Kitchen Organization 101: A Beginner’s Guide
As far as organization goes, the world of kitchen organization is perhaps the most complex and endless. The kitchen is arguably where organization is the most important in any room of any home or property. It’s where food (frozen, refrigerated, wet, dry, or otherwise) is stored, prepared, consumed, and discarded, as well as where utensils, pots, pans, dishware, and any and every other kind of kitchen materials are stored, used, and cleaned.
The truth is that kitchen organization is (and should be) fundamentally simple. In other words, the key is a basic format for storage that includes all of the fundamental kitchen storage elements. Effective kitchen organization is then achieved by the strategic and most efficient use of this storage. As far as kitchen organization 101, here’s your beginner’s guide:
The first step in organizing your kitchen is to take a full inventory of what’s in your kitchen, including food, dishware, utensils, appliances, devices – everything. After this, categorizing your kitchen inventory and designating each category to specific storage areas and spaces will enable you to get and stay organized.
Things that go into your pantry should be further categorized, such as into grains, cans, snacks, bottled goods, boxed goods, and the likes. Less-used items should be stored on higher, harder-to-reach shelves, while the most frequently used items should be stored at eye-level, where they’re most accessible. Bulkier and heavier items should be stored towards or on the ground.
Generally, upper cabinets are designated for food, spices, glassware, and dishes, while lower cabinets store pots, pans, boards, bowls, small appliances, and larger serving pieces. Use racks, pull-out shelves, hooks and hanging shelves on the inside of cabinet doors, and other hacks to best organize based on the specific needs of each cabinet.
Every modern refrigerator (which should include a freezer section) will provide the shelving and drawers necessary to store different food groups appropriately and together. Beyond this, food should be rationally organized. For example, condiments, beverages, and other items that don’t easily spoil should be stored in the shelves on the inside of the door, where it’s warmest. Other than that, food should be organized to be most accessible and visible, so nothing goes to waste.
Storage & Layout Hacks
Organizing your kitchen most-efficiently may require some creativity if space is limited. For cabinets with limited space, hanging racks on the inside of cabinet doors, or installing hooks to hang items on the inside of doors, offers extra storage and means of organization. For oddly-shaped kitchens, investing in a rolling island or shelving-on-wheels provides the use of traditional storage and work surfaces that may not permanently fit your kitchen.
Kitchen organization requires you to identify exactly what you need to store and fully understand how to maximize all storage space before organizing. With the beginner’s guide above, you should be able to start off on the right foot!