Is your kitchen packed with clutter? Conquer it with these 13 tips to make your cooking and eating space more relaxing and inviting.
Everything in its place and a place for everything” isn’t just a saying Grandma cross-stitched on a pillow. It’s also the best way to keep the heart of your home clear of clutter. For most people, though, an organized kitchen is a dream to be achieved someday after retirement when the kids have moved out and life is less hectic. Reversing years of bad organization habits seems like too daunting a task to ever really tackle.
But you can take back your kitchen without spending weeks on boring cleaning projects. It’s time to stop procrastinating, be honest about what you really need and reclaim the space you use to cook meals and enjoy time with family and friends.
1. Think like a minimalist.
Your first step toward kitchen freedom is to give the whole space an objective assessment. Forget about any sentimentality attached to the items you’ve kept all these years, and give serious thought to what you actually use on a regular basis.
Take a cue from minimalists, people who do their best not to acquire more than they need and to get rid of anything lacking a clear purpose. Apply this logic to your kitchen by:
- Setting aside your most-used tools and appliances
- Identifying duplicates
- Determining which single-function items can be replaced or gotten rid of
- Throwing out old, broken, rusty or hopelessly dirty items
This gives you a starting point to work from as you create a plan of attack to organize your kitchen space.
2. Break organization down into manageable tasks.
Looking at the entire kitchen and all its accumulated clutter can make you feel like giving up and raiding the freezer for a pint of your favorite ice cream. Although messes gathered over many years are going to take time to address, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming to the point where you can’t even get started.
If organizing your kitchen seems like an insurmountable challenge, why not break up the task into short spurts of activity? Pick one job or area to focus on per day, and set aside time to complete it. Even if you only clear out one cabinet or clean one section of the refrigerator, it’s more than you had done before and will make a noticeable difference in the way your kitchen looks.
3. Emphasize ease of use.
Every kitchen has a few key items used to prepare and eat meals on a regular basis. Put the items you use most in easy-to-reach places to keep from tossing everything out of the way to get to that one bowl you need. Remember the old rule: “Like goes with like,” a key philosophy when it comes to storage solutions.
Make it as easy as possible to find your favorite items by storing dishes in one place and cups in another, and putting similar preparation tools together. This not only speeds up meal prep and table setting but also streamlines the appearance of your kitchen.