Tuesday, February 23, 2010

28 February Featured Space: Kitchen - Kiddie Cabinet

Oh Kids.  I can't get enough of 'em.  Which is a good thing since I have three little men running around here from morning til night!  Not to mention I run a daycare.  They bring joy and amazement to my life each and every day, and for that, I am grateful.  And although, they have their moments of throwing themselves on the floor screaming for a sippy cup, or wiping their slimy fingers all over the freshly cleaned glass doors, or telling the neighbor that you once were dancing around in your undies singing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (of course that didn't really happen), those moments quickly are forgotten when they look at you with their big beautiful eyes, give you that cheerful smile and fill you with love by giving you the most amazing squeezes imaginable.  

And although all of you may not have munchkins of your own, there may be some tips or tricks in this post that you can borrow for another space in your home or kitchen, but this post is definitely dedicated to creating a kitchen space just for the little guys and gals in our lives.

So, any of you parents out there, might be familiar with the amount of "stuff" that comes with having kids, and there is no exception when it comes to the kitchen.  For us, it's a matter of storing kid specific dishes, utensils, bibs and vitamins.  And this cabinet was all about getting organized for zero dollars, using things from around the homestead to keep the space tidy.

Here you will see the stacks of dishes used for feeding the little tykes their meals.  We go with the fabulous and colorful ones from Ikea, due to their amazing kid durability:


We also really HEART plastic slotted plates, since kids can be picky when foods mix:


Aside from the dishware, we also use the utensils that match the set:


As you can see, instead of splurging on a fancy pants utensil caddy, like this one:
I stole a previous idea and just covered some soup cans with pretty scrapbook paper, and presto chango, free utensil storage:


As far as the mini utensils for the really little fingers, I found a couple of plastic tumblers tucked away in a cup cabinet, and snagged those to hold the smaller forks/spoons and also some straws:


As for the massive amounts of vitamins or prescriptions that we need to keep out of kids reach, I found an old colorful card box, removed the lid, and now it's an uber cute vitamin holding box instead:

 

And those pesky sippy cups and bottles.  Yep, we have some of those laying around too:


And what would a kid cabinet be, without a little sugar?  You know, since kids are so sweet and all.  But really, call me a bad mamma, but I know how to get my kids to listen to me and do what I want, and it's all in the form of my secret weapon: Skittles:

 

Ok, so I am practically kidding about the bribery to be good kids thing, but not really kidding when I do say that I use them as little bits of rewards for fantastic behavior, or for making it through the night without an accident during the potty training stages.  Don't they just look so scrumptious, that you would be willing to do good and nice things, just to gobble up a few?


As you could see above, I store these fantastic little treats, inside a clear glass canister, allowing me to see when my supply is running low and requiring a refill.

To get the actual cabinet organized, it was a matter of placing everything on the counter, stacking it up and corralling like items together, and then putting things back in, taking into consideration, the frequency of use.  Things used less often (or things that those cute little fingers should be going after), go further in the back or up higher, things used more often take front stage.  Basic kindygarten stuff here.
So here was the finished project:
 

See the bibs hanging there?  Command Hooks rock for organization projects!
The best part is, that it's easy enough for my bigger kiddos (including my hubster) to put things back neatly and in the right spot, and they can all easily find what they are seeking as well!


Pictures like that give me tingles of happiness.  

Another super easy and quick organization project, that could happen in any evening or weekend, when you have two seconds of spare time.  And with kids involved, I know those seconds are rare and cherished, but you will find the more you invest in getting organized, the more time you will have with the ones you HEART.
Anyone have any cute kid stories to share?  Moments of laughter?  How about humiliation?  Today is share day, so speak up! 
 


28 comments:

  1. we have those IKEA bowls (and utensils). they make excellent salsa bowls for adults as well! i love that you admit to skittles bribery.

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  2. How do you store several sippy cups?

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    Replies
    1. I use the "take and toss" kind. They are supposed to be "disposable", but I have had mine over a year, they have gone through the dishwasher 1000 times, and they are still going strong. Not only are they cheap (you get I think 5 for less than the cost of 1 normal), but they NEST into each other really nicely, so I probably have 6 or 7 of them, all in one little neat stack. LOVE the take & toss cups.

      http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2793344

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  3. Hi Anonymous!

    I actually only kept 2-3 on hand, ever. I just kept them in this cabinet, lined up on the side, assembled straight out of the dishwasher.

    If you have a ton, first, ask yourself why? If you decide it's worth keeping a plethora of sippy cups, I say either assemble them after washing and just line them in a cabinet or on a lazy susan. Keeping the plugs and caps separate may cause oodles of unnecessary digging when a child is screaming at the top of their lungs for some juice... not that that would happen though... :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  4. I love how little space they take up n the dishwasher too!

    Cheryl

    http://ldsmomtomany.blogspot.com/2011/03/ode-to-ikea-dishes.html

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  5. I am having a hard time finding the divided plates. Where did you find yours?

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  6. @Anonymous,

    I found the plates at Walmart in the kid's section.

    Thanks!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  7. Where did you get your glass canisters?

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  8. @Anonymous: The glass canister was from Target {I have also seen them at Walmart}, for just a couple of bucks!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  9. We use a ton of sippy cups because we are living in a house with white carpets, and littles that just don't comprehend "keep it at the table" I found two coated wire baskets at the dollar store, they perfectly fit on an extra shelf I had made that are just the right height for the baskets. I have all the same kind of sippy cup, so lids go in one bin, cups stack together in the other... every lid fits on every cup, so it's grab and go. I don't run the dry cycle on my dishwasher, so sometimes the dishes are a little damp, so I don't like to fit the lids to the cups right away.

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  10. Love the idea for the bibs! I've never known quite how to store them :)

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  11. Hi Jen!!
    I also run an in home daycare and as Im sitting here for my 5 minutes of everyone sleeping (Which never happens) I am reading your blog which I absolutly love. As im reading along all I could think about was "She can be this organized becuase she doesnt have daycare kids running around" Then I saw it!! You also do daycare!! What an inspriation. Really! Do you keep everything seperate? Just a cupboard for your daycare items? How do you keep it organized if you have 5 kids wanting a drink with only two sippy cups? Thank you!! I absolutly adore your blog!!

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  12. Hi Katy!

    The cabinet was just for the kidlets. I always had enough dishes for each age group, and hand washed them all after each meal {I never had more than two kids at sippy cup age at time}. I no longer do daycare, but I LOVED it while I did.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  13. I just transferred all my kid cups and lids into a drawer the kids can get to instead of the upper cabinet and basket on the counter where cups had lived before. Now they can get what they need when they need it and I don't have to stop and get the cups for them. It makes them feel grown up to help themselves, too.

    Definitely need to redo things that just don't work, even if it's how it has always been done!

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  14. Hi Jen! I love your blog, you're such an inspiration!

    Since our twins are still at an age where they're eating baby-specific snacks and transition-type meals, what has worked best for me is a large, pretty wooden tray on the kitchen counter. One side holds an organized lineup of cups, spoons, etc., and the other has the baby snacks, alphabet pasta, and so on. It's nice to have a visibile one-stop command center for both the food and serving implements!

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  15. I think I have died and gone to heaven. I WANT to be a good organizer and WANT to have a organized home. Thank you for so many good tips. I am getting to work tonight!!!

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  16. This. Is. Awesome. Thank you for letting us all see into your remarkable organizational skills!!! (and thus attempt to copy them!!)

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  17. This would be great for daycare.

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  18. I have all the same items yet my cabinet never ends up looking like that - hmmm, can I blame the hubby?

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  19. I love your kiddie cabinet! We, too, have all the IKEA kid's kitchen supplies, but our cabinet is a mess. Maybe it's because it's one of those huge corner cabinets that are pretty useless. Any ideas on how to organize one of those? Thanks for all the great ideas!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Robyn! How about inexpensive dollar store bins that are easy to pull out? Or a lazy susan of some sort?

      xo!
      Jen

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  20. Dear Jen
    How much do you put aside every month for organising ?
    Me and my hub usually go buzurk in one month and don't organise for perhaps two!
    Ps. We have an "awfully amazing " organising habit
    We put around 25 to 50 dollars a month . Is that too much ?

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    Replies
    1. It really honestly depends on our needs and desires. Some months, we don't invest much if any {and just be resourceful about what we already have}, others, we save up to splurge on a new cabinet and baskets. We try to recognize our problem areas and then plan for the solutions, so we make sure to have a discussion about it during our monthly budget chat.

      Organizing can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. If you have the options of reusing containers, packaging and building your own storage, that will help save some money.

      xo!
      Jen

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  21. I tried this and my kids just get into all the stuff and want to play with it. Do you ever have that problem, or do you just train them to not get into the cabinet? Love your stuff though :) Thanks!

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  22. I found you on Pinterest and was inspired to use this idea when we remodeled our kitchen. My daughter loves having her own special cabinet, and I love that she is helping me in the kitchen and becoming more independent. I blogged about my kitchen remodel here: http://thehottoddiesofwa.blogspot.com/2013/03/real-lazy-ass-housewives-of-olympia-big.html Thanks for this inspiration!

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  23. I just love this idea. It is so necessary in order to allow our children to grow to be more self-sufficient.

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  24. i think what i enjoy most about your organizing is your use of color. fun colors against crisp white. love it and feels clean and fun and not too "serious"! you know you have entered a fun, beautiful home! i recently bought the kids ikea dishes simply because i just LOVED THE COLORS.already had plastic dishes at home. then i see them on your site and was so NOT surprised. re organizing my pantry right now and checking your site out for cool ideas as usual! fun tip-i have a huge fun mug collection. would clutter the kitchen too much(i love minimal) but always a pain to find fun mugs when in cupboards. so i bought tons of s hooks at ikea and hung about 50 of them(too many i know)in the pantry all in two lines. they really look cool and fun for guests to pick out their fav when visiting now! beth burke

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  25. ps-got a feeling target is just as dangerous a store for you as it is for me. i can't get out of there without spending 500 bucks! and thats going in thinking-will just browse to see their latest fun stuff. help! bb

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