Is there such a thing as real simple kitchen organization? I like to think so. If not, then most of us are doomed. I have tried to organize my kitchen. To follow the advice of online organizers that I found on Pinterest. Boxes with pretty lids all neatly labeled on a shelf look great but for my one-step organizing personality, it was a quick trip to fail city.
I need fast.
I need easy.
I need one step, or better yet, NO steps to getting my things out so I can use them.
I need real simple kitchen organization tips that I can use without having to think too hard.
If this sounds familiar then you and I might just be clutter soul mates.
And if we are clutter soul mates then you have a love-hate relationship with your kitchen just like I do.
Most of the time I love my kitchen.
It’s one of my favorite rooms in my home.
But then there are just as many days that I hate it too.
It used to be the hub of madness. (that really needs to be a t-shirt) The center of my cluttered house.
I have no idea how my kids survived as well as they did when I look back at my home. Lucky for them and for me I finally got it all figured out.
Today I see things differently. I truly believe if you have a neat and organize kitchen it will automatically spill over to the rest of the home. Like a magical side effect, keep that one room clean and the rest will just fall into place.
Unfortunately, if your kitchen is a bit of a, ahem, mess you will want to declutter things before you start organizing.
So, head on over and start there.
If your kitchen is decluttered then you are ready for the next step. And if so, then you are in the right place.
It’s time to organize the kitchen
Before we dive into the “how” let’s first talk quickly about the “why”.
When you are organizing a room you are creating a systemized space that you can use to efficiently complete specific tasks. Okay, maybe a bit formal so let’s simplify that a bit.
You want to set up a room so you can find what you need when you need it.
Let me ask you this. If you need a pair of scissors right this second, would you know where to find them? More often than not you would have at least a few spots in mind of where to look for them. Our goal is to set up your kitchen so you can find a pair of scissors (or anything else for that matter) right when you need it and in the exact spot where they belong. No more wasting time hunting for things, which is my number one pet peeve.
Sometimes it helps to look at your home as a business. A business you are the manager of. And each room of your home is like a different department of your business. Silly, maybe, but truly eye-opening if you really embrace it.
Keep with me for a second longer.
If you have ever been to a restaurant you can see there are specific areas that help to run the entire business efficiently. The kitchen, the hostess station, the dining room, the food prep area, checkout, the bussing, and the administration. Each area is for a specific purpose and each area is needed for an efficiently run business.
If you take that same outlook and relate it to your home, you will begin to see why it is important to set rooms up so they run efficiently. This will allow you to complete tasks quickly so you can get in, get done, and get out.
No more wasted time looking for things. No more stress from mess or chaos. No more wasted money buying food you already have.
It is all about setup, organization, and systems. The 3 elements of any streamlined spaced.
Okay, easy enough in theory, but how do we fit it into real life?
Let’s lay it out into steps so it is easier to do.
Hopefully, you already have a list of zones for your kitchen, but if not don’t worry. Just jump on over and read that article first then come back here and we will get busy.
If you are in a hurry, I can give you the super quick rundown of how zones work.
A zone is a designated area in a room where a specific task is completed. Believe it or not, you are already using zones in your kitchen now. Think about it. When you go into your kitchen to cook dinner for you and your family, to you tend to go to the same spot to prep the meal? If so, then that right there is your meal prep zone.
To set up an efficient kitchen you will want to locate your zones in areas where it makes sense to complete the work. The cooking zone near the stove, the dishwashing zone near the sink, and so on.
When so many things happen in one room, having a system set into place is really the key to keeping things under control. Even when you are running late as long as you have your kitchen organized and streamlined you should still be able to keep it neat and tidy.
That is the secret behind organizing any room really.
A fast and efficient way to complete the tasks that are done in a specific room. As long as you keep that in the back of your mind, then you should be able to set up every single room in your home without getting stuck.
Let’s map it out so you can see just what I mean.
- Remove the clutter.
- Set up zones.
- Put things away.
Yes, it really is that simple.
Once you have completed each of these steps, you can get down and dirty with the fun part.
Organizing the Kitchen – Real Simple Kitchen Organization
I like to organize after I have all of my things put into their homes. This will better help me see where I need to incorporate bins and baskets to help things flow easier.
When it comes to organizing such a busy room, it helps to use organizers that are simple and easy to use. Baskets, tubs, bins are all great options for this area.
Organizing drawers in the kitchen
I firmly believe that every kitchen must contain at least one junk drawer. And just because you have a junk drawer does not mean it needs to be a mass of chaos. You can use small plastic bins to contain like items. This will help to make finding what you need quick and easy.
Large drawers can be categorized down to make finding utensils easier. There is nothing worse than a mish-mash of utensils tangled in a drawer. Use a divider to sort things out so you can see what you need fast without wasting time digging.
Organizing cabinets in the kitchen
Cabinets are one of those things you just can’t have too many of. For that reason, we will want to utilize the ones we have in the most efficient way possible. If you find yourself stacking things just to make it all fit then you may want to incorporate a few risers. These will not only give you more space but also help you to keep your cabinets more organized inside.
Organizing pantries in the kitchen
Pantries can be streamlined with bins that are clearly labeled. This will not only keep your pantry organized but it will eliminate duplicate food purchases at the store.
D/M Bonus Tip: Always walk your pantry and refrigerator when making your shopping list. This visual reminder will tip you off where you are running low so you don’t run out.
I love bins as organizers, especially for food. I find it so much easier to keep misshaped cans and jars from toppling over when contained in a sturdy basket.
Organizing pots and pans in the kitchen
If you lack cabinet space why not think a bit out of the box for storage ideas. Pots and pans can be hung out in the open in a store-bought or DIY pot rack. These pot racks are very simple to install and surprisingly sturdy. Find one that matches the style of your kitchen and really open up more valuable space.
Extra organizing ideas for the kitchen
A pretty pitcher or crock can also be used to hold spoons and spatulas right next to your stove. Remember, your goal is to set up zones that are efficient. Having things you use often out where you can get to them is the definition of efficiency.
If, however, counter clutter drives you nuts then a highly organized utensil drawer might be a better fit for you. Always try to organize with your personality in mind.
A magnetized knife holder is another helpful kitchen tool. This will help to keep your knives in better shape and keep them up where you can easily get to them yet small children cannot.
Store seldom-used items in out of the way places. If you have a food processor that you rarely use, why not store it in a top cabinet freeing up your more valuable lower shelves for more frequently used items? Remember the goal here is to set up an efficient kitchen so you are not wasting time digging for the tools that you need to prep a meal.
Out of the way areas in the kitchen
These next areas tend to get overlooked when we are organizing but if you want to set up a space that is completely efficient we will leave no stone, or in this case sponge, unturned.
If you look at your kitchen sink do you have it organized? Or do you have soap on the ledge with a sponge in the sink itself sitting in a cold puddle of questionable smelling water? Why not utilize a kitchen sink organizer that will hold everything you need without it sitting out in plain sight?
For some reason, the area below the kitchen sink is the most frustrating place to organize. The pipes are usually the cause since they tend to be too much in the way to add a large basket or set of drawers to keep things tidy. I have found that skinny shelving works great below the sink and if you use labels that face up rather than out it is much easier to see just what you have without having to get down on all fours to see.
If you are short on space and these ideas just aren’t going to work for you, then head on over to HOW TO CREATE SPACE IN A SMALL KITCHEN. These are my best organizing tips for a tiny kitchen so you too can love your kitchen again.