We all think we need more space, especially in the kitchen. However, if your kitchen was organized a little differently you might realize that you have all the space you need….. for now. If the thought of kitchen organization just makes you want to curl up with a bottle of Pinot Noir and hide your wallet from yourself, I’ve got news for you. Kitchen organization does NOT have to be painful or expensive. Even better… I’ll give you 3 quick and easy tips you could complete in an afternoon (and still enjoy that Pinot Noir while shoe shopping online with all the money you’ll save)!
3 Tips to Organize Your Kitchen for Efficient Use
1. Create zones. Put items where they are used the most.
For the most part, kitchens (from builder basic to fully custom) follow some key layout rules. The most important is the location of cabinets and drawers. Unless you are in an older home that hasn’t been updated since it was built, there is almost always a drawer or cabinet near the oven & stovetop, fridge, and sink – that’s by design.
- put spices, cooking utensils, cook/bakeware, and oven mitts closest to the range (or cooktop and oven respectively if they are built-ins). Dinnerware would likely make sense closer to these as well.
- put everyday drinkware nearest the fridge.
- put kitchen towels next to the sink. While you’re at it, try a small basket in a lower cabinet near the sink to catch dirty kitchen towels.
2. Store dry goods and spices in containers you can see into that are of similar size.
This one may even save you money because you’ll be able to see EVERYthing you have and know exactly what you need to restock. Don’t think you have to invest in some special containers or storage system to do this. Reuse empty, thoroughly cleaned jars for pantry items – pickle, olive, jalapeno and other condiment jars are perfect for this. Baby food jars, artichoke jars, and other specialty food jars are just right to contain most standard sized spices from the grocery store. And if you don’t purchase those items, there are lots of spice jar options from very inexpensive to super high dollar and everything in between. Take your pick.
3. Develop a simple system.
If you do #1 or 2, this one is easy. When it’s time to cook everything is nearby, no searching. Putting up dishes (ugh)? Like items are all in the same area – gather them and go. Wash day, grab the basket of towels and head to the laundry room! Easy peasy!
Even shopping day can be simpler – you could just snap a photo of those glass jars and reference it at the store!
Bonus tip: Keep only very frequently used appliances out on the counter.
Try storing everything else in a seldom used cabinet or top of the pantry and pull it out only when you need it. You just might find that you don’t even miss all those gadgets. If you don’t use it in 3 months donate it to a friend or to charity. Just can’t bear to get rid of anything? Give it another 3 months, but try to stick to a 6 month rule. (This works all over the house, not just the kitchen.)
If you get a chance to apply any of these tips, let me know. I’d love to hear how it works for you!