Is it time to tidy up the kitchen? Instead of looking at this as a chore, look at it as an opportunity. Putting all the pots, pans and other parts back in a systemized order can be very satisfying. Plus, a well-organized space with enhanced functionality makes the continuous chore of cooking and cleaning much more manageable. Below is a quick guide on creating an organized kitchen of your very own.
When starting a new project, a clean slate is usually best. For the kitchen, this means relocating all the room’s contents to a table or worktop. Grab everything from the countertop appliances to the spatulas and move them to an area where you can separate them by how they will be put back. As you sort, be sure to toss out any broken gadgets or out-of-date food and donate any items you no longer use to help free up space.
While all the drawers, shelves and cabinets are empty, you should give them a thorough cleaning. It’s recommended to use a bucket of warm water, a little dish soap and a sponge to remove the grime from cooking. After you let each surface dry completely, you could also replace any damaged shelf liners or tighten loose screws if time allows.
The last part of preparing the space is to come up with a plan. Looking at the laid-out items and studying the space you have, arrange where they will go with an emphasis on functionality. One approach is to divide the space in zones. For example, closest to the stovetop could be where the spices and utensils are stored, with cooking pots down below.
Another approach is to make a list of categories and arrange the items within by how frequently they are used. That way, seasonal items or ones only used for guests are in the back and everyday pieces are at the front. If short on cabinet space, you can also utilize hanging pot racks, floating shelves, wall hooks and other aesthetically appealing storage solutions.
A Place for Everything & Everything in Its Place
Ready to move all the items back into place? As you do, try to use each nook and cranny to maximize storage space. To help make this process easier, you can also consider investing in organization tools — such as spice racks, drawer organizers, wire baskets, expandable kitchen shelving and more.
A space-saving solution that’s great for optimizing small spaces is to create a “magic corner.” Using a Lazy Susan, wire shelves on tracks or pullout shelving, an inconvenient corner can be smartened up for less wasted space. The goal is to provide easy access to items without the hassle of unloading or shifting around what’s in front.
Do you have a bunch of plastic containers and lids cluttering a drawer or otherwise getting in the way? There are specialty dividers available to sort and separate these containers by size. Not only can this make packing lunches a breeze, but the chances of them being damaged goes down when they have a designated storage spot.
Another tip is to use clear storage containers in the fridge or pantry. Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, see-through bins can make corralling similar items together and taking stock easier. You can take this tactic up a notch with labels as well by customizing stickers, writing with a dry-erase marker or whichever method you prefer.
Want a continuous, clean look for your kitchen? Consider hiding small appliances and keeping your countertops clear. Along the same lines as an open floorplan, this approach takes visual flow, defined lines and similar elements into account for a more structured, coherent design.
On a final note, as you’re rearranging be sure to leave ample space for activities of all kinds. Afterall, the kitchen is usually the heart of the home where everyone comes together for more than just a meal.
Author bio: Sydney Hamilton currently serves as Senior Director of Digital Marketing with The Container Store. Her team’s mission is to improve lives through the power of organization. With over a decade of experience in retail, travel and hospitality marketing, she enjoys the constant growth and challenge this industry brings.