I Need Help Kitchen Set-up

I have no problem confessing that I am not Martha Stewart. Never going to happen. The closest I’ll get is watching her show. For quite some time now my kitchen has been driving me to distraction. It has also given me pain. Cans and pans fall on my feet and the shelf the microwave is on is a magnet for my temple. I appeal to you dear reader, can you help me?
I took home economics a hundred years ago. We learned to make some yummy macaroni salad. I learned that if you don’t finish the jumper dress from sewing semester it hangs on the wall like a flag of pride for a teacher who wanted to make her point that her students will finish projects or else. After a couple days of her hope to humiliate me it just became a huge maroon wall decoration as far as I was concerned. I was just broken up over the fact that she quit teaching the next year. The highly motivated home ec teacher who said, “If it wasn’t for the paycheck do you think I’d come here every day” never did get around to teaching us how to set up a proper working kitchen. Probably a good thing considering the attitude she inspired in me.
My kitchen was properly child proofed right after we moved into our newly built home in March 1991. Food went into the ridiculously small broom closet, potential poisonous cleaners in the basement and knives on the wall in a rack my husband made at my request. I love horror movies and books so I made sure it was hung on the cupboard wall over the sink. Any wild-eyed maniac would not be able to look through the window and see weapons of opportunity I’ll tell you. My sons are now 17 and 19 so I can reverse the child-proofing, I think.
I am willing to purge. I just love that word thanks to TLC, HGTV and DIY. (My husband has banned me from DIY but that’s another story).
I know I have pans etc. that can go. I get that. What I can not figure out is where are we supposed to put our kitchen items? I know spices need to be away from the heat of the stove because they will degrade. My sons will say that won’t matter, degradation or not these boy complimented the school cook for years.
I’m 5’5″ and can’t reach my top shelves. The tiny cupboards over the fridge are a joke. That’s why carpenters invented sturdy chairs. Warning, do not stand on a counter top unless you like hearing an ominous cracking sound. This was especially distressing as I have limited counter space. It can hold the weight of my kitchen aid mixer, coffee pot, dish drainer but not me. The upper cupboards are good for my husband and sons to store coffee, powdered drinks and things that they use.
The broom closet pantry holds cereal, crackers, snacks and a 50 pound bag of dog food. That leaves me the standard units around the stove and sink.
Now I don’t expect miracles so please don’t put pressure on yourself. I would just be so happy to have advice about where things should go.
I think my family would be most appreciative too. They never know grocery day to grocery day where I will put their cans of spaghettios.

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