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Last Updated on February 16, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
With the start of the new year, I find that home organization is high on my to-do list. I have been searching the Internet for a few easy kitchen organizing ideas to make my life a little bit easier. The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in my home. It's more than just a place for us to cook and eat together. It is a place for the kids to do their homework, an office where I pay the bills, and often a long term storage place for things that rarely get used. This week I am focusing on getting my kitchen organized and creating a more open and inviting space for me to enjoy. I thought I would share a few easy kitchen organizing ideas that have popped into my head while I purge, reorganize and sort the contents of this frequently used spot. I will include a few affiliate links for items you may find helpful.
Easy Kitchen Organizing Ideas
1. Clean out your pantry: First things first, remove every single thing from your pantry. It's easier to sort through things this way rather than trying to shuffle things around with limited space. Don't start this an hour before dinner...you will regret piling all your stuff on the kitchen table when it comes time to eat. Check expiration dates on things as they come out. Do not use soy sauce that is 3 years old or that jar of artichoke hearts that you cannot remember ever buying. There is a reason it expired...no one wanted to eat it! Don't put things in your pantry that no one wants to eat. In fact, don't BUY things that no one wants to eat...I don't care if you got it free with a coupon or not it, is a waste of space! Check out my post on organizing the pantry for healthier eating.
2. Sort out your Tupperware cabinet. Get rid of all sizes and shapes that are useless in your own kitchen. Toss anything that does not have a lid, is stained the color of your spaghetti sauce or is warped from too many runs through the dishwasher. Then, go out and buy yourself a nice set of glass storage containers. They will last forever, can safely go in the microwave without causing bizarre chemical reactions like plastic will, and they will never stain no matter what you store in them. Glass containers are well worth the cost of purchase, I promise. Some of my kitchen organization ideas do involve a small amount of investment money but are worth it in the long run!
3. Put things where you would logically use them. One of the best easy kitchen organizing ideas I can give you is to NOT put things on the opposite side of the kitchen from where you use them. Do not store your coffee mugs on the opposite side of the kitchen from your coffee pot. That is just a few too many wasted steps at 5 AM when all you really want to do is mainline caffeine. Put your cutting boards near your knife block...you aren't going to use one without the other are you? Put things that kids need where kids can get them. Small cups go on the lowest shelves so small children do not ask you a hundred times a day for a cup to get a glass of water. Thankfully my 'small' children are now MY size and I occasionally have to ask my 6 foot 5-inch teen to get things off high shelves for me! Ah, the cycle of life!
Need Easy Kitchen Organizing Ideas? Clear the Clutter!
4. Keep your counters clean: This is sort of a psychological trick...if you have clutter all over your kitchen you are not inspired to keep things neat. Put it this way, if there are 52 pages of paper strewn about your counter, what's one more, right? BUT, if your counter is completely devoid of clutter, papers, bills, old teacups, or your dog's leash you will be less likely to leave things lying on it that don't go there. Obviously, some things have to go on your counter. I store small appliances that I use less than once a week or so in a cabinet. Only keep out the things you use often and you will be less likely to have the clutter take over again.
5. Get rid of things you haven't used in a year. For a while, I went hog wild at garage sales and bought TONS of cool kitchen gadgets. I had doughnut makers and crepe makers and every conceivable type of whisk, spoon, and spatula you could think of. One of the most import kitchen organization ideas to remember is to NOT buy things you don't need, no matter how cheap they are. If I want crepes I will use a plain old frying pan to make them. Do not buy unitaskers for your kitchen. They are a waste of space and create clutter.
6. Organize your junk drawer: This one is hard for me because the junk drawer is where I throw things my children bring home but will never actually miss. What sort of things? Apparently 847 bouncy balls, 22 Pez dispensers, 14 bookmarks torn out of magazines and a few things that have become unidentifiable over the course of the year. Of course, I can't throw them out right when they enter my home without inciting a major hissy fit. So, I stuff them in the drawer. My best suggestion is to put things you want to keep like pens, elastic bands, paper clips and kitchen tools in small plastic containers and just throw away everything else. Do this when your children are not home or you will never be able to toss the 847 bouncy balls without major hysteria. Get a junk drawer organizer and be very cautious about what you put in it.
7. Find creative solutions to common problems: One of my biggest annoyances in my pantry was the pile of plastic wrap, foil, bags, parchment paper, etc that was laying on the floor. I had nowhere to store it and every time I grabbed one thing, everything else fell over, too. So, I headed to Target to figure out how to fix this annoying problem. What did I find? I came across an over the door shoe holder. It went over the door separating the kitchen and dining room (on the dining room side) where no one saw it but it was close by when I needed it. No more piles on the floor and everything is easy to find. I have a friend who has very little kitchen pantry space so she stores food under her couch in plastic bins. Not ideal but it is out of site and organized. Sometimes, you may come up with easy kitchen organizing ideas that are a little odd but as long as they work for YOU, that is all that matters!
Need easy kitchen organizing ideas? Use your walls!
8. Put your walls to work: I used to have a knife block until I realized that it was just taking up counter space that I could use for something else. I ditched the block and bought a wall-mounted magnetic strip to keep my knives readily accessible but NOT taking up prime real estate on my counter. You can also mount pots and pans, spice racks, and paper towel rolls. Keep your counter clean but all your necessities within arms reach!
9. Keep your fridge organized! Sort through all those old Tupperware containers of mysterious food you cannot identify. Throw them away. From now on whenever you put anything in your freezer put a piece of masking tape on it with its identity and the date of storage. Keep your freezer organized by having a spot for veggies, another for meats, and a separate one for desserts. You will save a lot of money at the grocery store if you know what you already have. I know some people have lists on their freezer of things that go in and things that come out but seriously, I am just not that organized about the whole thing. Just try to prevent those ½ opened bags of peas from getting lost in the bowels of your freezer this year.
10. Increase your kitchen storage: I am constantly looking for ways to improve the storage capacity of my home, especially in the kitchen. There are some great inserts for cabinets that hang underneath the shelf to create additional space. There are kitchen islands that have drawers and window benches that offer hollow interiors with flip up seats for easy access. Take a look around your kitchen and consider how you can improve its storage capacity. There are a ton of stores that offer kitchen organization ideas and products. Invest a little bit of time and money into your kitchen organization so you can keep it looking great for a long time to come. Or, at least until your kids get home from school and bring home another 847 plastic bouncy balls...
Do you have any easy kitchen organizing ideas to share?
Like this post? Check out this one on how to clean the dishwasher!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.