Tell us this has happened to you, too. You’re looking for a measuring cup, but it’s nowhere to be found. You rummage through every single drawer … nothing.
The thing is, even a tidy kitchen can be disorganized. Just think about how hectic those busy family meal prep nights and snack time moments can get. A complicated kitchen set-up might actually be hindering rather than helping. Ideally, each item and cooking utensil should live in a logical and easily accessible spot. But figuring out how to organize your kitchen in a way that really works isn’t always so straightforward.
Let’s walk through each spot in the kitchen, from the cutlery drawers and the cabinets to the fridge. We’ll pull everything out and start anew with some easy organizational ideas. They’ll help you make the most of your available space, keeping your kitchen better organized and easier to use.
1. Divide and Conquer Your Kitchen Storage Spaces
Once you start digging into how to organize kitchen cabinets and cupboards, you’ll realize just how much stuff is hidden out of sight! But it can be less overwhelming if you tackle one spot at a time.
Here are the types of storage areas you might need to tidy up:
- Upper cabinets
- Lower cabinets
- Countertop areas
- Standalone shelves
- Island or kitchen cart storage
- Hanging storage
Pick one or two to work on first before moving on. Or, if it makes more sense based on your space’s layout, address the items in one corner of the kitchen at the same time.
Either way, breaking down this big project into smaller, more manageable bites can help improve your focus. Plus, being able to cross items off your list will boost your sense of accomplishment.
2. Pull Everything Out into a Pile
Once you’ve picked a starting point, take everything out of those storage spaces. It can help to create a spot for these items on your countertop or dining table — or even a folding card table. This can be a fun kitchen activity for kids to join in on, too.
Starting with a clean slate means you can create a new and more functional organizational method. It’s not unusual to give everything a “home” in your kitchen on move-in day, without ever revisiting the layout. After getting acclimated to your kitchen, it’s helpful to revisit those hurried decisions and start out fresh.
3. Clean Out the Empty Storage Spaces
With your drawers, cabinets, or refrigerator totally empty, grab some disinfecting supplies. Go ahead and give these surfaces a deep clean. If you don’t visit the nooks and crannies of these storage spaces as part of your regular cleaning routine, now is a great time to get rid of all the inevitable residue.
A duster or vacuum attachment can help you reach the tricky crumbs in the corners of drawers. Then, follow up with an antibacterial cleaning solution.
The experts recommend giving your fridge a deep clean every 3 to 6 months. After all, it’s where you store the things you eat — including your favorite Perfect Snacks! Occasionally sanitizing and disinfecting the fridge interior can help with safer and fresher food storage.
4. Insert Clean Drawer and Shelf Liners
If you don’t already have them, drawer and shelf liners can help you keep those spick-and-span surfaces cleaner. Consider choosing liners that feature easy-clean surfaces and add some extra grip.
Take the time to measure out and cut the liner material down to the right size. Make sure to insert them before you start sifting through that big mountain of kitchen accessories nearby!
5. Categorize Your Kitchen Supplies
Now it’s time to take stock of everything that was taken out of the storage spaces you just sanitized. Sort each item by the items you use on a regular basis, those you use on occasion, and those you haven’t used in the past year or so.
Make another pile for any broken or damaged kitchen tools that need to be discarded. Hopefully, this step will help you slim down your belongings. The fewer items you keep, the easier they’ll be to store and access.
6. Assign Spots Based on How You Use Your Space
Now that you’ve identified which utensils and cooking accessories you use every day, it’ll be easier to find a logical place for them.
Think about how you use your kitchen. For instance, consider which drawer your arm reaches first when you’re standing at the stovetop — and what you’re usually trying to find. This information will help you map out a more useful layout in the next step!
7. Insert Kitchen Organizers, Trays, and Dividers
There’s a difference between figuring out how to organize your kitchen over the weekend and knowing how to keep it tidy in the long run. But there’s a secret to keeping things in order, even when life starts to get nutty.
Use trays, dividers, and organizers to make your empty storage spaces more functional. You have a lot of options to choose from. Here are just a handful of ideas to start with:
- Utensil trays to keep silverware, spoons, and other cooking utensils in order
- Roll-out drawer baskets to make accessing low-level cabinets less of a hassle
- Stackable shelf inserts to add more functionality to tall cabinets
- Purpose-built accessories for storing spice jars and other small items
- Pull-out trays for keeping jars and bottles in the fridge together
- Vertical organizers for baking sheets, lids, and plates
8. Replace the Largest Items First
Depending on your available storage, you might not have too many choices for exactly how to organize your kitchen. With limited options, for instance, the big mixing bowls basically have to go in one of the bigger cupboards.
For that reason, it makes sense to find new homes for the larger items before filling up the rest of your storage spaces. This includes mixing bowls and pots as well as other accessories. Like that large serving tray you always bring out around the holidays! Small appliances you use less frequently can be stored in the harder-to-reach cabinets, too.
9. Place Smaller Items in the Organizers
Finally, you can fill in the rest of the space with the remaining items. Rather than trying to stack items in front or on top of each other, get creative with those handy organizers and trays. They’ll help you make the most use of the space and keep everything visible. The less shuffling you have to do when taking things out and putting them back, the better!
10. Take a Well-Deserved Break … and Then Get Cooking!
Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your Pinterest-worthy kitchen, give yourself a break. While you’re at it, kick back with our indulgent Refrigerated Peanut Butter Cups. (No sharing necessary!)
After a while, you’ll realize that there’s nothing like a beautifully clean, organized kitchen to inspire you to try a new culinary adventure or cooking technique. Check out our blog for some tantalizing recipes!
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