In order to be able to cook successfully, it’s best to have an organized kitchen. Learn some great kitchen organization tips for your kitchen and pantry.
If you’ve followed me for long, then you know that I LOVE shelf cooking. It’s such a great way to make a delicious homemade meal without breaking the budget. Keeping your kitchen stocked with food can be a major benefit to your wallet if it you do it the right way. However, it’s really hard to be able to use all of that food if your kitchen is disorganized, messy and cluttered.
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So how do you make it all work for you? Kitchen organization. I know, I know, getting and staying organized doesn’t exactly sound like a party. But trust me, it’s worth the effort, and it will make a world of difference! If you do it right to begin with, it’s not that hard to maintain. Seriously! So how do you start off on the right foot? It’s easier than you think, and I’ll walk you through it!
KITCHEN ORGANIZATION BY ZONE
This is the best and most straightforward way to work on your kitchen organization and stay that way. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving! It makes so much sense and will make your kitchen work for you, no matter the size or layout. Organize your kitchen based off of how you use the space and you’ll never look back!
KITCHEN ORGANIZATION TIPS
- Don’t let space go to waste! Use your drawers to your best advantage. Think outside the box and think about what might work well in all those drawers.
- Keep the things you use the most often in your most valuable kitchen real estate.
- Minimize! If you are hanging on to stuff you don’t use, give it to someone who will, sell it, or donate it!
- BONUS TIP: Keep your meals organized by getting a cheap dry erase board and hanging it on your fridge. This will help you to know when you need to thaw your food and will keep you from feeling unorganized in that department!
COOKWARE KITCHEN ORGANIZATION
The first kitchen organization zone is the cooking zone. Organize all the things you use when you cook, including your spices and oils. You can find so many different types of organizers to organize your spices and seasonings. They make cabinet organizers, drawer organizers, and even ones that go on the inside of a cabinet door! Alphabetize them so that you can easily find them. The top cupboard shelf is a great place to keep large, oversized spices. Just put the ones you use most often in front, and the ones you use less often in the back. It’s also a great place to store your cooking oils.
Cooking utensils are an obvious tool that you’ll want to keep organized in your cooking zone, too. You can either put them in an organizer on your countertop next to your oven, or you can store them in a drawer. It’s all up to you and where you have the space to put them. But don’t forget to use an organizer for them so that you can easily find what you’re looking for!
You’ll definitely want to store your pots and pans in the cooking zone. That’s where you can always find mine, unless my kids are putting on a show with them! You can easily stack them in a cabinet or drawer. The hardest part about storing them is figuring out what to do with the lids. But want me to let you in on a little secret? You can use a drying rack or a kitchen organizer that’s made just to organize your cookware! They’re great for organizing your cutting boards, too. They fit into your cabinet easily, or you can get one that hangs over the door if you don’t have the cabinet floor space.
Hot pads and oven mitts are tools that you’ll want as close to your oven as possible. Stick them in a drawer or hang your oven mitts on the inside of a cabinet door with Command Hooks. Those things are great for just about anything!
You’ll also want to keep the appliances that you use regularly in the cooking zone. I’m talking things like blenders and mixers, but probably not ice cream makers (unless you make it all of the time). You get the idea!
BAKING AND PREP ORGANIZATION
This is where you keep all the ingredients that you use to bake. You know, stuff like flour, sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, coconut, chocolate chips (you can also store these in your freezer!), all those good things. You’ll also want to keep the gear you use for baking in this zone. Things like baking pans and cookie sheets (these organizers work great), rolling pins, cookie cutters, you get what I’m talking about.
If you use them often, you’ll also want to keep your favorite go-to cookbooks in this zone as well. I love to keep mine on a shelf in my kitchen. I organize them by rainbow color, which is a fun and easy way to brighten up a space! You could also organize your cookbooks on a pantry shelf if you have the space or opt for a kitchen cabinet (which is where I keep the ones I don’t use as often). Depending on your specific collection, you can organize them alphabetically or by type (dinners, slow-cooker meals, desserts).
EATING AND ENTERTAINMENT ORGANIZATION
Don’t forget about the organization of all the things that you need to put your meal on the table. I’m talking about everyday dishes, glasses, flatware, place mats, tablecloths, napkins, salt-and-pepper shakers, serving plates and bowls, and all that good stuff.
You can also keep the things you use when entertaining in this area. Stash your fancy dishes, upscale serving platters and bowls, ritzy flatware, glasses or goblets, gorgeous tablecloths and matching napkins, candlesticks, vases, and decorations. It makes it super easy to prepare for your company!
You want to keep the cleaning zone stocked with all the things you need when it’s time to wash your hands, wash the dishes, or clean the kitchen. I’m talking hand soap, liquid dish soap, scrub brushes, dishwasher soap, dishrags, dishtowels, hand towels, paper towels, and anything else you use to clean the kitchen. I love using eCloths to clean my kitchen, you don’t have to worry about keeping any chemicals around to clean your counters since they just need water!
I like having two scrub brushes in my cleaning zone. Everybody in the house knows that the green one is for clean and the blue one is for goo. We scrape food off the dishes and pans with blue, then use soapy water and clean with green. That way the brush that gets used for actual cleaning isn’t all gobbed up with disgusting food debris. Ew!
The cleaning zone should also contain the items you use to pack up and put away leftovers. Load up a drawer with things like storage and freezer bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, waxed paper, and so on. (This is a great way to use those long, skinny drawers!) Keep your food storage containers in their own drawer (or cabinet). You can “nest” the bowls by size and keep all the lids in a separate container.
I want to start off by saying that if you don’t have the room in your kitchen for all of the storage above, feel free to move any food-related items to your pantry! It’s great to have all of the spices, flour and oils at your fingertips while you’re cooking, but you also need to do what works best for you. If that’s keeping it in your pantry and pulling it out as you need it, then go for it! Just make sure that you have those items organized within your pantry so that you can easily grab them as you need them without having to search for them.
If you need help getting ideas to organize your pantry, then make sure that you check out my pantry organization post HERE. It has allllll of the tips that you’ll ever need to get that pantry organized and used to the best of its ability.
Alright, now go focus on your kitchen organization! Let me know if you have any organization hacks that work for you in the comments.
If you have littles at your house, create a kids’ zone where you can stock all the things they need. Stash kid cups, bowls, spoons, bibs, and the like in a deep drawer at kid level. This makes it super easy for them to get the things they need and allows you to hand that responsibility over to them! (Now that’s a win-win in my book!) A couple of handy tips: keep cup bases and separate cup lids in their own drawer if you can, and stack sippy cup lids separate from the cups themselves. Makes life a whole lot easier for everyone!
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