Tag Archives: pantry

Tips to De-Clutter & Organize Your Kitchen

18 Apr

The KITCHEN - many consider it the heart of the home – where love, caring and passion go into preparing meals to feed, energize and maintain the family…but with so many different gadgets, utensils, etc. how do you keep it organized and clutter-free?  Here are some tips I want to share:

Cabinets – place dishes, glasses, mugs and serving bowls/platters thoughtfully.  The items you use daily should be conveniently located while party platters and such that are only for occasional use should be placed in higher shelves/cabinets.

Limited cabinets?  Use a hanging pot rack to hold your pots and pans or consider addition additional shelving or a moveable rack/unit that matches your kitchen.

Kitchen Utensils – strapped for space, use a large sturdy vase to hold wooden spoons, spatulas, etc. next to the stove/cook top.  Or, use a hanging rail to hook/hang your cooking utensils and keep them right by the cooking/prep area.

Limited Counter Space?  Have a cabinet that serves as open shelving and use baskets to hold fresh fruits, vegetables, bakery items in plain view and with easy access.  No extra cabinet, but you have extra wall space?  Build vertical space with shelving or cubbies.

Spice Rack?  Standard spice racks are only useful if you really use the 12 or 24 spices it comes with!  If you never use some of the spices the rack comes with, empty out those bottles and fill with spices you do use and re-label the bottle!  Another option to a spice rack is a spice carousel/mini multi tiered lazy-susan to hold your spice jars in an easy to use and access space maximizing fashion.

Grocery store plastic bags?  They sure come in handy for bed and bathroom waste baskets.  Twist them or loose tie each one and place in a large plastic jug (i.e. laundry detergent, large water jug) – simply clean and dry out the plastic jug and cut out a 2-3″ hole to place and dispense the bags – no more clutter!

Pantry – keep food organized by category/type (dry pasta next to bottles/cans of pasta sauce, cake mixes with frosting, etc).  Always keep the earliest expiration dates in front.  If things are going to expire soon, consider making a trip to a food pantry and donate the items to people in need.

Stacking in pantry or cabinets – Yes, this maximizes space, but make sure to do this safely so you don’t have cans of tuna and soup cascading down on you! Invest in tiered shelf platforms or simple wired shelves with legs.

Under the kitchen sink - we all put cleaners, sponges, dish scrubbers, etc. down here.  Invest in some simple “right size” clear or slotted plastic totes/containers to keep your different cleaning supplies in order and visible!

Junk Drawer – we all have one (or two) – the catch-all for extra key, super glue, paper clips, office supplies, etc.  Use an office drawer organizer in this drawer to keep things neat.  Use an empty can/jar that you can decorate to toss loose change! Take a good honest look at what’s here and toss/donate what you do not need to keep!

Recipe Books/Notes/Grocery Lists/Etc. – have a designated book shelve for your recipe books, get a dry erase and cork board combo to leave notes for family members and tack lists/invitations/coupons etc. for quick review and access!

Refrigerator – Containerize!  Put like loose food items (ie. different cheeses, sandwich meats) in a plastic (bpa-free) or glass container to make it easier to store and find.   Assign shelf space & have all family members stick to it!  i.e. Drinks (milk, juice, soda, water) on the top shelf, raw meat on bottom shelf, fruits/veggies in the crisper drawers, leftovers and prepared meals in the middle shelves, condiments/sauces in the door shelves, etc.

Freezer - Same thing as the fridge – assign shelf space and stick to it!  ie. Top shelf for ice cream/desserts, middles shelves for prepared packaged foods, bottom shelves for meats/seafood, etc.

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