Organizing your kitchen is one of the most important things you’ll do in your home decor journey. An organized kitchen doesn’t only look superbly beautiful but also makes activities in the kitchen seamless. Movement around the kitchen is stress-free and comfy.
This article will show you a comprehensive guide to kitchen, pantry, cabinet organization that makes it appear out of the ordinary and also helps you find ease while working in the kitchen.
Benefits of a nicely organized kitchen
The benefits of kitchen organization are numerous. Most of the benefits may even be more personal than general just like the process and style of organization. Below are a few very common benefits you’ll get from a properly organized kitchen:
1. Saves time
How do you prepare breakfast for the family and still end up catching the bus to work without even having to rush? It’s a simple kitchen organization. Having everything in the right place and within reach, will save a huge amount of kitchen time.
One reason why people spend hours in the kitchen trying to make a recipe they could easily make within 30 minutes is a lack of kitchen organization. The time it takes you to look for cookware and ingredients is enough to finish preparing your meal.
2. Saves money
Having a nicely organized kitchen will help you know which spices you have in your spice rack, which grocery item you have in your kitchen drawers, thereby preventing you from unknowingly buying ingredients and groceries you already have.
Kitchen organization will also make it easy for you to check out food items that are close to expiration so that you can use them beforehand and not have to throw them in the trash.
3. Creates space and beauty
Nothing creates beauty more than space. As much as you may want to stock your kitchen with all the appliances and food items you love, kitchen organization will help you create a fine space in your kitchen which, in turn, enhances the beauty of the kitchen.
It will also prevent you from constantly bumping into things as you move around the kitchen. Can you comfortably walk around your kitchen at night with the lights off? If not, you need to plan a day for kitchen organization.
4. Gives you peace of mind
Cooking in a disorganized environment also stresses your mind and makes you unwilling to cook your meals. A properly arranged pantry gives the cook great joy as all he/she has to do is stretch out their hand and the ingredients fall right into their hand.
5. Gives you easy access
If you arranged your kitchen, especially by yourself, cooking will become one of the easiest activities you’ll ever engage in. This is because you already have a mental picture of where every pan, pot, spoon, knife, ingredient, and dish is. You just have to walk directly to the spot.
Kitchen organization also helps you to move around the kitchen space with more freedom and ease, reducing your chances of hurting yourself or breaking kitchen utensils.
There’s a reason people spend a lot of time creating an organized kitchen. After reading through this post, you’ll not only learn how to organize your own but will also find out you’ve probably been missing all the fun all along.
Let’s get right into the main reason for this post.
The ultimate guide to organizing your kitchen
Before we dive into the organization, let’s share the kitchen items into two different segments:
- Essentials: kitchen essentials are those items, groceries, and ingredients you find yourself using very frequently. You want to ensure that these things are kept within reach and close to one another in their order of usage. Most times when you use pans, you are more likely to use pots too. So, pots and pans should be kept together as well as spoons.
- Non-essentials: these are items you will not use very frequently. Weeding out these kitchen items is usually the hardest part of kitchen organization because you don’t know if they’re non-essentials or not. A good tip is if you have some doubts about it, it’s probably not essential.
Now that you have gotten those settled, let’s now get your kitchen organized:
1. Evaluate your kitchen space
Space evaluation is paramount to organizing your kitchen. You want to know how much space you have, what space you find easier to access, what space you don’t use at all, and the area that is jam-packed with kitchen items.
During the evaluation, you want to ensure that you bring everything down. If you’re going to follow the tips on this article, you’re sure going to be rearranging and organizing a lot. So, start by tearing everything down.
Remove everything from where you kept them, don’t forget to declutter your cabinet doors, drawers, shelves, pantry, bins, baskets, as well as kitchen walls. Once you’re good, you can now move on to getting the kitchen freshly organized.
If you have a large kitchen space, you don’t have to complete the organization in one day. Set two days apart, especially during the weekend and you’ll be grateful all year long that you did.
2. Start with the drawers
Drawers are small compared to the organizing you’re about to do in other parts of your kitchen but doing it first motivates you to finish every other part. It is easier to start from the less difficult areas and gradually work your way to the unavoidable difficult areas.
Organizing your home or kitchen only requires 3 things. Give out, dispose of, or arrange. Some of the things in your drawers shouldn’t be in there. Some of them shouldn’t even be in your home in the first place. So, how do you organize the kitchen drawers?
a. Create a separate junk drawer
If you ever think some kitchen items fall in-between the essentials and non-essentials categories, simply create some space for them in your drawer. Ensure that this junk drawer does not interface with kitchen activities. It should be the last one on the row.
b. Use a drawer divider
You can use a drawer divider if some items you’ll like to keep in the drawers don’t fill the drawer up. Instead of leaving it scanty, just divide the space and keep simple things like spoons, spices, pot lids, and kitchen towels.
c. Use a kitchen utensils rack or organizer
There are several kinds of utensils organizers that can fit into your drawer. If you can’t do all the measuring before buying, just opt for the adjustable ones. They’re easy to find in the market. Knives, spice containers, and others can fit into them.
d. Store some things in a small plastic container
Plastic containers that can fit into your drawer will always come in handy for spices and ingredients that you don’t want to keep going to the pantry to get. You can share the frequently used food items between your pantry and your plastic containers in the drawer.
3. Move on to kitchen cabinets
This is the part you have been waiting for. Kitchen cabinets are the largest storage areas in your kitchen after the pantry. They contain a lot and require a lot of effort to organized.
The cabinets shouldn’t only contain dishes. If you have some more space after fitting all your dishes into it, your cleaning supplies can go in next, followed by other miscellaneous household stuff. So let’s dive into organizing the kitchen cabinets.
a. Use pull-out drawers for pots and pans and other smaller household stuff.
Pull-out drawers will work perfectly well for pots and pans because these things come in different shapes and sizes. You can create some pull-out drawers with drawer dividers of different sizes. This will make it easier to store bigger pans and pots together and the smaller ones separately.
b. Plates organizer
Inside your cabinet should be a plates organizer that helps you keep plates, cups, measuring cups, and mugs in place. Plates organizers usually come with room for any kind of plate; deep, flat, long, short, square, or spherical.
A good advantage is that you can also stack some pot lids on them to free up more room in your pull-out drawer.
c. Spice rack
A spice rack may not be necessary if you already have containers in your pantry holding spices. However, the rack can also help you keep those spices you use very frequently. Another good thing is that they don’t have to stay in the cabinet. You can simply have them hung on the wall or the inside of your cabinet door.
d. Organizing the flat cooking sheets
These can stay anywhere. However, to make them easier to find, simply hang them on the inside of your cabinet door. Don’t leave it outside as it could mar the beauty of your cabinet and kitchen.
Note that you shouldn’t have to store too many things in the cabinet if not, it won’t look any different than when it wasn’t organized. You want to keep it simple and spacy. So, leave some room there. If you have some more stuff to store, keep them on the shelves.
4. Pantry organization
Your kitchen pantry cabinets house all your food, groceries, beverages, and sometimes, cleaning supplies. Pantry organization makes life easier for anyone who likes to cook. You know what you’re looking for and you just have to enter the pantry and get it out in seconds. How do you organize your pantry for easy access?
Step 1: dispose of expired items
Step one of the pantry organization is to discard every expired product and spoilt food. You cannot use them anymore, they shouldn’t be taking up your pantry space.
Removing these spoilt and expired items will save you a great deal cause having them there makes you think you have enough groceries for when you have to cook only to realize you need to make a quick run to the grocery store.
Step 2: discard extra packaging
Who needs separate boxes and paper bags for rosemary, thyme, and every single spice in the pantry when you can simply throw them all in a well-labeled box and save more space?
Aside from the extra space, you’ll make, reducing the packaging in your pantry also makes it easier for you to locate items since most of the smaller items are now grouped.
You can store these products in airtight containers and baskets make it easier to store a chunk of things in your home in general and not just the kitchen. Plus, airtight containers will keep your food items fresh for longer.
To make the corners look more organized, you can use a lazy susan for space-saving and enhancement.
Step 3: group like items together
Grouping items together will happen in most parts of the kitchen. That’s one of the most important things to do in kitchen organization. You want to keep like items around the same area or in the same container to make it easier to locate them and create more pantry space.
For example, you might want to follow these simple tips:
- Store canned food items together
- Baking products: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, margarine, vanilla, and the rest. Note that some of these products may also be canned but you want to ensure that they’re kept with baking products.
- Breakfast food items: you have your granola, cereals, pancake mix, and some beverages that may not need to be in the fridge.
- Rice, pasta, beans, and any other real food item
More on the tips, you can reserve a container for meal prep. Inside this container, you will have cooking items for the next time you will cook. Organize all the ingredients, spices, and food items you will need inside the container or basket while you make the current one.
So, if you’re making lunch, you simply arrange for what you’ll cook for dinner, if you will, and place all the required food items inside the container. It makes it easier to start cooking.
Step 4: Label all the items/containers
Now that you have laid out the foundation with the simple tips mentioned above, it’s also possible that you get confused, especially in the beginning, after you organize the pantry. You may find it difficult to tell which container you put your spices in and which one contains your beverages.
To make it easier to locate, label the containers. If you have grouped several items into containers, just give them a general name.
Now that the pantry is fully organized and looking spacious, let’s go do something similar with your fridge and freezer.
5. Organize your fridge and freezer
Most of the things you’ve had stuck in your fridge and freezer don’t really have to be there. The shelf should house most of those. To keep the entire kitchen organized, you want to ensure that only perishable foods are kept inside the fridge.
Having this already settled, organizing your fridge should become easier. Just follow the steps mentioned below:
a. Keep it clean
The first step to an organized fridge is to remove items that shouldn’t be there. Expired items, spoilt food, empty plastic containers, beverages that you won’t need to use soon. Most beverages will last long under room temperature and do not need to be stacked up on your fridge shelves. You can keep some of those on a shelf in your pantry.
Don’t forget to clean out the plastic containers along with the shelves to keep the fridge smell-free. The idea is to keep everything spotless before organizing.
b. Lazy susan for corners
Having a lazy susan in your fridge is one of the best tips to keep your kitchen are organized. They’ll help you store some condiments and leftovers that you may never remember keeping in the fridge. Lazy susans make storage easier and accessible.
c. Only store items that will be damaged under room temperature
As mentioned earlier, your fridge is not your kitchen shelf. You don’t have to keep everything in it. Most of the things you have there can survive in the pantry or cabinets. Remove them and make some space.
Only store perishable items in the fridge and also make sure they don’t stay in there for too long. Keeping things in the fridge for too long can alter the smell of some other stuff. Foodstuffs stored in the fridge shouldn’t stay longer than one week unless they have to.
d. Put similar items together
Use plastic bins, paper bags baskets, lazy susans, or anything that makes it easy to share similar items into groups. What you want to achieve is a clutter-free and organized fridge. Ensure that you label the bins and baskets to make it easier to locate items you kept there. You can also hang some items on the fridge door strategically.
If you have a large family, food storage in the fridge may be overwhelming as you’ll have to put things that will serve the entire family for the time.
6. Organize the counter
After properly storing every other thing as mentioned and specified above, one thing that can ruin the appearance of everything is the counter. Countertops, tables, the island, and other flat surfaces need to be properly organized.
To do this, you want to ensure that most appliances you have there are frequently used ones. If you and your family haven’t had coffee in months, the coffee maker really has to go. Store it somewhere in the pantry or something.
- Empty the countertops and tables: this means you have to drop everything you have off them.
- Clean the entire space and the appliances too.
- Decide what needs to go or stay. Should the food processor be there even though you’ve only used it once in 4 months?
- Arrange everything back based on the frequency of usage. You want to keep frequently used appliances closer. The idea is to put things where they’re easier for you to access. The easier they are for you to access, the more likely it is that you will keep them back where you took them.
- Apply some decorations: a flower vase can change the entire scenery.
Looking at your counter now, you should already feel accomplished as the task is almost over.
7. Clean out your sink
Cleaning your sink should be a regular exercise. You should do it every day, especially after cooking a meal. You will find that you often stack plates up in your sink after use. Note that the sink is not a plate storage unit.
Even with a family with kids, you can prevent clutter hazards by keeping the sink clutter-free easy to access.
Don’t form the habit of storing dishes, big spoons, and pot lids under your sink. The sink should be a separate, clutter-free area. Instead, add a pull-out drawer there to keep frequently used items like some knives and other stuff that may not have made it to the cabinets or shelves.
If you ever need to keep anything under the sink, use waterproof storage containers like baskets in case of a leak.
8. What to do with the non-essentials
Instead of keeping things you don’t need in your kitchen, you can label them for sale until you’re able to sell them or give them out to neighbors or friends.
The truth is you may have bought some of those things when the kids were a lot younger. Now that the kids are all grown and don’t need them anymore, there’s always somebody out there that does. Instead of letting them occupy your shelves, simply put them up for sale or give them out for free.
Some other kitchen organization ideas you can use include the following:
- Hang knives with a knife magnet
- Use a cutlery tray for utensils
- Keep mugs on kitchen hooks. Hooks also work fine for storage bags
- Store pots with pot racks
- Risers will open up more space on your shelf
- Drawer racks for spices
- Hang stemware in bartender style under cabinets.
You can also come up with some ideas on what should be where and how long it should stay there. Kitchen organization can be more personal sometimes and you know best where your utensils and appliances should be. Store them the way you want.
Frequently asked questions on kitchen pantry cabinets organization
Below are a few questions that may not have been answered in this post that you want answers to. We have carefully sourced them out from kitchen-related polls and communities:
1. How often should you organize your kitchen?
As you may already know, it doesn’t end at organizing the kitchen. How do you keep it from getting back to that state that made you want to organize it in the first place? It’s simple. You just have to set out a plan.
Some tips to doing this efficiently are to organize your space either weekly, monthly, or quarterly. You want to organize your fridge and shelves weekly, cabinets and the pantry can come monthly. You can repeat the entire process on this post quarterly or mid-year.
To make it easier to remember, you can label kitchen areas with days you think would be best to do it. For example, the pantry may not require organization until the end of the month when you need to restock. The shelves, on the other hand, may require weekly organization. As long as storage will take place, the organization must follow.
2. What is the best way to organize a kitchen?
The best way to organize a kitchen is to simply follow the ideas in this post. If you want something more personal that gives you the freedom to grab items easily, you can do it in a way that suits you.
However, note, during the organization, that storage is the single most important thing in the process. You have to pay attention to storage because how and where you store things can determine their appearance.
3. Which cabinets are best for storage?
Getting a cabinet should depend on the size of your family and the appliances you have or hope to get. However, a good cabinet should not only store things for you but should also help enhance the beauty of the entire space.
We have a whole gallery of kitchen cabinets that will serve as storage units as well as decorative tools. Check them out and you’ll be blown away.
4. What kitchen layout is the best for kitchen organization?
The U-shape kitchen layout is arguably the best for kitchen organization. It gives you enough space to walk and lets you use longer countertops.
If you have followed all the tips mentioned above, you should have your kitchen fully organized and beautiful. You can take a look through the website for cabinet ideas as well as other home wooden structures that serve as decorative tools.
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