If you remember my list of rooms I wanted to tackle, the kitchen was one that was a biggie for me. While I haven't even put a dent in it yet, I did make some changes that have made it more functional and easier to use, now that I'm cooking a lot more.
One of my biggest frustrations in the kitchen was that my pots and pans were always a total mess in the drawer under my oven. I'm sure many of you have one of those and I'm not sure what you use yours for, but mine was used to put my pots and pans in. And it didn't work well at all. The lids and pots never had enough room to fit them inside neatly. It was always a noisy even to get one pot or frying pan out of there. I got irritated just thinking about it!
I started thinking about other options for storing them. I considered leaving them clean on the stove since I basically use them everyday now. But that left the counter looking too cluttered. I didn't like it. Then I thought about buying a hanging rack to put on the wall next to my fridge, over the trash can. It's a big, blank wall that had nothing on it. The problem with that is that I literally had no extra money to even buy the rack. That's how broke we are right now, there is no room for extra expenditures that aren't 100% necessary (and even then sometimes we can't do it!). So....I decided to hang some good old fashioned nails. I have a whole container of different sized nails so I picked the thickest ones I could find and I hung them on my wall, going up at an angle. I didn't use anything to measure or make sure they were evenly spaced. I simply started with one and put a pot on it and then spaced the next one to fit the pot that would go there.
I think it came out pretty good for just "eyeing it" and doing it on the fly. Don't you?
I know it's a small step, but it felt huge to me and it relieved my frustration of having to bang around the drawer on the oven and fight with trying to fit the pots and pans down there. Now, they each have their own nail and I quickly wash, rinse, dry and hang them after using them. I still have a couple of things in the oven drawer, like all the lids as well as my big boiling pot for pasta. But it doesn't take a sequence of loud bangs and clatters to get something out, which is music to my ears.
I also added a dish rack next to my sink to help alleviate some of the many loads of dishes I've had to do so frequently since I've been cooking more and eating at home. I just rinse and re-use the same dishes throughout the day and keep them right there in the rack. It's already saved me time and I've only had to run one load of dishes in the past 3 days, which is a miracle around here.
Here are some before and after pictures: