Kitchen Organization DIY…

Kitchens are the heart of every home.  It is where we congregate for discussions with family and guests.   Where we have meals together.

The kitchen is where we prepare meals. It is even where we unload a lot of our mail and school paperwork.

The kitchen has a lot going on!  That is why it is so important to have it organized so it functions the way you need it to for you and your family.

Prime Real Estate…

When you start to organize your kitchen there are a few things that you want to consider.    How often you use an item, whether it is in a convenient spot, and how an item will fit in the space.

The idea is that the kitchen is one of the most used areas of the house.  Our kitchens’ are used for cooking, cleaning, family gathering, dropping mail, emptying lunch boxes, storage, meal times…you get the picture.

So having it organized is essential.  But you also should realize that the kitchen space is prime real estate.

Meaning, if you want to store something in there, it needs to be a priority item.

3 things to consider before you start…

Consideration #1:

A priority item is one that you use on a daily basis, or almost daily.

Let’s start with how often you use an item.  Things like glasses, plates, and bowls are obviously something that you use on a daily basis, so their residence in the kitchen is justified.

But what about things like your stand mixer, large serving platters, and your roasting pan?   You may want to think harder about whether you actually need those items in your kitchen.

If you are an avid baker, then, of course, you should keep your stand mixer and other baking supplies close at hand.

But, if you are someone who only uses their stand mixer once a year to make Christmas cookies, then you probably could store it somewhere else in the house.

Same with your roasting pan.  If you only use it on Thanksgiving, then maybe you can store it in your basement until that day.

My large serving platters get used every time I host a party or shower.  So I keep them in the kitchen.  But I keep them in a cabinet that is not used much because it is in a weird spot.  So technically, they are out of the way.

Consideration #2:

The next thing to consider is whether the area where you want to store something is convenient.

Let’s think of it like this.  If you were driving your car, would you want the radio buttons in the backseat?  No.  You use them every time you drive, so you want them right where you can reach them quickly and easily.

It would not be very convenient to have to park the car and climb over the seats every time you want to change the radio station.

Same goes for your kitchen.

If you have your glasses in a cabinet across the kitchen from your dishwasher, then it is going to take you longer to put things away.  You will not want to do it if it takes a long time.

Same with your dish towels and dishrags.  If you only use them near the sink, then you should store them near the sink.  It doesn’t make sense to store them on the opposite side of the kitchen.

Especially if your hands are wet and you need to dry them off.

Consideration #3:

The last thing to consider before you decide on a permanent location for your items is whether or not they fit into the space.

Consider your cooking utensils.  Putting them in a large deep drawer just doesn’t make much sense.  Same for putting them in a cabinet.

Since they are mostly long and flat, then a shallow drawer near the stove or a utensil holder on the countertop would be the best options.

Obviously, you cannot store your giant crockpot in a shallow drawer.  So even if that would be the most convenient spot, you still have to consider the fact that it just won’t fit.

Break it down into small jobs…

Once you have considered the three points above, then it is time to start moving items around.

Some people like to move everything at once, so they can see it all, know where they want to put things, throw things away and see how things fit.

Others like to do things a little at a time.

I like to take one cabinet at a time, think about the three considerations above, and decide if I can make that one area work any better.  This takes me about 15-20 minutes.

I like doing a little each day or once a week versus using up a whole day and feeling totally overwhelmed by the mess.

This is what I recommend for you.  Start off slowly.  It will make everything more manageable.

Doing it all at once creates a lot more stress if you don’t get everything finished and put away.

Then your organization project starts to run over into the next day.

Or maybe even days after that if you are busy.

So my suggestion is to start small and finish each project before starting another.

Follow these steps  – Visualize, remove, divide, purge, add containers, and replace.

Step 1:  Visualize

This is the step where you think and picture the space in your head or on paper.  Think about what is in the space you are about to re-organize.

How does it currently function for you and your family?

Could it function better if you changed its location, rearranged its contents or made the contents fit better?

There is one cabinet in my kitchen that I am continuously re-arranging, adding to, and now finally I have relocated it to a completely different cabinet altogether.

This cabinet is the one that holds all of my kid’s cups.  Not just cups, but their water bottles, drinking cups, lids, and straws.  The cabinet always seems to get crazy and disorganized.

Obviously, my kids getting into it all the time doesn’t help the situation.  But also the fact that we have way too many containers and cups in there is a problem too.

So I think about that cabinet a lot and visualize different ways that it could work better.

Step 2:  Remove

Once you have decided what you want to do in the space, then remove the things that you want to re-organize.

Let’s go back to that pesky cabinet of mine.  The one with all the kid cups.  When I actually pulled everything out of the cabinet, I realized why things kept falling out when the kids would open the cabinet door.

There was too much stuff!  It was as simple as that.  But until I actually pulled everything out, I had no idea what was actually in there.

Step 3:  Divide

This is the best step.  Divide the contents that you just removed into 3 piles.  One to pile to keep, one to donate, and one to throw in the garbage.  You can get a better idea of what to put in each pile in my Get Rid Of Clutter FAST! Post.

When I removed the cups from the kid’s cup cabinet, this is what I found.

Cups that they had not used since they were little.  Cups that had no lids.  Lids that had no straws.

I divided everything into my 3 piles..keep, donate, and garbage.

Step 4:  Purge

Throw out the things in your garbage pile and load up the “donate” items to take to Goodwill!  Simple as that!

Needless to say, I got to throw A LOT of things away the day I cleaned out the kid’s cup cabinet!  YEA!  I love it!!

Step 5:  Add Containers

This is the 2nd best part of the process for me…the 1st is getting to throw things away!

So now, you get to look at the items that you are keeping and see if you can contain them somehow.

Let’s go back to the kid’s cup cabinet.

I know that the cups are not really the problem in this area.  They stand up on their own, they are easy to see, and they normally don’t fall over.  In other words, they are already pretty easy to see and find.

The part that holds our family up and takes up our time is trying to find the lids and the straws that go with the cups.

This is where you want to use containers.  Containers will help you “contain” things that are an irregular shape and size, such as lids.  They will also help you display things that you need to find faster…such as straws.  This is my current setup and it works well.

Step 6:  Replace your “keep pile” items

Here is what my final cabinet looks like.

Notice I don’t have tons of things in there.  I have pared it down to just the essentials in this cabinet.

Then, I moved all of the water bottles we only use once or twice a week to another drawer.  These are the sports bottles.  I have used a container for them so they don’t roll all over.

Then, I put all of the straws and lids into containers as well so they are easy to see and pair up.

A few good tips for your kitchen.

I am just going to show you a few items I have used creatively to organize my kitchen and for not much money.

These items either came from the dollar store or from the thrift store.

Another great rule of thumb is to find things you already own that can serve a purpose for organization in your kitchen.

I can’t wait until we start our next project together!

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