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Quick Tips: Kitchen Organization

December 31, 20141 comment

Post-Holiday Requirement: Find a Place for Everything.

Have you been watching ads for storage bins and organizers, homes for all those gifts and ornaments? Before buying more giant tubs or triple stacking your glass baking pans, give your kitchen an organizational makeover. You may find space you didn’t know you had. Here are a few tips to get you started.

tall maple pantry cabinet with roll-out shelves
Tall Pantry Cabinet with Roll-Out Shelves

Identify OOPS—Out of Place Stuff

After years of waiting for my husband to finish with the toaster so I could reach a coffee mug, I moved the mugs to the other side of the sink. My advice? Don’t wait years. Identify storage and traffic problems now and look for simple solutions. Rearrange your cupboards so the coffee maker is near water, measuring cups near flour, etc.

Clear containers rock!

Store your regularly used products—flour, sugar, cereals—in clear rectangular airtight containers. At a glance you will know what needs restocking. Use clear bins to store cookie cutters, baking sprinkles and other small items on shelves and in the refrigerator.

Keep a list inside your pantry door

Fix your shopping list to the inside of the pantry door. Use a clipboard and typing paper, a whiteboard or chalkboard paint. It’s easy to take stock at a glance and to cross items off as they are replenished.

Purge your utensil drawer

It’s time to say good-by to those mysterious small items floating around in the back of your utensil drawer. And really, do you need four plastic scrapers? If you haven’t used an item in six months, out it goes. Use a drawer organizer to keep remaining utensils neatly at hand.

Containerize your junk drawer

Use small plastic containers to organize your junk drawer—you know, the drawer stuffed with rubber bands, paper clips, pencils, twist ties and coupons. Label the tops of containers so you can see what’s inside without pulling them out.

Organize the refrigerator

Empty the fridge onto a nearby counter, having your trash bin at hand. Into the bin goes anything without a date. Keep a marker nearby to date any takeout containers. Subject all leftovers to a 3-day or out rule.
Determine zones. Keep fresh meat and raw eggs separate from produce and dairy. Have a beverage shelf the right height for soda cans or bottles. Rather than the door, store milk on a shelf where it is cooler. Store vegetables in the crisper. Organize small items, including condiments and medications, in clear bins. Label shelves and drawers to enlist family members in maintaining order.

Send single-use appliances to a new home

You know who they are—the appliances you love but rarely use. The usual suspects are sandwich makers, blenders, rice cookers, pancake grills and the monster appliance, an electric roaster. If you can’t bear to part with them altogether, dedicate a shelf in the garage or basement to these space hogs. Anything coated in more than 1/8” of dust when you next look for it is a candidate for the donation box.

Do you have a special problem, or suggestions on organizing a kitchen? Share your ideas with our readers by adding a comment below.

CliqStudios offers a range of kitchen storage solutions that provide easy access and optimize your cabinet space.

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