Wednesday, January 9, 2019

31 Days To Organization - Day 9: Organizing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Happy New Year! January is a time to start begin again with a fresh, clean it is only appropriate that January is National Organization Month! And since many people make a New Year's resolution to become more organized, I'll be posting organization tips every day for the month of January.

Kitchen Organization Tips: 

Kitchens have long been the central area of the house. They are used for food preparation, yes, but they are also gathering spots, communications centers, homework stations and in some cases, the home office. The kitchen is quite possibly the busiest and hardest working room of the house. This makes keeping it efficient, as well as presentable, a high priority. But that can be quite a challenge.

Having an organized kitchen is not difficult to obtain. It takes a bit of time and thought, but whether you're making a gourmet meal for 12 or heating up last night's leftovers, the end result is a relaxing, yet highly productive kitchen.

For the next few days, the National Organization Month posts will be all about kitchen organization.

Day 9 - End The Cabinet Chaos!

What is it with kitchen cabinets? Everything you need is either in the back of the deepest, darkest cabinet or too high for you to reach without climbing onto the counter top. The food storage cabinet is a jumbled mess of tops and bottoms. You never can find the spices you need and you don't know what to make for dinner because you have no idea what you have in the house.

Create a sensible, organized place for everything! You will be able to easily find what you need and retrieve it without any hassle.

We use only a small percentage of our stuff a large percentage of the time. It only makes sense to have that small percentage of stuff front and center. Store it within arms reach of the space where you'll use it most. Keep dishes near the sink or dishwasher. Keep pots and pans near the stove. Keep the coffee, sugar bowl and filters near the coffee maker. Make it convenient!

Wire shelving can really make use of the otherwise wasted space in a tall cabinet. It practically doubles your storage space!

Take a look at these other ways to cut down the clutter and improve the efficiency of your kitchen:

  • Use a corner storage shelf in your cabinet to stack different sized plates on top of each other without reducing their accessibility.
  • Cut back on the number of food storage containers you own. You are NOT going to need 20 containers for leftovers at any one time. Try to have one good set that can be used in the refrigerator, freezer, microwave and dishwasher. Having several containers of only one or 2 sizes really makes finding a lid easier, too! Nest (or stack) the containers and keep the lids in one place with a lid storage basket attached to an inside cabinet door.
  • Deep base cabinets become immediately accessible when you install roll out drawers or sliding shelves. They are available in different sizes and can handle heavy loads.
  • A lazy susan can be used for spices, baby food or cans - all those little things that would normally become buried in the back. You could also line everything up on a stair-stepped cabinet organizer. It keeps items in the back raised higher where they can be seen.
  • Eliminate the stacks of cookie sheets and muffin tins by storing everything vertically in a lid organizer (some file organizers can be repurposed this way, too). You'll easily be able to reach in and grab the item you need without disturbing the rest.
  • Pots and pans can be pulled out of cabinets and hung on a pot rack suspended from the ceiling. Pot lids can be stored on a lid rack.
  • Dry goods can take up a lot of room and can be especially cluttered when kept in their original containers. Move your dry goods to air-tight storage containers that make the most of your cabinet space.

My Kitchen Cabinets
I keep my staples (flour, bread flour, sugar, rice, etc) in these 17 cup Snapware Flip-Top Storage Containers. I really can't say enough about these. I've had mine for almost 10 years (purchased by the case while working at an organization & storage store) and I LOVE them. The lid has a silicone seal that is easy to clean and keeps everything fresh. The flip top opening is big enough for me to fit in a 1 cup measuring cup to scoop out ingredients. They will each hold an entire bag of flour or sugar.

I use the smaller 10.8 Cup size for our sushi rice and brown sugar, cornmeal, powdered sugar and grits. Then I use the even smaller 4.5 Cup size for graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, cornstarch, etc. (though it looks like this small size doesn't come with the flip-top lid anymore).

I even have 4 of the large 22.8 cup cereal size in our pantry! To give you an idea of how big the cereal containers are, I can usually fit 2 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats in one container.

Most are labeled so everyone can tell the bread flour from the all-purpose flour, etc. They have made life so much easier in the kitchen!

I buy my spiced in bulk and store them in half-pint mason jars (labeled, of course) on a two-tiered lazy susan. The cabinet is very narrow so the lazy susan had to be assembled inside the cabinet.

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