Organizing a kitchen can be an overwhelming task. It needn’t be. Each person will have his own preferences as to how a kitchen is organized, but most will agree that convenience is a must.
Think about your kitchen uses. Your style or methods in the kitchen will help you decide how to organize it. If you eat a lot of raw vegetables, you will want an area with a good cutting board, sharp knives, and cutting space. If the stove is where your time is spent, you will want your pots and pans, stirring utensils, as well as spices, located within easy reach. Bakers will want to create a center for baking with flour, sugar, salt, and other often-used ingredients, as well as mixing appliances.
Having a place for everything and everything in its’ place will do more for keeping a kitchen organized than anything else. Only keep items in a kitchen that you regularly use. If possible, store items that are seldom used in out of the way, hard to reach places. Get rid of duplicate items that are never used. Many thrift stores and charities welcome your used kitchen items and appliances.
Take the time to put items back where they belong in the kitchen. If a number of persons living in your home, take the time to explain to each individual where the items are kept and your expectations for keeping the kitchen organized. Without a specific place for each item in the kitchen, it easily becomes disorganized.
Think in terms of storing items by where they are used. For instance, knives stores by the cutting board area, potholders near the oven, glasses by the refrigerator, sink, or dishwasher, and plates and utensils near the table or dishwasher. Generally, cabinets on the floor are used for items that you don’t use as often while dishes and glasses are usually put in the upper cabinets as they are used a number of times each day.
Many kitchens do not have enough storage. Wire baskets, chains with hooks, and decorative holders can be hung from the ceiling to hold pots and pans, utensils, and food items such as bananas, onions, and potatoes. Spices and be stored on counters. There are many decorative spice racks and holders that are functional and beautiful depending on individual taste. A breadbox is also a fun way to store bread and free up space.
There are a number of racks and holders that can be purchased and added underneath the upper cabinets to hold items. Hooks can be mounted underneath a shelf inside a cabinet or underneath a cabinet to store mugs. Stackable dishes and cups are helpful in kitchens with limited storage. There are pull out racks and drawers that can be added to existing cabinets for more organized storage space for those who prefer to have kitchen items out of sight.
Drawers can be useful for many items. Use a plastic tray for silverware in a drawer. They are inexpensive and keep the drawer neat and items easily found. Drawers are also a perfect place for plastic storage bags, aluminum foil, and wax paper. Most people will need to have a miscellaneous drawer for small kitchen items. These can also be organized in a plastic tray and trays. Any time you can place an item in a specific place, you will be helping to keep your kitchen organized.
Moveable stacking bins are another way to add more storage to your kitchen. They can be inexpensive or an expensive piece of furniture and work well to store fruits and vegetables that do not need to be refrigerated or need to ripen.
Plastic containers are great for storing many items. Any item that can be labeled and stacked can be easily found and used. Labeling is a great time saver. Label spices on the top of the lid for easy identifying. Label pantry canned goods by like items. For example, fruits grouped together. Large amounts of canned goods can be alphabetized for easy access. This may take some time initially but will be worth it when you are in a hurry to find a certain item.
The kitchen is usually the family gathering area. Establish a center for messages. A bulletin board or chart with each person’s name and a way to leave messages under each name works well. A family calendar should also be a part of the message center with each family member entering where they will be each day as well as important events and appointments.
Organizing a kitchen takes trial and error. Seldom will you get everything where you want it the first time. Don’t be afraid to make changes when you think of a better way to organize items. It may take a little while to accomplish an organized kitchen to your liking, but in the long run you will save a lot of time and effort by getting it right. An organized kitchen is worth the time invested. There is no right way to organize it. Make it right for you!