My Best Tips for Kitchen Organization

Monday, October 30, 2023

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Do you feel envious when you see someone share their neatly organized kitchen drawers on social media? When you go to a friend's house and her kitchen is flawlessly organized from fridge to pots and pans, do you wish you had her skills?

A kitchen is the central hub to everything in the home it seems.  It's where family gathers to chat, where everyone starts their day with breakfast and the paper, and it's where everyone gathers at the end of a long day to enjoy a meal and talk.  So why is it that kitchen's seem to be the part of the house that stress us out the most when it comes to clutter and organization?  Obviously, they're the most used area of a home but if you can get set up with a neat and tidy and very well organized kitchen that you can easily maintain, you should find that you enjoy all aspects of it much more.  Cooking won't involve you scrambling to find the ingredient or utensil you need or cussing because you ran out of something that you thought you had more of.

I've put together a few key components of kitchen organization and today I'm sharing them with you in the hopes that you'll apply them and enjoy your kitchen as much as I do now.

//1// Commence A Purge
Yes, that's right - you get to purge all that obnoxious junk that you never use that just takes up space and pisses you off.  But in order to do this you have to take EVERYTHING out of the cabinets and drawers so you can see duplicates and see if like items are stored together or not.  

Once you empty everything out, group all of the like items together based on categories like daily utensils, special occasion utensils, cooking utensils, serving ware, small appliances, canned goods, dry items, bagged items, and miscellaneous.

Once your items are grouped, start looking for duplicates that are unnecessary.  If you have 10 spatulas, it's HIGHLY DOUBTFUL you'll need all 10 at once so keep only your 3 favorites.  Get rid of anything that's broken or things you literally NEVER use. 

//2// Keep Like Items Together
Once you've purged excess stuff, you can put things back away by category.  Try to keep like items together.  This comes in handy with food as well because cans fit better together than being intermixed with boxes of pasta. 

Store kitchen appliances that are rarely used in a place that's hard to get to.  That way you don't take up real estate that could go to more frequently used items.
an organized tidy under sink area with products in bins and baskets

//3// Use Bins to Corral Small items
So my cupboards are very tiny and it's hard to shift things around.  So I use little plastic handled storage bins for a lot of stuff.  It helps so much because when I need an item, I can pull the entire bin out, grab what I need, and place it gently back on the shelf where it goes. 

We use bins for things like pastas, applesauce, small baking ingredients, canned goods, cookies and bagged snacks, and vitamins and medications. We even use them under the sink for our cleaning and sink supplies.
an organized kitchen pantry with baking ingredients in oxo containers
//4// Use Clear Containers for Storage and Easy Identification
I used to have EVERYTHING in a plastic handled bin until I got sick and tired of shuffling through the half opened bags of baking ingredients and getting a mess on the counters. 
an organized kitchen pantry with baking ingredients in oxo containers
So I got rid of the bags and bins and invested in some plastic food storage containers. My favorite are the OXO Containers you can find here.  They are really easy to open and close and they're clear so you can see what's in them.  I made labels for each container and now everything looks so nice and uniform in my pantry.

//5// Keep Older Items in Front to Use First
The problem with canned and boxed foods is that when you buy more you tend to put it in the front when you're rushing to put everything away after your grocery trip.  Stop doing that! Put the new stuff in the back and keep the old stuff in front so you use it first before it expires.  It's never good to be wasteful so try as hard as you can to get in this habit.  I used to be horrible with this but now I'm so darn good that I even place a yellow sticky note on all the bagged cheeses in each category (Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar, etc.) that need to be used first.

an organized utensil drawer in a kitchen

//6// Use Drawer Organizers
Drawer organizers are LIFE, yo! Seriously, how the heck anybody doesn't use them, blows my mind.  It's the ideal way to keep all the like items together and preventing them from getting all jumbled and trapped in the drawers.

//7// Meal Plan to Not Buy Excess
Did you ever notice that you tend to have tons of food in your pantries but you can never figure out what to make for dinner? Yeah, that's because you need to start meal planning.  First, start by looking at the items you have and coming up with meals to use those items.  Anything else you need will go on your grocery list.  After you use up your initial stockpile you can continue doing a weekly or monthly meal plan and use your meals to make your grocery list AFTER checking to make sure you don't have that item already. You'll save money because you'll only be buying what you need, you won't be wasting food because it gets lost and you forget to use it, and you won't be tempted with impulse buys because you'll be focused on your list. 

What's the problem area or areas in your kitchen?

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