Kitchen Organization Cabinets. Take a Look Around. First, take some time to ask yourself some questions. What’s not working well in your kitchen? What activities are taking place when you feel disorganized? What areas seem to be working fine? Your answers will help you identify your problem areas.
Think about the activities that take place in your kitchen. These activities can organize into zones. These are the different areas in your kitchen in which you perform particular tasks or store items. Each zone should contain the tools, products, and space necessary to complete the activities.
Some examples of zones in the kitchen are:
- Cutting and Prep
Home Informational Center
Performing specific tasks is more comfortable if complementary zones close. For example, it makes sense to have your cutting and prep zone close to the cooking area—the fewer steps you have to take between complementary zones, the better.
Break It Down
Organizing a kitchen is a large project. Break it down into sections and tackle one area at a time. That helps keep you from becoming overwhelmed and burnt out before the project is complete. Organizing a kitchen is a massive undertaking. Make sure you have lots of room to sort and adequate time.
Think of your countertops as a workspace, not a storage space. Only keep there what you use daily. If you are short on counter space, store rarely used appliances in either a lower cabinet, a small shelf in your pantry, or other appropriate storage space.
The kitchen is such a central part of our home, and so things that don’t belong there can quickly take over. Remove the things that just don’t belong there, such as papers, bills, projects to do, junk mail, and school papers.
If you can, designate a desk area or counter space for your home information center or zone.
Make use of under cabinet space by mounting clocks, radios, and coffee makers. Keep papers out of the kitchen if you can. If you have a desk area in your kitchen, confine the documents to that zone.
Cabinets, Cupboards, Drawers
Take everything out of your cabinets, cupboard, and drawers and take time to wipe down the shelves and drawers. Sort like items together.
Get rid of the unwanted, broken, duplicate, never, or barely used items.
Keep what you use and need. Ask yourself questions like, “when was the last time I used this?” or “how many mugs does our family need?”
Do you have more stuff than can fit comfortably into your space?
Don’t forget to weed through your plastic containers and keep only the ones that you need. Get rid of the odd-size ones that don’t “nest” nicely. If possible, I like to store plastic containers in a cupboard and the lids organized in a drawer directly below.
That allows for maximum storage.
Some people prefer to save the covers on the boxes to eliminate searching for the match. After you have sorted everything and removed the unwanted, you need to decide where to store everything.
Most used items should store between the knee and neck height: the bottom shelves of the cupboards, the countertop, and the top shelves of the cabinets.
Less frequently used items will go on the top shelf of the closets or the bottom of the cabinets.
Utilize a system by determining your kitchen zones (cooking, prep area, serving, etc.).
Items that go into drawers should be near where you will be using them. Knives next to the prep area, potholders next to the stove, dishcloths, and towels near the sink.
Take everything out of your pantry area. Wipe down the shelves. Toss the expired items and donate any unwanted and usable goods to your local food pantry.
Now, sort like items together into categories.
Think of your pantry like a store. Create zones just like the aisle of a grocery store. For example, canned goods, baking needs, pasta and rice, seasoning, cereals, etc. are typical zones. Use containers to keep smaller like items together.
Use canisters that are airtight and are stackable.
Products like Tupperware are excellent choices. Don’t forget to label it! Label containers or the front edge of the shelves. That will help make retrieving and returning items a lot easier for all members of your household.
If you limit space in your kitchen, keep your cookbooks on a bookshelf in the area of your home. Keep only the books or recipes you use.
If you follow a book because of one or two methods, make a copy of those favorites and donate the book.
A simple 3-ring binder with clear page protectors is a great way to store your favorite recipes. Add tabbed dividers to break the methods down into categories. If you prefer to use index cards, keep them organized in a small, inexpensive plastic photo album.
As always, every organizing project requires maintenance to be successful. Daily load and unload the dishwasher and remove personal items and papers from the kitchen. Tune-up your cabinets, cupboards, and drawers every few months or as needed. Keeping your kitchen organized regularly will help you to function smoothly and efficiently.