Make cooking, baking, and hanging out in the kitchen more comfortable by keeping your kitchen counters, tabletops, drawers, cupboards, and shelves clutter-free with these simple organizing tips:
1- The first thing to do to organize the kitchen is to take everything out and take stock of what you have. This will give you a better idea of what you have that you rarely use because they are hidden out of sight, what you need to buy, and what you need to toss out. You may realize that you already have two or three of an item. If you see what you have, it’ll be easier to get rid of the redundant ones and those that take up precious shelf or drawer space.
2- Chances are you have tons of kitchen gadgets and utensils that don’t see the light of day. Get rid of the “I might need it later” attitude. If a gadget hasn’t been used for quite a while and is taking up space, toss it out. You can give it to someone as a present, donate it to a soup kitchen, or sell it. It is always better to let something go if you don’t use it regularly than to leave it in a drawer where it will rust and eventually break down. Ask your friends or neighbors if they need any of your spare kitchen equipment.
3- Old shoe boxes are perfect for organizing drawers, especially in the kitchen. These boxes fit perfectly in kitchen drawers and they are great for sorting utensils such as spatulas, vegetable peelers, garlic presses, can openers, kitchen tongs, and egg slicers.
4- Dump the contents of your kitchen drawers onto the counter. Sort through them, putting like objects together. Use small plastic containers to store tiny sundries. Unify your utensils. Scrap any broken or unused gadgets. Remove what remains, wipe out the drawer and flatware holder, and return the utensils. Use drawer separators to keep everything organized.
5- Cleaning supplies take up a lot of valuable shelf space. Instead of storing your floor cleaners, leather polish, disinfecting wipes, and room sprays on a kitchen shelf, buy a big plastic caddy to keep all these items. Stash it in the broom closet (if you have small children, keep the closet locked) and tote it around when you are cleaning.
Photo: Funk Zone by DesignARC
6- Get rid of the gnarly, dirty rags (ripped from old T-shirts and underwear) you keep hidden in the basement and buy actual cleaning cloths.
7- Save yourself time and teach your children to do things for themselves by moving their cereal boxes, bowls, spoons, and cups to a lower cabinet that they can reach. If you have small children, you may want to use plastic tableware instead of the breakable kind. Place their cereal, juice, milk, and other snacks in more accessible spots in the refrigerator.
8- Make a weekly menu or meal plan and stick it to the refrigerator. Alternatively, make a list of dinner menus and choose among them when meal planning and writing your grocery list.
9- Cookbooks also take up valuable shelf space. Instead of keeping all those big, bulky cookbooks and having to go through each one to find the recipe you need, photocopy or scan your favorite recipes and keep them in a binder. Alternatively, use a recipe keeper program or app on your Smartphone.
10- If you do store cookbooks in your kitchen, keep them away from humidity and grease from the stove and oven.
11- Square and rectangular storage containers are more efficient and space-saving than round ones.
12- If you have limited counter or cupboard space in the kitchen, don’t buy or keep kitchen appliances and tools that you rarely use.
13- Messy, sticky food items such as maple syrup, ketchup, and honey that spill easily can be stored in a lazy Susan or cake stand that can be easily cleaned. You can also use a cake stand to keep olive oil, salt, pepper, and other seasonings you frequently use near the stove.
14- Hang items that can be hanged. Aprons, potholders, oven mitts, and dish towels look pretty on pegs. Use a magnetic bar to display knives and keep them within easy reach. Use a handrail and a handful of S-hooks to create a rack for your pots and pans.