Organizing your kitchen doesn't have to cost a fortune, or be perfect. The most important thing is making it easier to find what you have and being able to use those things. These Easy Kitchen Organization Tips and Ideas will help you get your kitchen organized and clutter free without breaking the bank!
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I love having an organized kitchen. I typically start by organizing my refrigerator and catch a major organization bug that gets me started on the rest of the kitchen. The biggest piece of advice I can give when organizing your kitchen is LESS IS MORE! Seriously, get rid of whatever you don't use or won't use, then organize the rest. When we hold on to things we won't really use, we make it harder to find the things we need. Believe me, I used to be a kitchen gadget hoarder to the extreme. I used to own every kitchen gadget you could think of, including a cherry pitter, strawberry huller, 15 spatulas, 3 citrus squeezers and sooo many more cute little gadgets. The problem was, they took up space, and after their initial use, I rarely used any of them...they just cluttered up my drawers and made it hard for me to find the utensils I did need. The same goes for food...if you have a bunch of food items in your pantry that you aren't going to use, let them go...make room for the things you will use so you can actually see those things and access them more easily. Ok...enough of the rant, on to the organizing!
How to Organize Spices
I'm going to be honest, this is an area where I really needed some help. I love to cook, and use spices quite a bit, so I had a lot. The thing about spices is, they last for a long time, but they do expire. I also love sauces and cooking asian inspired dishes, so I have lots of different sauces and oils. There were a few things that I had multiples of. If I had been a little mor organized, I wouldn't have bought doubles and wasted money.
Once I spread them all out and checked their expiration dates, I decided to move them from their old home in one of my cabinets to my Lazy Susan. I'm not a huge fan of our Lazy Susan, but it was better suited for the spices and sauces than it was for the dishes I was storing there. I grouped like items together, then used small turntables to organize my spices and seasonings. It makes it so easy to find what I need when I'm cooking!
How to Organize Your Pantry
When storing dry goods, I like to put them in clear, labeled containers whenever possible. That way I don't have a bunch of bags stacked on top of each other. I like to be able so see how much I have of each item so I can plan to replenish those things when I get low. This works great for things like flour, nuts, chips, popcorn and anything dry. It's best to store these in air tight containers.
I like to store canned goods on a 3 tiered pantry rack. It's like little steps for canned goods. I put taller things in the back when possible and smaller things in the front. It makes it so much easier to see what you have in your panty. My pantry is teeny tiny, so having this system is a must for me! I also like to group like things together in the pantry as well...pastas together, rice together, canned goods together and snacks together.
How to Organize and Store Kitchen Utensils
This is the area I really used to struggle with. One day, I decided enough was enough and decided to purge all of my crazy kitchen gadgets and keep only the things I used often. To store utensils in drawers, I purchased some divided drawer organizers. It's much easier to find and grab what you need while cooking if you don't have to dig around for things.
For my most used cooking utensils, I store them in a crock right beside my stove. I do have a lot of wooden spoons, some of them were my grandmother's and I do actually use them...they are my favorite!
Kitchen Knife Storage
Instead of storing my knives in a knife block that took up room on my counter, I opted for a magnetic knife bar. It is adhered to the side of my refrigerator closest to the stove for easy access. If you have small children, you should store knives where they absolutely cannot reach them, so this is probably not a good option for you.
I love cookbooks! Some of the cookbooks I own were my grandmothers, some written by friends and some by my favorite chefs. I like to keep them in my kitchen so I can reference them when menu planning. I store mine in an open kitchen cabinet so I can see them. Here's the thing about cookbooks though...if you love them, you probably have a lot. My advice is to only keep the ones you REALLY love. I used to have a ton and barely used them. Now, I only keep what will fit in my cabinet space and I use all of them. It was hard to narrow them down at first, but I feel so much better now that I don't have a gazillion...it makes looking through them to find meals seem a lot less stressful. And...you can donate or gift your extra cookbooks to a friend or coworker.
Organizing with Baskets
Since we have a really small home, we have to use every single space we have to organize, and that's where baskets really come in handy. For example, on our kitchen island, we have several baskets to hold items that otherwise don't have a home. One holds my foil, plastic wrap and baggies, one is home to my kitchen towels and dish cloths, one holds bread, tortilla wraps and crackers and one is used to store my coffee pods and tea bags. Since we have a tiny pantry and only 3 drawers in our kitchen, these baskets are life savers for me!
The bottom line is, if you really want your kitchen to be clean and organized, you have to declutter and purge some things.