It is often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home because this is where the whole family gathers to prepare meals, enjoy food or spend quality time together. That’s a nice way to describe one of the most important rooms in a house. However, looking beyond the metaphor and the symbolic implications and analysing things from a more practical perspective, we have to note the challenges of keeping a kitchen in order and clutter-free.
If you only use your kitchen rarely and you mostly regard it as a pass-through space, this is not an issue that you will relate to. But if you find yourself spending more time in the kitchen than in any other room of the house, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. It sometimes feels like you dedicate more time to cleaning, searching and putting things back where they belong than to cooking.
Intensely used kitchens are like a magnet for clutter and chaos. And most of this chaos resides behind the closed cabinet doors, where you store most of your utensils, equipment and kitchen paraphernalia. Of course, you can simply ignore the mess and adopt a what happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen attitude. But the clutter will always be there every time you open a drawer or a cupboard, making it more difficult for you to enjoy your cooking sessions or use the space to its full potential.
With all the diverse items you keep inside your cabinets, varying in size, shape and purpose, keeping your kitchen properly organised is a real challenge. So, you might think you need to invest in new kitchen cupboards to create extra storage space or even build a bigger kitchen. That can be an option if you have enough money to splurge and you feel this might fix the problem. But sometimes, all you need to do is rethink your organisation strategy and employ a few smart tips and tricks to keep clutter at bay for good.
Get rid of useless items
Since clutter is the culprit for your kitchen woes, you need to start with a much-needed decluttering session. Empty all your drawers, cabinets and shelves and take a good look at the items they contain, then separate these items into three categories: things that you keep, things that you want to donate and things that belong in the trash bin. Much of the chaos inside your cupboards is created by useless stuff that you can’t bring yourself to get rid of. Decluttering on a regular basis should help you avoid this problem in the future.
Organise items into categories
Now it’s time to figure out what you’re going to do with the items that you’ve kept. To help you decide where each item needs to be stored, you need to focus on improving the functionality of your kitchen and think about what categorisation system would work best for you. Most people find it useful to separate food items from cookware and appliances. From here, you can further divide these items into multiple subcategories such as drinks, spices, cooking ingredients, cooking tools, cutlery, glasses, and so on.
Use cupboard dividers
Most cupboards and drawers offer plenty of space so that you can store a large number of items inside. The problem is most of these items end up being stacked up on top of each other, making you feel like you’re looking for the needle in the haystack every time you search for something. If you’re looking for a solution to prevent messy pile-ups, we’ve got two words for you: cupboard dividers. These unassuming accessories can change your life by keeping every single item inside your kitchen units accessible and neatly organised at all times.
Invest in storage containers
Another great method to make sure your items stay where they belong, and you can access them with ease is to place them in storage containers. From jars and bottles to boxes and bins, these containers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so there’s a wide selection you can choose from. You should pick them based on the type of items you plan on storing in them and the space you have inside the cabinets. If you want to be a little extra, you can also colour-coordinate containers for both practical and esthetical purposes.
If you’re going to use containers to store your kitchen items, you probably also want to know what they contain. It can be confusing to open a cabinet and see several identical opaque containers lined up and have no idea in which one of them you stored the tools or the ingredients you’re looking for. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this problem: labelling your containers. That way, you won’t have to open every jar or box to figure out what you keep inside, and you’ll find what you’re searching for with greater ease.
Install pop-up shelves
By now, you have probably figured out that, most often than not, the problem is not the lack of space but the poor use of it. We dare you to open any cupboard and look at how much space you’re using. Chances are, most of your kitchen units are half empty, which means you’re losing a lot of precious space because you don’t know how to take advantage of it. This is where pop-up shelves come into play, helping you put to good use every inch of your kitchen cabinets, especially the ones where you store items horizontally.
It’s true that maintaining your kitchen neat and clutter-free is a constant battle. So, if you’ve managed to find the right solutions and implemented an organisations system that works for your specific needs, you should do your best to stick to it. Just like dirty dishes won’t wash themselves, your kitchen cabinets won’t get organised on their own either.