Your kitchen may be one of the most-used rooms in your home, but it’s probably also one of the least organized. You may be convinced you just have too much stuff in your kitchen to ever have hope of conquering the clutter. With a little effort and innovation, and our helpful tips, you can transform your kitchen from a war zone into a food preparation zone. Read on to learn how.
1. Get Hung Up
Clear space in your cupboards by hanging as many items as you can. Install small racks on the wall or over the stove, and put larger shelving units on the back of your pantry door. Don’t forget that the insides of cabinet doors can also function as space to hang items; consider installing a spice rack or other small shelving unit there. Wall or ceiling racks for pots also do wonders to utilize “dead space” near the wall or ceiling, and free up cabinet space for your dishes and food. This attractive wall rail allows you to hang a variety of items from it using hooks, saving space and looking good at the same time. A shelf with hooks offers similar diversity, with bonus shelving space. In addition to ordering readymade racks, you can make your own from pegboard. Simply screw pegboard into the wall or the back of a door, making sure to leave space between the door and pegboard for hook installation. Then get yourself the necessary hooks and store away!
2. Divide and Conquer
Dividers can make cabinets a better place to store large, relatively flat items like cooling racks and baking sheets. Rather than having an awkward mess of pans on the bottom of your cupboard, think about installing (or asking your landlord to install) some wooden boards in order to keep large but thin items separated and standing up straight. If you’re not into construction or can’t get your landlord to agree to the modifications, try one of these handy racks for organizing large, odd-sized items.
Drawers are all too often places for random items to congregate—you know you have a “junk drawer” in your home. Though silverware dividers are relatively common, other ways to divvy up drawers are used too rarely.
3. Pull It Out
Shelves that pull out can help maximize your storage space by making it more accessible. Instead of struggling to take out or maneuver around three rows of glasses or bowls every time you want access to an item at back of a cabinet, make it easy for yourself: have the shelf come to you with a convenient pull-out arrangement.
4. Location, Location, Location
This mantra is not just for real estate anymore. Kitchen storage is now more than ever geared toward keeping related items together for easy access. Putting your pantry next to the refrigerator makes unloading groceries easier—all your food’s going to one place. Grouping like-sized items in similar locations makes it possible to adjust shelves to fit the height of those items.
5. Stack it to the Sky
Food is a major component of the items you need to store in your kitchen. Differently sized food items can be tough to store—one cereal box fits on the shelf, another doesn’t—or you may have three partially filled boxes of the same item. Storing your food in similarly sized plastic containers allows you to condense food from various store-bought boxes into a single container and stack those containers to open up room for other items. What could be better?
It’s not a storage device or suggestion, but it might help you cut down on having to store excess amounts of particular items. The IntelliScanner Kitchen Companion is a high-tech gadget that allows you to scan groceries when you bring them home in order to maintain an electronic inventory of what you have on hand in the kitchen. A bit much for an average Joe, this is a must-have for the tech-obsessed.
Organizing your kitchen can be as easy as hanging and stacking items that were previously strewn about at random. Use the tips above to keep your kitchen looking snazzy, and a little effort will go a long way toward making your kitchen a great place to cook.