Kitchen and Pantry Organization

The kitchen is the one place in your home that gets used more often than most other areas. A cluttered kitchen is hard to keep clean and functioning. It's hard to get your child and spouses to pitch in with kitchen cleaning tasks if it is disorganized and cluttered. So, where do you begin and how do you maintain a tidy, organized kitchen and pantry?

Assess the situation. Just like cleaning out your typical closet, clear everything out of those cabinets, shelves and cupboards. Sort them into logical piles. Group the dishes you eat from, holiday, other seasonal items and special items can be stored separately. Discard containers without lids and store remaking contains with their lids on them or with lids in a larger container for easy access.

Try to keep items near the areas where they will be used. Dishes near the dishwasher or sink, pots and pans close to the stove, glassware near the sink or refrigerator.

Get some drawer dividers for your cooking utensils and for use in your junk drawers. Miscellaneous "stuff" builds up over time. Drawer dividers will allow for a spot for each type of thing that you may need to find later.

Kitchen Tools and Appliances
You love all of those kitchen gadgets, but how many is too many? Ask yourself: Do I use this? How often? Is it easy to clean? Is it easy to store? Do I have more than one? Do I need more than one? Does it really make life easier? Is it in good shape?

Eliminating the Clutter
Most of us keep unnecessary things that were "really neat", "have some sort of sentimental value that no longer applies", "bought some expensive kitchen appliance that we've seldom used", "gotten gifts for our kitchen that just sit there" and have that special kitchen item that "you may need someday". Go through all of those items and ask yourself if you really need it. If you take the items that are in question, put them in a storage container, marked as kitchen stuff, then leave them for 6 months or so, you probably didn't need them at all and can now donate your container of "stuff" to someone who needs it.

MAKE USABLE SPACE
You would be surprised the amount of useable space you can get back when you rearrange your kitchen organization. Bins for fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be in baskets on your counters, different types of shelving as illustrated in the picture to the left, as well as attractive wall hangers can go a long way in keeping your kitchen and pantry cupboards organized.