Often when I’m making dinner, I imagine creating decadent dishes, so tasty that I’ll wonder why I ever go out to eat. Then cluttered kitchen counters with no space to chop vegetables or a wasted five minutes spent searching for that serrated knife I know I put somewhere gets me so frustrated that my professional chef illusion completely shatters.
Too many evenings spent in the kitchen ending with an exasperated me and a messy space inspired me to reorganize my kitchen. If you too dream of an uncluttered, efficient kitchen, then create one! Organize and simplify your kitchen with these easy decluttering tips.
Pare down, donate and discard.
You can easily create a more orderly kitchen by donating and tossing items you no longer need.
- Dispose of any broken dishes or chipped mugs and glasses.
- Get rid of mismatched silverware.
- Donate any excess utensils and cookware. I mean do you really need three can openers?
- Go through that collection of free plastic cups and reusable bottles you’ve accumulated since college. I know that tumbler was free when you signed up for that credit card, but seriously, it’s time to get rid of it.
Also, rethink your assortment of small appliances. Those bread makers and margarita machines you were "always planning to use" can take up valuable cabinet space. If you don’t use certain appliances regularly consider donating them. Make sure to stow away neatly the appliances you want to keep. It’s not that difficult to pull out appliances when you occasionally need them, and it will create a simplified and clean kitchen.
Minimize the number of items on your counters to create a more streamlined kitchen. Keep well-used items, such as the coffeemaker (yes, your caffeine fix will always be close at hand) and everyday utensils, on the counter, but put all other items away. A clear counter does wonders for the aesthetic of the room.
Store like items together. This tip seems simple, but if not executed, can make for an extremely frustrating kitchen.
- Keep all dishes—plates, glasses, mugs, bowls—in the same or neighboring cabinets.
- Store pots and pans in one location.
- Put all food items in the pantry or in one cabinet.
Put items where they make sense and are easily accessible. Saving even small amounts of time by reorganizing your kitchen will create a soothing and efficient work flow.
- Place spices and cookware near the stove.
- Keep mugs near the coffeepot.
- Store dishes near the dishwasher. (So simple! And yet so immensely helpful.)
- Place lesser-used items in lower cabinets, while more often used items sit at reachable levels.
Don’t let items into the kitchen that don’t belong there.
- Create a place to store mail instead of tossing it on the kitchen counter every day.
- Teach children to put their school supplies away instead of throwing them on the kitchen table.
- Don’t let every drawer in your kitchen become a junk drawer; only store kitchen-related items in them.
With these simple kitchen maintenance tips you’ll be a gourmet whiz in no time (or at least look you’ll like one, right?)
Want more organizing ideas? Check out Organic Authority's other eco-friendly tips for getting organized.
image: *Ann Gordon