It is quite common for people to struggle to keep their kitchens organized. After all, it is one of the most used parts of the house. And let’s face it when in a hurry to get through the chores, it is easy to forget to put things back in their designated places. If this practice is done repeatedly, one ends up with an unorganized kitchen. And this can be a problem. It is also crazy the number of items that home cooks need to store in their kitchen – it is mind boggling. The sheer number of different types of items makes kitchen cabinets harder to organize than any other space in their kitchen and that is why sticking to a simple organization strategy is key.
Why organizing the kitchen is essential?
Here is why one must always strive to organize their kitchen.
It saves time and reduces stress
Organizing the kitchen improves functionality because it saves time, which otherwise would have been spent looking for utensils and ingredients. Moving the right tools, measuring cups and mixing bowls into the most efficient spaces means less time wasted running around the kitchen trying to locate the right sized pot lid. Also, if one has organized cabinets and separate zones for each task, one is bound to feel more relaxed during cooking.
It saves money
Disorganized kitchens lead to people owning two or three pairs of everything. Can’t find a peeler? You get a new one, only to find it later on. Now, you have two peelers. This situation can also extend to gadgets, food, and utensils. The last thing anyone wants is to overspend on items that they already possess.
Meal planning is manageable
When you know what you have, on hand, it’s a lot easier to plan meals and shop for ingredients/groceries. You will have a good idea what you use most often and what items you can move out of your prime real estate.
Easier to clean
When everyone in the household is used to items being in the same spot all the time, they will be more likely to put it back into its proper storage space, thus keeping the space cleaner.
Top tips to organizing a kitchen
Looking for some organizing tips to reap the most value out of a kitchen? Well, organizing a kitchen isn’t hard. All that one needs is motivation and a sense of planning. Here are some of the top organizing tips for kitchens.
Throwing away the extra items (declutter)
Decluttering is the first step to organizing any room, and kitchens tend to have more unique kinds of clutter than other rooms – going through each cabinet to see if there are any items that are duplicated or broken. Use the box method to weed out the kitchen tools you never use, re-evaluate whether you really need more than the essential kitchen items in your kitchen, get rid of the bulk spices that have already expired, reboot a junk food-filled pantry, and use up food in your freezer at least twice a year. Discard anything that is damaged and donate all that is extra.
Group similar items
There should be logic and pattern to how things are organized in a kitchen. To ensure that one is able to find things in times of need, always store items on the basis of similar groupings. For instance, one cabinet or drawer should be assigned to baking items. This way one knows which cabinet to reach out for when baking desserts. Similarly, all the teacups or glasses should be stored in one place.
Separate food from dishes, cookware, and utensils
All kitchens should reserve some cabinets for anything that is edible and other cabinets for anything that is not. Preferably, the separation will have some logic to it— for example: food to the left and tableware to the right, or food in the upper cabinets and everything else in the lower ones. Suggested items to store in upper cabinets (above the counter where they are used most often) include food (fill pantry first) even spices, glasses and dishes, cookbooks and food storage containers. For the bottom cabinets, they are good for non-food items such as appliances, pots/pans/baking sheets and cleaning supplies.
The frequency of use should matter
There are some things in a kitchen that people use every day. Other utensils are only sought during the festive seasons. One should store items, in terms of ease of access and proximity, depending on the frequency of use. Utensils and ingredients used every day should be placed on lower shelves and cabinets that are easy to reach. Things that only come in handy during festive seasons should be put on top shelves.
Use vertical spaces
You will find empty spaces beneath cabinets. Use them effectively by placing hooks in the spaces. You can then use them to hold small pans or mugs. This would help in freeing up cabinet space which you can then use to store something else. Make sure to use all empty spaces whether it be wall or pantry doors. Placing hooks on them all can allow you to store a lot of items without your cabinets looking too cluttered. Consider using wall space or a ceiling rack to hang pots and pans. Keep in mind that any space you can use to hang something will free up flat space inside a cabinet.
Clear etched jars/containers
Even if you have organized all your spices and ingredients, the chances are you will end up making a mess when looking for a particular ingredient. To avoid this, always store spices and other ingredients in clear jars. This will allow you to easily identify them. If you can find etched jars, you will be able to ensure that you don’t get confused between similar looking ingredients. Use containers to streamline the inside your cabinets. Group together things like packets of sauce mixes, gravy mixes, hot cereal packets and hot cocoa envelopes, then put them into small plastic containers to avoid them being scattered all over the cabinet.
Organizing the kitchen may seem like a long and annoying task initially. However, once the time is spent in decluttering and organizing the various cabinets of a kitchen, the benefits one can reap from the exercise are plentiful. These organizing tips are bound to come in handy during the task. Organize the kitchen. Save time and money.