the drawers. First, I had Jason saw off the bottom lip of the drawers so that they would fit flush with the countertops. Second, I attached the small non-skid furniture pads you see above. Super simple, as they are stickers that you apply where needed. You can get them at any home improvement store for just a few dollars. I happened to have extra from previous DIY’s.
Simple and effective organization!
Seriously, how much happier is this corner? Yes, there is still a lot on the counter. But, let’s face it, I use a lot on a daily basis. The point was to clean it up; give each item it’s own designated space.
The point also was, and usually is with me, to use items that are cheap or free, readily available, and can be reused or repurposed into something useful. Decorating doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We live in an unfortunate era of waste and one-time-use-only, and I like to think anything I buy (because, let’s face it, I bought these drawers with a little thing called a mortgage), is never one and done.
And on that preachy note, Happy Bargain Hunting!