Clutter in the kitchen wastes time and energy. Kitchen cabinets can become black holes that make it impossible to find what you need quickly and easily. Trying to prepare a meal in a messy space can lead to accidents and added stress. Kitchen organization is an important part of kitchen design because good design helps your kitchen function at its best and is easier to maintain.
Here are 10 tips to help you keep your kitchen organized so it is always a pleasure to use:
Resist the temptation to keep anything in your kitchen purely for sentimental reasons or because you think you might need it some day. Take a hard look at each item and make an objective assessment as to whether you use it regularly.
- Toss or recycle any worn-out, broken, rusty or permanently dirty items
- Identify the tools and appliances you use most often and eliminate any unnecessary duplicates.
- Determine if you can get rid of any single function items.
2. Empty Cabinets
Go through the contents of each cabinet one at a time. Remove everything, and put back only things you love and use. If you haven’t used it (or seen it) in over a year, it is a good candidate for the donation pile. If it is broken or damaged beyond repair, toss it.
3. Group Like Items
To make items easier to find and keep track of going forward, group them together by how they are most often used. For example, sort items into categories such as cooking utensils, baking items, holiday or seasonal items, entertaining pieces, and everyday dishes, silverware and serving pieces.
4. Organize the Cabinets
Store the most used items where they are easiest to get to. Cooking and baking pieces, as well as utensils, should be kept close to your food preparation area. Glassware should be near the sink or dishwasher, or alternatively by the refrigerator. Set up a hot beverage station near a water source, if possible, with coffee, tea, cocoa, sweeteners, mugs and filters near the coffee maker or teapot.
5. Use Clear Containers to Store Items
Small items in clear containers are easier to organize and keep track of because they don’t spread throughout the cabinet or draw. Group similar items together so they are easy to find. Store items that come in small boxes, like pudding, in clear shoeboxes. Square and rectangular containers stack well.
6. Make Use of Vertical Space
Making smart use of vertical space can greatly improve the organization of small kitchens, but even in kitchens that have abundant counter space, well-placed hooks or ceiling racks can eliminate a cluttered feel. Hooks that hold mugs under cabinets, adhesive hooks inside cabinet or pantry doors for oven mitts, dish towels or kitchen gadgets, or ceiling racks for pots and pans can free up a considerable amount of space.
7. Use Lazy Susans
Lazy Susans are rotating trays that can go on kitchen tables or islands, inside cabinets and pantries, and even in refrigerators. They are especially handy in corner cabinets where much of the space is hard to reach. Perfect for accessing condiments, spices, beverages, snacks and a variety of pantry items, Lazy Susans prevent items from being hidden or lost in the back of the fridge or cabinet where they are more likely to spoil or expire.
8. Use Drawer Dividers
How often do you waste time fishing around in a drawer for the item you need? Dividers keep utensils and other small items organized in a designated space, rather than jumbled together.
9. Sort Papers
Even in our ever more digital world, paper accumulates. Organize coupons and takeout menus in a magnetic sorter box on the side of the refrigerator to prevent papers from accumulating on the counters. Give each type of paper a section, so finding what you need when you need it is easy.
10. Clean Out the Refrigerator
The night before your trash goes out is the perfect time to do a quick clean out of the refrigerator each week, to prevent old food and containers from cluttering up the space.
Ask the experts at Caruso Kitchens how to incorporate organization into your new kitchen design. Contact us today! We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.
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While most kitchens complement the overall style of the home, many options exist to create a kitchen with its own special flair. Kitchen cabinets are a major design element of any kitchen and understandably get a lot of the attention during a renovation. Your kitchen designer can help you sort through the style options to find the perfect fit, but here is a brief overview of popular cabinet styles to get your imagination going.
Raised-panel doors, inset recessed doors or bead-board are among the details that distinguish traditional cabinets from other styles. They are available in a range of colors including whites and creams, reds and tans, as well as a variety of wood hues.
Shaker cabinets are known for their clean, functional design. Flat-paneled doors with rail frames, and natural wood finishes or neutral colors such as white and gray are hallmarks of Shaker style. This type of cabinet is quite popular because its classic, casual look works well with many kitchen styles.
The term “rustic” has come to embody a variety of styles, but essentially it means “natural.” Roughness, slight imperfection and a general simplicity give rustic style the casual character that fits equally well in a mountain cabin, a country house or a suburban kitchen. Rustic cabinets emphasize the feel of wood with a matte finish or left rugged — with no finish at all. Hardware of rubbed-brass or wrought iron adds to the charm of rustic cabinetry.
Clean lines with few if any embellishments define contemporary cabinets. This style works especially well in small kitchens, in part because the lack of extraneous details such as molding allows for more vertical storage space. Metal, concrete, plastic, glass and manufactured wood are typical materials used to create the simple design of contemporary kitchen cabinets.
The modern look of slab cabinets, also called flat-panel cabinets, fits well in a contemporary kitchen. Simplicity, low maintenance design and a lower price point add to the appeal of these cabinets.
Country cabinets are typically made of wood. They often have painted doors in pale or light colors, and may have a distressed finish. They have design features similar to traditional cabinets, including raised-panel or beadboard doors, and may also have glass, wire or tin accents.
Craftsman refers to an architectural style that came out of the Arts & Crafts movement around the turn of the last century. Specific characteristics include straight lines, minimal ornamentation and quality construction. These cabinets are made from unpainted quarter-sawn oak, hickory, cherry or maple.
8. Glass Front
Glass-front cabinets are perfect for showcasing glassware, bowls, vases or even cookbooks. Or the glass itself can be part of the design. Panels can be etched or frosted, seeded (with bubbles that occur in the manufacturing process), leaded or stained glass. Lights can be added for ambience or to showoff the contents. Glass-front cabinets work best as upper cabinets and are typically used in conjunction with solid cabinet doors.
9. Open Shelving
Open shelving is a practical way to add storage and keep often-used items within easy reach, such as near the sink or above the cooking area. They are also a nice way to display decorative items or matching dishware.