Organising Hacks for the DIY Kitchen

Keeping a neat, tidy & functional kitchen when DIYing your own food products & drinks can be tough. Luckily, our founder Lucinda has plenty of experience when it comes to this!

Check out her simple, low-cost hacks to streamline your kitchen before the next harvest season rolls around.

When you use reusable packaging, drink bottles, recycle everything you can, cook lots of your own food and buy in bulk, you’ll notice that your kitchen develops a much more complex set of needs than the conventional kitchen. For example, how to dry your bottles and silicone wraps? How to dispense of bulk olive oil? Where to conveniently collect all those little bits of metal and aluminium so they can be recycled?

Here are some of the ways we have found work for us – and we hope they might give you some ideas and inspiration! 

Customise Your Dishrack to Suit Your Needs

The first thing you might notice about our kitchen sink area is that it extends way beyond the sink and dishrack, which just didn’t cut it for us – we have too many things to wash, drain, store and access easily. The metal dish rack is certainly a great design, but we’ve added several other parts to it to make it more functional for us. 

An extra metal basket we found at the op-shop is fastened on to the main rack, as a great spot to hold bottles brushes, nailbrush and sundries.

The bottom section of our dish rack is the perfect place to dry off lids and smaller bits and pieces

An old strainer hangs from a hook on the wall, giving us a great spot to drain cutlery and cooking utensils…it drains straight into the sink.

Another great op-shop score was these black ‘things’ that work perfectly to dry bottles of all shapes and sizes. We’ve connected them to the dishrack with cable ties and use them constantly.

Make Recycling Convenient

A little wooden shelf sits just to the left of the dishrack and houses the chook bucket and compost bin on the top, drink bottles in the middle, and attached to the side is a bucket where we put all our little metal and aluminium scraps. The little bucket has hooks that allow it to hang from the shelf, and is designed as a compost collection bucket, but we quickly discovered it is way too small to collect our kitchen scraps and for us, this is a much better use for it.

Whenever I get an empty steel tin (for example a soup tin), I stuff it with bottle tops and other small bits of metal, bend the top over, and throw it in the recycle bin. With aluminium, I wait til we have an empty aluminium dog food container and fill it with all the little bits of aluminium, and again, throw it in the recycle bin. The reason I do this is that if we put tiny bits of metal into the recycle bin they are too small to be collected in the right waste stream, but larger pieces can easily be collected and recycled.

Repurpose Coat Hangers for Drying Wraps, Sandwich Bags & Bottles 

Next is these awesome white hangers I found on the op-shop – I wish I could tell you what they are actually meant to be so you could find some for yourself. I even did a google search but could not find anything that resembled them.

They hang from our metal shelf next to the kitchen sink and each has 5 x long ‘arms’ that stand up. They are just perfect for drying out silicone wraps, wax wraps, bottles, ziplock bags and anything else light that needs to drain well. They work well for bottles too.

Use a Hanging Rack to Clear Bench & Cupboard Space

This hanging rack is in constant use, hanging all our colanders, mixing bowls and silicone food covers so that they are super easy to grab in a flash.

Use a Tiered Cake Stand for Produce

This three-tier glass shelving set is really handy to store bits and pieces from the garden that are in high rotation. Each night when Sean goes to cook, he can see what has just been picked and needs using. This one sits on the kitchen bench where he cooks.

Add a Pouring Attachment to Your Old Olive Oil Bottles

Do you buy your olive and veggie oil in bulk? If you do, you’ll need a bottle to decant it into and a way to pour it. The rear bottle in this image has a fantastic metal pourer that we got from the Artisans Botega (Brunswick). They have all sorts of items for DIY anything and everything. I believe this pourer might be for pouring spirits, but it works great for olive il too. The front bottle just has a silicone bottle stopper on it, to keep the dust out.

What ways do you have to solve these challenges of DIY cooking, re-using and accessing lots of equipment conveniently? We’d love to see and hear your ideas.