Organizing your kitchen can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task, especially if you’ve spent years collecting every gizmo and gadget out there; but it doesn’t have to be. Organizing your kitchen can be easy and even fun but, more importantly, the time and hassle it can save will amaze you!
Just follow these quick and easy steps and your kitchen will be looking like it is straight out of a William Sonoma catalog.
First, take one drawer or cabinet at a time. Depending on how cluttered your kitchen is, you may have to split the project up over several days. Whatever you do, do NOT dismantle your entire kitchen at once (no matter how motivated you think you are!). Pull everything out and spread it out on a clean surface.
Discard anything that has expired or that has been in there longer than some people in your house have been alive. Take anything that is still good but that you won’t eat and put it in a bag to take to a food bank. Some grocery stores also collect canned goods and non-perishables for donation.
Group “like with like.” For example, if you’re organizing your baking cabinet, put all the icings, sprinkles, cupcake wrappers, etc. together and, if you really want to get crazy, purchase or find something to contain and keep these items separate (large Tupperware can work great for this if you don’t feel like spending a lot of money at the Container Store).
Now for a couple of guidelines as you reassemble your drawer or cabinet:
- You must be able to see everything! Out of sight is out of mind. This can be especially annoying when you’ve bought your third bottle of expensive vanilla extract because you just didn’t see the other two behind the bag of sugar. This means large items in the back and small in the front (check out the risers to easily store and see cans of the same size).
- Store rarely used items in lesser accessible places. Think: turkey roasting pan in the hard to reach area above the fridge instead of crowding the drawer where you store your everyday pots and pans. If you are really tight on space in the kitchen, consider moving these items to other areas of the house (like the upper shelves of a guest room closet that sits empty most of the year). Don’t kid yourself. I mean, come on, how often do you really use the waffle iron? Once, twice a year? That can definitely go somewhere else. Trust me, that's one of those items you’re not going to forget you have it.
- Store things where they make the most sense. Frequently used plates, cups and bowls should be in the cabinet nearest the dishwasher to make it easy to unload; same with the silverware drawer. Everyday cooking items like olive oil (can you tell I’m Italian?) should be in a cabinet close to the area of the counter where you prepare food. If you store this kind of thing in a pantry away from the kitchen, consider keeping a container on your counter with the items you use most often so you’re not going back and forth from the pantry multiple times whenever you prepare a meal.
Now go get organized! Your new kitchen is only a few simple steps away!