The kitchen can be one of the most difficult rooms in the house to keep organized. All kitchens have the potential to invite clutter and chaos. Things get purchased for the kitchen, but rarely are things thrown away. This can cause these spaces to become overcrowded and messy. Small kitchens are even more of a challenge when it comes to staying organized. Here are some ways to alleviate the chaos in a small kitchen.
Group Like Items
First things first, group like items together. This will be the most efficient way to store everything, but it is also the best way to uncover duplicate items. Did you forget that you already had a microplane grater…twice? Take careful inventory of any multiple items, then pick a favorite and donate or sell the others. When dealing with less storage space, you cannot afford to surrender even one corner of a drawer to duplicate items. In addition to duplicate items, take a look at dishes and food storage containers and get rid of any old sets, chipped, or surplus items to cut down on storage space. You may not need as many of these things as you think.
Pare it Down
Once you’ve grouped and thrown away extras, it’s time to take inventory of items you will actually use. There are a lot of great kitchen gadgets out there, but some items serve functions that are so specific, it may not be worth giving up the valuable space to store. This becomes especially true if you’ve never or very rarely used an item. Consider this permission to throw away that wedding gift fondue set you’ve never opened once in the entire 12 years of your marriage.
Now that you have pared down your items, it’s time to get clever with your storage. The first step is to look up. Most of us think about storage in terms of horizontal shelving and cabinet space, but there are so many ways to incorporate vertical storage into the mix. Hang your pots and pans, utilizing cabinet inserts to create “double decker” storage in each cabinet, or even buy some over the door storage shelves and dedicate things like spices and paper products to those spaces.
Clever Storage Solutions
There are so many great organization products on the market that can help you maximize your space. Once you’ve grouped, purged and utilized existing storage, you can look to helpful and clever organizational products to further make space. Things like food storage containers, magnetic knife strips, fruit baskets and shelving to hang wine glasses can relieve some of the chaos by giving items in your kitchen a home without taking up existing space. Make one side of your kitchen table a bench and utilize it to store additional appliances and bulky items used less often.
By utilizing these steps, even the smallest of kitchens can become an inviting and stress-free hub for the family once again.