Your kitchen may be a treasure trove of gadgets and useful ingredients, but what use are these awesome things if they’re scattered throughout your entire kitchen, in places you would never even think of searching!
There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing exactly what you want to make, having all the ingredients, but knowing that you’ll have to dig through piles of stuff before you get what you need. This is a common experience for people who have cluttered kitchens. So if you’re looking to find ways to keep your kitchen neat and orderly, here are a couple of things you can try:
Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Need
Oftentimes, a kitchen feels small because it’s filled with so many things that take up too much space. And sometimes, the things you do need are stored in the farthest crevices of the highest shelf at the back of the room! The best way to solve this problem is to only keep the essentials in the kitchen, and to keep the other things in a separate room or space. A good rule of thumb here is if you use an item at least five times a week, keep it in the kitchen.
Here are some other pointers to help you out:
- Keep the pots and pans you use the most in the kitchen or on a hanging rack that you can easily access. The pots and pans you use for special dishes can be kept in a separate cabinet.
- Only the dishes you use most often should be kept in the kitchen.
- If you have a pantry, keep every food item in there except for the ones you use the most like olive oil, salt and pepper. These can have their own spot closer to the stove.
- Kitchen cleaning stuff like disinfectant sprays, wipes and counter sponges should be in accessible. Other specialised cleaning items can be kept in the broom cabinet or under the sink.
- Cookbooks may seem like they belong in the kitchen. But unless you’re completely dependent on them, keep them in a shelf along with your other books.
- Plastic utensils, wacky cups or kitchen-themed souvenirs that you never use only take up precious space. If you have it in your heart to give them away, then do so. If not, keep them in a storage area where they won’t get in the way of your kitchen activities.
- Resist the urge to hoard “just in case.” Chances are, you’ll end up with a lot of clutter taking up your limited kitchen space. If you haven’t used an item in more than a year, toss it out!
Keep Clutter Off Your Counter Tops
When you have a small kitchen, it’s easy to think that you can just move things around to clear off space. However, if you constantly need to move stuff around, you won’t have a dedicated preparation area.You’d then need to put your ingredients on the dining table, by the sink and maybe even on top of the stove!
Start off by marking off your preparation area and clearing everything you keep in there. Then, find other spaces for the things that used to be in the preparation area (under the sink, in the pantry, on a shelf or even in another room). Storage is important, but a preparation area is far more crucial!
Allow yourself to be more mobile
Ideally, you’ll have everything within arm’s reach. It’s best if your preparation area is close to your pantry as your ingredients will be taken from there. The preparation area should also be close to your stove or oven as this is the next logical step after you’ve chopped up your ingredients. The flow of activities should coincide with the location of each space.
Use Useful Things as Décor
You may often see pretty hanging mugs and wooden spoons on hooks. This hanging space doubles as décor and it gives your kitchen a more personal touch. Other attractive things you can hang up are knives on a magnetic block, a set of pans or spices in uniform jars. You can also put your sauces, dips, pickles and oils together in uniform bottles or jars and place them side by side on a single shelf.
Maximise What You Have
Though cabinets, shelves and hooks are the most obvious storage spots, walls, the bottoms of shelves and the space beneath your counters can also work. Simply install a set of hooks or some additional shelves on blank walls.
You can also add a little rack for plastic wrap, tin foil or baking paper on the inside of your cabinet or pantry door. Got stuff to hang up? A tension rod inside a cabinet can be used to hang cleaning materials.
Have a Colour Scheme or Use Interior Design Tricks
This may not actually contribute to how organised a kitchen is, but a colour scheme allows your kitchen to look more put together. Smooth lines and light neutral colours look much neater than lots of curvy shelf edges and loud, bold colours everywhere. If you feel like your kitchen looks tiny and cramped, you can remedy this by having vertical lines on your paint and wallpaper. It also always helps to keep the sunlight in through big windows or light-coloured curtains.
During your next kitchen cleanup session, keep these tips in mind to help you out. Essentially, an organised kitchen consists of clear counters, lots of useful storage space and only the essentials in plain sight. You can definitely whip up more dishes and treats when your kitchen is neater and more orderly!