Whether your idea of masterful cooking is found in a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, or you are aspiring to become the next Master Chef, all good things start in the kitchen. From spices and pasta sauces to ladles and spatulas, your kitchen is home to the valuable tools and ingredients you need to create your next culinary masterpiece.
For some, it’s an art and for others it’s a process, but cooking shouldn’t have to be a chore. One thing you can do to step up your culinary prowess is put an organizational system in place that helps you save time and savor the experience.
We took some time to research some of the most unique ways to help get your kitchen organized:
Prep the pantry. Having a well-stocked, well-organized pantry is the key to efficiency in the kitchen. Whether you have a large pantry in its own room or closet or you designate a shelf or cabinet to staples, the key is to have a specified space for everything. You can use whatever bins or containers work best for your budget; what is important is that whatever you do is functional and works for you.
De-clutter the cabinets. Finding creative ways to de-clutter is among the best things you can do to keep your kitchen operating like a tight ship. Keep like items together by shelf and don’t be afraid to get a little creative in the process. Applying an adhesive liner and some chalkboard paint to the inside of your cabinets is an imaginative way to make a statement and keep track of things in the process.
Find a home for the homeless. Finding unique and interesting ways to hang storage options inside cabinets or elsewhere in the kitchen is a great way to utilize every bit of storage space. Using magazine racks or hooks inside cabinets is an affordable way to make the most of the space inside while simultaneously finding a home for items like Tupperware lids and covers for pots and pans.
Free your Fridge. This may become a family effort, but it’s definitely one worth investing some time and effort into. Start with a purge of all expired or unnecessary things that may be simply taking up valuable fridge real estate. Then establish a game plan for what goes where in the fridge. This could be as simple and straightforward as designating what goes on what shelf or more specific by using bins, containers and labels.
Keep your tools close. Few things are as valuable to a home cook as their tools (utensils, knives, etc.) and the ingredients (favorite spices and seasonings). Both should be close enough to the prep and cooking areas in the kitchen that they are easily accessible without adding clutter or taking up too much counter space. Whether it’s a favorite mug or vase you re-purpose, or something specific you buy at the store, keeping all of your spatulas and spoons in one place provides a convenient storage solution and frees up drawer space for other things. Installing a sliding spice rack in an easy to access spot is another handy trick that can offer purpose to an otherwise potentially unused space.
Utilize island space. If you are able to integrate an island in your kitchen design, keep storage in mind from the start. Customize your island to include shelves, drawers and other storage options to add even more functionality to the piece. Or, if the island is more of an open-concept, add baskets to provide storage for the prep items you use at the island most regularly. The baskets act as an attractive way to hide these items and help make a statement.