The kitchen is one of the most significant rooms in any home. For many families, a kitchen is not only a place to eat but also a hub for informal gatherings and morning activities. Maximizing the organization of a kitchen is a great way to streamline a home. A well-organized kitchen can make cooking tasks seem easier and more appealing.
Maintaining an organized kitchen is also a great way to cut down on food waste and overall food costs.
Organizing a kitchen does not need to be difficult. This guide provides helpful steps that anyone can use in order to organize and streamline a kitchen. It is a good idea to make a list of kitchen organization goals prior to beginning this project. Try to tackle overall kitchen workflow issues before tackling smaller details such as cupboards and drawers. Establishing a rhythm in a kitchen is essential to making good organization decisions.
The Basics of Kitchen Organizing
Before starting a kitchen organization project, make a list of necessary supplies. Most individuals will need to buy organization products in order to create a streamlined kitchen. Make sure to have the necessary products on hand before delving into kitchen reorganization. The steps that should be followed when organizing a kitchen are laid out below. Remember that the same tips work for both large and small kitchens.
Create a Workflow
The first step in organizing a kitchen is creating a workflow. Focus on optimizing the kitchen for cooking, dining, and cleaning tasks. Whether the kitchen is large or small, it is important to prioritize the overall organization of appliances. Remember that the arrangement of kitchen plumbing may dictate where appliances can be placed.
When possible, ensure that the refrigerator occupies a central wall space near the stove and counter. Placing a refrigerator opposite of the counter will cause unnecessary trips back and forth. Aim to place the oven, sink, and dishwasher in a single row. It is best to locate the sink centrally so that it is useful for both cooking and cleaning tasks. Some kitchens feature a corner sink with an oven on one side and dishwasher on the other, which is also an ideal layout.
If it is impossible to shift appliances, be sure that the pathway between the refrigerator, counter, and oven is free of obstacles. Clearing a path will allow everyone in the family to complete cooking and cleaning tasks with minimal interruptions. Organizing a kitchen is all about making sure that needed supplies are conveniently located.
Be sure to place cutting boards and knives in the same drawer or in the same general area. Small appliances should be placed in cupboards or on shelving. Use under-the-sink space to store cleaning goods and dishwasher detergent. It is also important to choose excellent lighting to eliminate eye strain while cooking.
Keep Counters Free of Clutter
Clearing off counters is a great way to enhance overall kitchen organization. Individuals who live in homes or apartments with small kitchens are especially prone to placing items on the countertops. It can be difficult to avoid doing so when working with limited space. However, there are other options for storage.
Try storing items that aren’t used regularly in plastic containers or bins outside of the kitchen. You can choose hanging racks and holders to store cookbooks, aprons, oven mitts, and spices. A kitchen cart can be used to keep essential items organized, mobile, and out of the way.
If kitchen space is truly at a
premium, it may become necessary to use counters for storage. In this case,
choose tiered storage shelves that can accommodate two or three different types
of items. Avoid storing dishes, silverware, and Cookware on the counter
whenever possible as it is unsanitary to do so and can create clutter.
Remember that there are also a wide variety of small appliances that are designed to be installed under a cupboard, freeing up essential counter space. Choosing a microwave that can be mounted in such a fashion can open up significant counter space.
Sort Dishes, Pots, Pans, and Bakeware
Dishes, pots, pans, and bakeware form an essential part of any kitchen. Organizing such items carefully can contribute to kitchen workflow and cut down on clutter. If cupboard space is limited, choose tiered dish racks that will allow for stacking of plates and bowls of different sizes. Store specialty glasses and barware in plastic containers in the garage.
Try using a hanging pot rack to store pots and stone pans. Place bakeware in cupboards below the counter for optimal organization. It’s also a good idea to store cookware items as close to the stove as possible. Many ovens also have built-in storage compartments that can be used for pots, pans, and bakeware.
Tackle Kitchen Drawers
Take a fine-toothed comb to kitchen drawers, especially those containing utensils. Be sure to use utensil baskets or organizers to keep forks, knives, and spoons separated. Establish a purpose for each drawer. The chart below outlines drawer organization strategies.
Use this drawer to organize forks, knives, spoons, and other cutlery. It is imperative that these items be organized in their own, separate bins.
This drawer should be used for any small cooking gadgets or devices used on a regular basis. Gadgets might include can openers, knife sharpeners, whisks, measuring spoons, measuring cups, and cookie scoops.
KITCHEN OFFICE DRAWER
Establish a drawer in the kitchen that holds a calendar, note pad, and pens. If possible, make sure that this drawer is near the telephone. This drawer can also be used to store school and activities schedules. If necessary, use color-coded file folders to organize such information.
The junk drawer is a catchall drawer for miscellaneous items that find their way into the kitchen. It is important to clean the junk drawer out once a month. Give away any unused items or gadgets.
Evaluate Food Storage Needs
Good food organization practices are essential to the overall kitchen organization. In addition to making cooking tasks easier, good food storage practices also cut down on waste. If a kitchen has a pantry, this area should be used for food items only. Avoid storing cleaning goods with food items. Keep the following tips in mind when organizing food items.
Pasta, rice, and other grains can be stored in glass, plastic, or metal containers. These containers will extend shelf life and keep the pantry free of clutter. It is important to make a habit of rotating food items, placing older items at the fronts of shelves. Try to clean out a refrigerator’s food and vegetable drawers once a week. Aim to clean the entire refrigerator once a month. It’s also a good idea to clean out the pantry on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
When cleaning out the refrigerator and pantry, make it a priority to use any items that will spoil or expire in the near future. Using these items helps to avoid waste and cut downs on food costs. Eliminating spoiled items from the refrigerator will also eliminate odor problems.
Choose Accessories to Organize Your Kitchen
Good accessories are essential to kitchen organization. The chart below lists some of the most common organization-related accessories and how they can be used in the kitchen.
Every kitchen should feature a wide assortment of canisters.. These handy storage devices can be used for flour, sugar, pasta, rice, and other loose grains. When using metal canisters, be sure to affix a label that identifies the contents.
ISLANDS AND CARTS
Individuals who have medium- to large-sized kitchens may wish to use kitchen islands to enhance organization. Islands can also serve as a mini bar and an impromptu eating area. Wheeled islands and carts are particularly advantageous because they can be moved out of the way quickly.
RACKS AND HOLDERS
Racks can be used to store produce, dishware, and glasses. Use racks to keep counters clutter-free. Remember to choose paper towel holders that can be mounted under the counter or on the wall.
SPICE JARS AND RACKS
A well-organized spice rack can significantly cut down on kitchen clutter. A compact, rotating rack will offer the best space efficiency.
Hanging pot racks eliminate the need to shove pots and pans into hard-to-reach cupboards and drawers. These racks are also the best solution for expensive cookware that must be stored carefully.
Be sure to use organizing baskets in utensil drawers. Drawer baskets and dividers can also be very useful for gadget and kitchen office drawers.
Organize Your Kitchen With Purpose Remember that the key to great kitchen organization is arranging items so that they contribute to the overall workflow of the space. Homeowners will need to evaluate their own kitchen habits and needs before undertaking an organizing project. If kitchen organizing seems like a daunting task, tackle the items outlined in the Basics of Kitchen Organizing section one at a time. Completing one task a week means an organized kitchen in as little as a month.