We recently painted our kitchen cabinets, which involved clearing every cabinet, drawer, and countertop. In addition to keeping sanding dust off our foodstuffs and kitchenware, doing so offered a golden opportunity to reorganize the kitchen. In our case, we not only ended up with a more efficient kitchen in which to work, but also several shelves emptied of items we never used! You don’t, of course, need to repaint cabinets in order to reorganize your kitchen. Just follow the steps outlined below.
Take stock. Before you empty cabinets, drawers, and cupboards, consider how your kitchen functions. Most kitchens are zoned for basic activities, such as food prep, cooking and cleanup. Take into account more specialized activities, too, such as making school lunches, baking, recycling, home office, and feeding the cat. As you reorganize, be sure to store items where they will serve each activity best.
Keep organization top of mind. Leading up to your reorganization day (or days), collect small baskets, canisters, bins, and drawer organizers that you think will help you fine-tune your kitchen organization. Measure your cabinets and drawers beforehand, so you don’t end up with containers that are too big for your shelves and cabinet openings. In addition, gather some larger boxes and packing materials, in case you want to stow rarely-used items away in the basement or attic.
Store things logically. As you return items to the kitchen, think of where they will be most convenient, and group related items together in bins and baskets as much as is feasible. In your beverage prep area, put your favorite teas together in one basket and sweeteners in another. In the food prep area, separate your baking spices from seasonings for entrees. In your snack storage area, group the snacks for kids apart from those for adults. Such secondary storage groupings are critical to ease of use.
Purge where possible. Be steadfast about getting rid of items you don’t use. Do you really need to store the lobster pot or that second waffle iron you got at your wedding shower in the kitchen? Do you ever plan on using that big pressure cooker? In many kitchens, as much as half the available space is gobbled up with dishware and cookware that is used rarely or not at all.
For more on kitchen storage and organization, consider: