Home Life: How to Organize Your Kitchen … and Actually Keep It That Way!

The kitchen is typically one of the busiest places in any household. So naturally it’s going to going to accumulate more clutter than other rooms. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also one of the few rooms in the house that’s as much workspace as gathering place. And that can make all that little “stuff” a big problem.

But as daunting as it can seem, even the smallest kitchen can be neat and clean. And believe it or not, it can actually stay that way too. Follow these steps for organizing your kitchen and setting it up to be clutter free indefinitely.

What do you really use?
Start with this fundamental question. Most kitchens have gadgets and appliances that get brought out once or twice a year – or even less. Take a good, honest look at when was the last time you used something. If it’s been more than a few months, set it aside to put it in less prominent storage space. And don’t forget to do the same evaluation for food that you’re storing. Do you have three bottles of the same thing hogging room in the pantry? Likewise, are you wasting space with a huge can of something you use only during the holidays?

Set up secondary storage
Next, find a location where you can create additional space to store those occasionally-used or redundant items you pulled out. Your secondary storage doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Can you put a shelf or a cabinet in the basement? What about the attic? Even the garage is acceptable, as long as food preparation equipment is kept away from greases, solvents, and other bad stuff. For that, a basic metal storage cabinet is perfectly adequate.

Create more primary storage
Now, head back into the kitchen and take a look at what’s left. You should be left with the things you use no less frequently than once a month. If you’re still short on space, look at creating more room for these day-to-day staples. Maybe you could add more shelves. Or perhaps another small section of cabinets can be added to some open space. And don’t overlook the possibility of just hanging some things up on hooks. Just make sure such items are in good condition and they display nicely – you don’t want to add clutter on the walls for the sake of reducing clutter in a cabinet.

One in, one out
Finally, keep your kitchen neat and organized from this point on by observing this simple rule. Every time you add an item, you should make room for it by selling, donating, discarding, or storing another item. Yes, this can take some discipline – we all love the idea of having a kitchen filled with all the conveniences available, right within fingertip reach. But the reality of the matter is that only the most massive kitchen could possibly handle such an accumulation. And I think we both know we’d just fill that one up with a proportional amount of stuff anyway. So get tough – make the hard choices and free your kitchen from clutter today!