It is hard to find another area in your home that gets more use than the kitchen. Keeping a kitchen neat and organised can be quite a struggle and a messy kitchen also means kitchen storage space becomes less and less (and, if you’re like me, a messy kitchen equals utter frustration).
If you fear that something may fall on your head every time you open a kitchen cupboard or you simply want to improve the overall flow of your cooking area, it is time to take some action. Here are some kitchen clutter solutions that will hopefully allow you to reveal the hidden storage potential of your kitchen, no matter how small.
Empty your cupboards
Oh, how good it feels to clean out kitchen cupboards! I just recently cleaned out my Tupperware cupboard. It started off nice, neat and organised but over time, things just got stuffed in there and it became an absolute nightmare! So, everything was pulled out, if it was broken or didn’t have a lid or a lid didn’t have a matching container, it went straight in the bin. Look at it now!
I think the easiest way to painlessly clear out cupboards it to start by taking out everything out of each cupboard and then go through it. Put aside the items you plan to keep and donate or throw the things that you no longer need. Anything from duplicate or broken goods as well as things you forgot you have should go away. Your main goal is to have only items you love and use. Don’t forget to check the expiration date of food and spices that you keep in your cupboards. I’m happy to say that my current oldest spice is expiry date May 2013 but I’ve been known to have spices much much older.
Group similar items together
After cleaning the junk, it’s time to sort the contents of your drawers and cupboards. I find the best strategy is to group like items together. This will save you time and will give your cooking area a sense of organisation. Having a separate place for everything will make oven cleaning, kitchen cleaning and maintenance far easier. Pile together your baking items. Do the same with your cooking essentials, glassware, and plates you use every day, seasonal items and special serving pieces.
Assign a place for each group of items
Now that you have sorted your kitchen belongings, you need to decide where they should be stored. Prevent the chaos by making organising hassle-free and effortless. I have my baking trays and casserole dishes all in the same cupboard right next to the oven for easy access, my Tupperware in another separate cupboard and I have a drawer for cups and glasses only. All of my chopping boards are in the top drawer right near the bench, so all I have to do is slide the drawer open and place it on the bench to prepare food on. This way you can quickly take what you need and then return it to its original spot. Things we seldom reach for go in the upper-level cupboards, these are things like good wine and spirit glasses and my fancy tea cups and tea pots.
Keep flat surfaces clear
It’s amazing how quickly things tend to pile up on our kitchen benchtop – junk mail, Elliott’s crafts from kindy, bills, keys….so much stuff! All of a sudden, as the ‘crap’ pile begins to grow, our large working surface suddenly becomes half of what it is. I’ve since tried to really minimise the things kept on my benchtop and the things I use regularly like knives, ladles, spatulas etc are all kept in an easy to reach knife block and utensil holder. Apart from my trusty Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo Coffee Machine, I try to keep my benches free of any other appliances. They’re stored away in a cupboard.
Utilise the vertical space
OK, so perhaps your kitchen doesn’t have a huge amount of storage space, this is where it’s good to think outside the box. For example, an empty wall is an ideal place for spice racks. If you have a lot of pots and pans, you can hang them on a pot rack like we did. All it took was an old upcycled ladder which I purchased from the local antique shop, some screws, chains and hooks and you’ve created some extra storage space. Now we created more space in the cupboard where the pots and pans were originally kept. The pot rack also makes a great feature piece.
Perhaps a pot rack isn’t your thing, that’s ok, why not create some more space by using adhesive hooks on the inside of cabinet doors to hang things such as oven mitts, measuring cups and other kitchen gadgets. When it comes to incorporating vertical space, you can be as creative as you want.
Update your kitchen storage solutions
IKEA is wonderful for purchasing things like drawer dividers to separate cutlery and cooking utensils, rotating trays for holding things such as cooking ingredients, vinegar, oils and miscellaneous items. Contents of cupboards and drawers tend to get scattered pretty easily but you can avoid that quite easily by storing cereal, sauce mixes and other packets in clear plastic containers that are stackable.
If you’re prepared to do some upgrades to your kitchen, consider lazy susans for effective kitchen corner cupboard storage. It makes for easier access and because of this, cupboards tend to stay better organised because you’re not trying to scramble for the things at the back all the time.
The kitchen is one my favourite rooms and so when it’s a mess, it really does my head in. The great thing is that there are simple kitchen storage hacks you can do with minimal effort to turn your into a neat and organised space that will actually have you wanting to cook and bake (well, maybe).
What kitchen storage hacks do you use so you have less clutter and more organisation?