Food Hussy Conquers Kitchen Chaos with IKEA

This post is sponsored by IKEA but all opinions are my own.

My kitchen has messy spots - there's the spot where I put the mail, the spice drawer, my mess of cutting boards and then - the dreaded junk drawer! Today we're going to conquer them all with one visit to IKEA.

Voxtorp Cabinet with Integrated Handles

First I took a tour of the kitchen & organization parts of the store and they showed me some of their latest and greatest. They have these new Torhamn kitchen doors (left) that have a really cool checkerboard design feature in the glass. There's also the new Voxtorp cabinets that have the handle built into the doors - this is a great feature! If you like clean lines - you don't even need hardware! 

Tillreda Mini-Fridge - $79 

They also added a few new products that would be great for extra space. There's a new Sunnersta mini-kitchen that has a counter and sink and add on shelving which would be great for a garden or deck area. They also just added mini-fridges to their refrigeration line - so that's handy for the outdoor kitchen or college kids.

Then I came across this kitchen drawer and I was pretty inspired - so you'll see a few of these products later in the post!

Before I left - I also got some of their jams from the Swedish Food Market - I actually used the Blueberry Jam yesterday on Local 12 in a Blueberry Vinaigrette salad dressing that was a big hit! The jams are all on sale through February for $2.99 instead of $3.99! Besides blueberry they have strawberry, blueberry & raspberry and orange & elderberry.

So after touring the store - I got quite a few things and headed home to fix my problem areas!

So my junk drawer is a hot mess - I started by taking everything out of it and putting it on the counter to see what I have. Who can fit all of that in a drawer?! I mean - granted - it wasn't really easy to open or shut it - but that's why I wanted to clean it out! Let's take a closer look...

Yes - four ice cream scoops - that's what you get when you're a food blogger - along with two meat forks and multiple whisks. I think after laying everything out - I realized that the biggest thing I needed to do in conquering the junk drawer would be to eliminate the multiples!

So once I eliminated all the multiples (except spatulas - those are necessary) - and whittled myself down to what I felt was reasonable. I put everything I removed into a box to donate.

Passarp Drawer Mat - $7.99

Next up was the drawer mat - I saw this in the organized drawer and I really liked it. I feel like there are always crumbs and junk - so the mat just makes it look nicer overall. These drawer mats are great - they've got lines on the back to make it easier to cut different sizes. The mat is almost flannel like texture but heavier.

And voila - I cut the mat to size and slipped it into the drawer - it's already better! 

There was one last item I needed - the utensil flatware tray - they have plastic and bamboo and I just really like the look of the bamboo. It looks so professional and much more grown up. At 43 - I guess it's time to grow up! The before and after is pretty amazing - and the total cost was less than $25 and 1 hour of time. But the difference - WOW - worth every penny. It's so nice to open the drawer and be able to see everything and know what's in there! 

Variera Pot Lid Organizer - $5.99

My next problem area is the little cupboard with cutting boards and muffin tins. They're all different sizes and they don't stand up and are just a huge pain. I always have to take them all out just to find the one I want. I grabbed their pot lid organizer to conquer this one. It was super easy to put together - you just screw the "legs" on each spoke and open it up. 

Now- I don't have a pile of mess! I have easy to find cutting boards and pans! I love it! Total cost: $5.99 and 30 minutes.

Then there's the spice cabinet area - I did have them in bins where I can't see anything up above the counter. I always had to pull the bins out and dig for my spices. Well - no more!!!

Droppar Spice Jar - $2.99 for 2

So this one took a few more supplies - first I decided to use a drawer instead of the cabinet. Then I started with the insert for spice jars - which is a molded piece of plastic with a little rubber squiggly line to hold them in place. Then I used the rest of the drawer mat to put in the bottom of the drawer. Lastly I found the right size spice jars for me - the nice thing is that these have a frosted area for you to write on.

I decided this was also a good time to clean out my spices. I have lots of old spices that I bought at the grocery store - which is not the best place for spices! I had to exorcise the demons from my cupboard and that included a trip to Colonel De's.

Colonel De is a spice retailer here in Cincinnati and he taught me all about spices in his Spices 101 class and one thing I learned is that spices are the most potent right after harvest but when you buy grocery store spices - they're already a minimum of 6 months old. 

So I decided to start off my new perfect spice drawer off right and went straight to the Colonel! Since I can't afford to re-buy everything - I asked him to tell me the top ten spices that people need in their kitchen. He was gracious enough to provide the list and gift me the bags you see above! 

So here is Colonel De's Top 10 Spices list! 

1. Basil
2. Oregano
3. Garlic
4. Onion
5. Paprika
6. Pepper
7. Parsley
8. Rosemary
9. Thyme
10. Bay Leaves 

With these spices - you'll be well on your way to cooking success! This is a great gift to give if you have a new college grad, a newly married couple, etc. - get them off on the right foot with the supplies they need to get cooking! (Be sure to tell Colonel De you heard it from me! He has stores at Jungle Jim's Eastgate, Findlay Market and in Fort Thomas, KY.)

I got the spices in baggies - they also sell jars at the store - so you can get a tiny amount or enough to fill a jar. They also have amazing spice blends that I can't even begin to tell you about! I also had a choice of the "cuts" of some of the spices - I like to break up my rosemary so I bought whole - but you could also get it already broken up (for example).

Let me also say - the scents were so potent! I had the spices in a bag in the closet before I had time to organize everything and it was crazy how aromatic it was! It made me want to jump in and cook!

I also like the IKEA Droppar jars because they don't have the shaker top - they just have the lid that almost has a suction cup type top. I hate those dumb shakers - I want to be able to open the jar and stick my measuring spoon in!

So there we have the top 10 spices all set in their new IKEA jars in my newly lined drawer. I then added (as you can see in the before & after above) the smaller baggies of spice blends from Colonel De's. It all makes me so excited to cook! Total cost: $18.94 (not including spices) and 1 hour.

Fintorp Hooks - $2.99 for 5

Lastly - there's the disaster that is my mail area. Again - a lot of this is just cleaning stuff out and getting rid of the junk I don't need. After that - I felt like getting things off the counter helped a lot. This was easy with the Fintorp collection with a rail, hooks and pails. Total cost: $36.96 and 1 hour. 

A lot of the organization products are in the Variera Series - so if you're looking to get started with organizing - that's a great place to start. I also think that a trip to the store is a must. I really like the fact that in their kitchens they have real life drawers and kitchen contents already in place. It helps see their products in kitchens to see all the uses and ideas for them. 

And if you already know that you need more assistance than this on planning your kitchen - say if you're building a house - you can utilize their Individual Kitchen Planning Service! It's well worth the money to have the perfect kitchen!

I hope you enjoyed my trip through IKEA and can take away some tips and tricks for organizing the messy areas of your home!

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