Monday, April 4, 2011

Kitchen Library Part 3

One thing that a lot of stuff prompts one to think about is organization.  Because if you have a lot of stuff, you had better manage it well or someone is going to nominate you for the next episode of Hoarders.

The Kitchen Library was born of this necessity, and so far, it is even exceeding our dreams.  We are still filling it carefully, bringing over carloads of treasures from Charming Suitor's house and making appropriate introductions.  His regular Calphalon flirts mercilessly with my nonstick Calphalon.  His Le Creuset and my Emile Henry needed to share shelves, so that they can whisper in French and think themselves superior to the rest of the cookware.  The Thermomix needed to be in the prime-most-central-easiest-to-grab location, since we use it nearly relentlessly. 

Everything was going swimmingly, until the lid issue.

So many lids.  Unwieldy, unstackable, clangy lids.  Before, I stacked them on their sides in a dishrack like this one...

This worked great when the lids were on an open shelf with nothing over them.  They all slotted in and stacked and didn't fall out or roll around, and it was such a good idea that Fine Cooking Magazine published it in the magazine AND the 1001 Best Tips book, AND paid me a whopping $25 for my brilliance. 

But all of our open shelves are 96 inches off the floor requiring a stepladder for 63 inch tall me, and are reserved for the lesser-used items like the cotton candy machine and the fondue pots. 

And if you wonder why I own a cotton candy machine and no fewer than four fondue pots, then you don't know me at all.

The lids for the copper cookware weren't a problem, as we were keeping them all together on the pot rack, and went with the old-school lid-on-the-handle trick.

So. Much. Glorious. Copper.

Just slip the loop of the lid over the handle of the pot and hang.  GENIUS!
But the rest of the lids were out of control.  The dishrack wouldn't fit on any of the shelves, none of our newly acquired shelf-organization geegaws could prevent them from rolling off the shelves, we were at a loss.

I looked at the lids.  I thought about where we had space to store them.  There is a closet in the Kitchen Library with a door.  Nothing happening on the door, but it is a nice antique solid wood door, so I couldn't attach anything permanently.  But how to utilize the space?

I'm a girl.  Specifically a shoe girl.  'Cause shoes?  Don't have to fit over my hips.

Light bulb. 

Yep.  That is your basic $20 18 pair over-the-door shoe rack.  The lids side right over the shoe prongs, even the ones that have a pull-type handle just rest on the rail and lean back, secure as anything.  Have a smaller lid with a thinner loop?  Grab a towel and gently squeeze one of the prongs so that it is narrower.  You can also use a wire cutter to split some of the prongs if your spacing is problematic. 

This rack is currenly holding 15 lids of various sizes, and there is room for more.  In fact, if you don't care about the aesthetics, you can alternate the lids front to back and double the number you can fit.  It can go on the inside of a door if you want to hide it away, or on the outside like we have done it here. 

Lid management, NOT FAIL!

What are some of your best tips and tricks for organizing....extra points for repurposing items!

Tune in next week for the COMPLETED PROJECT with loads of pics!

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath


  1. It's just so brilliant! Can you come organize my pitifully small (at the moment) amount of kitchen supplies? Oh, and bring the Le Creuset and Emile Henry, s'il vous plait?

  2. I love that lid idea! I am dying for more space...because well I have a lot of stuff. And I definitely don't want anyone calling Hoarders. They make you throw stuff away!

  3. Leave it to our amazing polymath to come up with such a GENIUS idea! Love it!

  4. I've been cooking peppers and onions in the skillet on the grill a lot lately. I'll have to add jalapenos next time. Yum. I like cooking bacon that way too, although hot fat + open flame adds a nice element of danger. I used to get flank steak, but my husband got me to try the carne asada cut from our local market, and I prefer it. Not sure if it's thin-cut flank or skirt (I'll have to ask), but it looks like this