An organized kitchen is an efficient kitchen…especially when you’re dealing with a smaller footprint. Not all homes have sprawling open kitchens, particularly older homes where the kitchen wasn’t historically a gathering place like it is today.
I live in a home built in 1941. The kitchen space as a whole is quite large because it’s an eat-in kitchen, but the actual prep area is quite small. When your cooking and prep spaces are limited, it’s even more important to utilize every square inch to its fullest potential. While every kitchen is different, the following are a few tips to help you get organized.
Think about items you use on a daily basis. For us, that’s coffee and cereal, so we dedicated two cabinets in our kitchen to those items. The rest of the food is kept in our small cabinet pantry. The coffee items are located in cabinet right above the coffee maker.
Use some of your favorite kitchen items as decor. I don’t like to keep my standing mixer on my main counter, so I keep it over by the buffet with my pastry slab and cutting boards. Kitchen items make some of the prettiest kitchen scenes.
Store your cutting boards, baking sheets and other large items like platters in a vertical file for easy access. If you don’t have built in dividers, you can purchase them to fit into any cabinet.
Use an expanding divider for your silverware. This allows you to fully utilize the size of the entire drawer entirely. I love how bamboo dividers fit in with the drawer to look custom.
I keep my kids dishes and lunch box supplies right above the dishwasher because they are frequently used. It makes the unloading process nice and efficient!
The key to keeping all your kiddo’s dishes corralled, is having less of them. Minimize the clutter!
Use your doors. Store everything from kitchen towels to sponges to extra straws in caddies installed on the inside of your cabinet doors. I keep the kid’s straws and silverware in a caddy inside their cabinet.
Use caddies for the inside of the doors under your sink for sponges, brushes, and dishwashing tabs.
File fold your kitchen towels. This method creates space you didn’t know you had, and allows to you store more in one drawer than you otherwise could.
Lazy Susans…I have to say it’s probably my least favorite storage area of the kitchen. They are difficult to use and things tend to get lost in there…But, it’s there and occupies a LOT of space, so I had to find a good use for it. I think they work well for food storage containers. I recommend storing one type of item in here so you are always aware what’s hiding in that merry go round…
Another good use for the Lazy Susan is appliances that are used infrequently. I’m a huge fan of nothing on my countertops…only keep the appliances you use frequently on the countertop. No one says you HAVE to keep your toaster there at all times…if you’re not a toast person, stow it away until you actually need it. When you have a small kitchen, counter space is hot real estate.
Use the space above the refrigerator. I keep my knives up there out of reach of the kiddos, those tall, clumsy water bottles, and infrequently used appliances…oh, and that roasting pan that’s never been used that we registered for when we got married because SOMEDAY we’ll host Thanksgiving?! That’s in the back as well.
Just because your pantry is small, doesn’t mean it can’t be efficient, and look great too. Actually, having a smaller pantry forces you to only keep what you actually use and know pretty easily what you have and are running low on. I love these glass canisters because they go from pantry to table and look great on their own. Long pull out bins are great to store dry goods, and we ALWAYS recommend risers. It keeps all those cans and jars in line!
I know this post was a long one…but getting organized isn’t a quick fix! It takes time and planning. Hopefully these tips help you rethink your kitchen spaces to be more efficient and organized!
Ashley + Lindsay