Organizing your kitchen can make a big difference in how easily you can find everything you need for a meal, and how confident you feel in your kitchen. After coming home from a long day, or feeling the pressure to cook for a large party, the last thing you want to deal with is clutter in your workspace. Especially for small kitchens or kitchenettes, improving your kitchen storage and organization can make cooking and cleanup much easier. Here are a few tips that can help you on your way to a clutter-free, more organized kitchen.
First and foremost, consider the number of people you are cooking for. You can save space by limiting pots, pans, and dishware to what you minimally need for daily meals and snacks. If you’re cooking for one, maybe pass on the serving platters and large baking dishes. If you’ve got a large family to provide for, maybe you can cut down on pans by opting for a crockpot instead. Do you need a 4-quart crockpot suitable for two people, or a larger 8-quart fit for a family of five? Simple questions like these can help trim down the bulk if you already struggle with space for your kitchen gear.
Learn to use your cabinet and drawer space effectively. Organize similar items together, and keep them stored close to where you’ll be using them. Pots and pans, along with their lids, are most easily accessed when placed near your stove and oven. Some drawers, especially that ‘miscellaneous gadgets’ drawer, can be kept clear of clutter with simple dividers or bins. Another great tip is setting up racks or divided space for plastic containers; keeping rows of lids and containers organized can save lots of time and frustration at the end of a meal.
Consider using storage organizers. Adding shelves on the walls or cabinet doors is an easy way to provide space for smaller items that might get lost or disheveled in drawers. A large pantry door rack can help maximize your pantry space and make the food you already have easier to find. Shelves can also provide a space for hanging your aprons, oven mitts, and kitchen towels. If you hate stacking your pots and pans, consider racks to store them vertically in your cabinets. For spices, especially, look to a revolving carousel or spice rack to keep easy access to your favorite spices and flavorings. I’ve also always liked the idea of a magnetic knife holder to open up some much-needed counter space, though knife blocks are also great if this isn’t a concern.
Make your appliances count. As tempting as it might be to buy that novelty egg separator or popcorn maker (don’t forget that unicorn sprinkles shaker), cutting back on single-purpose appliances and gadgets can drastically trim down your kitchenware. You might also be able to cut down on extra gear in your kitchen you rarely use, or stock up smaller, more versatile cookware and gadgets. A great example of this is an instant pot, which functions as a rice cooker, pressure cooker, and slow cooker all at once.
Keep your counter space organized. This is my personal favorite since a clean, clear counter space always helps me feel relaxed and ready to create in the kitchen. This can be as simple as storing your cooking utensils in a designated utensil crock, or as elegant as a retractable bookstand. If you like the idea of adding some color to your kitchen, you could also use a little counter space for storing grains, pasta, and baking supplies in decorative jars.
Finally, make cleanup a priority. Nothing makes a kitchen feel smaller than piles of dirty dishes. It might not be the most fun part of cooking, but cleaning up at the end of a meal can help your kitchen feel larger and less cluttered. Once you get in the habit of this, it won’t seem like a chore, and you’ll be glad to have everything finished.
Hopefully, these tips can get you started on having a clean and organized kitchen. Try experimenting with different layouts and organizers to see what works best for you, and let us know how it goes!