Before & After: How I Figured Out the Best Way to Store My Kid’s Dishes & Utensils

updated Sep 30, 2020
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(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

Our growing collection of child-size dishes, bowls and utensils have never had a proper home. We’ve used whatever space was open and easily accessible to stash the pile of tiny things used daily for mealtime. While I’m in the process of making things work better in our kitchen overall, offering our son access and the ability to help with his colorful collection of dinnerware seemed like a bright idea.

(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

Kid things tend to multiply at a rapid pace the first few years as they grow and learn (or that’s my experience so far.) While it’s fun to introduce a tiny cook and food-enthusiast into our kitchen space, his plates falling on me as I hurriedly grab and replace and grab the plate he’d like at that moment isn’t my favorite part of mealtime. So I thought embracing his growing “I do” attitude could give us both some delight.

Getting on Their Level

Originally I intended to surrender one lower drawer as an area for kid things to live and be easily accessible. Drawers are precious around here, though, and the location next to the stove was less than ideal and high-traffic during meal prep.

However, shuffling things around during my corner-cabinet project freed up a just-right space in that cabinet at toddler-level. So I grabbed an inexpensive bin to corral everything and make it easily transportable.

Now having my son pick his own plate or bowl and utensil can be done from the lower cabinet or at any location by simply moving the bin! Depending on the volume of your children’s things (and the number of kids obviously), separate bins for each item or child may be more ideal.

(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

A few other perks of this portable storage:

  • A small, removable cup for utensils can move to the table to quickly replace dropped utensils.
  • Adding cloth napkins gives them everything they need to set their place at the table for mealtime.
  • Bring out the basket when the dishwasher is unloaded and have your child put their items back into the basket.
  • Keep a water bottle in the bin or on the counter for easy access that can be filled using water from the refrigerator door (if your refrigerator has this option.)

I’m happy to report our new bin location has been toddler-approved and made breakfast in a Rudolph bowl possible this morning. Please share any ideas on making the kitchen an “I do” experience for children.