FOs: Freddy’s Felted Box + OYTAOL Kitchen!

This started out as a laptop sleeve for Ron’s macbook early last year. I kept forgetting to felt it, and eventually found a really nice felt laptop case from Julia Hilbrant at Rhinebeck instead. But I’d already lightly felted it, so I couldn’t frog it for my Finish or Frog uberlist item. Instead I crocheted 4 tapered sides to make a bed for Freddy, who loves boxes. My first try underfelted it, so I went a little nuts and did an uberhot heavy-duty cycle and ended up with something a little too wee for a cat bed. But Freddy still seems to be enjoying it, so I’ll leave it in play for a while and see if he stays interested. If not, it will make a nice magazine tray or yarn box for the counter.

In OYTAOL (One Year to an Organized Life) news, I’m done with my kitchen–as much as I can do on my own, anyhow. I still want some improvements–the native limestone counters we had cut 3 years ago still aren’t in place, and I want a new pass-through counter and some custom shelves for my cookbooks under it plus floor-to-ceiling display shelves for my S&P collection–but I’ve got my lovely corner lazy Susan back in place, and all my stuff sorted and organized, and all the seldom-used item organized, binned, labeled, and moved to the utility room.

The lunchroom is still crazy–I’ve got a work station in use and several hampers of clean laundry on the cafeteria tables in anticipation of the sorting/organization soon to be underway in my bedroom. My bedroom is chaotic enough as it is, so I’d rather hold off then just have to empty it all out again this weekend.

The pool table is covered with the DH merch Marta is sorting and inventorying for me (we’re trading labor). I’ve also got several boxes destined to shove off to Goodwill and tons of styrofoam block headed to the recycling center this weekend (weather permitting), both proof of my tedious progress in my hellscape of a storage room (which actually has 2 unmortifying areas now).

(And I have to stress, for the record, how woefully messy and disorganized everything that I’m not explicitly showing you is. I’m building little pockets of order, but it’s mostly madness. And for everyone who has asked: our kitchen is a salvaged hodgepodge of commercial & residential stuff. The wraparound stainless counter & sink came from the old state hospital they tore down in KC, the blue cabinets came from the old home ec room in our other building, the big fridge and home-built island from the kitchen in the same building, the filing cabinet, along with the one in my sewing nook, came from the state surplus place, the surgery light from an old hospital in MO, etc.)

So! Presenting my freshly organized kitchen:

Main kitchen (main work space)

Decluttered counters and appliance storage:

Junk drawer:

Onion drawer (potato drawer  beneath):

Freshly-labeled Modular Mates for at-hand staples (backups and less-used items live in the pantry):

Both sinks now have their own bucket of cleaners and brush basket, the idea being that not having to haul my fat ass back and forth between rooms will make me more apt to tidy up.

Freshly cleaned, culled, and organized drawers in island cart (the cart’s from the Eskridge school, a homemade table made of 2x4s and 4x4s; Ron refinished and distressed it & added new hardware, then we topped it with an IKEA butcher block countertop):

Organized condiments:

From the other side (with the pass-through window behind):

The fabulous lazy Susan corner cabinet is back in place, and I made magnetic labels for all the drawers and cupboards.

Corner cabinets:

Organized drawers:

Cleaned and organized fridge:

A stack of custom grocery lists (snag mine here if you eat what I eat) let me tick off what I need as I notice it:

The perpetual calendar holds the week’s menu any any notes on groceries or prep. It’s been a great help eating through the freezer.

Kitchen storage/washing room (backup storage, dishwasher, main wash sink)

Down to one freezer from three last fall. We’ve been eating our way through. Now there’s a whole cleared-out deep freeze I can use for Yarn School!

I made an inventory of everything in the freezer so I don’t forget what’s in there, and tick it off as it’s used up. This should also cut down on wasted electricity from groping around or staring blankly into the open freezer:

There’s a tight little spot in the corner where we keep our pantry in a lateral file. The shelves pull out and let you access the full depth of the drawer, so you can pack it with far more stuff than a regular shelf. And the drawers are mouseproof, critical when you live in the country. Having the shelves pull out is especially handy at the bottom and top, where stuff is normally a pain in the ass to get at.

The other general storage is an open shelf, but I plan to replace it with a lateral file like the pantry. But I did clear out a good deal of stuff, so there aren’t as many precarious towers of crap.

So. Yay me! Onward to February, my bedroom!

  • JelliDonut says:

    Very impressive. Love the magnetic labels. Certainly induces feeling of slackerhood in me–I need to get busy!

  • Christy says:

    I want your kitchen when I grow up! ;-)

  • Kerry says:

    the cats here seem to prefer a box or bed they almost can squeeze their butts into – you may have actually made it the perfect size.

  • Lisa says:

    Kitchen looks great Nikol!! So impressive!

    Want to ask you how your Ikea butcher block island counter top is holding up. Gord and I are thinking of replacing our laminate counters with the Ikea butcher block and I’m just curious to see if you still like it.

  • Nikol says:

    It’s holding up beautifully, and I heavily abuse it. It’s probably been more than a year since I’ve oiled it. Sheesh, I should really go oil it…

  • Erin says:

    I LOVE your kitchen! The industrial stainless counters, and lots of them, all of your organized drawers ans shelves, your antique linens – so great! (Your cat’s box it really cute, too).

  • Beautifully Organized Kitchen | Crafts Kids :: Free Crafts Network says:

    [...] all. Here’s another kind of organizing inspiration, this time in the kitchen. I loved seeing The Thrifty Knitter’s kitchen organization overhaul. She has some great and simple storage ideas (including brilliant use of a lateral file as a [...]

  • Mlle Julie says:

    Oh my! I can only dream of such an organized kitchen. Maybe one day I get around to tidy up myself! Cheers, Julie

  • Helen says:

    Pinch me, I’m dreaming….oh, and drooling over your amazing organization! Loving the lateral file storage (clever girl you!) and your industrial fridge is gorgeous too. *Sigh!* Thanks for all these tips.

  • Laurinda says:

    Beautiful kitchen ! I’m totally going to steal that file cabinet idea! Jealous x1000 over your metal cabinets, love the style, but am stuck with cheap, ugly, dark brown ‘wood’. :-Q

  • Denise W. says:

    My gawd woman you are awesome in the way you have organized your kitchen. I’m envious and wish that some of your talents would rub off on me. Good for you! I love the work your doing.

  • Samantha H says:

    Your kitchen is HUGE. Great Job. I’m feeling myself getting inspired…..

  • cory says:

    Hey Nikol,
    I am totally in awe of your kitchen!! And you say you’re not organized! HA! Woman, that’s amazing…
    I think that we have the same exact style of kitchen cupboards and drawers, although mine are not in a school, of course. Our little house was built back in the 30s, and the cupboards are metal and all attached together. Same exact handles, etc. I love this look, and have found it in many old advertisements…
    Sounds like you’re redoing your counter-tops–I just hope you keep those loverly cabinets!
    My kitchen is posted in my blog above if you’d care to check it out. Keep those pics of the Harveyville school coming–I am an artist and am hoping to bring my artist friends there for a retreat sometime.

  • cory says:

    And the Tupperware fetish is nice too! Reminds me of my mom…

  • Nikol says:

    Cory, the cabinets are definitely staying! I adore them. I’ll bet they’re from the same company as yours. Ours have been painted (sloppily, but I’m into the way it’s worn, so decided to forgo refinishing them), but the were originally white, like yours They came from the Home Ec room of our other school building, which was built in 1921, I think. The counter tops were amazing, too, but too impractical to keep–the edges and back splashes were beautiful cast aluminum that was way too much of a crud-catcher for a semi-commercial kitchen. I can’t tell–do yours have those?

    I did sand and repaint the interiors which were rusted, and I will probably paint the footings with some fresh enamel one of these days, because they’re a mess–flooding in the old school basement, where the home ec room was, and our basement as well.

    Honestly, this is the one wee oasis of non-chaos in my home at the moment, but I’m slouching slowly towards order.

    And you don’t know the half of it about the Tupperware. That’s just a little fraction of the new stuff, from when I was briefly a Tupperware Lady a decade ago. I also have a big collection of dreamy vintage Tupperware that I’ll hopefully one day display.

  • Regina Leeds says:

    What beauty you have created! Congratulations!

    Blessings,
    Regina

  • cory says:

    I’m afraid that my countertops are not the high point of my kitchen–you have far better, and I love your steel shelving and appliances. What might look like debris or stains in the corner of the kitchen are actually where there is no real surface left on the counter, just bare wood.
    We are renting this place from dear friend, and he has offered to redo the kitchen with oak veneers, and we have asked him to forego this until we move out. We’ve even asked if we might have the cabinets if he ever tears them out. And yes, they could use a new paint job,(rust really can get to these type of cabinets) but I love thinking of all the ladies who have cooked here, and that hides the flaws for me..
    It’s interesting that our realtor, who really loves old houses, immediately exclaimed over these cabinets when she came over. She even knew the company that made them. The other day I noticed a “Sears” sticker on the inside door. Imagine getting your complete kitchen mail order, back in the day!

  • cory says:

    Oh, and on the subject of Tupperware…the old pieces are soo cool…like the mint green lettuce keeper and the little white popsicle makers. We had a Tupperware lunch box, the mini Tupperware cups, and the Tupperware jello mold…just to name a few.
    My mom stores all of her dried goods in Tupperware much like you do, and although I scoffed at this when I was younger…now I hope that they’re part of my inheritance! ;))

  • Jess says:

    I am so jealous of how much space you have, and how organized you are. I love it! It is inspiring me to tackle my own kitchen with a vengeance.

    Any chance you might share a downloadable version of that grocery list? It looks like my holy grail of grocery lists, and I have tried to find one similar with no luck.

  • Ruthie says:

    Great organizing! Love the phrase “precarious towers of crap”. This just about sums up every cabinet I have from the kitchen, my sewing studio, my craft studio to all the storage in the garage!

    Would also love to have a copy of that grocery list! Got a link?

  • Cheryl says:

    Wow!!! How on earth did you get such a wonderfully, awesome kitchen??? Oh to have such a kitchen… I rarely envy others – but I’m going to spend the rest of the day being jealous of your kitchen! LOL… And great job organizing!! I, too, am a lable nut… I even have labels inside my cupboards of what is inside each cupboard… and I’m not that organized… really. Thanks for sharing!!

  • KC Frye says:

    I thought I was the only one to use a file cabinet for my kitchen. Acutally, it is in my laundry room, right off my kitchen. It is a two drawer very deep cabinet and I use the top shelf for canned goods and the botton shelf for boxed packages. Works great. Just got to remember not to open the top drawer if the bottom drawer is pulled out. Yikes!!

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