Coffee with Me

Kitchen Organization – Kid Style February 9, 2010

Filed under: Works for Me Wednesday — Melissa @ 9:20 pm

Many years ago, my oldest had the chore of emptying the dishwasher. Except that she couldn’t reach to put away the dishes and I didn’t want her climbing up on the countertops. So she’d leave those dishes on the counter and then I’d come behind her and put them away.

Fast forward a few years and my 2nd daughter had the chore of emptying the dishwasher. I had a brilliant idea to move the main dishes to the lower cupboards. Afterall, I didn’t set the table or unload the dishwasher. I hardly touched the dishes! Why not make it easier for those that did?

It’s many years later and I have several other little ones now and as they continue to pass the dishwasher-unloading-baton down the line, it is still easy for them to unload the dishwasher.

Here’s my lower cabinet with the main dishes in it.

I also put “kid” cups down low as well as the cereal. In the mornings, while they’re getting breakfast together, I’m usually walking on the treadmill or showering, and this makes it easy for even the 2-year-old to pick out what she wants. She gets her own water too.

This cabinet is actually the pantry. It’s deep and goes up to the ceiling. I would lose food in there. I use the upper cabinets for small appliances and my pans. The lower one is pictured here with the “kid” dishes and the cereal. The bottom shelf has paper supplies. My food is in some upper cabinets that are not so deep and are really much better for holding food.

As a side note here is a quick picture of how my kitchen is organized. The upper cabinets hold plastic food storage containers (easy to put away and don’t break if they get dropped), coffee cups and other related coffee/tea items, food, medicine, baking supplies, cooking items (oils and such), “adult” glasses (which I do put away). The lower cabinets hold dishes, bowls, serving items, baking sheets/pans, everything else, and the rest are drawers.

Having a kid-friendly kitchen works for me! Check out Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family for more great tips!


22 Responses to “Kitchen Organization – Kid Style”

  1. Mandy Says:

    What a great tip! I used to keep small stuff down for the littles too. 😀

  2. Kim Says:

    Neat idea. Thanks.

  3. Nikki Says:

    What a terrific tip! My kids are getting to the age of having more responsibilities in the kitchen. I’m going to have to think about how to shuffle the cupboards. Thanks!

  4. This is a great tip. Even though my kids are older now, I still do pretty much the same thing. I have a kitchen island with a cupboard that faces the dining room, and the cereal and cereal bowls and plastic cups are in there, and the silverware drawer is just above it (and the fridge is across from it). So if the kids are having cold cereal in the morning, everything is right there for them.

  5. Penny Saver Says:

    Sadly, my kitchen doesn’t have enough lower shelves to make this tip work, but I remember the “kid shelf” growing up and wish I could put it into practice! We also had a bin of accessible snacks below our plastic cups and dishes.

  6. Ally Says:

    Hey! Great tip! Def. something to consider as the kids get a little older! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for stopping by Our Journey … glad you liked the Family Tree! Good idea with kid shelves … we can’t trust our son yet with the “grown-up” dishes but he helps me put away “his” dishes.

  8. hey — brilliant. Ü I do this too… cups and plates where they can reach then, because they unload and set the table. Fools visiting adults every time. LOL

  9. Kelly Says:

    This is a really great idea. My 9 year old puts the dishes away and used to complain about not being able to reach things. We just brought out the stool he used to use in the bathroom because our lower cabinets don’t have shelves… but they could. I’ll be looking into this! Thanks for the tip.

  10. Kelly Says:

    We do this as well. Not the food, because of the food issues here, but the dishes…yep, Parker is moving into the job now and he can reach to put most stuff away.

  11. Sharon Says:

    We have done this in the past. We aren’t doing it right now but hope to be able to do it again soon. Little ones love to be big helpers and I love to teach independence.

  12. Ashley Says:

    What a great idea! Once we’re able to take the rubberbands off our cabinets (and get some “kid friendly” dishes), I’ll definitely have to try this out. Thanks for posting the tip!

  13. Really great idea! I bet this helps the kids become much more independent in kitchen work.

  14. Courtney Says:

    I just recently started doing this with my 3 year old and it really does help out so much!

  15. Alea Says:

    I was just thinking I needed to do this again the other day. I did this when my older kids were young and then moved them back up when they got big. Now we have another little guy, who thinks he is ready to be helpful and it would be a lot less dangerous to bring the dishes to his level, rather than have him climb to the dishes!

  16. When my daughter was little, I switched to using all Tupperware, so I didn’t have to worry about broken plates, cups, bowls… We were never able to use the lower cabinet for dishes due to my hubby being so tall. We just had a step stool for my daughter to use to put things away. She’s monkey, so she didn’t mind. lol!

  17. abbi Says:

    Great thinking! I don’t think I have the right cabinets for that (I have a lot of drawers in the lower areas) but that is a good idea. My kids have gotten pretty used to standing on chairs now.

  18. That is a great idea to encourage (and make it easier for) your kids to help.

  19. Jenny Says:

    that is so cool. my son isnt really interested in stuff that goes on in the kitchen but niece is and i think they have everything set where she can reach stuff like this. so nifty.

  20. Dawn Says:

    I have a deep pantry like that too. Things get way lost up above and below especially. I might revamp too. I’m really stuck on wanting things to be where they actually are supposed to go so it’s hard for me to use the plate cabinet for food and the pantry for plates. LOL

  21. Amy Says:

    That is BRILLIANT! My 5 yo has such an interest in helping out right now. I’m going to have to switch things around. She would love to be able to reach everything and do it herself.


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