The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, but it can be hard to keep it organized. Here are 5 simple ways to improve kitchen storage.
The kitchen is the hardest space to keep clean and organized. It sees a never-ending stream of food, dishes, utensils, and storage containers go through cycles of getting used, cleaned, put away, and thrown out.
Clutter and chaos might seem inevitable in such an environment. Maybe some amount of chaos is unavoidable, but the following tips can help you hold it off as much as you can. Here are some ways you can make the most of your kitchen space.
1. If it’s old, pitch it.
Any project to clean and/or organize your kitchen needs to begin with a thorough culling of anything you’re not going to use. This includes both food and kitchen equipment.
Go through your refrigerator and look for anything that’s past its expiration date, or that you know you’re not going to eat or drink.
Do the same for your pantry. You can donate canned food to a food bank. You might be able to donate it even if it’s past its expiration date, although you should check with the food bank to see what kinds of expired goods they’ll accept. You should throw out any cans that are years past their expiration dates, as well as any that are bulging. A bulging can could be very bad news, so don’t risk it.
Go through your cabinets and drawers. Do you have more baking sheets than you need? More pots and/or pans? How often do you really use that particular small kitchen appliance? You can free up a substantial amount of space by saying goodbye to anything you haven’t used in years.
2. Clear up your bulk storage.
Buying food in bulk can be a great way to save money over the long term, but it can be a storage nightmare. Most grocery stores dispense bulk items into plastic bags and leave it up to you how to label them. They often end up as an unwieldy pile of mystery items on a pantry shelf.
You can save space and make bulk items easier to find with glass or clear plastic storage containers. Add some labels and you’ll never mix up your jasmine and basmati rice again!
Photo by Jarek Ceborski on Unsplash
3. Use reliable organizing tools.
Sometimes, tried and true methods are your best options. You can draw upon decades of innovation and experience in kitchen organization by using kitchen organizers beyond their intended purpose:
Cutlery trays can organize more than your knives, forks, and spoons. You can use them for larger utensils too, like serving spoons, salad tongs, pizza cutters, and so on.
Aluminum can organizers are a great way to keep beverages organized. You can also use them to store any similarly-sized food or drink container, such as juice boxes or yogurt.
Photo by Britt Reints from Flickr [Creative Commons]
4. Go vertical where you can.
Hanging equipment from higher places can save a lot of cabinet space. It can also keep little kids from knocking over glassware in cabinets. You can place items on top of shelves and under them if you have the right equipment:
You can install hooks under cabinet shelves, or under the kitchen cabinets themselves, to hang mugs.
A pot rack above or near your stove keeps pots and pans nearby, but not in your way.
A stemware rack can turn the space under your cabinets into useful storage. This is a popular storage solution for bartenders, just saying.
You can also free up space with dividers that let you store baking sheets, pans, trays, and other large-but-flat items vertically.
5. Don’t forget the doors!
Your cabinet doors could be a vast, untapped storage opportunity. A variety of cabinet door organizers are available that can let you store items inside or outside the cabinet. You could add a spice rack to your pantry door, or an organizer on the cabinet under the sink that gives you easy access to cleaning products. The only limits are your imagination and the size of your cabinets.
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