The basic principles for how to organize a kitchen are the same ones you will use in organizing anything:
Step 1. Declutter by eliminating all broken and unused items.
Step 2. Group-like objects.
Once you have decluttered your kitchen, you will be ready to organize it. Some people can declutter and organize at the same time, but if you are new to this game, first declutter, then organize.
How to Declutter (one cabinet at a time)
Rome was not built in one day, nor will you be able to rid yourself of years of accumulated junk in one afternoon. Start small and ride the wave.
Having a timer helps some people get started on decluttering their life. Make a commitment to 15 minutes of decluttering a day. You’ll be amazed at how much you can do in 15 minutes, and when the time is up, just put everything back and start again tomorrow.
Select one cabinet in your kitchen and just concentrate on that. Remove everything from the cabinet and wipe down the shelves and interior of the cabinet with a little cleaning solution and a humid microfiber cleaning cloth. You’re getting a fresh start.
Now, look at each item you have removed. If it is expired, broken, or you haven’t touched it since 2002, it belongs in the trash bin or your giveaway box. Please, please, please, let it go.
Put everything you are keeping back in the cupboard.
Repeat this process once a day until you have done every nook and cranny in your kitchen. Breathe deeply and enjoy the freedom of being clutter-free.
The basic principle of organization is to group like objects. For how organizing a kitchen, grouping objects with similar functions is the best system. So think about the basic functions of your kitchen. They may include:
Organizing Food Storage
As much as you can, keep food storage all in one part of your kitchen. If you don’t have a pantry, group the cupboards you are going to use for food storage together. These cupboards should be hanging cabinets, not floor cupboards, which are easy targets for creepy-crawly unwelcome guests. If you are going to have some food storage below, make it canned or bottled goods. Do not store food under the sink.
Here are some basic categories that can help you decide how to organize a kitchen for food storage, making it easy to find items when you need them:
A spice rack organizer can definitely come in handy for organizing this part of your kitchen.
Organizing Kitchen Equipment
By equipment, I mean anything you use over and over again in your kitchen – appliances, plates, glasses, knives, etc. These items should be stored in cupboards and drawers that are separate from your food storage. Find more useful Kitchen drawer organizers.
Although they can certainly be made attractive, shelves are not an ideal solution for how to organize a kitchen. Objects exposed to the air will quickly accumulate a layer of dusty grime in a kitchen and will require frequent cleaning to look sharp. So, as much as possible, everything should be in a closed cupboard.
If you do not have enough cupboards to store both equipment and food, use your cupboards for food storage, arrange your equipment on shelves, and hang some items on the walls. Food storage gets priority because nothing makes a kitchen look messy faster than having packages of food lying about.
To store your kitchen equipment, once again you’ll want to group like objects together. Store heavier and less used objects in lower cabinets and lighter more frequently used objects at eye level. If you have high, out-of-reach cabinets, be sure to only store things you use occasionally in these. Learn more about Kitchen cabinet organizers.
Here are some basic categories of objects that should be grouped together to get you started.
Knife storage requires special consideration. If you have wee ones, these should be kept well out of reach. To keep them sharp and useful, knives should be stored in a special rack.
You can further refine how to organize a kitchen by having your equipment readily at hand near your food preparation area. With time you may notice that you are always having to go out of your way to get items that you use over and over again. If you find this is the case, rethink your storage and move commonly used items closer to your workstation. For example, I find that having one drawerful of cooking utensils next to my stove works well.
How to Organize a Kitchen Cleaning Center
Keep whatever items you use when cleaning dishes (sponges, scrubbers, brushes, dishwashing liquid, scouring powder) in a caddy that can be quickly put away out of sight when you are done cleaning.
Have a place to hang dishtowels near your cleaning area. A rack is better than a hook as towels might not dry well if on a hook, especially if they are under the sink.
If you decide to keep cleaning supplies under your sink, don’t forget to childproof this area if that is an issue.
Ideally, your home office is in a room by itself, but I realize that many houses these days have been designed with a desk area in the kitchen. If this is your case, keep it separate from the rest of your kitchen. Decide exactly what the limits of the office space are and do not allow the two areas to intersect. How to organize a home office is a whole other can of worms.
One of the keys to how to organize a kitchen is to not allow the counter to become the drop zone for random objects, most of which should live in a designated home of their own. Get all family members to cooperate in the effort to keep the counter clutter-free.
Only the appliances you use every day have a place on the kitchen counter – everything else belongs in a cupboard. One or two decorative objects – maybe a bowl of fruit and a vase of flowers – and the picture is complete.
Once you have your kitchen organized, keep it that way by always, always, putting objects away when you are done using them. You will be amazed at how clean and harmonious your kitchen will feel if you just put everything away where it belongs.