6 Quick Kitchen Organizing Tips
There are lots of places in your kitchen that could stand a little kitchen organization. The number one goal for any organizing solution should be accessibility.
When you’re working in your kitchen, you need easy access to the things you use regularly. Easy access depends entirely on knowing where your items are, without having to stop and think about where they might be.
When you’re putting away groceries, you want to be able to put items in their place quickly and without having to think about it too much, but just as importantly, you want items to be easy to find later.
If putting groceries away isn’t quick and easy, disorganization will creep back in and overwhelm you just when you most need to find something.
Kitchen organizing doesn’t have to take long at all. If you do it over a period of a week or two, you’ll be amazed at how organized things will get after just 15 minutes here and there.
Doing It The Simple Way: Organizing As You Go
1. The next time you put away groceries, put canned foods on one shelf—or use two if absolutely necessary—and slide your vegetables to the left and your fruit to the right. Put boxed goods in a central location.
Group items together that you use together, such as baking goods. I also put my themed foods together, such as tex-mex, spaghetti & sauce, boxed side dishes (scalloped potatoes, instant potatoes, quick rice dishes, etc.). It makes everything easy to find and easy to put away.
As you take items out of your pantry and use them, you can take a few minutes here and there to put items into their new locations. With almost no extra effort, you’ve begun to organize your pantry space.
2. Don’t scatter your kitchen gadgets around your kitchen. Locate them in a centralized location, even if it’s a little out of your workflow.
If you spend thirty seconds walking across the kitchen to get your super-duper-potato-slicer or your handy-cheese-grater, that’s okay. At least you know where it’s at and you won’t spend 2 to 4 minutes looking for it or trying to remember where you put it last.
Next time you take your gadget out of the dishwasher, put it with the majority of your other gadgets. Soon, you’ll have them all in one location.
3. Hide everything that you can. Not only will you have clearer counters, you’ll have cleaner utensils, cookbooks, and gadgets. As long as you know where you put things and put them there every time, accessibility isn’t hindered. In fact, you could be helping yourself out if you have a habit of stacking things on your small appliances.
Anything stored near the stove requires extra wash time because of oil and grease deposits. Have you saved yourself any effort by keeping your toaster on your counter? Sure, you save about 1 minute getting it out and putting it away, but you’ll spend countless minutes over the course of a month cleaning it—same for your cookbooks.
Even if you use your cookbooks extensively, don’t keep your cookbooks in an open shelf in your kitchen. Grease and other deposits will stick to the books and you’ll end up cleaning them often, or wishing you had the time to do so! Keep them as far away from the cooking areas as you can. I keep mine on a dedicated shelf in my pantry.
The next time you wipe down your counters, grab up your small appliances and gadgets and tuck them away (a clutter free house looks cleaner). If you don’t have space to tuck them away, consider moving anything you use less than 4 times a year to a longer term storage area.
4. So you would love to do steps 1 through 3, but you don’t have any space? Next time you put away your dishes, clear out any older, unused dishware from your cabinets first. Donate to Goodwill, or give to a relative or friend who might want them.
I started out as a young married woman with many hand-me-downs, and I was always excited to have something “new.”
You can clear out plenty of old dishware in less than 5 minutes, if you grab a box and start packing.
5. Throw out old food and make room for what you really use.
The next time you go to put something into the freezer, grab at least two items that have been in there too long and then throw them out.
You cannot leave food in a freezer indefinitely and expect it to taste good later, or even be safe for eating. By throwing out older items (or just things you know you’ll never get around to preparing or reheating), you’ll create extra space for what you will use. It takes just seconds to pick up something and throw it into the trash.
Within a few weeks, you’ll have an up-to-date selection of frozen items and you won’t even notice the time you spent organizing it!
6. Get rid of duplicates.
I’ve already written an entire article about this topic, but it’s so powerful, I want to mention it again.
The next time you put away a gadget, utensil, or pot or pan, notice if you have more than one of the item. Really think for a second about whether or not you make use of the second item on a semi-regular basis.
If not, consider what your life might be like without the item. Will you suffer because you don’t have one of them? Will someone else appreciate having your extra?
In just a few minutes, you can clear out additional space for other items without sacrificing anything of note.
As I’ve said before, organizing is really about having the space to keep things in a particular spot so you know where you can find them, without having to think about it.
Practice a few of these tips each day and before you know it, you’ll have a more organized kitchen in almost no time at all!