Let’s face it, aside from your bedroom and whatever room in your house has your TV in it, you spend the most time in your kitchen. It is a place where you start your day and end your day (besides your cozy bed obviously). It is a place where you dream up new concoctions, make elaborate meals for your family, host friends, or just make great use of your microwave. Whatever the kitchen means to you, it is an immensely better place when it is organized.
I was lucky when we moved into our house to be able to take some time and “map” out where I wanted everything to go. I am also fortunate to actually have decent cabinet space. Regardless of how much space you have, here are my kitchen organization tips:
1. Keep the Counters Clear
It is frustrating to have no counter space to prepare your meals. I know that it means taking things out and then putting them away again but it makes a world of difference not to have clutter all over the counter. My rule is that at any point on the counter, half of the depth should be open. That means I have a number of things: the toaster, my Kitchen aid mixer, cutting boards, the Keurig, a couple XO storage containers, and my mugs. We don’t have time in this blog post to discuss my mug obsession. It’s…just…a thing. Despite having all the above listed out on the counter, I have at least half of the depth open for use. My other rule is this: anything that has a place in the cabinets, should be put away. If you follow both of the above rules, your counters will be sufficiently available for your use and enjoyment.
2. Everything Should Have a Place
In order to keep the counters clear, items need to have a place. I think it goes without saying but having been in other kitchens, each item should go with “like” items. All plates should be together. Silverware should have a drawer. Baking dishes should go in one cabinet. Tupperware should be together. Food should be in the pantry. Even more than that, there should be a system within each drawer or cabinet. Get a silverware organizer. Get a spice rack or shelf. Things should not be haphazardly thrown into a drawer or a cabinet. Why not?? Because no one wants to come home and make dinner, and it only makes it harder when you have to unpack an entire drawer or cabinet to get to what you are looking for. By designating a space for each item, it will be easier for you, your spouse, your kids, and even other visitors to put items back where they belong!
3. Use Common Sense when Designating Cabinets or Drawers
Again, I thought that this went without saying. However, I was recently in a home where the pans were no where close to the oven and the glasses were across the kitchen from the refrigerator. Some may call it lazy, but I like to call it efficient to have everything in a convenient location. Put the glasses right by the refrigerator where you get your ice and beverages from. Put the pans, pot holders, and baking dishes by the oven. Put the spice rack and other baking supplies by the oven. Put the silverware by the plates and bowls. Put items that you don’t use daily or often on the higher shelves. Put rarely-used pans (bundt, springform, etc.) in the back of the cabinet.
4. Make the Most of your Space
Maybe it is just me but I always take a second when I am in Bed Bath and Beyond or The Container Store to stare longingly at the numerous organizational shelves/containers/hooks/etc. I know that not everyone shares my love of organization but a couple of pieces here and there can really make your kitchen more organized and accessible. Take a minute to walk through your kitchen and look through each drawer and cabinet. Pick out the top three that frustrate you or make you want to never use the items in that drawer/cabinet. Then, spend some time looking for a shelf/container/organizer that will solve your problem. Start here to get ideas. I’m not saying that an organized drawer will make your life immensely better but, well, I guess I am saying that. I promise it will be worth the time and effort!
Make this your weekend or even your Thursday night project! Get your kitchen in tip-top shape! Let me know how it goes!