One of the places where disorganization can really make life difficult is the kitchen. With dozens of spice canisters, mismatched Tupperware containers, and all those kitchen gadgets that end up in the back of the drawer, the kitchen can easily become your least favorite space in the house. It doesn’t have to be that way! Learn to love your kitchen again with these handy organizing tips.
Store Items by Use
Make life a little easier by arranging your dishes and cookware by frequency of use. Put seldom-used items on hard-to-reach shelves or in the back of the cupboard.
You don’t just have to hang your pots and pans. Hang frequently used kitchen tools on S-hooks so that they are easily accessible.
Group Similar Items Together
Think about an item’s purpose and group it together with similar kitchenware. Keep your plastic wrap and Tupperware near each other; stash your spices near your pots and pans; group your glassware by your plates and bowls.
Install Shelf Organizers
Go vertical with shelf inserts! You can easily double your space.
Divide Your Drawers
Use small bins to logically divide your drawers. No more digging!
Use a magnetic bar to hang your knives, cooking shears, or other metal tools. Use a magnetic board to organize spice containers (with magnetic backs).
OPERATION: Junk Drawer
Take a deep breath and get ready to tackle your junk drawer! One of the keys to success is to empty everything out of the drawer before you attempt to organize it. Then, be ruthless! Discard items you don’t need and start grouping similar items together. Divide your drawer with bins and stash teeny-weeny items in small containers with lids. Sort your drawer regularly!
OPERATION: Storage Containers
Storage containers can (ironically) be one of the most difficult things to store. Rein in your mismatched mess! Use a lid rack to “file” your lids neatly. Keep the containers stacked by size. Consider using a drawer divider or boxes to sort your containers by type. If you feel like your Tupperware situation is hopeless, donate your old containers and start fresh with a complete set, like this one from Amazon.com
OPERATION: Pots and Pans
Are your pots and pans buried in your cupboard, stacked on top of one another? Let me them breathe! If you have the space, consider installing a pot rack. Having your cookware within eyeshot makes life much easier. And if you don’t have space to install a rack? Try a Lazy Susan or a pullout cabinet. Both of these methods help make your pots and pans easily visible when you’re searching for just the right one. Another route you could take: use a pegboard wall. Simply install a sheet of pegboard, paint it, and use hooks to hang pots, pans, and other kitchen odds and ends.
Ever end up with four containers of nutmeg because you couldn’t find the other three? Time to organize your spices! Start by taking everything out and assessing them—if a spice is more than a couple years old, it’s probably no good. When in doubt, smell it! If the spice smells stale, then it’s no longer useful.
After culling your spices, begin organizing them. Consider using a magnetic board or a vertical rack that is one-deep so that you can easily see each spice.
One clever way to organize your spices is by type (group Indian spices, Italian spices, everyday spices, etc. together). You can even display them on a tray or cake stand.
BONUS TIP: Visit the bulk section of your local co-op if you need to purchase a special spice for a single recipe. That way, you can buy precisely what you need and you won’t have to toss the rest down the road.
Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.
Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.