You must have wondered several times that how you can effectively set up your kitchen in a way that makes everyday cooking and living easier.
If you’ve searched endlessly for a certain kitchen utensil, bought double the several others because you couldn’t find it in your kitchen cupboard, or struggled to keep the kitchen clean, then it is time you realize that you need to start organizing your kitchen, and it needs to be efficient. Apart from what a lot of people think, you don’t need a big kitchen for it to be functional – it’s more about how knowing how to organize your home.
Let us learn about a few tips and tricks to organize your kitchen, be it big or small. So that you get a functional kitchen space you love being in!
Tips and Tricks to Organize Your Kitchen
Decide What to Do with Each item in Your Kitchen
To start, it’s important to see every item in your kitchen and start from the very beginning. After taking out each item decide whether it is necessary if it works or will be useful.
This step can be really hard but consider the goals – to have a functional space, to have as clear a counter as possible, and to actually enjoy being in the kitchen. Once you’ve gone through your items, you should have a keep section, a throwaway section, and a donate section.
Do a Deep Clean
Because you have everything out of your cabinets and drawers, this is the perfect time to give everything a good wipe down. You’d be surprised how great that will feel, especially when you go to put everything back in its place.
Source: I Heart Organizing
Categorize Your Work
Before you start to put anything back, assess your entire kitchen and group cabinets and drawers into different sections. The easiest way to do this is to have a notepad and pen and write it down, including which items belong in which zones. Here’s an example of what that would look like:
- Section 1: every day (easiest to access, close to the dishwasher if possible)
plates, bowls, basic glassware, cups, serveware, cutlery
- Section 2: Cooking (locate close to oven or range)
pots, pans, dishes, cutting boards, spatulas, wooden spoons, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls, any other baking items, etc.
- Section 3: Pantry
dry goods, spices, larger kitchen gadgets, etc.
- Section 4: Accessories & Storage (near fridge if possible)
tupperware, food storage, food wrap, ziploc bags, tin foil, to go items, etc.
- Section: Coffee and Bar
coffee cups, pods, coffee accessories, coffee pot or keurig, barware such as wine glasses, shot glasses, other glassware, bar accessories, etc.
- Section 6: Under the Sink
cleaning supplies, extra hand soap, garbage bags, recycling, etc.
- The 7th section could be your special items, like serveware that you typically only use when hosting or special pottery/keepsakes. Our advice though would be to try and keep items you only genuinely use and if it’s not often, then perhaps storing in another area of the house like the dining room or garage would serve you better.
The same rules apply to your fridge – group items together and determine the best layout for your shelving inside!
How to set up and organize your kitchen according to Category
Cooking utensils and spices
When setting up a kitchen, it is better to start by the stove, where a lot of time is spent. If you don’t have a drawer next to the stove, you can place your utensils in a utensil holder on either side of the stove, depending on whether you’re right- or left-handed.
Your cooking utensils may all have a home, but don’t step away from the stove just yet. It is recommended to put your spices in a basket, maybe next to the stove, so that you don’t want to have to walk over to the pantry in the middle of cooking. To keep it looking organized, you may want to invest in a countertop spice rack. If you’re the kind of person who has a lot of spices, keep the ones that you use most often (say, garlic powder, turmeric, salt and pepper, cumin…) near your stove top. The blends and other spices that you use less often can hang out in the pantry or in another spot out of the way until you truly need them.
Cookware and appliances
With the theme of efficiency in mind, you should also have your go-to cookware close to the stove for easy access. Baking trays should also be near the stove in the next closest place you have to store them.
When it comes to cooking tools like your blender, air fryer, Instant Pot, and toaster, Keep what you use every day on the counter to avoid clutter. For her, that means keeping the blender out and stashing the other kitchen appliances in a cabinet (whatever your biggest one in the kitchen is, since these babies tend to be bulky) hidden from sight.
Dishes and silverware
Next to cookware and appliances, dishes definitely tend to take up the most real estate in the kitchen. When it comes to where to put them, keep them in a way that you feel most comfortable with. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, that might mean putting the mugs directly above your coffee maker, for example, or glasses in a cabinet closest to the fridge.Think about how they truly use your kitchen space and go from there. Are your bowls used primarily for oatmeal and cereal? Then perhaps it makes sense for them to be placed closer to the pantry, where those foods are placed.
There should also be a designated drawer or shelf for food storage containers. The lids can be placed on each pot and pan instead of stacking them so that the lids don’t get lost. Items like plastic wrap or tinfoil may also make sense to be kept near storage containers since those items fall into the “leftovers” category.
Pantry and fridge
Whether you have a walk-in pantry or just shelves, it is better to have one shelf for baking ingredients, one shelf for breakfast foods (like cereal, oatmeal, and pancake mix), one shelf for foods like pasta and rice, one for snacks, and one for canned goods. Again, this depends on the space you have—you might have to combine sections or tailor-make your own based on how you eat. But having designated places for things, no matter how small, is key.
While organizing the fridge, keep the condiments in the fridge door and then have a shelf for drinks, a crisper drawer for veggies, a crisper drawer for fruit, a designated area for dairy, a designated area for meat or alternative proteins, and a space for leftovers. That way, you know where everything is. Organizing your pantry and fridge like this cuts down on food waste because it prevents you from forgetting what you already have and buying double of something, or letting something go to waste that you forgot about.