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From Fiasco to Fabulous: the Complete Kitchen Organization Guide

From Fiasco to Fabulous: the Complete Kitchen Organization Guide

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Are you looking to organize, de-clutter and create a tranquil, efficient living space? In this article we’ll cover all the aspects you need to know to create the perfect organized kitchen space. We’ll provide helpful tips and tricks that maximize the space you have and help you to create beautiful, organized areas that are highly efficient. We’ll also offer some ideas on furniture and products that can aid your goal of creating a great kitchen space. What’s more, we’ll cover the benefits of making an organized kitchen and how this can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing and your finances.

Specifically, in this blog we’ll cover:

  • What are the benefits of an organized living space?
  • What is an organized kitchen?
  • How to create an organized kitchen
  • What to put wherewhen filling up your kitchen cabinets
  • How to organize your kitchen counter
  • Great storage solutions for an organized kitchen
  • Kitchen furniture to organize a kitchen

 

What are the benefits of an organized living space?

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Less Stress

Why go through the effort to de-clutter your kitchen? The crux: clutter can cause stress. It’s a well-known fact that having an organized living space and home reduces stress and increases productivity. Coming home to a tidy and clean space promotes positive and calming energy, giving you extra headspace after a busy day. But if you leave your kitchen or other parts of your home a perpetual mess, that can mean less rest and more stress.

Saving time

Setting aside time to find a home for each of your belongings ensures you’re never hunting for lost items, like the bottle opener, car keys, tupperware lids or other objects that somehow always get misplaced, ultimately saving you time. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, we spend one year of our lives looking for lost items. Start taking steps to get that year back!

A well-organized kitchen can lead to other time-efficient benefits such as: 

  • easier meal prep
  • quicker grocery shopping
  • faster unpacking
  • knowing where to find things in an emergency

Essentially, organized cupboards and drawers will save you an abundance of time and frustration.

Whilst starting this mammoth task can seem daunting and time consuming, the work to create an organized kitchen is well worth it in the long run. According to the National Soap and Detergent Association, getting rid of clutter eliminates 40 percent of housework in the average home – that’s a lot of time saved!

Saving money

Believe it or not being organized saves you money. It costs an average of $10/square foot to store items in your home, so being savvy with what you keep and what you can discard during your organizational process is already saving you money! Furthermore, 1 in 11 American households rent a self-storage space and spend over $1,000 a year in rent. Imagine if you could eliminate this cost by optimizing your living spaces.

Lastly, by keeping your worktops and pantries organized, you’ll avoid buying duplicates and use up the food you already have available. You’ll be able to clearly see what’s well in stock and what needs supplementation. What’s more, you’ll avoid buying or keeping appliances you simply don’t have space for or you may find a renewed love for the ones you already have and didn’t have space for before creating your organized kitchen space.

Saving space

Whether you have a small or large kitchen, when going through the cupboards you’re sure to find appliances and products that you simply don’t use or need. By discarding broken products and donating ones you no longer need, you’ll free up an abundance of space to get organized!

Sometimes throwing away unwanted goods simply doesn’t make the cut, and the space you need to feel zen and organized at home takes a little more work. Later in the article we’ll cover space saving furniture and hacks that can be used to maximize your kitchen space and optimize your organization efforts.

With a whole host of benefits from mental wellbeing to timesaving, you can see why organized living spaces are a must have for modern day living and essential for any homeowner. Now let’s look more closely at how this concept plays out in organized kitchens.

 

What is an organized kitchen?

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The term organized means to 

  1. keep objects arranged or structured in a systematic way; or
  2. to be able to plan one’s activities efficiently.

To reach this definition of organized in the context of the kitchen, you will need to have objects that are in easy reach that facilitate efficiency while also looking neat and tidy.

An organized kitchen will have kitchen essentials grouped together such as kettles, mugs, pots, coffee and so on all in the right space. This goal can be achieved by using a bakers rack or creating a dedicated space on the countertop or adjacent cupboard. This is a perfect example of keeping objects in a structured and systematic way – you’ll have everything you need in one spot, allowing activities to be completed efficiently, without the need to flit from one place to another.

 Always be considerate utilizing the most of what space you have by ensuring unwanted items are thrown away and commonly used items are stored in easy and accessible reach. This idea goes as far as considering the furniture you have within your kitchen and if this meets your needs. Does the kitchen table allow enough space within the room for movement? Does your kitchen shelving provide adequate room for pots and pans or serveware? Keep in mind the entirety of the space you have and how you can organize each area to serve your needs and replace items that are more a hindrance than a benefit.

 Let’s take these two concepts above, “well-arranged objects and efficient planning” to see if you answer “yes” to any of the below questions. If you do, the chances are you could optimize your home and create a more organized kitchen space that will promote better “feng shui” whilst making general tasks such as making a latte, that little bit easier.

  1. Do you lack access to certain cupboards or spaces in your kitchen?
  2. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in your cupboards?
  3. Do you have limited space for essentials?
  4. Do you have very busy worktops with little space for cooking?
  5. Do you feel your kitchen is messy?
  6. Do you ever feel like you’re a hoarder or just can’t make progress on tidying up your kitchen?

Did you answer yes to any of the above? If so, then you’re in the right place. It’s time to get organized, free up some headspace and make your kitchen the perfect family hub. As Benjamin Franklin famously said: “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.

 

How to create an organized kitchen

Whether your home has space for an island or a compact dinner space for one, it’s not easy to stay organized. Pots, pans, baking essentials, dinnerware, tableware, glassware, small appliances and more, the kitchen has them all, and figuring out how to ideally arrange them and stay organized is where this section of the article will help.

Create a plan

First things first, consider what’s causing you the most trouble in your kitchen. Is it the lack of storage solutions? Is it teas in one area and coffees in another? Are you simply out of countertop space? Identifying and knowing the main issues you have is a simple exercise of being self-aware and admitting that you’ve got an organization problem at hand. And once you know you have a specific problem, you can begin to address it.

The next step is to visualise your key stations, or as experts would say, the golden triangle, which consists of the cooking zone, the cleaning zone and the prep zone. These are the 3 main workstations within the kitchen and your busiest zones on a daily basis. These areas are where you’ll want to ensure everything you need at those stations is readily available.

  1. The cooking zone: pots, pans, cooking utensils etc.
  2. The cleaning zone: cleaning equipment and accessories
  3. The prep zone: knives, chopping boards, etc.

You’ll also need to ask yourself: is anything obstructing my movement in the golden triangle? How can I use organization to optimize flow between these areas?

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Empty EVERYTHING

Empty all the areas in your kitchen to start the decluttering process. Conversely, you can do this section by section to make the task more manageable. And you can write a list for all the areas that need decluttering. This way you can have the added satisfaction of checking off each area that’s completed and staying on track.

Throw away or donate unwanted items

Amazing! The cupboards are empty, now you have a lot of stuff out in the open… it’s time to cull. Get rid of all of the items that you no longer use, need or want. As a rule, if you haven’t used the item in the last 6 months and it’s not sentimental, you’re unlikely to use it.

According to the critically acclaimed Kon Mari method and best-selling author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up, if the object doesn’t “spark joy” then toss it!

To help you decide what to keep, trash or donate, we’ve created this handy flowchart:

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Exceptions when considering what to get rid of 

  1. Seasonal items: Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and so forth. Ask yourself: can these seasonal items be stored elsewhere? Do they need to take up space in the kitchen all year round?
  1. You haven’t had a chance to use itor the item has a very special purpose: we all buy items, something comes up, and then you don’t get the chance to use it; or, on the other hand, you may only use a certain item when cooking a certain dish, for example. You can consider keeping these items for another 6 months and if you still haven’t found a use for them or really don’t use them enough, you can evaluate whether the item in question needs to go or gets to stay.
  2. Mementos: if the item at hand is a souvenir, something from your childhood or a gift from your children, then of course keep them. But if they aren’t sparking joy, consider letting them go.

 

If you’re struggling to get rid of anything, pose these 3 questions to yourself when choosing whether to keep or discard:  

  1. Can you think of 3 uses for theitem?
  2. Why haven’t you used this item in the last 6months/year?
  3. If it’s a single use item, can you think of a time in the next 6 months when you’re likely to use it?

Clean each space

You’ve successfully emptied the cupboards and drawers and removed any items from sides and areas that you feel are no longer needed and simply cause unwanted clutter. Now it’s time for a spruce! Cleaning is a fabulous way to make your home feel refreshed and one step closer to an organized kitchen.

Consider where items should live

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An organized kitchen, let alone any good living space, needs to have a strong foundation in organizational logic. You wouldn’t put sponges in the fridge would you? As a rule, you’ll want to try and group items together based on common purpose. Think about how these items, when organized and together, help improve your flow. This sort of logic will help ensure maximum efficiency and make navigating your organized kitchen on a daily basis as relaxed and streamlined as possible.

Once you’ve decided the best place for each item to live and listed each area you’re going to complete (if you’re taking the checklist approach), you’re ready to start putting items away.

What to put where when filling up your kitchen cabinets

Here are some considerations when filling kitchen cupboards back up: 

  1. Try to avoid putting commonly used items at the back of a cupboard. You will need easy access to these, so make sure they are not a pain to grab.
  2. Try to think in zones.Cleaning station, coffee station, cooking station and so forth. What items are best placed in the surrounding areas to make cooking, cleaning and entertaining easiest? How do the zones complement the “golden triangle” mentioned earlier?

 And when it comes to specific types of items:

Appliances

Store appliances used on a daily basis on the work top, items used weekly in the bottom of a cabinet, and for those rarely used, consider a pantry or storage cabinet

Canned goods and boxed goods

Stacking cans in its own right is a great method for tidying up, but for an extra touch of organization, consider arranging them by type (e.g. vegetable, fruit, meat, soups, etc.) to make the items more easily found. And for boxed goods, you can arrange them in a row (front-to-back, not side-by-side), or for the extra organized kitchen look, you can consider putting them in dispensers such as pantry jars or cereal containers.  

Casserole dishes and baking trays

The best way to store these heavier items is in the bottom of the kitchen cabinets, nicely nestled within one another without the lids. Or with the lid on, line them up neatly next to one another. If you’re lacking storage space in your drawers, why not invest in a bakers rack or shelving unit? These space savvy storage shelves are a great and stylish way to stay organized.

Cookbooks and glasses

Both of these kitchen essentials can look great on display. For cook books, keep the ones you use frequently on a shelf to form part of a display, and for those that aren’t used often, consider storing them elsewhere, like on a bookshelf.  

Glasses are one of the easiest items to store in a kitchen. Simply put them away or line them up on a shelf! It’s best if they match or are intentionally different for a stylish mismatched look. You can also consider installing an additional shelf, hanging wine rack, or investing in a wine rack table to create an elegant and organized kitchen display.

Knives

Make sure these are stored away completely dry (if stored wet, the material can rust or collect germs). For an extra touch of organization, you could use a knife block for the countertop or a magnetic knife strip hung close to your preparation area.

Mugs

There is a surprisingly large array of options for storing mugs. Make sure wherever you decide to store them, they’re near to your tea and coffee station. You could stack them in a cupboard, use an under the shelf storage basket, hang them from under a shelf, install a mug hanger, or simply line them up on your countertop. If you’re extremely pressed for space and not using it, you could even consider using a dishwasher to store them.

Cutlery

To maximise space in your cutlery drawer consider investing in a drawer organizer! This is a must for keeping your kitchen tidy and clutter free; can you imagine how awful your kitchen would appear if there was cutlery strewn all over it? And if you want to turn your cutlery or cooking tools into something stylish, for a chic look, you could place essentials such as spatulas and wooden spoons within a decorative jar.

Plates and dishes

Stacking plates and dishes in the cupboards is the obvious option (no brainer) but there’s still more space saving and organizational tips to be had here. Consider wooden or wire racks to double the space and make accessibility easier. You could even invest in a two tier expandable cupboard shelf, thereby allowing for twice the space to be utilised.

Pots and pans

Heavy duty products such as pots and pans are best kept within a lower drawer of your kitchen cabinets, neatly stacked. Alternatively, you could invest in a wooden or wire framed rack, with the option to store vertically for taller cupboards. If you would like to display these items, consider hanging them from a shelf or pot and pan rack for optimum space saving and efficiency.

 Labels here, there and everywhere!

Every organizational muse screams label everything. With organized, modern and minimalist kitchens becoming more and more desirable, there isn’t a more organized feature than using storage jars and labels to display all your kitchen essentials, from coffee to pasta to cereal, and neatly presenting each within the pantry.

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With labels on everything, you’ll more quickly be able to identify what’s in front of you. Better yet, if you’ve got a sous chef, child or visitor with you and need their help, they’ll more easily know how to find what you want.    

Lastly, Pinterest is the perfect place to find tons of amazing pantry organization ideas. You’ll be able to see many different ways people label and arrange their kitchen. For inspiration, you can look up the following hashtags: #pantryorganization, #pantrylabels, #pantryjars.

Store vertically and don’t forget to look up

Think vertically! Bear in mind that sometimes you can stack certain objects and save lots of space. Sometimes, depending on the type of kitchen you have, you can install shelving or storage hooks. And so long as they’re sturdy and not cluttered, the tops of cupboards and fridges can serve as great storage spots, too.

 

How to organize your kitchen counter

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Now you’ve put all your essential items away and decided what items are frequently used. It’s time to consider how to make this space clutter free, and most importantly, functional. 

Coordinating your countertop with your cabinets and drawers is essential in this phase. Cooking and entertaining in the kitchen shouldn’t be a circuit training exercise just to make a cup of tea. The entire process of organizing the cupboard was to thoughtfully place items where they complement each other’s purpose. This concept now needs to marry with the countertop. For example, the kettle is above cups in the cupboard and the sugar and tea bags are below them. This way there’s no extra steps needed to grab additional items. 

Try to find homes for anything that’s likely to be left out that isn’t essential. You can utilize shelving units, storage cabinets or kitchen carts in larger kitchens. These can be placed at the end of the counter or within a pantry. And these additional storage solutions add interest to the kitchen but still allow you to keep the counter clutter free and give you the space you need to cook or entertain. 

Oftentimes paperwork, keys, and other miscellaneous items start to creep into a kitchen. To handle this these items, you can leave a basket or tray out or designate a space where these can be left together.

 

What should you display on the kitchen counter?

Other than your daily essentials, in this phase you have an opportunity to add your personality. For the budding baker you might want to have kilner jars on display with flour. A chef might have spices in beautiful glass jars, or perhaps you want to add a candle here and there, or even pampas and greenery to the room. Even a fruit bowl can add a welcoming vibrance of color to your newly organized kitchen.

Schedule a regular clear out

Implementing a routine takes time. According a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. The study also concluded that, on average, it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. With this in mind, set yourself a schedule to conduct a regular clear out to ensure all of your hard work becomes habit, resulting in an organized kitchen for life.

Great storage solutions for an organized kitchen

The kitchen is no doubt the busiest room in the house, but it doesn’t need to be the most chaotic. We’ve selected some products for storage ideas to help you complete your organized kitchen, ensuring you have an enjoyable mealtime, every time.

Interior organization equipment

From jars to pot organizers to cutlery trays, keep each area space savvy with these ideas.

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Links to products:

  1. Plastic storage containers
  2. Glass tupperware
  3. Glass jars
  4. Plastic containers
  5. Storage baskets
  6. Pan organizer
  7. Pan organizer
  8. Cabinet shelves
  9. Cutlery organizer
  10. 2-tier lazy susan turntable

Use the walls

As mentioned, think vertically, from knife racks to shelving. Utilizing the walls gives you more space and is a smart storage solution.

 

Link to products:

Space for spice

Have an abundance of spices? Consider having these in drawers neatly labelled or dispensed for an especially organized look.

Links to products:

Make it clear

Use transparent or glass storage jars, tupperware or storage boxes so you can see what you have and what needs topping up before you visit the store.

  1. Refridgerator organizers
  2. Food storage containers
  3. Plastic containers with kids
  4. Glass jars
  5. Plastic storage bins

 

Kitchen furniture to organize a kitchen

While organizing your small kitchen can seem a little tougher, all of the advice above still applies. We do, however, have some extra tips on space saving furniture and accessories to help you manage your space effectively.

 

 

Open up storage 

Make the kitchen an accessible place for all by considering open storage solutions that allow for grab-and-go items.

Links to products:

  1. Rolling microwave cart
  2. Kitchen trolley
  3. Mobile wine cart
  4. Large bakers rack
  5. Bamboo kitchen cart
  6. Bakers rack

Pot racks and bakers racks 

We’ve mentioned bakers racks before in this article, simply because they are the ideal solution when you’re in need of extra storage for a variety of items. Bakers racks have a versatile design which allows you to store items on hooks such as pots and pans. They also give you extra counterspace for items such as microwaves and they are the ideal piece for storing jars, plants and more to create a feature that’s neat, tidy and organized.

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Think compact

Depending on how much space you have, you may want to consider modular or foldaway items. These can be unfolded or unpacked when you need them and then put away when you’re ready to revert the space back to its other form.

Link to product:

Kitchen carts 

Enough space for a kitchen cart? Adding a cart to your kitchen provides additional counter and storage space, giving you that extra little bit of room to store items and work. There is a wide variety of kitchen carts on the market for many different spaces. And with the ability to move the carts, you can push and pull them to where they’re most needed, whether that’s next to your stove, at the end of a counter, in your dining room or elsewhere.


Links to products:

  1. Kitchen cart small white
  2. Kitchen cart large white
  3. Storage trolley

Conclusion 

We’ve covered all the essentials you need to know to organize your kitchen space effectively, from how to get started, to the best spots to place items that maximize efficiency. You’re clued into the science behind creating your three ideal workstations, the positives of an organized home and the best ways to store your items. 

It’s time to get started and take your kitchen from cluttered to calm with our tips, hacks and simple storage solutions. And by using our free handy checklist and flow diagram, you can start the process with ease, keeping you on track each step of the way. Thanks for reading and click here to download your free checklist now!

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