The kitchen is the heart of any home. It where the family comes together for their meals. Even if their schedules are out of sync, that family will still pass through the kitchen at some point! A lot of decisions are also made in the kitchen with regard to meal planning and building grocery shopping lists. This is why it is essential that the kitchen gets organized. It is hard to cook when you’re searching for the right utensil or spice.
Are you ready to get your kitchen organized? Here’s how to make it happen:
The Big Purge
The best way to get any space organized is to take stock of just what you have. In the kitchen, that means pulling every item out of every cabinet and drawer. You might have to use the dining room table to sort everything. This will also give you the opportunity to conduct a big purge. That means getting rid of the junk and clutter that you no longer use. Every kitchen has a junk drawer full of menus from closed restaurants and keys to replaced locks. All of that stuff needs to go to make room for the things that you use on a regular basis.
A Deep Clean
Before you start putting everything back, you should perform a deep clean. This is your chance to wipe down the cabinets from top to bottom. Incidentally, after you’ve emptied, cleaned and organized your cabinets and drawers, you should do the same thing with your refrigerator. Just imagine how many things you could toss from there!
Set Up Zones
To organize your kitchen, you want to find a place for everything. Those places should be designated into zones. For instance, one cabinet can be the “Everyday Zone.” This is where you put the cups, plates, bowls, and dishes that you use every day. If possible, then this zone should be close to the dishwasher. That makes the emptying the dishwasher task easy to accomplish.
You will also want a “Cooking Zone.” Here is where you put all the pots, pans, cutting boards, baking items and other utensils used for your meal preparation. Again, placement is crucial. The Cooking Zone should be situated near your oven and prep counter space. Even in a small kitchen, you shouldn’t wander from cabinet to cabinet to find what you need.
The “Pantry Zone” is where you will keep all your dry goods, spices, and larger kitchen gadgets. If you are fortunate enough to have a separate “closet” in your kitchen for your pantry, then you should divide is into food and appliances.
The “Storage Zone” is where you’ll keep all your Tupperware, Ziploc bags, foil, and other food storage items. This is also where every other random thing you want to keep should go.
The “Coffee Zone” might be the most popular zone in the kitchen! It is where you’ll keep everything you need to brew that first cup of java in the morning. Remember, the goal is to be efficient. Keep your pods and tea bags by your coffee machine.
In the “Special Dinner Zone,” you should keep all the special dishes, silverware and serving utensils that you use just for special dinners. There is no reason to mix these in with the “everyday dishes.”
Once you establish these zones you will easily gain access to the things you’re looking for because they can only be in one place!
Part of your reorganization of the kitchen should including utilizing your space in a creative way. For instance, you might have a kitchen island or other section of your kitchen where you can install a hanging rack for your pots and pans. That can free up more cupboard space.
Your spice rack should always be alphabetical. That is how they do it in the grocery store and will be the easiest way to find the spices you need.
A clear shoe organizer can be hung on the back of the pantry door and used for more storage for extras foils, wraps, etc.
Wherever there is a drawer, there should be a drawer organizer. Even the junk drawer should have its compartments. The kind of standing dividers that you would use in your office can also be used for cutting boards in a cabinet.
Finally, a half corkboard and half erasable board is great for family reminders and to build your grocery list. Whatever you write on the board, just snap a picture on your cell before you head out to the store and you won’t forget anything!