Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to Organize a Lazy Susan Cabinet

I really dislike my lazy susan corner cabinet. I can't figure out what its best use is. It's hard to keep organized. Until today, it has looked like this...

It was just kind of a wasted space, junk cabinet. I finally decided to put things in perspective and learn to love my not-so-functional corner cabinet. I was thinking about five years ago when Matt and I bought our first house. It was a 2,800 square foot TOTAL fixer upper that was built in 1920. It had the worst kitchen... EVER... and we lived with the kitchen like that for a LONG time while we worked on other parts of the house. Unfortunately we moved out of state and ended up renovating the house to be a rental and never got to live in there with a nice kitchen. This is what it looked like the day we closed....

Pretty, huh?

Uh... ya... so, those windows above the stove used to be exterior windows that looked out onto a porch. The porch was eventually enclosed. What you see on the other side of those windows is tile board. That's right, folks... cheap, ugly tile board. Why, you ask? WELL... apparently the previous owners moved out of the country and then sent a check up to someone to install a full bath in that space. Probably not the smartest move... you know... no quality control or anything like that. I don't think you'd ever expect someone to install something this bad though! I know you are just dying to see what it looked like...

This picture doesn't even do it justice!!!! But I'm sure you can see the additional piece of tile board placed, oh, so craftily on the end of that tub. Not to mention the kitchen sink faucet they installed on the tub! The far end of the picture shows the accordion door they installed... that led to this...

I mean, seriously! I have no clue why we didn't end up in a bidding war over this house! OR, why all our friends and family thought we were crazy!!! So, why this trip down memory lane? To remind myself how blessed we are to live in a year old house, with a beautiful kitchen... lazy susan cabinet and all! I have to admit, I love that first house more than seems reasonably possible, and I'm glad we still have it. I think I love it because I'm so PROUD of what it looks like now, compared to what it looked like when we bought it. There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained by doing a lot of the work yourself. It was a big project to take on three months into our marriage, but I think it just made us work better together as a couple.

But... I digress. So... organizing a lazy susan cabinet.... here is what I decided would work best:

1) Keep it simple. The more stuff you try to cram in, the messier it will become and the more frustrated you will get.

2) Containerize. Everything.

3) Pick a theme. Don't shove every miscellaneous item you own in a container and stick it in there. Pick a group of items - for me it was baking supplies - and go with it.

My first task was to find a solution for all the plastic sippy cups, snack and travel mugs and toddler bowls. We use these constantly. They barely have time to sit on a shelf between coming out of the dishwasher clean and getting used again. So, I decided not to shove them all in a cabinet. There was just no way to do it neatly. I got a cute basket, put it on the counter, and dumped everything in. Plus, as my Husband said if we don't want people looking at it on the counter when we have guests, we can shove it in the closet. Excellent point!

I actually really like that basket there. I might by another matching one to collect other stuff that migrates around our kitchen! Alrighty... so... I moved my baking supplies out of the pantry (which freed up some much needed space) and into the lazy susan. The other cabinets in that corner of my kitchen have my baking dishes, pans, measuring cups, whisks, spatulas, etc. It's also the area of counter top I do most food prep and baking. I figured it would be nice to have all my baking ingredients handy.

I picked up some cheap plastic containers at Target (using a gift card I had rediscovered... thanks Svenja!) and used them to corral extra bags of flour and other baking ingredients. I also moved my flour and sugar containers out of the pantry and into the cabinet.

I used an extra container I had lying around from going strawberry picking to store my canning utensils on the bottom shelf.

All in all, I'm much happier with this new set up! I also think it will be pretty easy to keep organized. I'm sure it helps that I don't bake much :-)


  1. Just saw your post regarding lazy susan, I have taken your advice and used it for storing baking supplies. Turned out great, I found supplies I had no idea I had since they were scattered everywhere. Thanks

  2. Colleen
    Wow..great ideas and so simple. I am running out to Target right now. I have 3 lazy susans and only one is really "user friendly". Your picture of all the sippy cups, etc could have been taken in my kitchen.
    Thanks again...

  3. hmmm I saw your post and my brain started thinking....What a great place to put my cleaning supplies! That would giveme two whole shelves in my over croaded pantry. Thanks for sparking my ingenuity!

  4. Thank you! I have a lower lazy susan cabinet and on the counter above I already had my mixer so it made sense for baking supplies to go there instead of all my appliances. I love the functionality of the lazy susan now and can check that off my list of things to do!!

    1. It also spurred me on to organize my spice cabinet and pantry AND I moved all the toddler dishes to a dollar store basket and put it in a lower cabinet where my little guy can reach them. Now I actually have room for my glasses up top! Thanks again!

  5. Just read your post, moved into our Home in October, have 2 lower cabinet lazy Susan's just like yours and I've been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what to do with them! This helps. Thanks! :)