How To Organise Your Kitchen
Kitchen organisation can be very overwhelming. You have cabinets, drawers, countertops, islands...so many places with so much stuff! This week we're going to give you some clever kitchen storage ideas and tips on how to organise your kitchen to make it work for you and your family.
Whether you have a small kitchen or a large dream kitchen, country cottage style or modern, these tips will work for everyone. And if you haven't already done so, don't forget to read last weeks blog about how to declutter your kitchen!
1. Kitchen Countertop
A countertop sets the tone for the kitchen. If your counters are cluttered with appliances, bread bins and paperwork, it makes the whole space feel messy and disorganised. So, the aim is to only have the absolute necessities on the counter, and to organise them in a way that they are not only practical but also beautiful.
To begin, clear your counters completely. Take everything off and put it on the floor or dining table (best done when the kids are away for a few hours!!). Take the opportunity to deep clean your countertops and splashbacks but don't get distracted and start cleaning everything else too!!
Next, pick out the items from your pile that are used several times a day. This may include items such as the kettle, toaster, coffee maker, knife block. These are the items that will definitely go back on the counter so keep them to one side. Looking at your original pile again, pick out any items that are used for storage. Tea caddy, bread bin, egg box etc., and put these in another pile.
The next step is to put items back on the counter in places where they make the most sense. For instance, the knife block should be near where you prepare your food. The kettle and coffee maker near where you keep your mugs (although these may need to be moved, depending on outlet availability). The idea is to create zones in the kitchen, storing items together that are used together. Think about your day and how you move around your kitchen, do you have to walk back and forth several times just to get everything you need to make a cup of tea? If your pot is boiling over, do you need to run across the room to find a ladle and a tea-towel?! If you bake every day, it makes sense to have your food processor easily accessible, if you only use it once a month, put it away!
Once you have your necessities arranged on the counter, go back to your items used for storage and decide what you need to keep and if there is anything that could be stored differently. Items like paper towel stands and utensil jars can be replaced with wall mounted storage solutions. A bread bin is fine if you have the space but if you don't, maybe you can make space in the cabinets for the bread instead. If you do need storage on the counter, try to make sure its visually appealing, making it double up as kitchen décor as well as practical storage.
Whatever is left now in your pile should ideally find a new home. If you don't have a space for it right now, put it in a box and wait until you have re-organised the rest of your kitchen. You may even find that while its in the box, you decide you don't even need it anymore!!
2. Fruit & Veg Storage
This leads on from counter storage as many of us keep our fruit in a bowl on the counter. But what I never knew until recently, was exactly which fruit and vegetables should be stored where. I would have always put tomatoes and lemons in the fridge but actually they can be kept on the counter along with other fruit!
A bowl of fruit and veg can be a beautiful part of your kitchen décor, naturally changing with the seasons. However, apples, bananas, tomatoes, avocados and peaches are high ethylene producers which means they will make other fruit and veg spoil faster so they need to be kept separate.
My favourite solution is a 2 or 3 tier basket. Make it a feature on your counter, it may even encourage little people to eat more!! I have to admit I wouldn't be the worlds biggest fan of fruit, but I am far more likely to eat some if I see it beautifully displayed in front of me!!
For other veg, you can use baskets to store your root veg, either hung on the wall or under a kitchen island. A floor standing tiered unit or wheeled storage cart can also work well, you can even make your won out of wood if you're feeling creative! The main thing to remember is fruit and veg need space to breathe so don't overcrowd them and keep them out of direct sunlight.
3. Pots & Pans (and all those pesky lids!!)
Pots and pans are better suited to lower cabinets due to their weight. The chances are you have too many pots and pans anyway!! So first of all gather everything you have and sort into pots, pans and misc. If you have any 'spare' lids, get rid of them, they're taking up space and if you do ever find you need another lid, a plate will do the job quite nicely!!
Milk pans and single egg frying pans are items that, unless you have lots of space, I would recommend letting go of. A bigger pan will do the exact same job and it only takes a few seconds more to wash.
If you have a large pot that is only used occasionally, put it towards the back of the cabinet. The front should be kept for the pots and pans that you use the most. Pots will stack into themselves generally so just make sure that when you're putting them away, you take the time to stack them properly. Frying pans and lids are a little trickier. So here are a few ideas you can try...
1. Door mounted towel rack
2. Under shelf hooks
3. Adhesive hooks on cabinet door
4. Tension rod
4. Kitchen Cabinets
You can probably start to see a trend when I say this...take everything out of the cupboard!! But its really the only way to get a clear vision of what you have and what you don't need. You can do this in sections if you're stuck for time but I would recommend trying to at least get all of the food done at once, the rest can be organised around it at a later stage if necessary.
Again, like with the countertops, the idea is to group similar things together. So everything for baking should be in one 'zone'. Your flours, sugars, baking trays, cutters etc.This makes it so much easier when you actually want to bake. Same for condiments and spices, items you use for enhancing flavour while cooking should be kept close to the hob for ease of access. Tupperware and storage containers are best kept closer to the fridge for putting away leftovers. If you can, try to keep your dishes and glassware close to the dishwasher to save carrying it across the room to put away.
So like before, make piles in the categories I just mentioned, or in whichever way works best for you. For each item ask yourself if you really need it, when was the last time you used it, and do you have something else that does the same job? The ideal utensils and dishes in a kitchen should be multi purpose. A salad bowl can be a mixing bowl, a tin opener that doubles as a bottle opener. Gadgets and gizmos like a pineapple slicer and an mango de-stoner may look cool but they take up a lot of room and really don't do anything that a knife can't do!
Food items work much the same way. Next week we'll be looking at clever ways to store food items so make sure you're signed up to our email list to be the first to hear when it is live!
5. Kitchen Drawers
I have a friend who doesn't cook, her kitchen is really just for show!! But when you open her kitchen drawers they're full...of makeup!! Their kitchen has the best light in the house so that's where she gets ready in the morning!!
For the rest of us though, kitchen drawers generally hold the same stuff...cutlery in the top drawer, utensils in the next drawer, then a mixture of teatowels, aprons, random coasters andsome long lost clothes pegs!! Drawer organisers now come in all shapes and sizes but if you're planning to buy one, make sure you sort your drawers first and figure out exactly what configuration you need.
So, as usual, take everything out and sort into categories, decluttering things you don't need as you go. If you're holding on to odd pieces of cutlery from old sets, let them go. Same goes for anything damaged, never used or multiples of the one item, you can only open 1 bottle of wine at a time, 4 bottle openers are 3 too many!!
Junk drawers are also very common in kitchens. Where pens, rubber bands and batteries accumulate! I won't say you should get rid of this idea, its a handy way of tidying up in a hurry, but do try to divide it into easier to manage sections. Repurpose food packaging to make small containers, make some out of wood or strong cardboard. And commit to cleaning it out every 6 months or so.
Next week I'll have some fun and easy storage ideas for the kitchen, so make sure you have your declutter finished and you're ready to go! In the meantime check out our Facebook page for some more home décor tips and tricks!