Whether you have a large kitchen or one that's space challenged, kitchen clutter can drive anyone crazy. The kitchen is the hub of the home and keeping things neat and tidy will also keep your sanity in check and make for an organized home. Plus, statistics tell us that people with organized kitchens eat healthier and enjoy less stress than those who feel trapped by their stuff and disorganization.
Here are a few simple and cost-effective ways to make the most of space and give your kitchen a neat and simple look.
If you're like most people, you have way too much stuff in your kitchen -- that slicer or dicer you don’t use, extra set of pans you inherited, or just things that you've collected over time. Each time you get something new, you should always make a habit of tossing, giving or selling something old. If you haven't kept up with the “out with the old, in with the new” method, you may be feeling overwhelmed.
Before you even think of organizing, take a day and sort through what you have. Make three piles: things to throw out in the trash, things to give away, and things to sell (you can do this online or have a yard sale). Once you have your stuff streamlined, you can breathe a little easier and begin to think about implementing some organization to keep it all together.
Another great thing to do before you really start working on clutter is to make a pile of all of those things that you use on a daily basis, and a separate pile of the things that are only used once in a while. It will be the things that you use daily that you want most accessible. Be sure to keep this in mind as you are organizing.
You can easily transform things like your backsplash into a cool place to hang things by using a wire wall rack. Put things here that you use daily like small tools, measuring cups, etc. If cupboard space is at a premium, consider a wall mount rack for your pots and pans. This helps with the organization because what you need on a regular basis is easily accessible. The same can be done with knives by installing a magnetic strip to hold them in place. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find a knife in a drawer loaded with all sorts of things, which becomes a black hole -- we all know what that means, right?
Large Appliance Closet
Nothing screams clutter more than large appliances scattered on your counter. These would include things like toasters, blenders, mixers, food processors, crock pots, juicers, etc. Dedicate a special place -- an accessible cupboard, closet, shelf, etc. -- for these large items and only bring them out when they are needed.
Get Your Spices Together
Who doesn’t battle with spices on a daily basis? They get lost, knocked over, and are in constant disarray unless you bring some type of organization to bear on them. You can put them in a drawer, but be sure that it's conducive to storing spices. A deep door with partitions is a good option. If not, consider things like a small shelf near your stove, magnetic spice racks that attach to the wall, or pull-out racks that you can use in your cupboards.
Divide and Conquer
Drawer dividers are great for keeping all your small tools organized. You can easily divide up your drawers using a small piece of wood, or neat drawer organizers you can find at various stores. The key here is being sure that everything has a place, that you know where that place is, and that everyone in your home follows the placement rule.
Dry Produce Drawer
Nothing screams clutter more than bags of onions, potatoes, squash, etc. on your counter. Find a deep drawer and put in some dividers for a great produce storage space. If you don’t have enough cupboard space for this but do have a pantry, consider small wire baskets to house your produce. You can even make cute labels for each basket to keep everything in place.
Use Your Kitchen Cupboard Doors
Don’t forget about the inside of your cupboards, which is a great space to hang flat kitchen tools, especially those that you use frequently. There are many ways to do this including using cup hooks or even magnetic strips.
Say Goodbye to Seams
If you're in the process of renovating your kitchen, consider a seamless sink and counter. These outfits add continuity to your kitchen, making everything appear cohesive. This is especially great for very small kitchens, as the less disruption to the eye, the larger the space will appear. (Plus, there won't be any more food getting stuck between the sink and counter.)
Keeping It Together
After you've finished organizing your space and knocking clutter to the curb, make a pact with yourself and those with whom you share the space to keep things in order. Remember that everything has a place, and keeping it all in the right place is the best way to have a clutter-free kitchen.