Your morning mood sets the tone for the rest of the day, and most people start their day in the kitchen. If you can’t find a lid for Tupperware or you have to drag the coffee maker out of a cabinet each morning, you’re less likely to sail off into a peaceful day. When organizing your kitchen, the goal isn’t just to de-clutter. The goal is to create a room that helps you have more productive mornings and start your day off right.
Clean out and de-clutter
You can’t map out a new kitchen layout until you’ve done a serious clean-out. Take stock of your entire kitchen inventory and get rid of anything you don’t want, need, is broken, or has expired. Clear out all the clutter and start fresh before you start organizing your new kitchen layout.
Map out a layout based on convenience
As you map out the new kitchen layout, consider your morning routine. Do you eat eggs every morning? Do you prep your lunch sandwich every morning? Organize your kitchen around your typical schedule and place items near where you would naturally reach for them. This means storing cooking utensils and the knife block near the stove or prep area and not in some drawer at the other end of the kitchen. Store everyday dish ware in the easiest-to-reach cabinet, preferably close to the sink or dishwasher. You may even want to hang pots and pans from the ceiling near the oven, rather than down in a drawer. In the pantry, place everyday items like cereal, snacks, and dinner staples near the front where they are easiest to reach. Anything you don’t use on a regular basis can be placed out of reach, so it doesn’t interfere with your kitchen flow. For example, rarely used baking items, turkey basters, and niche ingredients that you only need for special meals can be placed in the high or low cabinets and less prime areas. If you need help organizing your new kitchen layout, consider hiring a professional organizer who can map it out for you.
Take advantage of counter space, if you have it
If you make a smoothie and a pot of coffee every morning, keep the blender and coffee maker out on the kitchen. There’s no point in dragging unwieldy kitchen tools in and out of cabinets every single morning. Is it easier to reach for oil and spices if they have a designated spot on the counter near the stove? Place kitchen tools you use every morning in a jar and set them on the counter near your prep space. Of course, more items on the counter create a seemingly cluttered space, so ensure that anything that is placed on the counter is used daily.
Make sure you can see everything
Pantries full of clear, beautifully labeled jars and containers are all the rage on Pinterest, but transparent containers are helpful because they help you actually see what you have in your kitchen. Unload cereal, oatmeal, and baking ingredients into clear containers so you can see what you’re reaching for and easily keep track of how much food you have left. There’s nothing worse than reaching for the cereal only to realize thirty minutes before work starts that you’re all out of Cheerios.
Invest in containers that are easy to open
Before you invest in storage containers, consider how easy they are to open. Canisters with attached lids are easy to open with one hand, and you won’t lose the lid. Beware of buying glass containers online, as the item that arrives might be heavier than expected.
Put frequently used items at eye level
If you reach for oatmeal every morning, place it at eye level in the cabinet. Same goes with coffee, juice, eggs, and anything you routinely pick up every morning should be placed easily within arm’s reach because you’re less likely to use something if you forget it’s there. If your cabinetry depth is significant, consider installing pull-out shelves so that way items in the back are easily accessible each morning.
Keep it consistent
Once you’ve assigned all your kitchen items to their various locations, you have to keep it consistent. The way to eliminate that morning mad dash to find the cooking spray is to put the cooking spray back in the same spot every day. This is especially important if you live with other people; keeping the organizational layout the same streamlines everybody’s life.
Bio: Haley writes content with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a full-service junk removal company that will load and haul away all of your unwanted clutter.