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Julia Nikolaus is a content strategist for an LA-based company. She enjoys working with food and drink brands along with pet clients. In her free time, Julia likes to bake new recipes, take dance classes, and spend time outdoors.
The kitchen, the home’s central territory, is where we live out much of our lives. Therefore, it’s crucial to enjoy being there. This is easy to do when the kitchen is well structured and orderly, making preparing food quickly and safely smoother. The following tips and tricks will help keep your kitchen stay organized and run efficiently.
Make Sure All Kitchen Items Have a Designated Place
When dishes, pots, pans, spices, and other miscellaneous items don’t have a spot they belong, it creates problems such as:
- A cluttered mess
- An unorganized system
- Space being used unnecessarily
- Misplaced items
However, when every object has a place and is put in its place, you’ll never be left looking around for your kitchen items or have kitchen clutter. You’ll even have more space and room for cooking and eating without a mess. This method will keep the kitchen and everything that belongs there tidy.
Use Dividers and Storage Containers
Dividers and containers are one of the fastest ways to become organized in the kitchen because they allow you to sort group items together, helping to eliminate chaotically and randomly having your items strewn about. It makes anything you need to find easily accessible.
Dividers can be used for:
- Silverware drawers (these are very common)
- Appliance drawers
- Miscellaneous drawers
- The freezer or fridge
- Cabinets (such as a cabinet tray divider)
Kitchen dividers are great to break up the space or even create more room. Additionally, storage containers (some come in the form of glass jars) work well for:
- Non-perishable foods. These include items such as flour, sugar, canned fruits and vegetables, or pasta.
- Leftover meals (and can be reused)
- Frozen meals
- Oils and Spices (and if they are used for spices, labeling is a great system to use)
Storage containers in all their forms do wonders for keeping the kitchen structured.
Put Similar Items in the Same Area
To create an organized placement system, put bowls, plates, cups, and other similar dish groups together in one area. You could even have cabinets or shelves dedicated to each category. In addition to dishes, it’s also wise to have an appointed space just for food.
Once the spaces are assigned, for even more systematic organization, arrange the following food items together:
- Canned goods
Not only should they be arranged together, but they should also be placed in the pantry neatly. It should be relatively simple to find the food you’re looking for.
When foods and other similar items are placed in the same area, it creates structure and often saves space. You also know exactly where your food is and precisely where your tableware is located. This boosts efficiency and saves time.
Wash Dishes and Cookware Right After They’re Used
Washing the dishes and cookware right after use may not always be possible if there’s a time crunch. Even when it is doable, implementing this kitchen efficiency tip may be a challenging habit to fall into or seem incredibly inconvenient. It’s especially daunting to clean dishes right after a big dinner.
However, there are many benefits from immediately washing dishes. Some of these perks include:
- Avoidance of a massive dish pile-up
- Having an empty sink all the time
- Saving time by not having to do all the dishes at once
- Cleaner dishes (as old food or crumbs don’t have time to settle)
- Easier washing (leftovers come off easier)
- Eliminates the smell of dirty dishes that sit
- When tap water is needed, it’s easier to access
So, as rough as it may be to fall into that habit, cleaning dinnerware and cookware right after they’re used is worth it.
Clean Up As You Cook
Cleaning up your kitchen as you cook saves time by making the cleanup after you’re done shorter. It also creates more space to finish preparing food. To clean as you go means that you:
- Put away food or other items that you no longer need right after you’re done using it
- Throw away or recycle what you used that you don’t need anymore
- Do dishes you used while waiting for food to cook (as discussed above)
- Wipe off counters after you’ve finished using them
This may also be a tricky habit to create for yourself, but this tip makes it much more efficient in the kitchen.
Create Extra Space For Kitchen Items As Needed
No items or foodstuffs should be crammed together if you run out of space. Jamming things together adds a feeling of disorganization. There are a variety of possibilities for creating storage in a tidy manner, but it’s entirely dependent on the reason for including more space.
This can be done through:
- Installing extra shelves for the wall
- Adding another cabinet for the wall
- Installing a magnetic strip for Japanese chef knives
- Add a pot rail with hooks to hang pots and pans
- Get a rotating rack for the counter (for spices, fruits, vegetables, etc.)
- Buy a roll cart with extra shelf space
All of these items are typically simple to install, will keep the kitchen orderly and help it to still look clean.
Keep a Clear Counter Space and Sanitize Often
Having an available counter space suggests an efficient kitchen, especially when it is always available (if not in use). Even if your kitchen doesn’t have a large amount of countertop area, you can still keep a portion of it clear and open.
The perks of doing this include:
- A permanent spot to prepare a meal is ready for use
- An available place to eat (if applicable)
- A place to temporarily put groceries or lay out food for guests
In addition to these benefits, regularly sanitizing this area adds to its value and makes it safe for cooking.
Don’t Store Items in the Kitchen That Don’t Belong
This last tip may seem obvious, but it’s really easy (if you have extra space) to store objects in the kitchen that don’t typically belong there. This lowers efficient organization and creates clutter that could be avoided.
Materials that typically find their way into the kitchen that don’t belong are:
- Extra papers
- Cleaning products (that aren’t used to clean the kitchen)
- Office materials
- Trash overflow
Moving these objects and implementing this efficiency trick in your kitchen is very simple. If an item very obviously belongs in the kitchen (such as tableware or food), keep it there in its designated area. If the item doesn’t fit, remove it to its proper place. Regularly doing this simple task will do more than you think.
For more structure and productivity in your home kitchen, many painlessly applied tips and tricks exist. These include cleaning as you go, especially countertops and dishes. Having designated spots for kitchen items and organizing those grouped kitchen materials is also wise. You can also add systematic space as needed, including using dividers and storage containers. Last but not least, don’t store things in the kitchen that don’t belong. Doing these things will make your kitchen an enjoyable location to be in and keep it clean and safe.