Room-by-Room Organization: The Kitchen!
The gathering place that often lends itself to the most traffic and love but as a result sometimes becomes the “catch all” space for all the things! We’re offering some practical tips that you can implement easily today and start your journey towards a more organized space!
Have you been busy in the kitchen lately, spending what feels like hours reorganizing and cleaning the space after you’ve prepared your meal? Sometimes the worst part about cooking is the necessary clean up afterwards. However, cooking doesn’t have to be a drag when you have the proper organization to make the process easier and more efficient. If you think you’ve heard every organization tip in the book, think again! Here are some unique ways to spice up your kitchen that will help make clean-up and organization an afterthought.
Whether you’re unpacking your kitchen after a move or simply looking for a way to better utilize the space in your current kitchen, we’ve outlined our favorite unexpected ways to be organized. Some of the items on this list may not seem so unexpectedly amazing. However, the tips included on this list were selected for their ability to help transform your kitchen into the best possible space.
More often than not, we’ve found that posts with kitchen organizing ideas focus too much on different products to hide your clutter. Our goal isn’t for you to hide your clutter in a magic box that fits snuggly under your cabinet. Instead, we want you to take a solid look at what your kitchen can reasonably accomplish and be realistic in how you put things away.
Over-organizing never works and can be unnecessarily expensive. Instead, we hope you take a reasonable approach to kicking the chaos in your home so you can take your kitchen organization to a sustainable level of amazing.
Amazing Ways to Kick the Kitchen Chaos!
Clean Before Organizing
The first step towards creating a more functional kitchen is emptying everything out of the cabinets and off the counters and creating a fresh and clean surface! This includes cleaning out the fridge which should be done at least once a week, if not more! Check out this helpful guide all about organizing your refrigerator!
Perform an Annual “Do I Need This” Review of Your Appliances
When my husband and I got married, we were so excited to register for new appliances and kitchen gear. Fast forward ten years and surprise, surprise, we’ve only consistently used a handful of the items we received. It’s amazing how the smallest kitchen gadgets can add up to a significant space cost in your kitchen.
When organizing your kitchen, take time to consider each item and whether you truly need it. While challenging, cleaning out the clutter is an essential step to take when organizing your kitchen. use out of every part of your kitchen.
If there’s something you just can’t bear to part with, consider putting into storage. This is one of the most unexpectedly easy ways to organize your kitchen and give yourself extra storage inside your kitchen. By moving some items out of your house, you reserve your kitchen for your most important items. However, you can still access the items you rarely use, but still want to keep whenever you need.
For me, it’s our wedding china. I like to use it during special occasions and holidays. Keeping it in a storage space allows me to keep the items I use the most easily accessible in the premium real estate spots of my kitchen.
Toss Those Containers
We’re all guilty of hoarding countless numbers of Tupperware containers, even though we’re not sure where the matching lids have run off to! One of the first steps towards getting organized is purging out old items that you’re either not using anymore or that are stained and worn. This will help organically make more room and as a result make your job of getting organized, even easier!
Group Items Together & Find “Homes” for Everything
Once you have identified the items you need to have handy in your kitchen and what you use the most, you can start finding the best homes for everything. It’s important to fully evaluate your kitchen space when selecting homes for your items. If you have open shelves, try to keep the items you plan to keep on them. Without a cabinet door to block the clutter, open shelves can get cluttered and add chaos very quickly to a room.
Creating a new flow for your kitchen will help you determine the best place for each item or group of items to live! For example, have a portion of the kitchen dedicated to all of your baking items, while another area is strictly for pots and pans. This can carry over to the pantry as well. When purging the pantry, be sure to sort through and throw away out dated items and group the remaining food by category so it’s easy to find while cooking!
When picking homes for items in your kitchen, consider organizing by task. Drinking glasses in all one spot, coffee mugs in another, same for cooking utensils, cooking gadgets, and so on. From there, you can outline specific areas for housing your baking gear, food storage items, and the items you use the most when cooking dinner.
When you organize by tasks, you make it easier to find items as you live in your kitchen. This will also allow you to speed through your recipes with ease – no more searching the kitchen for a measuring cup.
Remember, when you’re finding a home for items, you know what works best for you. Keep your organization strategies simple and straightforward. Following your intuition will make it easier to stay organized for the long haul.
Maximize Counter Area
This is one I see most often while researching ways to make my kitchen look amazing. When your counters are filled with lots of items, chaos is immediately added to the room. It’s hard to know how to start cooking a meal when you don’t have space for it.
No wonder the kitchen pictures I drool over most often feature bare countertops and look like they have barely been used. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have enough inside counter space where you can easily find homes for everything while letting them breathe. That means we’re going to have to leave some items out on our counter.
For me, I keep the items that I use the most out: my Keurig, cooking utensils, our cast iron pan, and a few small decorations that bring me joy. Everything else has a home in a drawer, cabinet, or our pantry. We worked hard to maximize as much counter space as we possibly could. Doing so has made it easier to kick-start our cooking efforts for the day.
Get Creative with Your Storage Options
The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity in kitchen organization. Low on space and on a limited budget? There’s still lots of options!
- Jars, Containers, and Label Makers
While shopping for foods you need, you’re more interested in getting the right product instead of being concerned about how the food will be stored in your pantry. Foods and food packaging come in all different shapes and sizes which can be overlooked when considering how you want to organize your pantry. Dry foods and snacks that don’t need to be stored in their original packaging can be moved and restored into mason jars, containers, or any storage option that will keep the food fresh.
This will make the pantry look more uniform and polished and will help speed up organization after meal prepping. With uniform jars, it will be difficult to differ one product from another. If you haven’t already, purchase a label maker to keep in your kitchen to make labels for all of your jars and containers in the pantry. You can customize it to whatever font or size you want but having everything properly labeled will speed up the cooking and cleanup process.
- Cutting Boards
Cutting boards are one of those tools that’s so flat you’ll feel inclined to squeeze into any small, free space in your kitchen, but you use them so often that it’d be best for them to be easily accessible. Thankfully cutting boards are versatile so you have quite a few storage options. If you have multiple smaller cutting boards and not a huge budget to work off of, try purchasing a organizer rack like THIS. If you only have a few cutting boards and you’d like them to be reachable at all times in the kitchen, hang them up! You can attach a rope or string to the handheld part of the cutting board and hang them on a free space on your wall or the end of your kitchen counter. If you’re in the process of designing your kitchen or renovating, adding a pull-out drawer feature to your kitchen drawer set is the best way to make your kitchen as neat as possible and keep your cutting boards organized!
- Bar Cart
You already have your supplies and food to organize in the kitchen, don’t bother trying to make a space for your drink supplies! Find a bar cart that goes with your kitchen theme and keep all of your drinks in one place. This is great for when you have guests over because you can move it from room to room. Storing alcohol on the kitchen counters takes up space that you’ll need for meal prep, and makes the kitchen look messier than it needs to.
- Dish Drying Rack
Drying your dishes next to your sink may seem like the easy go-to option for clean-up, but what if there was a way to dry your dishes without taking up that usable counter space? Especially if you don’t have a dishwasher, find a dish drying rack such as this to keep above your sink. This organization tool will help you save space and keep you accountable for putting away your clean dishes.
- Drawer Organizers
Whether it’s for your silverware, your plates, or your food storage containers, it’s best to have everything in your kitchen separated and organized in a tidy manner. There are several options for dividing up your kitchen drawers, including plastic trays, drawer dividers, and utensil organizers such as THIS. This type of organization will help make everything in your kitchen easy to find and your clean-up process will quickly become second nature.
- Try Unusual Organizers!
One idea is to re-purpose an over the door shoe organizer and divide pantry items by pocket! This saves space and is cost effective! Another idea is to create a working wall space behind your stove to hang items like spatulas and whisks on decorative hooks for easy access. This clears up cabinet and counter space and is totally functional and convenient!
Every kitchen is different, but even a small kitchen can be organized. Keep your kitchen space in mind as you research different storage ideas. For example, while there are a ton of different products out there to organize your pots and pans, many may not be even feasible for your kitchen. It’s possible your drawers aren’t deep enough or wide enough for the drawer organizer.
Put Things Away in the Smartest Way by Creating Stations
Does your kitchen counter or island tend to be the “catch all” for family essentials? Create designated stations and stick to your guns! Having a space where the kids can place their lunch boxes or backpacks after school gives them a “go to” spot so they’re not just throwing it on the counter when they get home. The same goes for the adults! Have a station in your home where you set your purse or keys after you arrive home. These stations also come in handy when you’re in a rush to leave the house and looking for items, like your keys!
When selecting homes for all your kitchen gear, it can be temping to stack, stuff, and put as much into a drawer as possible. This not only makes your kitchen WAY less organized, but it adds an extra challenge to finding and grabbing what you need, when you need it. Instead, when finding homes for your items, be sure to let each item breathe.
Fight the temptation to stack different items together. Yes, your measuring cups may fit into your mixing bowl, but doing so just added an extra step the next time you reach into that cabinet. There’s a right way to store just about anything. Store awkward items like cutting boards and cookie sheets on one of their sides versus flat. This will make getting to them later much easier!
Routinely Review Pantry Items
It always amazes me how fast food items can go from organized to clutter inside my pantry. Make it a habit to routinely review the food items you have on hand in your pantry. Throw out anything past its prime to make room for new snacks and treats.
When reviewing pantry items, you may find it handy to take things out of boxes as they begin to deplete. If you do that, be sure to confine them in some kind of box or container to help keep your pantry from having a snack explosion – see the next step.
These are just a few practical tips that we help encourage you on your journey towards a more organized and efficient space! Organized daily living is not only great for your convenience sake, but, also for your mental health and focus! Take time today to implement even just one of these tips, you won’t regret it, we promise! Happy organizing your amazing kitchen space!