Organizing the Kitchen

Follow these 11 tips for restoring order and functionality.

If clutter is crowding your kitchen, it's time to reclaim that vital space. Here are some tips for pulling it off:

  1. Go through your drawers frequently and get rid of all that useless junk that's cluttering valuable space.

  2. Most of us could use more counter space, so why not put away those canisters or cookie jars and use plastic cereal containers for things like flour, sugar and cookies? That way you can put them in your cupboards, where they'll stay neatly hidden.

  3. Get rid of all the old mail, newspapers and miscellaneous paper that sits on your kitchen counter for days on end. Put it where it belongs or recycle it.

  4. Dump out all crowded utensil drawers, and get rid of all utensils that never really worked, like that orange peeler or that 1970s can opener. And throw out any utensils you have two of.

  5. Install cup hooks under a cabinet or a shelf to make additional space inside the cupboards.

  6. Open your cupboards and clean off your shelves. Look at the expiration dates and start throwing out those old items.

  7. Go through your freezer and refrigerator and pitch expired items.

  8. Keep your eyes out for excess dishes. Forty percent of dishware is used only when guests visit. Keep what you use weekly accessible, and store your "company dishes" elsewhere.

  9. Weed out countertop appliances such as Crock-Pots, woks or pasta makers that you don't use often.

  10. Determine how many plastic containers you use on a weekly basis and throw the rest out. The average household has enough plastic containers to fill six freezers and refrigerators.

  11. If there's any dead space on your kitchen sink windowsill, get rid of what's cluttering it.

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