Your kitchen can often be viewed as the heart of your home, as it’s one of the most used rooms in your house. Your family gathers here while a roast is in the oven, and your kids raid the pantry for snacks after school. It’s easy to see why it can get become unorganized quickly, which then causes a lot of stress to clean it. It’s not always easy to keep your kitchen tidy and organized, but with a few simple tasks and organizational pieces, you’ll have this popular room neat and tidy in no time.
Empty out cabinets. Starting with a clean slate is the best way to organize your kitchen cabinets. Put all of the items on the counters and kitchen table. You may want to clean the inside of your cabinets while they’re empty.
Read more: How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets
Divide your kitchen into activity zones. Kitchen zones could be defined by activity. For example, you can divide your kitchen into the food preparation zone, baking zone, serving zone, food storage zone and cleaning zone. If it’s easier, try drawing your kitchen layout on a sheet of paper with labels for each of these zones.
Think about your space and plan accordingly. You will want to keep your pots and pans in a cabinet by your stove, and keep the food storage by the fridge and pantry. The cleaning products and dishwashing supplies should be kept near the sink.
Sort and purge. Go through the items on your counters and kitchen table. If there are items that you no longer need, feel free to throw away or put in a box to give away. For example, if your kids are grown, you no longer need sippy cups. Throw away items that are broken, chipped or are missing parts. Now, sort your items into categories that make sense to you. If you have glasses and cups that are used every day, put those together. The glasses that are for guests can go in a separate area.
Souvenir items can pile up quickly and take up crucial kitchen space. If these items aren’t being used, put them in a box and save them or use them in a different room. Display only a few of your favorites.
Sort through the pantry and fridge as well. Use this guide to clean out your fridge. Throw away old items.
Clear the counters. Having too many items on your kitchen counters will make it seem cluttered and unorganized. Items that are not used often should be stored under the counters in your cabinets. These items could include your popcorn maker, stand mixer and/or food processor.
Buy clear storage. Using clear, plastic storage bins in your kitchen is an easy way to keep like items together while being able to do a quick inventory before heading out to the grocery store. For your pantry, have bins for snacks, bread and produce. Use over-the-door organizers for canned goods, spices, dry pastas and sauces. For your freezer, use multi-purpose file bins to organize frozen foods. Place frozen fruits and veggies in one and potato sides (tater tots, french fries, etc.) in another, and use another bin for breakfast items like waffles and pancakes. Label shelves in your fridge (condiments, dressings, dairy, etc.) to keep it organized.
Read more: How to Clean Your Kitchen Appliances
Tupperware. Finding the matching lid for your Tupperware can be tricky. The solution shouldn’t be a complicated one. When you’re through cleaning your Tupperware, place them in the cabinet. Keep the lids in a plastic storage bin to make it easier to find the next time.
Things that work together should be stored together. Pots, pans and cooking utensils should be kept near the stove. This gives you easy access to the tools you’ll need while cooking. Keep bowls, mixers, measuring cups, spoons and other baking items in the baking zone. Plates, dishes, cups and eating utensils should be stored close together. Items that are seldom used should go on top shelves. Mugs, coffee creamers and coffee supplies should be stored near the coffee maker for easy access.
Miscellaneous tips. Keep a clipboard with a sheet of paper hung in your pantry. When you run out of an item, you can quickly add it to the shopping list.
Lining your drawers with pretty paper and using clear dividers will remind you to keep the contents of the drawers to a minimum. Your goal is to see the pretty paper.
Use an organizer for your bakeware and cutting boards. This way, you won’t have to dig and pull items out to find the loaf pan that is stuck in the back of the cabinet.
Purchase magnetic hooks to attach to your refrigerator to hang aprons and towels.
After you have organized your kitchen and cleaned it, walk your family through the kitchen and give them the tour. Remind them that it’s their kitchen, too, and encourage them to keep it organized.
See also: How to Organize Your Bathroom