Are you fed up of going through all the randomly thrown spices in your drawer to find the coriander right at the bottom or trying to locate the wok pot among all the pots and pans in your cupboard? Perhaps the time has come to organize your kitchen once and for good.
A well-organized kitchen area employs certain principles. It always interests me how other people group their cooking belongings to harmonize the workflow in their kitchens. Organized people instinctively follow these rules but if it happens that you are not one of those people, reading my four essential principles will guarantee to make your kitchen better to work in, no matter how hectic at times it is.
First of all, let’s start with the definition of ‘being organized’. I find, for most homeowners, it is being able to find what they need within seconds, and most importantly, having other family members be able to find what they are looking for – without the reassurance guidelines from the homemaker. The biggest part of organizing your kitchen means making sure everyone knows where the essentials are, and encouraging other users of the kitchen to put things back on designated place.
I am fully aware that you may struggle at the beginning with how you should organize your own kitchen but use the following four core principles because they are the foundation for every organizing project of any space. A functional and decluttered kitchen will be more inviting and efficient to work in. Employing my guidance tips to help organize the area is going to bring even more purpose to this significant part of your home. Not to mention, I have found that as I have followed this advice to keep my kitchen well-planned and organized, I have saved money, along with water, energy, and food. I hope this post gives you lots of reassurance and guidelines to work with as you re-organize your kitchen.
1. Group Small Items and Find Them A Home
All of us have needed a home to have a place where we can unwind and relax after a stressful day. So do the kitchen things. Whether it is cutlery, glassware or kitchen utensils, everything needs a proper home. When kitchen cupboards and drawers get too full and start to overflow, you have two choices. Either, expand your kitchen space, or simply store similar things together so you will always know where they are when you need them. The basis of this principle covers the idea that your brain is to perceive a grouping instead of several random objects thrown together without any purpose.
Therefore start with one small step which is categorizing things that are in your cupboards and drawers. When you group items into categories, for storage and display, with little time and effort you will gain instant clutter control and a neat look on your shelves. Instead of a bunch of miscellaneous things laying on the display, make use of trays and baskets to help you unify the overall effect.
Here are outstanding tips for grouping items:
- an open shelf full of glass spice jars ( you can make the decorative labels by yourself, writing what is in each jar with a colorful pen),
- a wicker basket for pot lids graded from smallest to largest,
- a try with tea/coffee/sugar supplies (sugar cubes, several kinds of teas, instant coffee, ground coffee),
- a special ‘baking cakes and muffins’ tray with silicone cake molds, baking powder, sprinkles, and extracts,
- plastic tray for dry packed things like cereals, oats, pasta or rice,
- canned food shall also have a designated place,
- container for lunchboxes;
Make sure to group similar items in the same drawers or cupboards. For example, if you love to bake cakes and muffins for your family, store mixing bowls, cake molds, muffin tins and parchment paper in the same drawer. The same principle applies to your work zones in the kitchen. If you run an old-fashioned household, with no dishwasher and you have to wash your dishes by hand, keep atop your sink only washing liquid, sponge and a soft cloth for wiping dry the plates and cutlery.
Everyday items, like breakfast oats and cereals or canned soups, should be within quick reach, with the less frequently needed items like frozen cod fillets arranged further at the back. Grouping food items by category may sound irrelevant at the beginning but you will find unpacking your shopping bags much quicker, and putting your groceries on the shelves much easier once everything has a designated location in the kitchen.
2. Keep the countertops clutter-free
The core principle states that counter space should be work space, not a display of bits and bobs of everything. Regardless of what cooking you intend to do at the time, always make sure that you have an available workspace. The most important rule implies that cooking with cluttered counters is stressful. Your designated work zone must remain clutter-free and simply clean of unwanted things. From now on preparing meals for your loved ones will become a sheer pleasure, you will even gain more room to set down shopping bags full of groceries, and pouring yourself a glass of wine will be possible too.
Prioritize your essentials by putting away less frequently used items and keeping in sight only what is needed on an everyday basis. Sometimes it means that the toaster will put in the cupboard after breakfast time, not to leave it on display on the workbench. The same story applies to less frequently used items, like a mixer, yogurt maker, popcorn machine or hand blender can be moved to more convenient storage places, like to an under sink, pullout shelf.
Feel free to leave out on display a collection of inspiring cookbooks or some sentimental knick knacks that create an inviting and welcoming atmosphere. A standalone wooden bookcase or an open shelf cabinet with decorative statues make your kitchen cozier and warmer, showing your personality and evoking enthusiastic feelings.
Making more room on the counters might mean that the cabinets and drawers will have to hold more. To maximize the efficiency of the space, give some thoughts to installing sliding racks inside your cupboards instead of traditional shelves. Fixing built-in racks give you instant access to the content, without digging to the very bottom for a pocket of dill or a canned meal. Another great option is open shelves that are visually attractive. Similar size bowls or beautiful porcelain dishes can be neatly positioned on the open shelf cabinet, creating a composition that is not only handy but also pleasant to the eye.
3. Think Practical – Make Essentials Easily Accessible
When you run out of paper towel, you certainly do not want to go to the attic for the replacement roll. To avoid bad storage solutions start thinking what is the most practical, convenient and safe solution for each member of the family household.
Here’s how to get more done by not keeping things in a manner that makes you:
- dig very deeply to find what you need,
- go to the basement/attic/other far-reached places for frequently used items,
- reach out for items stored on top shelves where they may fall on you, causing the hazardous situation,
- search for a ladder to get everyday necessities;
The time has come to become a perfectionist in decluttering and stacking kitchen accessories. As for dinnerware such as dinner plates, salad plates, bowls for either soup or cereal, serving bowls and mixing bowls which take up lots of valuable space unless you stack your dinnerware set in descending order of diameter size according to function. Go bold and finally get rid of a bunch of mismatched sets of platters in favor of one kit that nests perfectly not only in your cupboards but also fits the dishwasher. Be aware that some dinner plates are too wide for standard cabinets or too tall for the dishwasher. All of your glassware, dinnerware and a selection of bowls should be able to stack. Pots, pans, and frying pans ought to also fit the cupboards. You will save lots of space, and, additionally, imagine how neat and perfect your shelving cabinetry and your cupboards are going to present themselves.
The same goes for organizing and stacking items by how often you use them. Let’s say that platters and glasses should be around the sink or dishwasher. One of the stylish and chic ideas is to install a hanging rack for cups and mugs above the kitchen sink unit. Basically speaking, it not only frees up more cupboard space but also makes retrieving and drying glassware much easier. Pots, pans or frying pans ought to find a place by the stovetop, being easily accessible while cooking meals. As for rarely or occasionally used dishes, like massive salad bowls or gravy boats, put them aside, out of the main traffic area, to keep cohesive and beautiful appearance in your cabinets.
4. Create a maintenance plan and stick to it no matter what
As I mentioned previously, all space organizing projects, in any room of your household, can be narrowed down to these four core principles. If you put tons of effort and life force into making your home, especially kitchen, into every organized person dream, then you will have to invest some time and energy to maintain it that way. The last point on my to-do list of basic principles is by far the toughest step for many people. Neglecting the last step is the main cause of clutter in your kitchen. We need to overcome our worst fears and obstacles and set ourselves to spend several minutes of our precious and well-planned daily schedule to put away everything that has been retrieved from the cupboards and drawers during the day. Do not leave out pieces of dinnerware or glassware laying randomly on the countertops by no means. The toughest part is people in general like things their way and out of habit do not want to infuse any changes. Especially dramatic changes that alter the habits and lifetime practices.
Take a Saturday or any day off and clean all the cupboards, shelves and drawers. Try to declutter your kitchen systematically and on regular bases. Remember to clean the cabinetry thoroughly inside and out, wiping it with a soft, dry cloth at the end. Take into consideration also that parting with some things creates extra space for the new, future purchases. And you do not necessarily have to toss the still good stuff in the bin. If the food items are still edible and not past the sell by date, donate it to the local food bank for the poorer.