Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Organizing Challenge #2

Kitchen Porch

The "kitchen porch", as we call it in my house, is actually the back porch.  We enter our home through this porch because it's attached to the driveway/garage.  The front of our home has a large front porch that we utilize during the seasons that we can here in upstate NY!  The front porch is more like additional living space, whereas the kitchen porch is used as a (very small) breeze-way. Keeping the kitchen porch organized is quite a task as everyone likes to use this space as a dumping, sports equipment, tools, you name it!  

This porch is completely functional and gets a great deal of use.  I try to make it as "pretty" as I can since this is often our guest entry.  But, there is a huge need for this space to house some of our seasonal items, etc.

The first thing I did was purchase a small, wire shelf from Target.  It was easy to put together (I did it my self) and it was inexpensive (about $20).  Then, I recycled some baskets that were hanging around in my basement.  The top wicker baskets are used for umbrellas (Vera...of course!) and paper supermarket bags.  We use the bags for recycling purposes.  The umbrellas are in a great spot to just 'grab n go' when needed.  Next, the blue baskets are truly the seasonal aspects of the porch.  In the winter these baskets may be used for rock salt, ice scrapers, etc.  Last, is the shoe tub.  My kids sports shoes DO NOT come into the house!  They must take off and shake (out in the grass) before putting them into the tub.  My husband keeps his "mowing sneakers" in this tub as well.  This addition to the porch has proven invaluable...which is saying a lot since the tub has a crack in the back and I was going to toss it.  I love when I can reduce, reuse, recycle!  Speaking of recycling...

These two recycling bins sit opposite the utility shelf on the porch.  It is great having a spot for plastic, cardboard, paper, etc. that is not taking up space in my kitchen.  These bins stay on the porch year-round and they are in constant use!  The paper supermarket bags from the wicker baskets line the bins so we can just remove the bags and place them in the yellow, recycling bins for weekly pick up.

I found these fantastic labels from the Martha Stewart Collection at Staples.  It's a plastic sleeve with a sticky back and a cardboard label that is inserted.  Using a plastic sleeve means no weather worries! Also, there are additional cardboard labels in the pack so I can change the writing for each seasonal item(s).  I used letter stickers to write on the labels. It was so easy!  

Last is the Purple Basil.  My husband read that flies do not like the smell of Purple Basil.  We decided to plant some and place it next to the door entering our kitchen.  It has actually worked quite well.  No more flies escaping the outside and entering my kitchen! 

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