It doesn’t matter if you love to cook or if you absolutely hate it, the kitchen is a necessary part of the home. It is also one of the areas in your home that houses a tremendous number of things. If you counted the number of items in the kitchen alone, each dish, utensil, bowl, pot, etc it would probably be shocking. In my personal kitchen, keep in mind that I am not a “real” cook and have a small kitchen, I have about 500 items. Yes, I counted them. So, organizing the kitchen is essential to living in a calm and peaceful home.
Since the kitchen counters are the first thing you see when you walk into any kitchen you should organize the counters. While I understand that some people have very small kitchens and the counters are looked at as extra storage space, there are ways to maintain organized counters.
First of all, you should only keep the appliances that you use daily, and I mean every day, on the counters. Things like choppers and mixers and can openers should only be out if you use them all the time. For most people that means things like a coffee maker and a blender might be the appliances that are left on the counters because they are used every day. We wouldn’t want the caffeine addicts to exert any extra effort in the morning to get their cup of joe. The rest can be all be stored. Which brings me to what to do when you don’t have enough space.
Kitchen organization makes meal time that much easier. However, any kitchen is only but so big. So, what do you do when you need more space? Move, remodel? While these are certainly possibilities, they are not very realistic. Once you have purged the entire kitchen and know which items you are keeping, you can begin to think about what types of storage you will need. What’s best for your kitchen organization DIY project? You can make drawer dividers from the things you already own such as cereal boxes, milk cartons, shoe box lids, small cans, etc. These can be cut down to the appropriate size and used for the junk drawer as well as the utensil drawer. Believe it or not file holders are a great option for the storage of cookie sheets and cutting boards. Storage containers for food can be found almost anywhere and at all price points. Shelf dividers are a great option for utilizing all the height in the shelves. They can house glasses or mugs or dishes. Anything is possible. Sometimes it’s even possible to add a baker’s rack or some other shelf unit in the kitchen or next to the kitchen to hold appliances or serving dishes, etc. Don’t forget that you can utilize the wall space in the kitchen. Why not hang the pots and pans from the ceiling or use a magnetic strip for the knives or hooks for utensils, and of course you can use under the cabinet and the sides of the cabinet for mugs and such. The possibilities are absolutely endless. It just takes a little imagination.
Everyone has that one place in their kitchen where they do all their chopping and mixing and prepping for their daily meals. This space should be an area that makes it easy to do the cooking. And if you are anything like me if it isn’t easy to prep, it is easier to order in…ha ha ha!! Just a little humor from the person that makes better reservations than food. Anyway, back to the business at hand. This prep area should be stored with the things you need. The utensils and knives should be easily accessible. As previously mentioned, the utensils can hung on hooks or stored in a jar of some sort or a canister and the knives can be hung on the wall with a magnetic strip. If you have a drawer handy you can also keep the necessities in there. Of course, the drawer should have organizers or dividers. Remember the secret is to work smarter and not harder. Thus creating the perfect prep area for you daily meals.
Lions and tiger and bears…oh my! Or pasta and cereal and oils…oh my!!! Where to put things in the kitchen cabinets? The pantry is obviously the place where you put things like food as well as appliances and possibly serving dishes that don’t fit in the kitchen. But not all kitchens have pantries then what? First, let’s discuss an actual pantry otherwise known as kitchen organization DIY.
You always want to have the things that you use often the most accessible. That is true for the food items as well as the appliances. The key as with an organization project to group like items together. For a pantry that means storing all the grains together, the baking goods together, snacks, canned goods, etc. You get the idea. Now you could use containers to store dry food in…things like cereal pasta, rice, nuts, snacks, etc. If you do this your pantry will look like it came right of a magazine. Don’t feel pressure because you don’t have to. Yet again there are numerous stores that sell these items at all price points. If you keep them in their original boxes and bags that is fine too. I like putting things such as baking goods in one bin, snacks like chips in another, pasta in another… If you have things like snack bars or raisins in boxes, etc take them out of their boxes and put them in a bin for easy access. Kids snacks can be in another bin and accessible for them if you so choose.
Now, what do you do if you don’t have an actual pantry? That all depends on the layout of your kitchen. However, generally speaking, your spices and oils should be close to the stove since that is where you will use them. The rest can be in cabinets that are not near the sink or dishwasher. You will want to use those for dishes, glasses, mugs, and such. The same concepts apply for the putting the food in cabinets as for putting them in an actual pantry. Store like with like and keep as much as possible in bins, containers, and organizers. When things are stored this way, it makes the process of cooking so much easier.
How many times have you opened a kitchen drawer and it is one big giant mess? Everything is just thrown in and the insides look like the aftermath of a natural disaster. And of course, you can’t find the thing you need which means you have to take everything out to find it. Believe it or not the answer is simple. Use a simple kitchen organization product such as drawer organizers. You can buy them or you can make them. As mentioned above it is easy and cost effective to make your own out of the products you’ve already bought. Again, the key is to store like with like. Check out these pictures for some ideas. The large items like the coupons can just be laid in the drawer if they are by themselves. All the other items are in an organizer of some sort.
Organizing products to an organizer are like cigarettes to a smoker. Pure heaven. There are tons of products that you can purchase but I will just highlight a few of my favorites and why I like them. The containers as I said are a great way to store absolutely everything dry. Nuts, grains, candies, snacks, pasta, all of this and so much more can go into these airtight containers. The middle picture of the hooks is great because there are many different sizes and looks. Whatever you need to hang you can do so with these hooks. Things hooks are a great way to hang things like utensils, mugs, pot holders, and even pots. Lastly, the shelf dividers are the best way to utilize the height of the shelf. Some of these are expandable, come in different colors and styles and different size legs. You can instantly create another shelf by placing these inside your existing shelf.
Here’s to having an organized kitchen the DIY way.