The kitchen is the heart of most homes.
It’s where we spend much of our time every day, and when you host gatherings, it’s often the center of your family and social events. That’s why it’s important to design your kitchen with your family’s particular needs in mind. You want a kitchen that works for you -- not against you!
There’s nothing worse than having to “get by” with a badly organized kitchen. It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and a complete hassle. Instead of cooking, entertaining or prepping meals, you waste a lot of energy simply trying to find things or make the space function well for you.
Even if you don’t have the budget for a complete floor to ceiling remodel, there are many cost-effective ways to help you make the most of the kitchen space and layout you already have:
Let's Get Organized
For a kitchen to work best for you, you’ll need to have a place for everything in it. It also has to make sense for how you live and how you intend to use the space. This means that if you have young children, you might want to store glass items up high, and keep unbreakable pans and containers down low. You might also want a lower cabinet reserved for children’s cooking and meal prep items.
To get started, you’ll need to think about how often you use each kitchen item, and then make frequently used items the easiest to access. It will save time and energy if you store less frequently used items higher up and farther back, while keeping frequently used items within easy reach. Not only will this save time when you are busy in the kitchen, but it will save time when it comes to clean up and putting things away.
Declutter as Part of Your Organizational Strategy
Decluttering your kitchen will help you get on overview on your kitchen’s contents. After taking a survey on kitchen’s contents, it will start to become clear what’s needed and what you can stand to lose. Kitchen items you rarely see may be items you rarely need to use. Then again, maybe they are underused because they’re hidden below a counter of clutter or behind an overstuffed cabinet. You will need to make these determinations as you organize the space.
You’ll also want to sort, making sure containers that come with lids actually have them, and checking that everything is in good working condition. If you haven’t used that crockpot in the last year or two, you probably won’t use it at all. Items like these are great for the donation pile.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to:
- Get rid of anything you don’t use or have not used in a year – There are always utensils, gadgets and appliances lurking in the back of cupboards that you’ve forgotten about. Recover that storage space!
- Get rid of anything that’s broken – This includes chipped mugs, cracked glassware, unmatched sets, etc.
- Be ruthless with donating items that you have in duplicates – Do you really need 12 coffee mugs if there’s only 2 coffee drinkers in the house? What about that stack of 20 dishes that you never get to the bottom of?
- If you keep items for entertaining but never entertain, then condense your supply to one or two instead of a cupboard full.
Now Start Placing Things
Now it’s time to start placing things back into your space! Think about where you want to place easy access items. Pots and pans do great right by the stove, dish towels might be great in a drawer right next to the sink.
Everything need its own “home” and it needs to be placed there each and every time. This will keep you organized and eventually, it will help you see what you really need to keep (or really need to get).
Use the Right Tools
Part of the new organization process is having the right tools to keep things in place. This includes door hooks to hang pots and other tools like your colander. It can also mean drawer organizers to keep things in place and the addition of boxes to keep pans and baking dishes properly stored.
The right tools CAN make your life easier if you use them the right way.
Now that you’ve got a properly organized kitchen, you’re set up for success! Remember that as you get more comfortable in that space, you may want to adjust and revise your plan along the way. There’s nothing wrong with changing things up as your life (and your family) evolves. Questions or concerns? Contact the experts at GNH for kitchen design and storage tips and suggestions!
Want to maximize storage in your smaller kitchen space? Check out our blog: Size Doesn’t Matter! Kitchen Cabinets for Small Spaces!