Organize your clutter kitchen
The kitchen is often said to be the soul of a house—food brings the family together, invites guests inside and fills the room with comforting aromas. But the appeal of a kitchen can be lost if it’s cluttered with utensils, food and appliances. Here are some ideas to organize your kitchen.
Cater to your personality
When beginning to organize your kitchen, consider your home-decor personality—are you an innie or an outie? Innies prefer to keep most items out of standard view, making room to store everything in drawers and keep food tucked in baskets on pantry shelves. Outies prefer to have most things out in the open, easy to see and touch in order to remember where things are, such as clear plastic bins and hanging coffee mugs.
A kitchen cabinet design should be devised to best organize all kitchen supplies and suit your personal aesthetic preferences.
Take inventory of what you own. Before installing new cabinets, consider how many pots, pans and platters you have; any especially large items such as a bread maker, crockpot or mixer; as well as tall items, such as vases, pitchers or candlesticks. Make a list of everything you plan to keep in the kitchen, and measure the heights and depths of large items.
Consider frequency of use. When stocking cabinets, keep items used daily in easy-access areas located at heights between your knees and head. Items used less often, such as dishes brought out for specific holidays, should go in cabinets above your head or even in another room. Heavy items should always be stored closer to the floor.
In order to store the greatest variety of items in a pantry, a combination of shelves and drawers is best. Shelves are good for stacking cans and boxes, while drawers are helpful in keeping items that don’t line up as nicely, such as bags of chocolate chips, snack packets, rice and pasta bags. Open wire or wicker baskets are good for holding onions and potatoes.
If you often cook with large pots and pans, the sink should be large enough to fit them inside and comfortably hand wash them; usually a divided sink is unsuitable for this. Innies can have a soap dispenser installed beneath the sink to diminish clutter around the faucet, as well as a drawer directly below the sink to store sponges and scrubbers out of the way.
Information provided by Allison Carter, certified professional organizer, www.theprofessionalorganizer.com.
10 steps to smart storage
- Slip hand-written recipes in hard-plastic CD cases for easy access and protected storage.
- Keep bread in an airtight bread drawer below the counter.
- Use a small lazy Susan inside your cabinet to store spices—this way you can rotate it easily to find the right spice.
- Put a grocery-bag storage system inside the door of a cabinet below the sink.
- Keep coffee mugs on a mug-holder tree displayed on the counter to use vertical space instead of cabinet space.
- Don’t let coupons clipped on magnets clutter your refrigerator surface or any other space. Cut them out and keep them organized by category in a booklet you can carry with you into the store.
- Use a permanent marker to label the lids and bases of plastic storage containers with corresponding numbers.
- Organize pantry condiments into removable baskets according to meal use, such as “Asian foods,” “grilling” or “cookie decorating.”
- Store items in high places to make the best use of every available space—just use a small, foldable step stool to get a boost up. (Don’t store heavy items in these high places for safety reasons.)
- Install a paper-towel holder to hang below a cabinet—this prevents cooking spills and sink water from soaking into the roll, and gives you more space on the countertop
Olive oil, vegetable oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, spices, canned tuna, canned beans, chicken broth, tomato paste, jarred marinara sauce, red and white wine, rice, pasta, all-purpose flour, sugar, potatoes, garlic and onions.