Your Kitchen Storage Questions Answered

A modern kitchen with a drawer open and plates inside.
As I have previously written, I love home improvement shows. I love the how-to aspects, when an expert walks an audience though a house project, and, of course, the satisfying big reveal in the end. Yet despite how nice the house may look in the end, it's often not reality. Modern people have stuff—we have containers in the back of cupboards without lids, drawers full of miscellaneous items we don’t know what to do with, and oddly sized appliances that have no choice but to sit on our countertops. While spaces on TV are perfectly decorated, we are never shown where things like these should go. We answer some kitchen storage questions most frequently asked of experts but not commonly answered.

How Should we Keep Tupperware Tidy?

A pile of plastic lids and tupperware.

At a friend's house growing up, there was something in their kitchen that became a running joke in their family. Entering the room came with a warning: “Stay away from the last cupboard on the left.” They, like so many of us, had a small storage space dedicated to their plastic containers, yet it was such an overfilled mess that when someone would open the door, an avalanche of plastic goods tumbled onto the floor. This scenario is not uncommon, yet simple DIYs can make it a more manageable cupboard. Here are two of my favorites.
Tension Rods - When I think of tension rods, I think of mothball-filled closets that lack hardware, but did you ever consider using them to organize your cupboards? If like myself, you have a bunch of oddly shaped containers, adjustable rods can be used to effortlessly divide the space, forming custom sections to house and stabilize your goods.
Pegs and Spokes - I am a big fan of pegs and spokes and have recommended them for everything from bathroom décor to tool shed organization, yet they can also be used in your cupboards to keep even the most rambunctious of containers in place. Simply cut pegboard (which can be purchased at most hardware stores) to the exact dimensions of your cupboard's floor, allowing the holes to face up. Then, simply insert wooden dowels in an arrangement which best suites the measurements of the plastic containers in question and impress your friends with your organized and cleverly crafted DIY trick.

How Should we Actually Arrange Our Kitchen?

Does one organize a kitchen based on where appliances fit? Should accessories only be arranged based on task location? The following is information derived from organization experts and their words make a lot of sense.

When it comes to arrangement, a home chef should take note from the professionals and order their utensils in the manner restaurants do. This means first and foremost creating stations throughout the kitchen space that center around a defined task. If one likes to bake, then a baking station should be created, where the sugar, pans, blenders, etc. are within an arm's reach. Further, if one appreciates nightly tea, a tea pot, cups and tea bags should be sectioned closely together.

Moreover, for kitchen arrangement, experts teach that one should never disregard the laziness of people. Even though it would be nice to have all of the dishes done and put away immediately after dinner, the reality is that should they be washed, no one will walk across the room to put them away, most likely leaving them for another time. Therefore, everyday dishes and cutlery do well around the sink/dishwasher.

Finally, what about those appliances we all seem to have that always clutter up the counters? Most experts explain that their presence in plain sight depends solely on their frequency of use. Here is the trick: if it's only used once in a two-week period, it should not be on your counter. Store it in a cupboard or pantry until needed.

How Should We Clean Our Cabinets?

A yellow rag cleaning a wood cabinet.

When talking about storage, it's easy to overlook the care of the places where we actually throw things. If you look closely at your kitchen cabinets, you'll likely see some wear and tear and grime. When you've got your inside looking nice, here's how to tackle the outside of said cabinets.
How often should I clean the outside of my cupboards? Experts claim the frequency of washing a cupboard is based on the frequency the space is used. If there is thick residue caked on the structure's side, then we all know it is time for a washing, yet a dusting every week or two is ideal for a rarely used space.
How do I clean the outside of my cupboards? Though wipes and commercial products work well enough for weekly or biweekly cleanings, they can, if too harsh, wear off stain and varnish too quickly for most owner's comfort. Therefore, good old water and dish soap does the trick well.
What about the inside? The insides of cupboards are often forgotten as well since most think they are too well sealed for crumbs and dirt to enter. Again, with a dish towel and soap, they can be wiped clean on a monthly basis.