They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. But, as one of the most used rooms, it can also be the messiest, and can sometimes feel more like a headache than a place to cook and gather with your family.
If you’ve had enough of the cluttered, overwhelming mess that your kitchen has become, don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Here are a few simple steps on how to organize your kitchen, from decluttering to maximizing pantry storage space.
1. Declutter Your Kitchen
Through the years, you’ve probably accumulated many kitchen gadgets and tools. The first step in organizing your kitchen is going through each drawer, cabinet and pantry shelf to take inventory of what you have too many of, what you haven’t used in a long time and what doesn’t function like it used to.
A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it in the last six months or if it’s broken or missing pieces (You will probably never find those food storage container lids), it’s time for the item to go. If you have duplicate items and only use one of them (We all have our favorite potato peeler), get rid of the one you never use. This should significantly reduce the amount of clutter and will leave space for items you do use.
To further prevent clutter in your kitchen drawers and cabinets, purchase only must-have kitchen gadgets and appliances and ones that serve more than one purpose. Some examples include:
- High-quality chef’s knives that work for everything from fruit and veggies to meat and cheese
- A food processor for dicing, chopping and blending
- A stand mixer that can be used to mix, whisk and knead dough
- A toaster oven instead of just a toaster
- Mason jars for drinking glasses, food storage and displaying flowers
2. Optimize Your Pantry Space
It’s so easy to come home from the grocery store, toss everything you bought into the pantry and forget about it. Unfortunately, with this approach, your food will be forgotten, expire and just end up cluttering your pantry. To prevent this, have a designated spot for every type of food item. Storage bins and labels will help with this process. We recommend having a storage bin or shelf section dedicated for baking items, canned foods, sauces and dips, pastas, snacks, etc.
To make sure you use the foods before their expiration date, put the newest items toward the back of the bin and the ones expiring the soonest at the front of the bin. And lastly, to take advantage of every inch of space in your pantry, hang an organizer on the inside of the door to store your spices and other frequently used small items.
Budget-friendly Hack: A hanging shoe organizer with pockets works great for this. And, you can follow some of these tips for even more pantry storage ideas!
3. Take Inventory of Ingredients
There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and realizing you’re completely out of an ingredient you need. To prevent this from happening, keep a running tab of things you stock in your pantry.
Every time you’re getting low on something, make a note to pick up more the next time you’re at the store. To keep you on track, use your smart device to immediately add the items to your grocery list or keep a running list on a magnetic white board that goes on your refrigerator.
Or, if you prefer, try taking a few hours every month or every other week to write down what you need to stock up on and what you already have enough of. Doing this will ensure you only keep items you use and will help reduce clutter.
4. Group Things by Use and Frequency in Your Cabinets
As pretty as that wedding china is, it’s not always practical for Taco Tuesday. Store your dishes and other kitchen items based on how often you use them. Place special occasion serving pieces and dishes on the top shelves or put them on display to give your home a personalized, beautiful touch, while keeping things that are for everyday use in more accessible places. This keeps those beautiful cabinets neat, tidy and practical.
5. Clear Surfaces and Wash the Dishes Every Night
This tip may be your least favorite one, but it’s definitely worth it. It’s stressful to wake up to a sink full of dirty dishes, a dirty stovetop and leftovers and ingredients piled up on the counters. Taking the time to clean up these little messes right after each meal or as you cook prevents them from stacking up and becoming overwhelming. You will thank yourself later.
Now that you have these tips on how to organize your kitchen, all you need is a little motivation boost, so turn on your favorite playlist or podcast, and show that kitchen clutter who’s boss! (And when you finish, hop on over to the laundry room and show it who's boss, too.