Organized space of the week… Kitchen “The Baking Zone”

December 17, 2012


Welcome back to another “Organized Space of the Week”.  Today Im happy to introduce a wonderfully talented friend of mine – Leslie.  You may have been to her blog Goodbye, House. Hello, Home before.  I will let her tell you more about herself below… By the way, she has an AWESOME  kitchen (baking zone) to share with you today.

My name is Leslie. I am a mom and housewife.  I am also a Certified Interior Decorator, Home Stager, and Home Organizer,  and work out of my home office with homeowners and realtors, but my main career is homemaking.  I blog at Goodbye, House. Hello, Home!  Here you will find inspiring, creative, thrifty and fresh ways to make your house into a home. You will discover that what truly matters is not the furniture, the wall colors, the flooring, or the accessories within the house–or even the house itself — but the heart that gets put into the making of a home.  As a professional organizer, I am excited that I get to share both my love of organizing with you, as well as the creatively frugal ideas that I use to simply keep my sanity in my own home. Maybe you can use some of these ideas, too. Today, we’re in my kitchen.  I am one descendant in generations’ worth of bakers.  Bakers that bake in bulk.  One corner of my kitchen is the baking zone.



If you find yourself walking back and forth as you bake to retrieve items and ingredients, you may need to re-think the location of these things.
Store items in a way that makes sense and saves steps. Almost all of my baking necessities are within arm’s reach in this corner.



I love having my dry goods in these glass containers.
With a glance, I can tell if I am running low on something.


Last year, I was about to put this wardrobe mirror in the yard sale pile. As I added this lamp, I thought, “There must be some way to get more light in this corner!” I remembered the mirror, measured it to see if it would fit, and here it hangs across from the window, reflecting light and doubling my dry ingredients! It also gives a whole new meaning to “watching what you eat”.


I found the jars and metal scoops at Wal-Mart.



I used to have dozens and dozens of cookbooks.
I got tired of trying to remember which recipe was in which book.
So, one day, I opened them all up to the one or two recipes in each book that we actually liked, copied them down onto recipe cards, and now I only have three cookbooks:
A Passion for Baking


Recipes from My Kitchen

(family and other frequently-used and tested recipes from the cookbooks I got rid of)



And my iPhone.
Yep, my iPhone!
When I see a recipe I want to try that I’ve pinned on Pinterest,
I plop my phone in this vintage sugar bowl (which has long since lost its lid)
and have a paper-free means of making something.
If it passes “inspection”, it gets written down and put into My Recipes cookbook.



Let me show you the insides of the cupboards.



The top shelf holds the least-frequently used items,
the pastry mat and rolling pin, cookie cutters, and icing stuff.



The middle shelf holds the smaller measuring utensils.


And, of course, the lowest shelf holds the larger, heavier measuring bowls.

This is the cabinet to the right of the one above.


Cupcake liners.



Sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder are kept here.
These are also handy because their lids have a slide closure so I can neatly pour out the contents.



The bottom shelf holds spices, extracts, and my favorite: sprinkles.
(As you may have noticed, I put many of my ingredients in matching, see-through containers.
I don’t like the surprise of running out of something mid-measure!)




Below the spices cabinet is the utensil drawer.
These are really, actually, truthfully ALL the items in this drawer,
and the only items I use.
I decided a long time ago to keep the most-used items,
because the rest was clutter.
I’ve written about the 10 Causes and Cures for Clutter HERE.



The lower left cabinet contains all of my casserole and pie dishes.
Again, these are all I use and are plenty.



The cabinet to the right of the casseroles houses more pans and necessities.




Below the oven are flat and flat-ish pans.
I use the cupcake pans A LOT!
Here’s a tip to keep your pans like-new:
wash them immediately after you’re done baking
and put them in the still-hot oven to dry;
this reduces rust.


Earlier this month, I prepared dozens of holiday cupcakes for my daughter’s classmates.

One day, I want to open a patisserie!


To the right of the oven, the lower cabinet door holds the oven mitts.



As you can see, the refrigerator is to the left of the baking zone,
so I can easily grab the eggs, milk, and butter, which makes a nice work triangle.
I am blessed with an over-sized rolling kitchen island
that was once an old kitchen cabinet, now on casters,
which I topped with a butcher block table top,
and placed four bar chairs around.
We eat here for most meals.
(The dining room receives some attention for special occasions.)


On the backside of the island is storage.

I keep the baked goods packaging supplies in here,

furthest away from the baking corner,

because I use these the least.




So far, this holiday season, I’ve made peanut butter balls, English toffee, and ginger crinkles
which get put into pretty bags (also bought at Wal-Mart) for teachers and neighbors.



Peanut butter balls.



Ginger crinkles.


A picture holder is very handy to hold recipe cards while baking.


Other pictures of my kitchen.




Across from the French doors is the pantry.





Christmas candle light in the window, a bird’s nest, greenery,
and a wreath of lavender from our yard.




Some thoughts I’ve gathered as a professional organizer on kitchen organization:


  • Many times, things that are stored in cupboards aren’t actually needed in the kitchen; for example, fancy china, serving trays, special occasion utensils, crystal bowls, or vases. Move these to other areas (perhaps the dining room) to free up shelf space for your more frequently used items.
  • Go through your cookbooks and remove the ones that you don’t like or use. Get your loose recipes into a 3-ring binder, divided into sections.
  • If you don’t have a separate pantry, make use of stepped organizers, sliding shelves, and turntables inside your cabinets. Baskets work well to keep like items together. Labels help the family to know where to store items and make it easier for them to help to put groceries away after a shopping trip.
  • If you are spending more than a few seconds searching for a particular utensil, then it’s time to purge your drawers of the unused items. Ask yourself what is really necessary. You may need less than you think that you do.
  • How many dish towels and oven mitts do you need? These linens typically take up precious drawer space. I suggest seven towels, one for each day of the week, and four oven mitts: two square and two hand mitts. Hang them on the inside of the cabinet door nearest to their use on hooks or over-the-door towel bars.
  • More kitchen hints HERE.
Thank you, Toni, for letting me stop by!
I pray that each of you will have a beautiful day making your home!



22 comments on “Organized space of the week… Kitchen “The Baking Zone”

  1. Susan says:

    I love looking at all the ideas and ways to organize. I would love to have a kitchen this big, I don’t, so need to come up with what works with my kitchen. I so need a new kitchen (reading all f these posts, gives me ideas for my dream kichen). Thank you for all your organizing tips.

    • Hi Susan,
      My kitchen really isn’t that big.
      If you take the eat-in area away, it’s only 11′ X 11′. It may appear bigger because I don’t keep a lot of stuff in it 😉
      You can make the kitchen you currently are blessed with your dream kitchen!
      Don’t wait for someday. Make your home now.
      Merry Christmas!

  2. Damian says:

    Wow! Very nice setup. My wife would be jealous… heck, I’m jealous. 🙂

  3. Alissa says:

    Leslie, this is AMAZING! I am so excited! We are moving next month and this is perfect for when I put my new kitchen together. I can’t wait to explore you blog, and continue exploring this one too! Your kitchen is mind blowing, I can’t wait to get more ideas.

  4. Mendi Matthews says:

    This makes me want to reorganize my cabinet space, lol
    Love how she keeps everything in one area, I have everything kind of spread out in my kitchen.

  5. Shirls says:

    What a gorgeous kitchen! I’m bookmarking this page for inspiration. Oh to have all those cupboards. But since I have to work with what I have, I can see how they could be better organized, (having just had to dive under a bunch of baking stuff to retrieve my mince pie tins).

  6. Beautiful kitchen Leslie! I love all your pretty jars. I need to purge my cookbooks even further, especially since I don’t look at them very often. You’ve done a fabulous job organizing everything 🙂

    • Melissa says:

      I love, love, love the rolling kitchen island! That would be perfect for my kitchen. I don’t have room for an island and a table and chairs, so combining those would be perfect! Plus having extra storage and counter space would be a dream come true! It seems like a project I could actually complete. I would love to know more about how you made it!

  7. Kristen says:

    Came across this while looking for organizing tips. I have a super small apartment. The kitchen has size but unfortunately there is 1 cupboard, the only counter-space is next to the sink, used for drying my hand-washed dishes. And believe it or not I don’t have 1 full wall for additional hanging, or kitchen table room. SOOO I came here for ideas, I think I need a guru in my kitchen. But these ideas do help to make it appear nicer! Thanks for this bloG!

  8. This is a great post. You’ve given me some hope and inspiration!

  9. Sally says:

    Love the organization and how things are grouped really gets the creative juices going. My kitchen is almost identical layout but a smidge smaller (8.5×8). Maybe I missed it, where do you keep everyday cooking pots and pans?

  10. Sue says:

    Hi. I was just wondering why you don’t have your regular granulated white suger in one of those large jars from Walmart. You do have the powdered sugar and brown sugar in one. I would like to know because I want to get one each for my flour and granulated sugar. The description on Walmart website says good for flour, sugar and other things.

  11. Nigelle says:

    Where did you get the clear containers that have nuts in them?

  12. Laurence says:

    Thank you for the inspiration, I’m trying to organize my baking corner, you gave me plenty of ideas.

  13. Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy
    reading through your blog posts. Can you suggest any
    other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?

    Thanks a ton!

  14. Renate says:

    I love your kitchen, your organisation ideas..
    and I just LOVE those incredibly cute.. Unfortunately they dont have those here..

  15. Allison Rose says:

    Great post, Leslie! Such great ideas on storing and organizing baking items. I absolutely love all the jars. Could you tell me where you got the tall cylinder jars and the small jars used for sprinkles? Also, I have some of those jars with the scoops, but does it bother you or cause problems that they aren’t sealed?

  16. says:

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new
    to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and
    checking back often!

  17. paula says:

    Love the post! Where did you get the small plastic containers that has your salt, sugar, baking powder, etc. in them…the ones you said have a sliding lid? Thanks!

  18. Lanell says:

    I love the green wall color, do you know what color it is? Very nice kitchen and great organizing ideas

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