Learning how to organize a kitchen does not have to be complicated at all. On the contrary, simplicity is the most important principle for every space organizing, including the kitchen. That’s why in this blog I bring you a step-by-step guide on how to organize your kitchen simply and sustainably in order to get the most out of your kitchen space.
HOW TO ORGANIZE A KITCHEN – STEP BY STEP GUIDE
The kitchen is the heart of every home. Even if you don’t like to cook or you’re not very good at it, in your kitchen you start your day every morning with breakfast or a cup of coffee. Nevertheless, even such a quick and simple morning routine requires some spatial conditions to support you. If your kitchen is disorganized or cluttered, you might experience anything but a great start to the day.
If you cook regularly for yourself and your family, your kitchen is a place from which you can transform your entire living space into something much more than walls and furniture – into a home. Many great family moments are often related to gathering around the dining table. Unfortunately, for many women, the activity of cooking daily or during the holidays is made difficult precisely because of their cluttered and disorganized kitchen.
Here are four basic steps on how to organize your kitchen, preferably in this order:
- Declutter your kitchen
- Introduce the so-called kitchen zones
- Make your kitchen essentials the easiest to reach
- Replace original food packaging
Read below what these steps mean, how you will apply them and why.
DECLUTTER YOUR KITCHEN
There are two types of clutter you will find in your kitchen when you start decluttering:
- All things that by definition belong in the kitchen, but you don’t use them. For example, a broken toaster that you planned to get repaired but then you bought a new one. Then let’s say you never used a bread maker you bought just because it was on sale. A fondue set you used only once because no one in the house liked the fondue. Second or third utensil set and so on. These are all things that were either wrongly bought or are unnecessary duplicates.
- All things that don’t belong in the kitchen in the first place. Look for advertising mail, unpaid bills, unarchived household documents, bags, electronics, and even clothes.
Before making any organizational changes, you must free your kitchen of all that clutter. The main reason is that you need to get a clear overview of the actual amount and volume of the stuff you DO need to keep so you can choose the best permanent storage system.
INTRODUCE THE SO-CALLED KITCHEN ZONES
Kitchen zones are a must if you want to learn how to organize a kitchen. If that term is new to you, here’s what it’s really about. Zones in the context of space organizing are the specific space areas that follow the rule of “like with like.” This means that each kitchen zone is intended for a specific kitchen activity and the appropriate kitchen items.
There are five main kitchen zones:
- Cutting and food preparation zone
- Cooking zone
- Washing and cleaning zone
- Food storage zone
- Dishes and utensils storage zone
The best way to determine your kitchen zones is when designing your kitchen before moving in. New and/or empty space is like a blank piece of paper and an ideal opportunity to establish a good system. In an already existing kitchen, this can be a bit more difficult, most often due to complications with rearranging the existing kitchen cupboards.
The picture shows the mentioned zones and compares them with the layout of the space and things in your kitchen. Think of your usual way of preparing a meal. Is it easy and fast for you to take food from, say, the refrigerator, wash it, transfer it to the surface/preparation area, then reach for a knife and the necessary bowl or pan? Is the trash can near the area where you clean the groceries? Are the washing, preparation, and cooking zones in a logical sequence or are they distant from each other? Do you walk around the kitchen a lot because important things are not at your fingertips? It all has to do with zones.
The answers to these questions will show you which areas of your kitchen space should be reorganized.
MAKE YOUR KITCHEN ESSENTIALS THE EASIEST TO REACH
Just like in a wardrobe, you have stuff in your kitchen that you use every day or very often. Such things should be easy to reach. Some of them you should even keep out of the kitchen cupboards, on the kitchen counter. Think about your juicer, coffee machine, and kettle. It can also be a container with coffee or tea and vitamins that you don´t want to forget to take regularly.
As for frequently used dishes and utensils, of course, you won’t take everything out of the cupboards or drawers to make it visible. You will however store them ranging from waist height to head height. That way you’ll be able to quickly take things out and put them back. Consequently, place everything you use less frequently on the lowest or highest shelves or deeper within your kitchen cupboards.
REPLACE ORIGINAL FOOD PACKAGING
This is important because of extra visibility. For example, a deep drawer or pull-out shelves for your pantry may seem practical, but crumpled bags of pasta or opaque boxes of rice that you place there will be neither practical nor visible.
Therefore, choose identical or very similar containers that are transparent and, if necessary, label them. Apart from better storage, this is also important for easier tracking of your food supplies.