Having an organized kitchen may not seem like a big deal but it really is.
Before I organized my kitchen, I was always hunting down stuff. I never knew where anything was. And I wasted a lot of time going back and forth to fetch things that were related, but in different parts of the kitchen.
Here are some steps to help you organize your kitchen:
- First, go through your kitchen and throw out, give away or store anything that you don’t use on a regular basis. If you haven’t used it within a year, you don’t need it. If you use it once every 6 months, store it elsewhere, like a basement, storage room or attic if you can.
- Go through your pantry too and throw out any out dated food or food you know you are never going to eat. If it’s something you won’t eat, but it hasn’t been opened and hasn’t expired yet, donate it to your local food pantry.
- Now, it’s time to think about how you use your kitchen items. Think in terms of “stations”. For instance, I have an area on the end of my counter top that is my “coffee station”. That’s where I keep my coffee maker. coffee, coffee cups, sugar, non-calorie sweeteners, etc. In the cabinets by my stove, I have spices, pots and pans and bake ware. The drawers by the stove have measuring cups, and other small things used when cooking or baking. One of my upper cabinets there has mixing bowls, larger measuring cups, electric mixer, etc.
- You get the drift. Store things that you often use together in the same place. On my counter tops, I only leave out the kitchen equipment I use on a regular basis, and that means at least several times a week. For me, that’s the crock pot, coffee maker, jar of doggy treats (I have 4 dogs), electric can opener and my crock with my kitchen tools (ladles, whisks, wooden spoon, etc.).
- Plates, cereal bowls, and silverware is stored in the cabinets nearest the dining area.
- If you don’t have much storage space, consider adding some. I have added 2 baker’s racks and a small kitchen island.
- A tip if you have children. Of course you know to leave the dangerous stuff (sharp knives, glass items, etc) out of the reach of young children. But do have a space just for them. I have one drawer that belongs to my granddaughter. In it is her sippy cups, child size plates and silverware. I still make her food and get her drinks of course since she’s just 2 but she gets a real kick out of getting out her own stuff. And when she get’s a little older, I’ll have a shelf in the fridge just for snacks that she can reach such as fruit, cheese sticks, juice boxes and carrot sticks. Also a shelf in the pantry for cereal, goldfish crackers, granola bars and other kid snacks. That way, she can make her own snack. I did this with my own kids and it worked out well.
- How about the front of the fridge that gets so cluttered with stuff? Well my new fridge solved that problem for me as the front is not magnetic at all. The sides are though so I made a small area on one side to hang my calender and my scissors and I even hang a few pot holders there. See the picture to the right:
- For the inside of the fridge, keep the “like with like” rule here too.
- Clean it out weekly for any leftovers that are too old, any spills you didn’t catch earlier and any expired foods. I do this before I do my weekly grocery shopping. It helps to make room for the new food and lets me see what I may need to get more of. I actually check out the inside of my fridge every time I open it for any stains on spills on the shelves or drawers. The faster you catch it and clean it, the easier it is to wipe off.
- Keep your kitchen as clean and uncluttered as possible. Set a weekly and daily schedule to clean it. Daily being wash dishes, clean counter tops, sweep the floor, take out garbage. Weekly being mop the floor, clean out toaster oven, clean out fridge before weekly grocery shopping.
- Organizing your kitchen doesn’t take place just once and then you are done. You need to periodically go through and do it again. Specially if you share your kitchen with a family. I do about once every 6 months but you may need to do it more or less often. When you notice things are getting a little cluttered, and out of place, schedule another organizing session.
That’s it for my kitchen organizing tips. Do you have any favorite tips that you do to keep your kitchen clean and organized? Please share in the comments!