The expression "the kitchen is the heart of the home" rings true for many people, myself included. As a professional organizer specializing in residential organizing, I find that starting with kitchen organization provides an immediate, positive impact on any family I have the privilege of working with.
The kitchen is the "hub" of the home. This is a room that is used daily by all members of the family. Whether for food prep, mealtime, or even homework or office work, the kitchen serves many purposes. Because this space is multi-functional and in constant use, it is important to make it as efficient and organized as possible. In this blog post, I'll be sharing my top tips for organizing in your kitchen and some of my favorite kitchen organizing products to help you achieve a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Before you begin the organizing process, it's necessary to ask yourself some questions to help you set a vision and goals for your project. This is your opportunity to consider what is important for you in the space. If you and your family like to bake often, then keeping baking items close to your oven area might be a priority. If you have small children, then you may want to consider incorporating a reachable snack station or easy access to sippy cups, kid plates, and cutlery. Every family, kitchen, and situation is different so there are no right or wrong answers here. What works for you and your family should help you set your vision.
What is working for me with my current arrangement?
What is frustrating about my kitchen?
What activities take place in my kitchen?
Do I need to account for the height of my family members when placing items?
Do I need/have an overflow area for items that don't fit in my kitchen?
What categories of items do I have in my kitchen?
Categorizing and grouping items helps you to see exactly what you have and how much. Depending on the quantity of items you have you may want to create subcategories for certain items. Below are some common categories;
Serving Dishes (plates, bowls, etc.)
Tools You Will Need
You will need the following items:
Sticky notes (post-its)
Liner for cabinets/drawers (optional)
Put It All Out in the Open
Once you have identified your vision for your kitchen and the categories that will be housed there, it's time to start the physical process of organizing. This all begins with taking everything out of cupboards, drawers, and cabinets.
PRO ORGANIZER TIP:
Seeing all of your items at once may feel very overwhelming. It will appear to be messy and even a little chaotic. If you fear this may be too overwhelming for you, consider breaking the kitchen into 2-3 sections and work on each section individually.
Categorize, Edit, Donate, or Toss
Now that you can see all of your items, it is time to categorize them into groups. Once you have all of your items sorted into categories, the next step will be to edit them down. Remove duplicates or anything that is broken or not in good condition. Ask yourself, "How many of each item do I need?"
When it comes to gadgets or small appliances, if you don't use them, then consider donating to a worthwhile organization.
Finding A Home for Your Items
Now that you've finalized your decisions on what to keep, it's time to put your items away. Here are some helpful tips on making these decisions:
Use your sticky notes! Write out a sticky note for each category. Use these to help you determine where your items will go before you place them. This is a great way to help you visualize your space, and it will help save you moving things multiple times.
Consider the number of items you have when deciding where to put them. For example, if you have a lot of kitchen utensils and they all won't fit by the stove, consider creating a sub-category for cooking utensils and moving all other items into another area.
Remember there are no wrong answers here on placement. This is about what works for you and your family.
Be prepared that locations don't always work out. Sometimes you try a drawer or cabinet and items don't fit or they are hard to reach, whatever the reason, it's ok to move things around.
PRO ORGANIZER TIP: Consider how far the sink and dishwasher are from where you store your silverware, beverage glasses, and dishes. 9 times out of 10, the closer these items are to appliances it will help you be more efficient in your kitchen.
Bins, Drawer Organizers, Turntables, and More!
Ok, now here comes the fun part. This is the step that everyone wants to get to right away. One of the major reasons I see organizing systems fail is because most people don't do the hard work of categorizing, purging, and knowing what they own. Most people want a quick fix to their clutter and disorganization problems and they believe that by adding organizing products, those problems will *poof* disappear. This is where your measuring tape will come in very handy.
PRO ORGANIZER TIP: Measure the depth, width, and height of each space you are wanting to purchase organizing products for. Record it on a piece of paper or even better on your phone.
These bins are great for those tricky corner cupboards! They help prevent items from falling and getting lost. They keep items together and since they are clear, it's very easy to see what you have.
This is a great solution to help maximize the space in your kitchen cabinets. These shelves eliminate having to dig and shift to get the plate or dish you need. They also work great to help organize under the kitchen sink.
There are so many great features of this product. Lazy susans are great for any cabinet especially when you have high shelves or tricky spaces. This one from YouCopia also has removable, clear bins. Use these for snacks, juice boxes, or any small package that needs containing.
Some clients like to see their spices lying down vs. standing up. This is a great way to prevent those jars and bottles from rolling away. You can cut the liner to fit any drawer size so it's completely customizable.
These drawer dividers are a staple when I organize a kitchen. I use them to organize utensils, dishes, glassware, and even dish towels. The bamboo elevates the look of the drawer, and since they are spring-loaded they are super easy to install.
Want more tips on organizing your kitchen?
You can follow A Meaningful Space on Instagram and Facebook for more photos and ideas for kitchen organizing tips, before and afters, and other organizing fun. If you are struggling with routines, time management, or clutter in your home, reach out to me at email@example.com to see how I can help you!