It makes sense that the most used part of the home – the kitchen – often becomes the most cluttered. Kitchen gadgets, small appliances, recipe books and so forth go from being necessities to utter annoyances. Here’s how to tackle a kitchen that is bursting at the seams.
Ditch Single-Use Appliances & Gadgets
We’re talking about that margarita machine, rice cooker, bread maker, waffle maker, deep fryer, electric grill, etc. Be honest with yourself about how much you really use that item. Is it worth the amount of cupboard, drawer or counter space you’re devoting to store it? Aim to keep items that you use at least once on a weekly basis.
Re-Evaluate Your Seasonal Dishware
The same idea goes for your seasonal dishes or the “fine china” you once imagined using during dinner parties (that have yet to occur). Unless you have ample storage space outside of your kitchen, free up your cupboard space by learning to dress-up your day-to-day dishware with cloth napkins or placemats that fit those special occasions.
Do Away With Plastic
Unless you are an avid recycler, you likely have what seems like a few hundred plastic grocery sacks stuffed into another plastic sack somewhere in your kitchen. Ditch them altogether and invest in several canvas totes for your weekly grocery trip.
Tackle Your Coffee Cups
Coffee cups often become oddly sentimental, which is why many of us hold on to that coffee mug from your alma mater or that gag gift cup you got at Christmas seven years ago. But in reality, even a household of several java drinkers only needs about six mugs. Go through your cupboard, keep the mugs that hold the most coffee possible that you like the most, and add your excess to the sale or donate pile.
Keep Your Counter Clear
This is the number one rule for making a kitchen feel bigger. The kitchen often becomes the official drop-zone for keys, mail, etc. Start by designating a specific area for those items and then store larger countertop appliances that you don’t use on a daily basis – like a stand mixer – in a cupboard.
Keep ONE Junk Drawer
Everyone is allotted a junk drawer in their home, but if you’re like many homeowners, that drawer starts to slowly take over sections of your kitchen. Make it a habit of going through it every so often to make sure the junk drawer doesn’t overflow into yet another drawer in your kitchen.
One in One Out
Just because you’re tackling your kitchen organization, doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate something new. Just make it a priority to follow the organizational mantra – one in, one out – at all times, because in reality, who needs five large mixing bowls?
File Your Favorite Recipes
Unless you have a cookbook filled with family recipes, it’s time to de-clutter your recipe filing system. If you have large cookbooks that hold only a few go-to recipes, it’s time to get digital. Upload them into an online drive or use the web to bookmark your favorite dishes – thanks, Pinterest! If there’s just something you love about a printed recipe, photocopy the recipes from your cookbooks and place them all together in one three-ring binder. For more digital recipe storage ideas, see this blog post on The Kitchn.
Look for Kitchen Items That Maximize Space
From collapsible food storage to colanders and measuring cups, if you have limited kitchen storage, it’s a smart idea to invest in items that give you more space.
Confront Your Food Storage Containers
You likely feel right at home when you see commercials of a person opening up a cupboard door to be greeted by an avalanche of plastic containers and lids. The resolution is cutting down to two to three sizes of containers so matching them up is less hassle and they’ll no longer be conquering an entire cabinet.
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