Kitchen Mart

Organize Your Kitchen

December 4, 2007

Longing for a tidy, organized kitchen where everything is right where you need it? Read on for eight great kitchen organizing tips.

Sort and toss. Chances are much of your clutter is composed of stuff that isn’t really essential to the day-to-day functioning of your kitchen. Start the cleaning process by purging your cabinets and drawers of gadgets you hardly ever use. Donate the things you don’t need, and place rarely-used items in storage.

Wood Tiered Cutlery DividerGet closer. Once you’ve pared your inventory down to essentials, put them in places that make the most sense. Keep glassware and cups near the refrigerator or sink; utensils, spices and plates near the cooking area; mugs near the coffeemaker.

Tray DividersDivide and conquer. Adding vertical dividers in cabinetry makes it easy to stack cookie sheets and cake pans. For lower cabinets, a simple spin of a lazy susan puts everything within reach so you’ll never have to empty them to see what’s on hand. Small, inexpensive shelves can double your storage, allowing you to neatly organize the pantry. An under-the-sink caddy stores all your cleaning sprays and wipes.

Use “hidden” space. Free up valuable cabinet and drawer space by installing hooks for coffee mugs and utensils under cabinets. Hang pots from an attractive rack on the ceiling. Make use of blank wall space or a backsplash by adding a utensil rack. Nest and stack pots, bowls and pans to maximize your storage space.

Abolish the junk drawer. There’s no need for a “junk drawer” if every item has a designated place. Use small dividers to stop pencils, coupons and gadgets from jumbling together. Keep plastic grocery bags tidy by stuffing them into a dispenser.

desk file drawerPaper trail. If you can’t seem to eliminate the piles of takeout menus, recipes torn out of magazines and other such paper clutter from your kitchen, at least contain them. Sort them into categories, put them into colorful file folders and stow them in magazine binders near your cookbooks, or install a file drawer for all your papers.

Play favorites. Group items by how frequently you use them. Put your favorite cookware, dishes and glassware in the front of cabinets for easy access. Store specialty cookware and less-frequently used appliances and utensils like blenders, quesadilla makers, and food processors tucked away but easy to find when you need them.

Smart appliances. If you’re considering larger changes to your kitchen, such as buying new appliances or remodeling, a little foresight could save countless hours of clutter-busting down the line. Look for refrigerators that maximize interior space through strategically placed compartments; they’ll make it easy to organize leftovers, large soda bottles and produce.

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