Have you ever had that moment when you open your kitchen drawer looking for something (you know… that drawer) and realise that everything is overflowing out of the drawer, except for the one thing you need?
Having a disorganized kitchen can be incredibly frustrating, but decluttering and organizing your kitchen doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you break it down step by step, focus on one area at a time, and you’ll be finished so fast you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this sooner.
If you’re anything like me, your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you share meals, plan family outings, and create memories with your loved ones. We literally designed our whole house around our kitchen.
But, just as it is the heart of the home, it can also be the drop zone of the home. The place where all things end up at some point, where there’s a ‘pile’ (we all have a pile) and that drawer.
But Why Should We Organize Our Kitchen?
Not only does having an organized home make you feel better, it can help you have a more productive and also more relaxed day. Decluttering and organizing room by room is a therapeutic way to cleanse your space. Most families spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Not only does an organized kitchen save your sanity, it saves time and money, too!
It might sound like a bit of a stretch, but it’s honestly true. If you know exactly where everything is, you spend less time searching for it. And if you know exactly what you have in your pantry and fridge, you spend less money on last-minute grocery trips for dinner. Don’t even get me started on meal planning (you know I swear by it).
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with organizing your kitchen, take a step back. Think about what’s important to you when it comes to having a peaceful kitchen. How do you want your kitchen to look and feel? What do you want to keep in there and what’s just in your kitchen because you can’t think of anywhere else to put it?
Choose Where To Start
It may sound counter productive, but I like to give my kitchen a quick tidy and clean before I dive into organizing. It’s kind of like starting with a clean slate – moving the dirty dishes out of the way so you can focus on the organizing aspect.
Tidy your benches, put the dishes in the dishwasher and run it so it’s ready when you’re done, and wipe the benches down.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, make up a sink of hot, soapy water and add the dirtiest dishes to it so they can soak. While the dishes are soaking, start working on another task in the kitchen.
Resist the urge to get distracted by multitasking in other rooms, though. Don’t start a load of laundry, or start putting clothes away. One thing at a time. Right now, we are focusing on the kitchen.
Lay Everything Out
If you’re doing a deep clean, pull everything out of the cabinets. While this may feel like extra work and will take a bit longer, you’ll be much happier with the results! Save the junk drawer for later; we’ll tackle it when we have more energy.
If you’re Type A, you may want to map out a plan of attack before diving right in. If this is the case, divide your kitchen into zones and tackle them one by one. Perhaps you don’t have a lot of time to clean or declutter each day. That’s fine! Tackling one “zone” at a time ensures you won’t spend all day on the same task.
If you find yourself drawn to throwing things out as you remove them from the cupboards, then go for it. A ‘first pass’ declutter is always highly recommended and can make the decluttering process easier later on.
How To Organize Your Kitchen Utensils
There’s a whole heap of ways you can organize your utensils, but it honestly comes down to what works for you and what you need in your kitchen.
Countertop utensil racks are convenient, and they save space. While you’re cooking, you don’t have to go digging through the drawer to find a spatula – you just grab it from the hanging rack on the counter. Easy peasy! You can do the same thing with a utensils jar.
Can’t afford a countertop rack or can’t find a jar you like? You can be creative and use what you have lying around. Mason jars, unused pots from plants (cleaned of course), glass cups… If having your utensils on your bench is what you want then there a bunch of different ways.
How To Organize Your Pantry
Ah, the pantry. You’re either going to love organizing your pantry, or you’re going to hate it. I’m the kind of person who would loves organizing their pantry so much that I have to keep doing it (usually because getting organized is a skill, and staying organized is a whole different game).
The first thing you need to do is choose how you want to organize things. Do you want all the same canisters to store your food in? Or would you prefer to store it in the packaging it comes in? There are endless eco options available, and you can even reuse old glass jars if you want to keep it super simple.
Next is sectioning. Choose how you want to logically section out your pantry. You can buy things like can holders or simple racks that increase your storage capabilities and help you get super organized.
Level up your pantry organization by using labels to help you identify items and keep your pantry storage Pinterest perfect.
How To Effectively Organize Your Spices
There are many ways to organize your spices, and if you search Pinterest for even just a few moments, you’ll find tons of them! The simplest way to organize spices is based on the amount of space you have, along with how many spices you use on a regular basis.
For a long time I stuck with a simple caddy and stored the spices in the glass jars they came in, but it was frustrating having to go through each one of them just to find the one spice I was looking for.
While it saved space and was simple, it certainly wasn’t effective. And there’s no point in organization if it isn’t effective.
Organizing spices on a magnetic rack is popular and affordable. If you only use a few spices on a regular basis, have those at the front of your spice cabinet and the rest of the spices can hang out in the back. I love the idea of organizing them based on the ones you use most. It saves so much more time rather than searching for the spice you need for way too long.
The Junk Drawer (That Drawer)
Finally, the junk drawer! This is where you’ll really want to get serious about getting rid of items you don’t use frequently. Perhaps you’ll find some long lost item you haven’t been able to find for a while…
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think you should get rid of your junk drawer, or expect it to be organized perfectly. Sometimes having a drawer where you can just stash that random thing you can’t find a home for just yet is sanity saving!!
What I do suggest is that you go through your junk drawer on a regular basis and clear it out as best as you can. If you want you can set a date, such as the first of every month, to remind yourself to go through that drawer.
How To Keep Everything Organized
One of the biggest excuses for lack of organization is lack of space… but after leaning more towards a minimalist lifestyle, I’ve realised that often it’s not lack of space as much as it’s just straight up too much stuff.
That being said, there are times when we genuinely don’t have a lot of space, and traditionally kitchens are one of these places.
Need more space? If you’re running low on space, keep vertical storage in mind. You can easily install a pull-out shelf next to the refrigerator if there is enough room. This is a great place to store extra canned goods, but you can store anything that fits!
Hanging racks are space-savers, too. They’re perfect to hang over an island or large countertop. Be sure to hang it high enough so nobody bumps their head. Plus they give a beautiful farmhouse feel. You may also find adding shelves within cupboards can give you more space.
Moving forward, it’s a good idea to set a reminder to check in on your kitchen on a regular basis. That might be each week or each month – it’s up to you and what feels right for you.
It can seem like keeping the kitchen clean is a never-ending battle, and some days you will feel like it’s all a little too much. However, if you start with a solid organized base, and check in regularly, you’ll find keeping your kitchen organized is a whole lot easier.