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I’ve had a problem on my mind recently, and I got to the point that I just HAD to deal with it. Do you want to know what it is? Of course you do…
Our lazy susan.
Yep. You see, being a mom and living in a condo with limited storage space has turned me into a crazy person when it comes to maximizing my space. Yet our lazy susan was not being used to its full potential.
And I know I’m not alone in this. Many of us have lazy susan’s in our kitchen, yet how to maximize their space escapes us. As a result we simply shove all of our canned goods, condiments, baking supplies, etc in there and forget about it.
And then one day when you try to rotate it to find something an avalanche of footstuffs falls in the back where you can’t reach (which likely contains that item you were looking for…).
So let me share with you how to organize a lazy susan. Hopefully this will help you avoid those avalanches in the future, get your kitchen organized for good, and generally make better use of your space!
The Lazy Susan Before Organizing:
To be honest, I’ve seen worse. There were only a few avalanche-worthy situations in our lazy susan to start, but nonetheless it needed some organizing love…
How to Organize a Lazy Susan:
1-) Clear it out
Start by taking everything out of your lazy susan (Use tongs to help you grab any items that have fallen in the back). You should also put items aside that you don’t want to keep in the lazy susan to deal with later.
2-) Reduce (or eliminate) the canned goods
I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog before (see tips to keep your kitchen organized for good) that I do not buy canned goods, and that it’s likely a good idea for you to reduce or eliminate them as well (for space and health reasons).
Even if you don’t intend on completely eliminating canned goods from your life, chances are you have way more than you need. Unless you have a large family you probably don’t need twenty cans of green beans. Make space by donating some of that excess.
3-) Combine like items
When I pulled everything out of my lazy susan I discovered I had two open bags of flour and several bags of chocolate chips (you can never have enough chocolate chips!). Take the time to put together like items so you have a clear idea of your inventory.
4-) Choose your storage containers
Once you know what you have and how much of it, it’s time to transfer everything into storage containers.
Work with intention here! Items in loose bags make for a poorly organized space (and poor use of space!). Consider the following when choosing your storage solutions:
- How big of a container do I need for an item? (if you can, combine all open bags of an ingredient into ONE container).
- How tall of a container can I fit? (some storage containers are too tall to fit in the bottom shelf of a lazy susan. Measure if necessary).
- Do I need a wide-mouth container? (This is important for ingredients you may want to measure straight out of the container, such as flour).
My standard go-tos are large wide mouth oxo storage containers and mason jars (lots and lots of mason jars!)
When everything is in it’s original bag, labeling is not an issue. But when you transfer everything into nearly identical containers, labeling becomes SUPER important. Trust me,I’ve been that person who mixes up the bread flour with the all-purpose flour…
I had these cute chalk board labels on hand, so I used them for the larger containers. For mason jars I simply labeled the lids with permanent marker.
Note: If you opt for chalk board labels, take care…the labeling easily wipes off! To make this less problematic, I also labeled the bottoms of the containers in permanent marker. This way you can have pretty labels without the concern of the label disappearing!
6-) Put items back
You are now ready to put everything back! Come up with a system here to make finding items easier in the future. Do you want to arrange items by type (something like canned goods on top, baking supplies on bottom)? What will go towards the middle/inside where items are less visible? While making it pretty is nice, functionality matters way more here.
Here’s some more shots of the organized space. Amazing, right?
I actually had so much extra space from organizing the lazy susan that I was able to take all of our sugar in the pantry and give it a better home in it with the rest of our baking supplies!
Ta da! You now have an organized lazy susan!
Do you have any tips on how to organize a lazy susan? Let us know in the comments!
Want more organizing advice? Check out these posts:
How to Organize a Small Pantry
How to Get Organized: 9 Attitudes You Have to Change
How to Organize an Office Space When You Don’t Have an Office
My 2 lazy susans are THE bane of my existence! They definitely live up to their name – they do NOT organize themselves. I’m always looking for ways to get the most out of them. I’ve been trying to devise a way to put dividers in so that stuff doesn’t slide all over the place. Might have to build some custom trays, although my husband probably won’t be crazy about climbing in there to secure them 🙂
Thanks for the inspiration
I know, they can be a challenge! Especially today where people have come up with much better solutions for corner cabinets!
For us, not buying canned goods has helped keep our lazy susan from getting overcrowded. We actually made the decision to stop buying canned goods in an effort to reduce our BPA exposure, but as a bonus it has made a huge difference in how well organized our kitchen stays. Obviously ditching canned goods is a lifestyle choice, but I thought I’d share as it definitely helped our lazy suzan situation. Good luck!