By Cynthia Murray
The kitchen is usually the center of a home, filled with cooking, washing up, eating, homework, crafts, science projects, and long talks over cups of coffee. Since, we spend so much of our time in the kitchen, making it clean and functional is worth the effort!
Here are ten tips to try the next time you begin organizing a your kitchen and make kitchen organization easy.
1. Pull everything out. Yes, you read that right. Once you’ve got everything out where you can see it, throw away all rotten or out of code food items. Then go through and purge everything that you don’t really use; for instance, those supposedly handy knick-knacks, like the avocado slicer, the asparagus peeler, and the pickle grabber.
2. Choose the best spot. When you begin putting items back on the shelves, reconsider where most ideal location is for each group of items. Containers for food, plastic wrap, baggies, and foil should be kept near the fridge for quick leftover storage.
Pots and pans? Near the stove, of course. Items that can be damaged by heat should not be kept over the stove or microwave; save that space instead for rarely used items, like the popcorn popper.
Keep spices and cooking oils in a location that is accessible from the spot where your client usually cooks. Knives and cutting boards should be in the same vicinity; pot holders should be reachable from the oven.
3. Put a lid on it. Throw away containers that don’t have their matching lids anymore. Lids can be really unruly items! It’s worth it to purchase lid organizing racks that sit nicely on the bottom of a shelf. They work both for pan lids and for container lids.
4. Adjust shelf height. Many kitchens have adjustable shelves, so take a look and see if moving shelves up or down would help you as you try to store that over-sized soup pot or those mini muffin cups.
5. Buy clear, matching storage containers. Clear containers allow you to easily see which foodstuff in inside. Having uniform containers takes away the difficulty of trying to handle bags or awkward containers of beans or flour or other dry goods. You may need to stack containers in the pantry, so make sure you have sizes that can fit nicely on top of each other.
6. Go ahead, be lazy. I’m convinced that lazy susans are for lazy people, they’re for smart people! Use one inside a cupboard to store much-accessed items like salt and pepper and the sugar bowl. If you’ve run out of space for jams and spreads in the door of the fridge, put a lazy susan on a fridge shelf. You can also use one on the kitchen table to hold napkins and the condiments needed for a meal.
7. Slide it. Over sized cabinet space can be made more versatile and useful by purchasing sliding racks. You can also tuck one in the refrigerator under a shelf, or in the pantry.
8. Make use of the door. The back of the pantry door can hold oodles of stuff if you purchase a hanging organizer. You can get one that’s made specifically for the pantry, or just buy one that’s supposed to be for shoes!
9. Buy drawer dividers. Drawers can quickly become catch-alls. Using drawer dividers can help to minimize the cluttered look and make it easy to find the spatula or the soup ladle.
10. Use space under the cabinets. The space under the cabinet can be useful too! Install a small rod to hold paper towels or tea towels. Hooks or shelves on the back wall are great for open storage, like spices, large utensils or potholders. My personal favorite is the retractable book holder, that allows you to have a recipe at eye level and out of the mess, and then you can hide it away again.
Cynthia Murray, professional organizer and trainer writes articles about organizing on her professional organizing website: www.profitableorganizer.