There are plenty of articles about creative ways to organize a kitchen, but many of them center around practicality at the expense of an aesthetically pleasing kitchen. Let’s look at ways to organize your kitchen, but still be proud to show it off to guests while cooking.
- Ease of cleaning
Before actually organizing, it’s important to know how you will organize. Professional organizer Marie Kondo suggests ease of cleaning instead of ease of use. She noticed professional kitchens are streamlined for cleaning, so that at the end of service, chefs only have to wipe down the counters a final time. Wash and organize while cooking, keeping the kitchen neat and open, rather than piling dishes for the end of the meal. Clear a path for the kitchen triangle and work methodically, keeping everything you use organized by which of the three points in the kitchen you will use the items at. Everything should have its place and should be neatly tucked away when you’re done with it.
A good meal will often start with cookbooks. Instead of shoving them in a cabinet or in the corner of the pantry, find a place to display them, giving a splash of color to the kitchen. You can show off your knowledge and tastes and guests can also leaf through to get ideas for their own meals. It is important to note that the books should be kept away from areas of high humidity or where they are in danger of splashing grease.
- Clear glass
Boxes, sacks, bags, and other containers come in all shapes and sizes, often taking up space and cluttering a kitchen or pantry and making the area look busy with color. Instead of just storing products in whatever they came in, put everything in clear, labeled jars and containers (likely glass, but possibly clear plastic). You can control the size of each jar or container, ensuring you maximize use of the space. Labeling the jars will clear any confusion caused by the products’ similar appearances.
- Write right on the table
I’m interrupting this list for story time. My wife and I bought a new table when we moved into our new house. It’s incredibly heavy – the two of us can barely lift it. The tabletop is made of metal, and had a dull metal finish that reminded me of marble. One day, a bottle of nail polish remover was knocked over. The finish was destroyed.
We used chalkboard paint to refinish the table, which gave us the ability to write directly on the table in chalk. From love notes in the morning to a shopping list, the table is now a canvas. It’s also great for when kids visit, giving them a place to draw that can be wiped down easily with a paper towel.
- Do the math
Terrible at converting measurements? Paint the inside of a cabinet door with more of the chalkboard paint, write out measurements, and leave a space to do the math if needed. With the extra space below the writing, organize and hang your measuring cups. Not only will this clear space in a drawer, where you kept a set of measuring cups, but it will also give a nice, professional touch to your kitchen.
- Magnetic strips
Hanging a magnetic strip from your kitchen wall opens up more options, just like hanging the measuring cups. Although the magnetic strip is most often used to hold knives, keeping the blades sharp and out of the way, you could also attach metal ladles, spatulas, tongs, and more to free up space. The best part: You can make one yourself with minimal effort.
- He who controls the spice, controls the universe
Nearly everyone who has been in our kitchen has commented on our magnetic storage jars, holding spices and a few dried herbs. With a magnetic wall mount, our little metal jars could go on the wall, though for now, we have them attached to the side of the refrigerator. They are in easy reach of where food is prepped, and, like the clear jars from earlier, are all windowed and labeled for easy identification.
- Tense up
While newer kitchens often come with a tall, thin cabinet already set up with dividers for setting cutting boards upright, you can create your own cutting board section – either in a cabinet with a door or in the open air – by using tension rods to separate spaces. This makes it easy to identify and choose the right cutting board or platter without having to dig through a pile.
This article was written by Cole Mayer. A former professional journalist covering crime, court and fire stories, Cole spends his free time freelance writing, playing video games, doing yard work, and slowly writing a crime novel. He can be reached on Twitter or Facebook.