Organize Like A Pro
When it came time to create my dream kitchen, I had a little help: my sister is a professional organizer. But for those of you who can’t call on a professional, here are tips to help streamline your kitchen from top to bottom.
The One-Year Rule
It still holds true! If you haven’t used it in a year, let it go. Donate or pass on items you no longer use.
For everything! Label each cabinet, drawer and rack. This will force you to always put things back in the correct spot after finding the perfect place for it upfront.
Check The Date & Separate
Always keep a close eye on sell-by dates and toss expired items. Spend a few minutes every week cleaning out your pantry and fridge.
Separate sweet spices like nutmeg and cinnamon from savory spices like chili and paprika. Store in mini plastic containers to keep them fresh and put a label on top for a bird’s eye view. Extra points if you alphabetize them.
In The Pantry
Keep canned foods together; separate by soups, fruits and veggies or other logical categories. Label plastic canisters of flour, salt and sugar to avoid errors. Use old spaghetti jars to store raisins, beans and nuts. I love having an organized pantry – it just makes me feel good about my kitchen!
File Your Recipes
I love keeping favorite recipes in electronic files on my laptop. Be sure cookbooks are accessible but don’t interfere with countertop space. Alphabetize them by cuisine or author for easier access.
Junk Drawers, Odds and Ends
Every home is allowed one junk drawer. However, it can still be organized. If you’re looking for an alternative, you can use a fishing tackle box to store odds and ends – works for me!
Have a step stool handy to give yourself a lift when you need it. It’s a must if you want to easily reach those top shelves.
You’ll always want to have a spot for easily tossing trash, too. I recently bought a garbage can that has dual containers, one for trash and one for recyclables.
Create Distinct Zones
Once you’ve organized what you have, go one step further and consider breaking up your kitchen into distinct zones:
- Food prep: Mixing bowls, measuring cups, knives
- Cooking: Pots, pans, casserole dishes
- Serving: Dishes, silverware, plates and trays
- Storage: Plastic baggies, Tupperware
- Cleaning: Sponges, soap and cleansers
Do you have a specific layout in our kitchen?