Unless you have your dream kitchen, or even if you do, odds are you probably have a need for better storage solutions. When everything in your home has a place it belongs, it makes cleaning up so much easier! This goes double time for a high-use area like your kitchen and we’re not just talking pots and pans. We mean everything. From those only-used-sometimes extra appliances, stirring spoons and all the small tools you use in between to zest, slice, bake and serve.
No matter your pantry or family size, we have a few hacks to help you maximize the space and functionality of your kitchen.
De-Clutter for Function:
Having items out on the counter can sometimes be a blessing (hello, free range salt) and sometimes a curse (goodbye, clunky electric mixer!) This starts with a lot of though and planning for each person, as each space is different. We recommend stacking all pots and pans of similar size together, keeping the lids close by. Usually, if you have the space to spare, dedicating cabinet specifically for larger appliances (toaster, mixer, insta-pot, etc) is the best option. When you have only what you need out, and creating an organized space to store things away at will make your counter space seem to triple.
Shelving and Cabinets
Double Your Shelving:
If you have several small objects to store on a shelf and notice a bunch of vertical space above—don’t waste that space! By adding another shelf (if your unit is modular) or inserting a wire rack you can instantly double the amount of space you actually have. Think of your spice drawer—wouldn’t it be amazing to easily find what you’re looking for? That’s the goal! Look for areas that can be enhanced by taking advantage of vertical space.
Deep Cabinets Need More:
For deep cabinets, or cabinets that are under-utilized. Try adding bins to store things in, that can easily be pulled out to use or get what you need. Introducing a rack to neatly tuck baking sheets, pots or pans may also be a good fit for a larger cabinet. Stack items by size, and obviously you’ll want the most frequently used items at easy-access. Try adding a large Lazy Susan for easy-access tupperware. Apply the same method as above in the shelving category if you have extra vertical space in your bottom cabinets too.
For your Drawers
Organization for All:
You may have a junk drawer, a coffee or tea drawer, and we know you have a utensil drawer for your flatware that may be… well, a jumbled mess. Separators, liners, containers and bins are about to become your best friend for storage-org. In the same way you have specific locations for your forks, knifes and spoons—make a spot specifically for pens, pencils and rubber bands in your junk drawer.
Fix for Rituals
Make Routines Easy:
If you have a coffee every morning, you’ve probably developed a pretty easy method for pouring that first cup of the day. Take that mind set, and work it into other aspects of your daily kitchen and cooking routines. This could mean dedicating an entire drawer for your cocktail tools so they’re easy to find, or automating your hot water heat up for that perfect temp tea. Think of the things you do every day, and then think “how can I make this easier on myself?”
As You Cook:
Cooking can be fun for some, and a panicked hour for others. If you cook from a book, phone or iPad often, create a dedicated space for this. Tote around those seasoning spoons and salt with you, or create space by using a clean cutting board or tray. When you have a clean area for all of your prep to happen in one place, it makes cooking a whole lot easier.
In the Pantry
Containers, Labels and Beyond:
By using glass jars or clear containers, you can easily SEE what you have, what you’re low on, and best yet—you can take your containers in the store to fill up on most dry goods, without buying additional packaging! Again, taking advantage of your space and allow for items to be visible… not buried, not hidden, not tucked behind everything else.
Don’t stop there, you can label the container (or even the shelf where the container lives) so that you’re not the only one who knows where it goes. Make it common sense for the whole family to easily keep the pantry items organized and your efforts will go far beyond the weekend clean-out.
These simple fixes will not only make your kitchen appear more organized, but we bet you’ll find it easier to use as a functional space, too. Remember—when in doubt of what to do, just free up as much counter space as possible (without cluttering up your newly organized cabinet space, of course!)