Help Me Organize My Cake Decorating Stuff

Decorating By berryblondeboys Updated 22 Oct 2006 , 8:38pm by TexasSugar

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berryblondeboys Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 2:56pm
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Last night I reorganized the shelves I use for food goods and I now have room for those extra bags of flour and powdered sugar and so on, but now what to do with the other stuff?

I have the Wilton Caddy that holds a bunch of tips and the like, but I have too much in it now to contain it neatly. Already in the TOP, TOP, TOP of my cupboards I have two rubbermaid containters FULL of sprinkles, colored sugar, etc. (those two containers are about 6" wide and 15" long approx. and things are doubled up inside so it truly is FULL). I like they are in a container, as I can just grab the whole thing and bring it down. Maybe I shoudl do the same for icing colors? or, later another idea!

but, my BIGGEST headache are the pans and cookie cutters. All my bottom cupboards have those pullout shelves whicha re great, but it makes my cupboards short, so I can't stand pans up on their side, resting them on the "back" makes them take up SOOOOO much space. My kitchen island, however, has nice tall base, but I currently keep my mixer, blender, food processor, griddle, fondue pot, and ice tea maker in that cupboard. I could probably take a coupleof things out and put the elsewhere, but not much as I use those appliances a lot, but don't have the counter space to keep them out.

My pans are: The circle set (6,8,10, 12) - I have two, 9 inch round - 2, oval set (soon to be two sets of 6,8,10, 12), 9x13 (2), 11x15 (2), 12 inch square (1), heart cake pan (2), 12 hole cupcake pan (2), 12 hole mini cupcake pan (2), BUNDT pan (2), Spring form pan (1), bear claw pan (1), 3 larger cookie sheets, a duckie 3D pan, Ball 3D pan and the Train 3D pan. As well, I have three pampered chef stacking cooling racks and a couple more expanding cooling racks too. My "collection" of pans just grew dramatically since AC moore is having a 50% sale on cake pans, so about 1/2 of these have never had a home in my kitchen.

I had stored some of my pans in the lower level of our house in a big rubber maid container and stored them in our storage room - maybe this is still the best place for all these oddballs? However, I'm lazy about putting things away, so I always tend to put them in the oven and only deal with them when I have a collection! icon_redface.gif

And my cookie cutters are EVERYWHERE - some in a small drawer, som ein a big ziplock at the bottom of a cupboard, some I'm sure in the storage room with holiday decor... there has to be a better way to organize these as well!

Now, an idea I had for all those little containers of food colorings and flavorings is this: at IKEA I saw yesterday that they have these little storage units you can hang on the wall*15733*16065&storeId=12&catalogId=10103&langId=-1

It's the one with the chalkboard doors. In the little inset picture, they show them side by side and arranged on a wall like a bigger black board. My kitchen is black appliances and black kitchen island with oak cabinets and a black and oakish color granite, so color-wise this would fit, but would these be useful?

I use a drawer for all my spices and prefer that over in a cupboard, but that drawer is also full and no room for decorating stuff.

I know this is long, but my husband HATES clutter and that's exactly what I have right now - cluttered kitchen.


Ack! ETA - how could I forget the MONSTER turntable? (Used to slide it between teh wall and refrigerator, but we just got a new refrigerator and it won't fit!) and those HUGE cake carriers? I have a round one and a rectangular one).

19 replies
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gilson6 Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 3:32pm
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I can relate!!!

I stole my husband's tool chest - one of those big red ones with lots of drawers and a cabinet on the bottom. The top compartment works perfect for all my little jars of Americolor, luster dust & etc. You then have all the drawers for the small items - cookie cutters, stencils & anything else you might use. The bottom cabinet might not be big enough to hold many of the cake pans. I use it for my flavorings & packaged fillings.

Hope this helps!

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berryblondeboys Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 3:58pm
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LOL, what did your husband say to you stealing his tool chest?

We have one similar to what you describe - a mini chest on top and then a five drawer unit on bottom. Unfortunately, that is FULL and we (yes we) use it all the time and it took forever to organize that stuff and I don't want to think about doing that over again and we don't have room for two such units.

I guess I should state we live in a townhouse with three levels - upstairs are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, middle level is a bathroom, entryway, kitchen and an open dining/living room combo. Downstairs is finished and we have a rec room, a playroom/study, laundry room, bathroom and a 9x8 storage room that has to contain ALL our storage including the deep freezer and the tool chest and a bicycle and our spare dining chairs. That puppy is packed with a floor to ceiling storage wall unit as well as other shelves all around the room. This is our "basement" that 8x9 foot room. Doesn't help that none of our closets are very big either, just the standard bifold door ones and no pantry in the kitchen or even a utility closet, just a much too small coat closet.

Storage is a huge issue for this family of four with many interests! DH used to be a professor and we have TEN six foot bookcases FULL!!! and a couple of shorter ones pretty full too! LOL


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czyadgrl Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 4:29pm
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I have a suggestion for the cake carrier storage problem:
Switch to the cake boxes that come folded flat.
I had been using a cake carrier for years thinking the boxes were a total waste of money and all that.
But with the cake boxes, if you get the box and the same sized cake board, it never slides around so the cake sides don't get crushed. So I've ditched the cake carrier in favor of the boxes.

And they can fit behind one of all those bookcases!

Good luck - I'm dealing with storage stuff right now too. I currently have a giant Rubbermaid foot locker thing at the foot of the basement stairs that holds overflow kitchen stuff. It ain't pretty!

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gilson6 Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 5:26pm
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My husband hadn't even opened it. It was a Christmas gift from our daughter. He's not very "handy" and doesn't have a lot of tools & etc. I really didn't give him a choice.

Now I understand about storage and space issues. We moved in July and went from 1900 square feet to 1300 square feet. Never knew how much I appreciated that additional 600 square feet till I didn't have it. That doesn't even count the storage sheds that we lost. We had 3 of them all packed to the top. We now have 1 that is half the size of the biggest one we had.

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berryblondeboys Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 5:36pm
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1300 total? Do you have kids at home? Yikes! With our three levels we are about 1800 and fit fine, just have to be very organized. The toddler is the biggest issue as he outgrows clothes faster than I can deal with them and I ALWAYS have stacks of clothes waiting for me to resell or donate - ugh!

Well... off to tackle the kitchen organization, wish me luck! LOL


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TexasSugar Posted 19 Oct 2006 , 9:49pm
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Having room for storage doesn't always fix the problem of being organized. icon_smile.gif I have a whole room (I live by myself) for my cake things and that room has majorly gotten out of control. I'm slowly trying to find order in it.

Have you searched the board for ideas of storage and organization. I know there was a post a few months (maybe a little more) that suggested different types of furniture that on the outside fit into the home, but on the inside store lots of things. A chest would be one of those items.

Back this summer I bought some plastic containers for cookie cutters and other items. You can group them according to holidays or uses for them. If you don't want a bunch of smaller containers for the cutters, you can always get a bigger one and group your cutters together in plastic bags. Of course ya need some place to store them. I've also used plastic drawer sets to group my cookie cutters and other cake items together.

Unfortunetly I have outgrown those plastic drawer sets. This last weekend I bought a metal shelving unit from Lowes. It is 74"x48"x18" with five shelves. I got it put together today and some of my plastic containers arranged on it. I have another 20 something plastic containers I bought this last weekend as well to start going through my other cake stuff and grouping it together and organizing things. Or course now that I have the shelves up I'm trying to figure out how to come up with the money for another set or two of them. icon_smile.gif

Storage and organization are one of those things every cake decorator struggles with from time to time. And like all things with cake decorating, what works for some doesn't always work for others.

Good luck!!

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vww104 Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 2:12am
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Before I started cake decorating I dabbled in organizing and did organize my friend's home offices. One mistake a lot of people make when organizing is buying containers first, many times you are not sure if the containers are adequate, if they will fit in the space that you have etc. There is an acronym for organizing that I learned from a book (I would give the author credit but I can't remember who it was) it's SPACE, just remember :

S-sort thru your items to see exactly what you have, what's the point of having something if you don't even know you have it
P-Purge, get rid of old stuff or stuff that you don't need, toss or donate
A-Arrange like things together, put daily used items together and infrequently used items together
C-containerize, now its time to buy your containers because you now know exactly what you need to store and the space that you need to store it in
E-I can't remember what the E stands for but it's a word that means to consistently maintain your new system.

Organizing can be a tedious and tough process, but its so worth it, being free from clutter gives the creative juices room to flow.
And I totally agree with Texas Sugar, more space does not necessarily equal organization, sometimes less space is better.

Three years ago I moved to a bigger house with less storage space, its really forced me to be ruthless with my soon as my younger son outgrows his clothes they go to the consignment shop or I donate them. When I buy clothes for myself I usually try to let something old go so I just never buy any new hangars. I converted a small coat closet to a food pantry and I keep like things with like so I quickly know what I need to buy.

Being organized is really an ongoing process, you can't just do it once and expect it to stay that way. I hope I've helped someone with this long post!


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berryblondeboys Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 3:06am
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I actually do a lot of what you said - keep track of what I have (my kitchen is organized, so it drives me CRAZY when my MIL tries to help me by putting away the dishes! LOL) It was mainly that organized 2 years ago and what I had allocated for space neeeds have now changed and I need to purge and redistribute the stuff.

It is true... when you don't have the space, you are better at taking measures to make sure you stay on top of it. We did some MAJOR purging when I realized we had just that one room to store EVERYTHING from holiday decor, tools, bike(s), folding chairs, freezer, etc. YIKES... We came from a place with a basement, so it was a big purge and reorganizing...

I haven't gotten rid of my little one's clothes as I want to make some money with them, but... I might give up on that for space instead.


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wgoat5 Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 10:38am
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I have a hoosier cabinet...the shelves in the bottom fit my cake rounds, pans (although just getting started and only have half of what you have) a basket of sprinkles....the top shelves that have doors store my cake mixes, icing sugar, vanilla etc..the drawers contain my parchment paper, wax paper, rollinig pins, bake even strips etc...then on top I am putting 3 wicker handle baskets with my cookie cutters in two ( I have 145 of them), the other one will be for the fondant tools I am purchasing today...Then I have a white 4 drawer chest that I store all of my tips, bags, colors, paint brushes, rollers, leveler, level and such. But I think I will be getting a shelving unit put in the next two weeks so I can put both my KA on that and store my chest that has my tips in. It will be directly behind my kitchen Island..which is also full of premeasured crisco, flour, baking soda...etc...I think it really doesn't matter how much space you's how organized you are...a person with all the space in the world could run out of room fast if they don't keep it organized...just in my opinion

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momamyra Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 10:59am
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Several years ago some of my girls worked for Jack in the Box and when they did a remodle on the store they gave my daughter some wire shelves that hang on the wall. They have been standing in the garage all of this time. I finally got someone to cut off one to fit a 6 foot wall. We put it up and it has a part that hangs just below the shelf that is part of the shelf the shelf is about 14 inches deep I took "S" hooks and my grandson bent them so they wouldn't fall off the shelf every time I took a pan from one so now I have about 35 pans hanging from the shelf and at least that many stacked on the shelf. I also have one of the sets of rolling drawer things in it I have the tools and tips for icing, the colors, the sprinkles, and the fondant stuff. This sits at the end of a cabinet. I roll it to the table when I ice cake. It saves space on the table and I can move it where I need it. I have a small kitchen and my KA has to sit on the counter along with the coffee pot and other stuff. But the hanging shelf in the garage is really good. We do not use the garage for parking a car in fact the front part of it is now part of our living room. So really this is just a room with the washer/dryer and junk in it. Good luck Myra

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Granpam Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 11:53am
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I have two storage cabinets in my Laundry room for my cake stuff. I bought them at Lowes. I have a large laundry room compared to most because many years ago we turned our garage into a room and moved the wall to make a 9x12 laundry sewing room. here is a link to what I have. they are reasonably priced.

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rsaun Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 12:23pm
post #13 of 20

I totally feel everyone's pain here. I live in a very small 2-bedroom apartment with my husband. One bedroom is ours, but the other bedroom is general storage/cake storage/office/studio/bedroom. It is driving me nuts. My husband is getting his doctorate at Ohio State right now, and has been in music academia, so he has TONS of books, TONS of CDs, and TONS of music scores...and I have TONS of cake stuff. Oh, and did I mention our kitchen is the size of a postage stamp?

I use those plastic drawer units for my frequently used items. I have two of them, each w/ 3 large drawers. One drawer holds all 150+ of my cookie cutters, one drawer holds all my square/rectangular pans, one drawer holds all my round pans, one drawer holds all of my cake boards and bags, one drawer holds all of my fondant "stuff" (cutters, embossers, etc.), and one drawer holds my flavorings, luster dusts, sprinkles, sugars, meringue powder, etc. I have my large Wilton caddy on top that holds my colors and tips, but it is too full. All of my less frequently used stuff, super large cake boards, bigger pans, character pans, etc., are in a large Rubbermaid tub and out in the storage area off of our patio. It is dry and insulated and very clean, so we are able to store stuff in there easily.

My problem is the actual ingredients. I have NO WHERE to keep them, and I'm not storing food in our bedroom. So, I have to do the hard thing, and buy them as I go. I pretty much have large Tupperware canisters filled at all times with flour, sugar, etc., and buy the giant Crisco for my icing. It's tough, but manageable, and I'm excitedly anticipating June 2007 when my husband receives his doctorate, gets a new job, and we can move into a HOUSE!!!!

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vww104 Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 6:33pm
post #14 of 20

If anyone is interested in the book that I mentioned in my previous post it is "Organizing from the Inside Out" by Julie Morgenstern.

And the "E" stands for equalize which is supposed to mean maintaining the system.

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jtb94 Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 6:44pm
post #15 of 20

I am on vacation for the next two weeks. One of my goals is to organize my cake stuff. I have a 5 gallon bucket that I keep my cookie cutters in. Then when I make a big cake I use the bucket to hold all the icing.

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modthyrth Posted 20 Oct 2006 , 9:40pm
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My own cookie cutter collection isn't all that extensive yet, but my mother has, quite literally, thousands. She had several hundred of her own, then inhereted a couple thousand from my grandmother (who was a professional cake decorator). Eek!

My mom, thankfully, has a HUGE pantry. 12x7 feet, perhaps? HUGE. She has many giant lidded buckets. All the cutters are sorted into groups--animals, transportation, easter, flowers, geometric shapes, etc. . Each group is then put in its own large ziplock baggie and put into the buckets. My mom also traces around every cookie cutter in the bin and has made a booklet with all of the bin's inventory sitting on top of each bin. It's surprisingly easy to find what you want with her system.

Now why couldn't any of these uber-organization skills have rubbed off on me? icon_wink.gif

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berryblondeboys Posted 21 Oct 2006 , 10:12pm
post #17 of 20

OK, I'm trying to IMAGINE thousands - T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D-S of cookie cutters... WOW!!! I have "maybe" fifty and I think that's quite a lot. I can't imagine really needing more! LOL I have each of the holidays covered and some baby/shower ones.... Never really saw the need for alphabets or animal shapes, but with a toddler again, I may change my mind! LOL



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navaretteb Posted 21 Oct 2006 , 10:47pm
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traces around every cookie cutter in the bin and has made a booklet

I only have a few, but I love this idea to keep me organized!

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wgoat5 Posted 22 Oct 2006 , 7:53pm
post #19 of 20

Got a great idea for the cookie cutter holder....kind of like a key ring holder except bigger pegs.....will let you know what my husband comes up with tonight!!! Might be able to get these things out of drawers and bins and then we have more storage for NEW stuff! icon_smile.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 22 Oct 2006 , 8:38pm
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Originally Posted by modthyrth

My mom also traces around every cookie cutter in the bin and has made a booklet with all of the bin's inventory sitting on top of each bin. It's surprisingly easy to find what you want with her system.

This sounds great. Can I borrow her to help get all my stuff organized? HeHe. I may have to try to do something similar with all my stuff when I get it in order.

I do have a list of my cake pans that I had bought before I moved. I was even organized enough that when I moved and put them in boxes I marked which box they were in on the list. The problem was that the boxes were really big and when I went to find a pan it never made it back in the boxes or other pans got pulled out and moved when digging for the pan. icon_smile.gif Plus with the Wilton pans, just the name doesn't always let me know exactly which pan it is.

I think I'd need a big thick 3 ring binder to get everything listed and keep it in order, but it is definitely something worth considering.

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