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Kitchen Solutions

Updated on December 31, 2013

Help! My Kitchen is a Mess!

My kitchen had been taken over by clutter. The solutions I calculated were, of course, to get rid of some of the stuff, but also to get better cabinets. That space above the cabinets was useless. The top of the cupboards (and anything stashed up there) was coated with a thick layer of greasy dust. Our stove was an ancient monster from the late 70's. That upper oven prevented using any large soup or canning pots on the cooktop and the electronic timer had long ago stopped working. It really was time for a total kitchen remodel.

When you do this big job, one of the first things you have to do is remove everything from the counter tops, drawers and cupboards. Then, when the new kitchen is ready, all the old stuff has to be either put back, thrown away or given away. It kind of forces you into the first step of organizing the kitchen. No one is going to just throw the old things back into the drawers and cupboards. They must be carefully organized.

Images courtesy of Amazon or the author

Kitchen Remodel - Have You Ever Endured One?

How long did yours take to be complete?

Tell me about it!

Mine is still in process months later.

Have you ever had your kitchen remodeled?

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New Kitchen - Fresh Start!

My new kitchen cabinets
My new kitchen cabinets

My new cabinets are a solution for that dirty wasted space above the old cabinets. The grimy dirt will still need to be cleaned, but it will collect on the fronts of the cabinet doors and be much easier to keep up with. Now I have an extra shelf with useful space inside each of my upper cabinets. There's also a cupboard above the over-the-stove microwave oven. The old kitchen had no cupboard over the stove and the microwave on the counter top took up loads of work space. Now my bread machine is handy to use in a portion of the space that old microwave took up. For this kitchen these new cupboards are a wonderful space and maintenance solution.

Fresh start, but then I had to sort through all my kitchen "stuff" and get it organized. In this picture all of the cupboards and drawers are still empty. Look how dark that work surface is to the right of the stove. It's dark over the sink and to the right of the sink too. I wanted that black counter, but didn't realize how much it would suck light from the work surface, when I chose it. That's something to consider when choosing a new countertop.

I need a whole lot more kitchen solutions before this job is finished. Shopping for new kitchen "stuff" is so much fun. After all that money paid for a kitchen remodel, I need to find my new solutions at the best possible price. Amazon usually comes through with the best deals - especially when I can get free shipping!

New Lighting Under the Upper Cabinets

What I really wanted installed was a system of fluorescent lights that I could flip one switch to turn all on at once. That didn't happen. I don't know why, but I forgot to talk with my cabinet installer about the lights when we were planning this remodel. So, I was shopping and saw all these new lights...many of them battery operated and you had to turn on each one as you needed it. Or they were strings of lights too much like Christmas lights for my liking. You might like these, but I couldn't see them producing enough for my aging eyes; or to overcome that light-sucking black counter top. Maybe if you have a light color for your counter, one of these lights will work for you.

For my kitchen I chose some GE Slimline fluorescent tube lamps. Each fixture has an on/off switch and the cord from one links to another and the last one is plugged into the wall outlet. I just kind of tucked up the bunched wires and in one place used a cup hook to hold the wire out of view. These lights are not available at Amazon; so you would have to find a Home Depot to get some. I have 3 lights: 1 under each corner cupboard and 1 over the sink.


Fulcrum 30010-301 LED Battery-Operated Stick-On Tap Light, Silver, 3 Pack


Fulcrum 6 LED Rectangular Tap Light


RiteLite LPL704 Battery-Operated 12-LED Under-Cabinet Track Light

What Would I Do Differently for this Kitchen Remodel?

I chose the black Silestone counter tops because I thought the black would contrast nicely with the light cupboards and match the black dishwasher front and black parts on the chrome stove. I wanted Silestone because it cost less than granite and I thought you could put hot pots on it, but I found out after-the-fact that it's not so good. I think brown or even a tan colored granite would have been a better choice for the room. I don't think any counter top is suitable to put hot pots on. The Silestone is not very hard. I have managed to hit it on the underside of the edge with a porcelain coffee mug while loading the dishwasher and (yikes!) the counter top chipped - not the cup. Silestone is made from aggregated quartz and it's scratch and stain proof, but obviously it chips easily. I don't know now what a better choice would be for kitchen counters. My solution for this kitchen will be to glue a transparent strip of wallpaper corner guard along the under edge where the dishwasher is. I'll show a picture of it after I get that done.

Duck 12-Inch Wide 20-Square-Feet Non-Adhesive Select Easy Shelf Liner, Jumbo

This is the shelf/drawer liner that I like best. It's kind of waffle textured and doesn't have any glue on it, but kind of grips a surface; so things don't slip on it. I have one drawer with smooth top liner and one with this kind. The smooth one has the organizer sections all shifted around and the other one stays as I place them.

I bought a couple of rolls of the 12 inch wide for upper cupboards and a couple rolls of the 20 inch wide for drawers and base cupboards. I've seen white, taupe, black and a dark autumn red colors. I've got a thing about shelf liner. Even new cupboards I have to wipe them out and put in clean liner. It just really bothers me to put stuff into cupboards without liner on the shelves.

The Perfect New Drawer Organizer

These are similar to the drawer organizers I installed in my new kitchen. Mine are not black and I wish that I had gotten these instead. My gaget drawer has just the long narrow box shaped pieces in it and they interlock along the long edges. That's the drawer that has smooth liner in it and the organizer boxes are always skewed in there from shifting with the drawer motion. I need to reline it with some of that non-skid liner. Also the units are not long enough to fill the drawer fully from front to back. I have stuffed some seldom used things behind the boxes, but they still shift around.


Rubbermaid FG1J1609 No Slip Gadget Tray


Rubbermaid FG1J1509 Expandable No Slip Cutlery Tray

If I was doing it again today, I would want to get some stainless steel mesh drawer organizers. I really like the way these look. When you are selecting drawer organizers, what looks good to you is just as important as how well something works!


Copco 2555-7872 Large Mesh 3-Part In-Drawer Utensil Organizer


Honey-Can-Do KCH-02163 Steel Mesh 7-Compartment Expandable Utility Drawer Organizer, Silver


Honey-Can-Do KCH-02157 Steel Mesh 3-Compartment Cutlery Utensil Organizer, Silver

Protecting that Gorgeous New Sink

My new kitchen has the most beautiful double stainless steel sink in it.

The left sink is the largest one and is perfect for setting in my largest pots for filling with water or scrubbing. The right sink is smaller and has the garbage disposal under it. I so wanted to keep my sink shiny and new looking. I got a nice inexpensive vinyl mat for it - not a good idea! You can see that my mat has discolored, it traps water and garbage and gets slimy if not cleaned every day. That one gets bleached regularly and is no longer colorless.

If you want to protect your sinks I recommend one of the wire rack style units. The flat vinyl ones are pretty when new, but not really practical. Any of these will protect the sink from scratching and the dishes from chipping.


InterDesign Blumz Large Sink Mat, Red


Sink Mat - Small Crystal Clear PVC Sink Protector by Better Housewares (Size 12.5 X 10.5 X 1)


Better Houseware White D-Shape Sink Protector

New Backsplash - Never Finished?

I didn't pay anyone to install a backsplash for the new sink. I had grand delusions of doing it myself... a very ornate and grand mosaic of various tile chips to create a picture of the sunset at the beach (or something). It hasn't happened yet! I'm still thinking about it. I need to pull the stove away from the wall and sand down an area there where the renovators patched the drywall and left it raised. I need to paint the visible walls around the counters again.I'm still thinking about these things.

I hope to get these things done one day, but now Hubby wants me to help him install laminate flooring in our bedroom....

I'll come back and let you know what I end up doing for the back splash. For now, take a look at some of these easy backsplash options. I love that Venetian tile sticker set, but don't really want stickers. That silver rooster tin tile set is calling to me.


Lot 26 Studio ADD-HERES Venetian Tiles Wall Stickers, 11.25 x 22.5-Inches


Self Adhesive Backsplash Wall Tiles


SELF ADHESIVE DECORATIVE SILVER EMBOSSED ROOSTER AND FLORAL TIN TILES - 6" x 6" (SET OF 16)

Backsplash Dilemma

Blank Canvas Backsplash
Blank Canvas Backsplash

Here is the blank canvas of my backsplash. Oh and this picture shows two of the undercabinet lights I put in,

This is a small kitchen and I'm afraid that putting small tiles on the backsplash will make that wall appear to be closer. Something like a mural or garden view might open it up with a perception of greater depth.

I baked an apple pie this morning. How about a piece of pie and some tea?

Have you ever done a backsplash? How did it turn out?

What do you think I should do?

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The Dirty Crack Between the Stovetop and Countertop Problem

stove and counter gap cover
stove and counter gap cover

My Hubby has a habit of using the stove top as a food prep surface for his sandwiches. That wouldn't be a problem if he was careful, but he's not and, I admit, I have trouble keeping the crumbs under control while cooking as well. We now have a growing problem of crumbs falling between the counter and stove top. What do you call the thingy that blocks that space up? I've tried searching for it on Amazon because I know there's a strip to put there to block up that crack.

They come in vinyl, metal and silicone. The vinyl ones might possibly melt when contacting a hot pan and the metal ones will only stay put if they have magnet or double sided tape holding them. The silicone ones are interesting. I'm trying to decide which ones to order for my kitchen.

I've found these called variously:

  • "STOVETOP" COUNTER CONNECTOR/EXTENDER
  • Kleen Seam
  • Range Kleen 680 Kleen Seam Gap Protector
  • Silicone Strips Stove Counter Gap Covers - Set of 2
  • Stovetop Extender
  • Oven Gap Guard

I'll have to show you my new crack cover when it arrives ;-)


Silicone Strips Stove Counter Gap Covers - Set of 2 - Improvements


Kleen Seams™ Stove Counter Gap Cover - Improvements


Range Kleen 687 Kleen Seam

Solution: The Gap Is Bridged in My Kitchen

Stove and counter crack guard
Stove and counter crack guard

The Stovetop SE23BLK Stove Accessory 23In Black arrived today and I installed it at once. As you can see in this picture, it works like a charm to bridge the gap between the stove and counter. This is a wonderful kitchen solution and I highly recommend this or similar to anyone who has a crumb problem in their counter gaps.

Learn from My Mistakes

When you run the self-cleaning oven, the sides of the stove become hot enough to melt the glue holding the magnet on the side of the crack filler strip. This means we should remove and clean the strip in preparation for running the oven clean cycle every time!

I discovered this a bit late and may have messed up the magnet strip on mine. If so, I'll be buying another one as it's made a big difference in keeping that area clean.

Kitchen Solutions Videos

Whether or not to remodel a kitchen is the first question to answer. Once the job is done, where to put all the stuff back is the next challenge. Kitchen solutions are helpers to keep your kitchen organized with everything right where you need it to be. There are some great ideas here in these videos.

A little music for fixing up the kitchen...

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Affiliate Disclosure

Cheryl Snider is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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    • MopHolder profile image

      MopHolder 2 years ago

      As space has become a limited option in many new kitchens, kitchen organizers have proved to be an invaluable asset.

    • casnider profile image
      Author

      casnider 4 years ago

      @ShariBerry: I'm still thinking about it and may do it soon. I'll report on my backsplash lens when it happens.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      I'd love to remodel my kitchen but I don't think it is in my future. But, if circumstances change you have given me lots of do's and don'ts. Thank you. p.s. Just wondering if you ever did your back splash?

    • casnider profile image
      Author

      casnider 4 years ago

      @Elsie Hagley: Thanks, I love my new kitchen. Glad you enjoyed your visit.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I like your new kitchen. you have a great lens here, on how you did it and things you wished you hadn't done like the black counter. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.