The Dollar Store Shopper: Curing Kitchen Clutter

by Marlene Alexander

If, as they say, the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is also the room voted most likely to attract clutter. Tables, countertops and drawers are magnets for the things we're going to deal with "later" and limited cupboard space may become such a jumble that it's hard to find smaller items like a bottle of nutmeg. Here are three ideas that may help you to tame some of the trouble spots.

To help organize the kitchen table, we filled this handled basket with oft-used items including a mug to hold spoons, napkins and a pair of salt and peppershakers for a total cost of $4. This idea makes it simple to transport these things for outdoor dining, as well.

We've all heard about the idea of using a photo album to house loose recipes so we set out to do it in dollar store style. Here we've used a one-inch binder decorated with stickers and a folder label for the title. Glue recipes cut from magazines or printed from the Internet onto patterned (or plain) printer paper ($1 for 20 sheets) and insert them into clear page protectors, which come in packages of 15 for $1. Use both sides of the page protectors to make optimal use of them. You could even make a section in your recipe book for kitchen tips like the one we found about 101 uses for vinegar. At last! Less paper hanging from the fridge and clogging the kitchen drawer! The total cost of this project, using two different patterned papers and two packages of page protectors, was $7. And how about one of those wide kitchen clips (not shown) to hold your place when you're cooking or baking? I found a sturdy metal one at Dollarama for $1.

For recipe card sized recipes, choose a 4x6 photo album for a buck and label it in the same way as your larger book. In this instance, we put the label on the spine. One lady on the Stretcher forums uses homemade recipe books as Christmas gifts. Neat idea.

To organize your spices, how about these trim little containers? They come in sets of three for a dollar, open on both sides for sprinkling or scooping and are stackable. We also found these clear labels for spices and other kitchen staples like flour and sugar. They came in a package of two sheets for a dollar. Or, if you prefer, the labels we used for the recipe books work just as well and can be customized according to your needs.

Marlene Alexander is a writer living in Ontario, Canada. For more on dollar store shopping, visit her website at

Take the Next Step: Get to your local dollar store and see what great ideas you can come up with that will help to tame your kitchen clutter troubles.

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