For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to organize. Whether it was my school backpack, desk drawers, or college bedroom, I LOVE tidiness and order.
Even now, I regularly rearrange the items around our apartment to best suit our current needs. Truthfully, finding space for all of your belongings in a small NYC apartment is not always easy, but I see it as a jigsaw puzzle that must be solved. (I know, nerd alert much?)
Given that I cook every single day, keeping our kitchen organized is a top priority for me. Recently a friend suggested I share my kitchen organization ideas on the blog, and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t done that already!
So here we are! In this post, I share some of my favorite products and tools to keep your kitchen organized and tidy. I think these products will be especially helpful to those of you with limited cabinet and storage space, like me.
But before you run out and buy these products, I urge you to spend some time purging items in your kitchen that are no longer of use to you.
How to Tidy Your Kitchen
Take everything out of your cabinets and drawers. I mean everything. Separate items into similar categories (plates, drinking glasses, kitchen tools, cookware, bakeware, etc.) I guarantee that you will find things that have been missing for months and you’ll soon realize how many items you own that are taking up unnecessary space.
Toss, Donate, Keep
Take a long, hard look at every item. Decide whether to throw it away, donate, or keep it. Think about it…do you really need three vegetable peelers? I don’t think you do. What about that cutting board circa 2004? Chances are it’s worn down and likely has bacteria hiding in the crevices (sorry, but it’s true!).
Create three piles (toss, donate, keep) and do not second guess yourself or look back.
Once you’ve decided what to keep, it’s time to look at your space and see what types of additional storage solutions might benefit you (see below for some ideas). Think about which items are most and least used in your kitchen and find new homes for them accordingly. If you only bake twice a year, put your cake and muffin pans in harder to reach spaces and leave more room for regularly used items like plates, drinking glasses, and your favorite pots and pans.
Favorite Kitchen Organization Products
1. Is your kitchen your dumping ground when you walk in the door? Keep mail, important papers, keys, sunglasses, etc. off the kitchen counters with a mail organizer. Put these items in the mail holder as soon as you walk in the door and no more lost keys or papers! You can put this organizer on an entry table, kitchen counter, or hang this one on a wall.
2. Clean as you cook. If I am waiting for something to simmer on the stove or have food cooking in the oven, I use that time to clean up whatever dishes I’ve used thus far. It’s so easy to throw all of your dirty dishes in the sink, but I suggest leaving the dishwasher open (if space allows) and putting all of your dirty dishes in the dishwasher as soon as you’re done using them.
3. Clean up immediately after dinner before doing anything else. If you wait and say you’ll do it after you watch TV or get ready for bed, the chances are that you won’t get to it, and everything will remain dirty. Put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wash pots and pans, and wipe down kitchen surfaces before bed. You’ll feel so good waking up to a clean kitchen the next morning.
4. Assign every item in your kitchen a home, and always put it back in its place after you use it or empty the dishwasher. You just spent all of this time organizing your kitchen. By spending an extra 3 minutes a day to take the time to put away your items in the correct places (rather than just shoving them in drawers), your kitchen will STAY organized.
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