Make a Resolution to Organize Your Kitchen

Do you find yourself in the middle of a baking project, looking for the baking soda? You know you just bought some last week, but you can’t find it. Maybe you didn’t buy any last week, maybe you bought baking powder and you just thought it was baking soda. You write “baking soda” on your shopping list, and add, “baking powder” too, just to make sure you’ve covered your bases. After borrowing a teaspoon of baking soda from a neighbor (for the third time this month) you open your cupboard to find a baking sheet. You are pretty sure it’s in the back, under the brown paper grocery bags and your silver plated serving platter. You can’t quite reach it without getting down on your hands and knees and first pulling out the sauce pot, various plastic containers (lids are in a drawer somewhere…you think) and an old potato ricer that has never been used. Seven minutes later, with baking sheet in hand you start to wonder who the “Pollyanna” was who calculated the recipe’s prep time of “10 minutes”.

If this scene sounds familiar to you, it’s time to organize your kitchen. This task may sound overwhelming, but when broken down into smaller steps and conquered one at a time, even over several days, an organized kitchen can be a reality.

Identify Zones
Your kitchen will work efficiently if things are set up in logical zones. Different zones might include, food prep, baking, cleaning, serving, etc. Items that are used for a specific task, should be housed in their zone. The baking zone, for example, will be near the oven. Cupboards and drawers close to the oven should contain bakeware, spices and utensils for baking. Plates and utensils for eating should be located closer to the table and if possible, the dishwasher so they can easily be put away after they’ve been cleaned. Decide what zones you have in your kitchen and assign cupboard and drawer space accordingly.

Sort and Purge
Start in one drawer or cupboard in your kitchen. Throw away anything broken or with missing parts. Also get rid of anything that is expired, such as spices, food or medicine. For items you don’t use, or that are a duplicate, set them aside to donate or sell at a garage sale. Set aside items you are keeping and clean out the drawer or cupboard with warm soapy water. You can clean as you go, or clear out a big section of your kitchen and wipe down several cupboards or drawers at once.

For items you don’t use, but just can’t bear to part with, such as souvenir glasses, store them out of your kitchen. Your kitchen needs to be a streamlined work place for preparing food. Items that are not used for this purpose should be thrown away, donated or stored elsewhere.

Assign Homes
Once things are cleaned out, start putting things away in their zones. Consider using drawer dividers, spice racks, silverware holders, drawer liners, airtight containers, knife racks, or another other kitchen organizers you might need to keep things in place.

Pantry Pointers
Store your food by type. Keep breakfast items like cereal, pancake mix and oatmeal on one shelf. Baking items like flour, sugar and baking powder should be kept together too. Make sure you have special areas for snack food, dry goods and non food items like napkins, batteries and paper towels so they don’t get mixed up with your food items. With food items in defined areas, it will be easy to find exactly the item you need and you won’t end up wasting money purchasing duplicate food items when you already have 3 or 4 of the same thing at home.

An organized kitchen will save you time and money, but also make food preparation more enjoyable while reducing stress. Whether getting your kitchen in tip top shape takes a few hours or a few days, it will be well worth the effort.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 + = ten