How to organize a kitchen – a simple guide to clean up clutter

Knowing how to organize a kitchen is essential if you are constantly shopping for groceries in the closet, losing storage lids, or hearing an ominous rattle when you close your closet on your precariously stacked pots and pans. Plus, the New Year is fast approaching, and what better time to try the big kitchen clean you’ve been dreading?

Organizing a kitchen is a difficult balance: keeping everything neat and tidy while having everything you need close at hand. Below are some kitchen tips, tricks, and handy storage ideas to get you started, whether it’s a slight reorganization or a complete kitchen overhaul.

Reorganizing your kitchen can be life changing, says Lisa Kron, blogger and DIY guru: “I really believe that every organizational improvement you make in your kitchen will exponentially improve the quality of your life as it makes cooking and tidying up so much easier . ”Reorganizing your kitchen can seem like a mammoth task, however, so we encourage you to invest as much or as little time as you prefer.

How to organize a kitchen – a step-by-step guide

1. Empty all of your closets

Empty all of your kitchen cabinets and drawers of their contents. Start with the grocery cabinets and throw away anything out of date or anything that you haven’t used in six months or more. Then empty all of your kitchen utensils onto an island, countertop, or table.

2. Clean your closets well

While you have them empty, thoroughly clean your cabinets and drawers. Margaret and Stetson, Organizational Influencers at @EverythingEnvy, say, “The best way to clean those empty closets is to use a little washing-up liquid in a tub of warm water and a sponge. Dish soap removes any oily or sticky residue that might lurk on the shelves and leaves you feeling nice and clean. Make one shelf at a time and remember to dry the shelf thoroughly. ‘

Ideas for storing the pantry in an open glass pantry

(Photo credit: Paul Raeside)

3. Throw or donate any broken, unwanted, or unnecessary items

Now that you have all of your kitchen utensils in front of you, it’s time to sort out. Throw away any equipment with broken pieces, chipped cups that you are clinging to, and donate anything you haven’t used in the last six months.

“It’s important to be inconsiderate,” recalls Lisa Kron. ‘Get rid of any duplicates or items that are never used. Think about your current lifestyle and make sure the items you keep are the things you use on a daily basis. ‘

When you’re not ready to get rid of some of the items you barely need – like a sentimental sauce or special Christmas plates – pack them in a box and stow them in either a garage, attic, or the back of the pantry. Be sure to label the box so you know what’s inside!

4. Make a plan for your new kitchen organization

“When organizing your kitchen, it is best to start with a room plan,” says Lisa Kron. “I like to open all cabinet doors and take photos for reference (and because a good before and after is very motivating!). Then make a list of categories: dishes, glasses, food storage, pots and pans, cutlery, etc. Then assign the categories to different areas in your kitchen, ”she says.

Design your plan according to the intensity of use of your items, their location in the kitchen and the size and shape of your cupboards and drawers.

When returning your items to your cabinets and drawers, consider the shape and size of the cabinets and drawers that you are putting the items in to make the most of your space.

For example, try stacking things vertically to get the most out of tall, slim cabinets. “When it comes to baking tins and baking trays, I like to turn them on their side and insert wire organizers,” says Lisa Kron. “This method works well with cutting boards, serving platters, and cake platters too.”

“That makes it so much easier to find what you’re looking for,” says Lisa, “and put it away again when it’s done!”

Maximizing space can also be achieved with the help of organization tools such as hooks in cabinet doors, storage space organizers or even expandable kitchen shelves.

“I organize my cleaning cupboard with special caddies,” says Charlotte While. “I have one to clean and one to wash up and this is where I store my rubber gloves, scourers and other small items. I buy adhesive hooks and small clips to attach to the back of the closet door and use them to hang up my cleaning rags. ‘

Light-flooded kitchen with tall showcases in mint green and wood

(Photo credit: future)

6. Make sure your chosen method of organization suits you

Reorganizing your kitchen is a great opportunity to change what you don’t like about your current organizational system. For example, if you hate fishing supplies from a cluttered drawer, try a standing utensil jar by the stove.

“One of the most important things is a kitchen system that makes sense in your space,” says Charlotte While. Make sure that the placement of the items is conducive to their use. Typically, keep everyday items at eye level and keep other items near where they will be used most often. Charlotte recommends: ‘Put your cups and mugs next to your kettle, put your bread next to your toaster.’

‘Making everything as accessible as possible has made my kitchen as efficient as possible – and we all know how important that is when you cook for a family!’ says Charlotte. “Having a dedicated home for every type of item makes it much easier to browse your kitchen and decide what to keep and what to remove.”

7. Try new organizational techniques

There are plenty of kitchen hacks out there that can make your kitchen a more functional space, and reorganizing your kitchen is a great opportunity to try some of them out. Lisa Kron, for example, finds success in leaving her room to limit her clutter: “Start with the space you have for an item and then use that space as a limit to the number of items you keep “, she says.

“When you have space for 10 cups, choose your 10 favorites and give the rest away. Then every time you buy a new mug you can follow the ‘one in, one out’ rule to get the total number of Keep cups at 10.

DIY blogger Cassie Fairy suggests, “Always divide up the drawer space to keep things from getting mixed up over time. You can use trays, push-in dividers, or just buy several inexpensive cutlery holders and use these to organize all kinds of sundries from birthday cake candles and cookie cutters to spice jars and egg cups. ‘ In general, you should avoid a technique where in the long run you cannot imagine whether you will stick with the system and make it stop working after a few weeks.

“As soon as you have a plan and have reduced your belongings, it is time to buy organizational supplies,” says Lisa Kron.

“I like to measure my drawers and cabinets before I go shopping for trays and shelf organizers to make sure everything fits,” says Lisa. “My favorite organizing products for drawers are bamboo cutlery trays and knife organizers. For closets, I love raised shelves that double your storage space and turntables for organizing cooking oils and spices. ‘

Margaret at Everything Envy agrees: “One of our most popular organizational tools is the expandable drawer divider. It divides a drawer into compartments in no time and creates a very easy way to organize items like cooking utensils, tea towels and food storage bins. ‘

Modern Christmas house ex Congregation in South London

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

9. Organize your food strategically

It might feel like kitchen organization revolves around the items you own most, but food organization is just as important in creating a livable kitchen.

“We believe the pantry is the heart of the house,” says Margaret of Everything Envy. ‘When the pantry is in order, food preparation runs smoother and overbought is a thing of the past.’

Frequently used foods should be kept at eye level and foods classified into categories. For example, cereals and breakfast foods, oils, vinegars and spices, baking ingredients, canned goods. You can make a plan similar to how you organized your things.

You can also use tidying techniques in your closets, from a rotating lazy Susan spice rack to baskets for packaged groceries like chips. “I love using transparent containers for storage,” says Charlotte While, “because it allows me to see which products to use and when to refill. I also label them so that everything has its place. In addition, my closets look so neat and well organized. “

10. After reorganizing your kitchen, reevaluate it

Treat yourself to a month with your new kitchen and then ask: Is everything in the right place? If during the month you find something bothering you, write it down to visit again at this review.

Don’t worry too much about the first time: you can only know a room by living in it, and an organizational technique that sounds good in theory may not work as well in your everyday life.

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