When we are tasked with organizing a kitchen, whether it’s a family moving in for the first time or a situation where the family has been using their kitchen for some time, I let the client know that kitchens can be one of the most time consuming spaces to organize. It’s a puzzle to organize a kitchen because a set up that worked in a past house, might now not work in a new space. You need to set it up systematically. (In the case of these photos the family was just moving in. They had unpacked slightly, but we needed to put everything away). Our strategy:
Pull Everything Out or unpack ALL boxes to see what is there. Do a general sort of like with like; dishes, prep tools, mugs, serving, bakeware, pots and pans, appliances, etc. so you can see what you have.
Pare Down as Needed – Once you see the tray you got for your wedding and have not used for 10 years, you are more inclined to get rid of it. Same thing with prep tools. Did you realize you had 6 spatulas, do you really need all of them?
Building the System
- The first items we home are dishes, silverware and glasses as they are used the most. Preferably they go in a spot close the dishwasher in order to make emptying it easier.
- We then figure out where to locate a coffee station. Mugs, coffee and tea, should be above and/or below the coffee maker and/or the electric kettle.
- Pots and pans are the next thing and they store best in deep drawers if possible. They usually take up two large drawers or 4 narrow shelves. Lids can be stored standing up or inverted on the pots to allow stacking.
- Next are prep tools and oils and vinegars, near the stove, for ease of use. Same with mixing bowls, chopping tools and measuring cups having proximity to where you will likely prepare a meal.
- Last is appliances and serving/entertaining. A lot of people think they don’t have space for their large appliances, but when you use a systematic approach to organize a kitchen, you can plan for where these go and adjust shelves accordingly. Our goal is to have less on your counters: as the more you have on the counter, the more likely that other things will follow, making them visually unappealing as well as difficult to use. Serving/Entertaining is usually in a more out of the way space given its infrequent use.
Efficiency of Storage – A standard practice of ours is to create a cabinet with trays and cookie sheets stored vertically. When they are stored flat they are difficult to access and manage. If you don’t already have a tray cabinet, it’s easy to create one with these products. We also LOVE Lazy Susans for making oils and vinegars much easier to use since you don’t have to move 3 bottles just to get to one in the back. Another thing we do is divide prep tool in a drawer with drawer organizers. This helps to streamline the cooking process as well as eliminate the frustration of rummaging through a tangled mess to find the tool you need.
A Kitchen Transformed
When a kitchen organization is complete, the counters, once cluttered and chaotic, are now ready for you to create that masterpiece of a dish or simply get dinner ready for your family. Everyone can help put things away because the location of things make sense and drawers and cabinets aren’t a jumbled mess of random items. With a place for everything and everything in its place, this kitchen transformation is not just about decluttering but about creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing space where culinary adventures can unfold with ease. It’s a testament to why organization matters and proves that every kitchen item deserves its own, well-defined home.