Tips for Organizing a Hot Beverages Zone in a Small Kitchen | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Tips for Organizing a Hot Beverages Zone in a Small Kitchen

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tips for Organizing a Hot Beverages Zone in a Small Kitchen


Ready to do some kitchen organizing?  Today I'm back to the series I started in November on tips for organizing your kitchen (before I decorated too soon for Christmas and had to put the series on hold).
This week I'll be showing you a few more zones in my kitchen.  And  I'll continue the series in February because I've got lots more tips to help you organize your kitchen. 

Today, I want to share my new hot beverages zone! 

Kitchen Organizing Tips

Here's a list of all the tips I've shared already (with links to the corresponding post).

  1. Use drawer dividers
  2. Measure before you buy
  3. Determine the purpose of each drawer
  4. Purge before organizing
  5. Store like with like
  6. Keep items where you use them
  7. Store items you don't regularly use in "out-of-the-way" spots
  8. Maximize the vertical space in deep drawers
  9. Create zones in your kitchen
  10. Use boxes and baskets to contain like items
  11. Use clear containers for baking ingredients
  12. Label your containers
  13. Done is better than perfect
  14. Store dishes in a cupboard you can easily reach when you empty the dishwasher
  15. Maximize the vertical space in cabinets using wire shelves

OK, now that you're all caught up... on with my hot beverages zone!

Neither my hubby or I drink coffee (I know... shocking!) so we don't need to have a coffee maker or coffee supplies in our hot beverage zone.

The whole family enjoys drinking hot chocolate in the winter... especially with all the freezing temperatures we've been having this year!  But we usually only have hot chocolate once every week or two, so I don't want to clutter up what little counter space I have with things we don't use every day.  But I want the hot chocolate supplies to be part of our new hot beverage zone.

Mainly I want everything I need to make my cup of tea in the morning and afternoon easily accessible on the counter.  Yep... gotta have my tea :)  So I designed our hot beverage zone around what we use most frequently.

But first, I had to gather everything in one spot. 

Kitchen Organizing Tip #16:  Store all your hot beverage supplies together

In case you're wondering why I'm prattling on about this... here's what I used to do when I made a cup of tea: I'd take my kettle from the stove, where it usually lived, spin around to the sink to fill it, and then spin back around to plug it into the outlet above the counter beside the stove.  Then I'd turn around again to take a mug and a tea bag from the cupboard over the sink and back around again to get a spoon from the drawer under the counter where the kettle was boiling.

Next I'd make my tea.  Then, I'd usually save the tea bag to reuse again for my afternoon tea, so I'd put the spoon and tea bag in a small bowl or a spoon rest on top of the toaster oven to keep it off the counter (counter space is at a premium here!).  Luckily, that was beside the stove so no more spinning was involved.  Then, when I finished drinking my tea, I'd put the mug on top of the toaster oven too so I could reuse it later as well. 

Now, our kitchen's not that big, so I was never more than a few steps from any of these supplies, but I'd get dizzy sometimes spinning around so much :) 

So, in creating a hot beverage zone, my priority was to have everything all together!   Here's what the counter part looks like now.

I had that beautiful tray and I wasn't using regularly, so I set it on the counter and added everything I need for making tea.  Right now I've got a matching wintery set with mugs, sugar pot, and spoon rest that I keep on the tray.  And I've got my new kettle that I received as a Christmas gift.

To keep with my one-in-one-out rule, I said goodbye recently to my faithful old kettle.  It still works after more than 25 years!

I added the old kettle to my list of items I'm decluttering as part of the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge and then donated it.

The new one is larger, whiter, easier to fill, simpler to clean, seems to boil faster, and has a detachable cord.  So it's definitely an improvement.  But that old kettle and I shared some good times and some tired mornings :)

OK, moving on!

In the cupboard above this counter I have everything else I need to make tea and hot chocolate.

The bottom shelf has a few of my frequently used mugs, the usual sugar pot (when I'm not using my winter set), hot chocolate, and marshmallow bits for our hot chocolate.

Above the mugs, I've got an under-the-shelf basket with my tea.  If we have hot chocolate packages then I store the loose ones there too.  I usually keep a few assorted tea bags in an empty Ferrero Rocher chocolates container, which as it turns out is the perfect size for tea bags.

Kitchen Organizing Tip # 17:  Use under-the-shelf baskets to maximize vertical space in cabinets

I love how everything fits perfectly in my under-the-shelf basket and that space above the mugs would be wasted otherwise.  It's the same principle I used when I used a wire rack for my plates.  Maximizing vertical space is really important in small kitchens.  You may not think you have space for a hot beverages zone, but if you use extra space like this, you'll be surprised what you can do.

On the top shelf are our travel mugs, the rest of our mugs, and the tea pot set.  I decluttered a ton of mugs in November because we just don't use very many.  This is also really important if you have a small kitchen.  Everyone in our family has 1-2 favourite mugs and the rest were donated.  When we have people over, there are still enough mugs to go around, plus I have cups and saucers with our fancy china set.

We don't use any of these top shelf items too often, so they're here when we need them, but not taking up prime shelf space for items we use more frequently.

There are a few other items in this cabinet that don't relate to hot beverages.  If you have a small kitchen, you know there isn't enough space to be able to devote an entire cupboard to just hot beverages.

But I have everything I need for hot beverages all in this one cupboard or on the counter underneath it.  And I prioritized my shelf space based on how often I used items. 

Here's a reminder of what this cupboard looked like before.

{Remember, I switched the plates into the cupboard beside it so they're easier to put away from the dishwasher.}  And then I moved the mugs, tea, and hot chocolate supplies to this cabinet.  It makes more sense to have everything grouped close to where it's used, which is now right above the kettle.

Here's the whole hot beverage zone area (including a few other items in the cupboard).

I love having everything all in one place!  No more getting dizzy when I make a cup of tea :)  My kettle, the sink, the outlet, the cups, spoon rest, and the tea are all together!  And the same for hot chocolate when we make that.  Plus, if I need this counter space for something else, or I have guests over for tea, I can just pick up the tray and move it.  So simple. 

{By the way, please excuse the unfinished walls in these pictures.  We still need to do some finishing in our kitchen.  Our kitchen renovation project was put on hold for financial reasons after we replaced the cupboards and counters a few year ago, but hopefully this year we can properly finish the counters and walls and pretty up this kitchen a bit!}

If you don't have a hot beverage zone, use the tips and ideas from this post to create one.  I don't want anyone else getting dizzy :) 

You can find more kitchen organizing ideas on my Kitchen Organizing board on Pinterest. 

And stay tuned the next few weeks as I continue to show you my kitchen and share tips to help you organize yours. 

How do you organize your hot beverage supplies?  Do you have tips for creating a hot beverage zone?  Have you ever gotten dizzy in your kitchen while spinning around for everything you need?

Happy organizing!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!