Organizing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Organization is not a seasonal activity. You don’t need to put off clearing clutter and making your home tidy. Don’t wait for a New Year’s Resolution, a Spring Cleaning Binge, or, worse, until you have to move. Take the time NOW to start your organization plans. In fact, this is a great time to tackle your kitchen. After all, you want to have room for all that lovely holiday dishware and presents you’ll be receiving, right?

Putting your kitchen in order is easier than you think — if you’re willing to do the work. It just takes 3 steps.

1. Sort Everything at Once

Ignore those who say you should tackle one cabinet or one drawer at a time to make it less overwhelming. The fact is that if your kitchen is disorganized, you probably have stuff scattered all over and may even have duplicate items without realizing it. If you pull everything out all at once, you’ll finally see how much you have — and be able to make realistic decisions about what you truly need.

As you work your way through your stuff, be brutally honest about what you need to keep and what you no longer need. Throw out anything broken, cracked, or unusable, this includes expired canned goods or boxed/bagged foods. Donate/give away anything that you haven’t used in a reasonable amount of time, and be willing to admit you won’t ever use that gadget you got in the holiday gift exchange five years ago. Remember to sort your “keep” pile by type rather than where it came from. Don’t worry about where you’re going to store what. This is about figuring out what you really need, i.e., actually USE, in your kitchen.

2. Make a Plan

Only after you have removed the donation pile and cleared out the trash should you start to think about where things go. Look at your groupings of items and think about how each is used in your kitchen. Then start plotting where everything will go. NOTE: Things don’t have to go back to where they were before.

Some suggestions to help you get started:

  • Put items close to where they will be used (bakeware near the oven, dishes near the serving area, etc.)
  • Use dividers and organizers in your drawers to help keep items separate
  • Store lids with their matching container
  • Group like items in containers (this is esp. useful with small food items or kitchen gadgets)
  • Don’t forget to organize your cleaning supplies!
  • Make use of hanging pot racks, cup hooks on walls/inside cabinets, and other vertical storage options

3. Put Everything Away

It will be a breeze to put things away now that you’ve eliminated clutter and have a specific plan. Install any new storage solutions and start putting things in their proper place. Then just sit back and enjoy your accomplishment.

Or, if you’re still in the organizing mood, take time to clean out and reorganize your refrigerator.

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