The kitchen is the family hub spot, and if you have multiple people getting things out and putting things back, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Can you find what you are looking for in your kitchen? Is meal preparation a breeze? If not, it might be time to create efficiency in your kitchen with our 10 tips to declutter and organize your kitchen and 10 product solutions to help you contain and organize everything in your kitchen.
3 Common Kitchen Organization Problems
- Mail and other incoming paper lands on the kitchen counter or table.
- Cabinets and pantry are stuffed; new items land on the kitchen counter.
- Items are placed where there is an open spot in cabinets and drawers without thought to the activity it pertains to.
10 Tips to Declutter and Organize Your Kitchen
- Follow my 5 Steps to Organizing® to organize your kitchen and pantry
- To help sort your pantry, look at expiration dates and purge all expired food, including spices. Toss anything that hasn’t been used in a very long time.
- As pantry items are used, get in the habit of checking expiration dates. If something is getting close to expiring, add it to a grocery list.
- Group all baking supplies and materials together and create a baking zone in the kitchen.
- Be realistic about how many coffee mugs, travel cups/mugs, plastic drinking bottles, and plastic containers are needed.
- Rule of thumb – 2 mugs, drinking bottles per person; only enough plastic containers for one week of leftovers
- Ditch any containers that don’t have a corresponding lid or bottom
- Relocate infrequently used small appliances, kitchen equipment, and entertaining items to a storage room, pantry, closet, or garage to free up prime real estate in the kitchen for what is used regularly.
- Let go of any cookbook, gadget, small appliance, or dishware, that has not been used in the past year.
- Toss the recipes that haven’t been used in a year and put favorites in sheet protectors in a binder.
- Use apps and websites for accessing recipes digitally.
- Create zones in your based on the activities you do in your kitchen.
4 Primary Kitchen Zones Based On Kitchen Activities
- Food storage – perishable (refrigerator/freezer) and nonperishable (pantry/cabinet)
- Food preparation – usually near the sink or stovetop
- Consuming food – kitchen table or island
- Cleaning up – sink/dishwasher
10 Product Solutions to Help Contain and Organize Your Kitchen Items
- Install pull-out drawers in bottom cabinets (Rev a Shelf) – Making it easier to reach items in a deep pantry or in the back of a lower cabinet (small appliances; pots/pans; cleaning supplies under the sink).
- Install drawer dividers (The Container Store) – Compartmentalizes small kitchen tools and utensils.
- Spice Drawer Insert (The Container Store) – When cabinet space is not available for spices, consider a drawer and place a spice drawer insert for containing spices.
- Garbage/Recycle Bin Pull-out Shelf (Rev a Shelf) – Maximizes the space under a sink and provides easy access for two bins instead of one.
- Turntable (Target) – Makes it easier to reach items on high shelves and in the refrigerator.
- Stair-step Shelves (The Container Store) – Maximizes the cabinet space and easier to view and access items.
- Baskets of Various Sizes (Multi-Purpose Bins from The Container Store)- Instead of removing the food product from its original packaging and placing it in containers, just simply store it in a basket. Designate one for pasta, one for grains, one for snacks, etc.
- Clear Uniform Bins (The Container Store) – Contain and separate pantry items, clear to easily find what you are looking for
- Wire Sorters (The Container Store- to store your bakeware and casserole dishes vertically
- Over the Door Rack (The Container Store) – Maximize your pantry space! A utility door & wall rack system makes the most of the often wasted vertical space on a door or wall and is totally customizable!
Example of a zoned pantry with suggested products
- Bottles/Condiments – contained on turntables making it easier to access the items at the back of a high shelf.
- Beverages (left) Spreads (right)
- Canned foods – contained on stair-step shelves to maximize the space and easier access.
- Seasoning Packets (left) Snacks/Juices for kids (right) – contained in size appropriate baskets/bins
- Root vegetables – contained in natural fiber baskets
Keep Your Kitchen and Pantry Organized
- Daily – keep the zones intact
- Daily – clear countertops of items that don’t belong in the kitchen
- Daily – clean and put away dishes, etc.
- Weekly – clean out refrigerator and pantry of expired foods
- Semi-annually – re-evaluate the zones and adjust accordingly