Organizing Your Kitchen

Your home is your first and final destination each day. It is the single place you are supposed to experience a calm and relaxing environment, where you can feel in control and at peace. Since your kitchen epitomizes your lifestyle and puts up with a lot of traffic, it is a great idea to keep this area organized. Here are some tips to help you organize your kitchen.

Take an inventory. Go through your kitchen and really look and evaluate everything you have there. What do you always use? What do you seldom use? What do you never use? Are there any items that are broken or that no longer function or that you simply don’t want anymore? Sell, donate, or trash them.

Once you have decided what to keep and get rid of, you need to consider functionality. Are there certain utensils or appliances or tools that you use on a daily basis? Obviously, it is beneficial to keep these things close at hand so they have easy access. Cooking utensils, for example, can be kept in a standing container near your stove or oven rather than having to take up valuable drawer space. The primary goal is accessibility.

Sometimes it is helpful to think of the different areas in your kitchens as zones. Each zone accommodates certain activities or functionalities like meal-planning, food preparation, cooking, serving or storage, and there is often some cross-over in the use of these zones. What are the key items that are used in each of these zones? Is it possible to effectively store them near these zones? Always consider the kitchen flow and convenience when you organize your kitchen. You may want to place the dishes near the sink, or to have the stove near the counter for easy serving. It all depends on you.

Next, remove everything from the drawers and cabinets. Group like items with like items. For example, place glassware with glassware, plastic containers with plastic containers, pots and pans with pots and pans, knives with knives, and etc. If you have not successfully purged all items in previous steps, set aside anything you find that is broken or no longer useful or no longer desired. Sell, donate or trash these items. The same thing is true for items in your pantry and refrigerator and freezer.

Now it’s time to place things. This is where we keep in mind the zones of the kitchen and the items regularly used within them. Also, remember to place the things that work together near each other. For example, pots, pans, spatulas, whisks and ladles should be placed near the stove; bowls, mixers and measuring cups should be in the baking zone near the oven. Small appliances, sharp tools and cleaning chemicals should be placed in properly secured storage areas when not being used so that children cannot reach them and possibly harm themselves. Seldom used utensils and tools should be placed on top shelves. When it comes to the pantry, group canned vegetables together by vegetable type, soups with soups, rice and grains with other rice and grains, breakfast cereals with other breakfast cereals, snacks with snacks, etc.

Organizing your kitchen space will make your life easier and less stressful. Assigning a work area for everything will help you find what you are looking for when you need it, thus saving you time and effort. Having a clean and effectively organized kitchen can make your tasks flow more smoothly and all the more enjoyable for you to prepare and share those delectable home-cooked meals with your family.

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