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The other weekend I cleared out my kitchen and reorganized everything. And I mean everything. I started from scratch and got rid of items I was no longer using and organized everything else. All of my gadgets and accessories are now in easy reach. It took me most of Sunday to do it, but it was totally worth it. I feel lighter and less burdened now that the clutter is gone. Here’s what I did:
What are you trying to achieve? For me, it was to create more space and make all my kitchen accessories easily accessible. For you, it may be different. You may not be a hoarder, and you might just want to make your space more efficient. Or you may just want to get rid of some of your clutter. Work out what you’re trying to achieve from the beginning.
Clear Your Cabinets
The next step can be a bit tricky if you’re tight on space. But it’s worth doing it this way. Empty all your cabinets and drawers. It’s useful to have a stack of plastic boxes where items can be stored while you’re working. Cardboard boxes are fine, but they’re not quite as sturdy.
Go through each cabinet and drawer, removing all the items. When you’re clearing out food, check the labels for best before dates. I found not one but three old Christmas puddings at the back of the pantry. Get rid of any food that you don’t need.
When it comes to sorting through crockery, pans, accessories, etc., work out what is no longer useful to you. Is it necessary to have 37 cups cluttering the cupboards? Do you need all of those plates? Make two piles. One for items you can get rid of and one for items that can be sent to charity. Thinning out your crockery helps with the washing up. We found that you tend to use fewer items, and so it doesn’t all build up and become a mammoth task.
Everything else should be washed and stored in the plastic boxes. Make sure you clean each product thoroughly, according to instructions. Take some time over silverware and, woks, and cast iron pans.
Cleaning the Kitchen
Pay close attention to the following:
- Ovens and grills
- Stove tops
- Extractors and filters
- Sinks and garbage disposal
Recently I have been using a steam cleaner system which makes the process so much easier. It also means that I’m cleaning with water, rather than harsh chemicals. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, look for ways to make safe cleaning products. These are just as effective as branded products and are much less toxic.
Once you have cleaned all your drawers, cabinets, and surfaces, it’s time for the floor. Sweep it first using a long-handled brush. Make sure you remove all of the dust and dirt. It’s surprising how much accumulates when you clear out your cupboard. Old flour, bits of dried pasta, etc. Clean it all up. Steam or mop the floor and make yourself a cup of tea while it’s drying. You earned it.
A Bit of Planning
It’s now time to reorganize everything and start putting things back. Before I started, I planned how I wanted the kitchen to work. To do this, I mentally split it into sections.
- An area for washing and drying the pots
- An area for food preparation
- Food storage
- Pans, baking sheets, and baking accessories
- Everyday items
The most important part was ensuring that everyday items were within easy reach. For example, the coffee maker, the can opener, etc. We recently invested in a good electric can opener which sits on the counter. . Going through this process uncovered a few gaps in my kitchen utensils. Some items were looking a little old, and it was a good excuse to replace them with new ones.
All of the items were stored by the frequency of their use. Items that we don’t use very often were stored towards the back of cupboards. However, because we now have so much more room, they are easy to locate and take out.
Another thing we did was to add some hooks to the wall. We use them for tea towels and aprons. It makes them easier to locate, and the tea towels can dry when not in use. If you do this, make sure you position them away from the stove.
I grouped similar items together by assigning them a cupboard or drawer space. Again, this makes things much easier to locate.
As I was going through the food, I realized that we have a lot of dry goods. For example, flour, pasta, beans, and rice. Rather than putting them back in their original packaging, I transferred them to jars. This makes them much easier to identify, and it’s much less messy. Bags tend to break and spill over. With jars, there’s much less mess and they look prettier.
Bags, Foil, and Wrap
When I had everything out, I found that I had a zillion plastic bags and boxes of sandwich bags. Some of the plastic bags have been recycled. The rest are now in a neat holder. I created a drawer for the wrap, foil, and sandwich bags. This is located near to the fridge for wrapping leftovers.
I have a drawer containing utensils. However, for the items that are frequently used, I added these to a pot on the work surface. This makes it easier to grab a wooden or silicone spoon when I’m cooking.
Now that the kitchen is tidier and less cluttered, I found a space for my cookbooks. They are now stored altogether so I can look up recipes with ease. I don’t have many so they don’t take up much space.
Pans And Plastic Boxes
One great space-saving tip is to store plastic boxes inside each other. Rather than stacking them with their tops on, this takes up much less space. The tops are kept at the side of the boxes. Pans can also be stored in this way. Invest in some lid racks to neaten cupboards and make it easier to remove pans when you need them.
Organizing The Inside Of Cupboards And Drawers
Baskets And Tubs
Baskets and tubs are useful for shelves. You can store similar items together and keep them neat and tidy. This is also useful for inside cupboards. The advantage is that you can slide them out to easily locate tools and utensils. Another benefit is that they contain spills.
Utilize All Your Space
If you’re short on space, make sure you make the most of what you have. For example, add shelves over doors. Door racks are also useful for food cupboards and pantries. Items can be tidied away in the racks, and you can’t see them when the door is closed.
Ceiling or wall hooks are also useful to hang pots and pans.
There are lots ways to organize your kitchen. This is something that will be unique to everyone. Start with a plan and work out how you want it to look. Order everything by the frequency of use. Find ways to save space and group items together. A smart, organized kitchen not only looks good, but it functions well too.
How do you keep your kitchen organized?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.