10 Steps to an Orderly Kitchen

An organizing expert offers expertise for kitchen organization and storage solutions.

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The kitchen is an area of your home that gets used more often than most other areas. So it stands to reason that if your kitchen were more organized and simple to use, your life would feel easier. Professional organizer Monica Ricci has 10 easy steps to organize your kitchen, and make your family life flow more smoothly when it comes to meal preparation.

Kitchen Organizing Tip #1: Empty Cabinets
Pull everything out of each cabinet and go through it. Discard or donate those things that are not frequently used, duplicate items, broken items or things you forgot you had. Do this with each cabinet and drawer, setting up separate areas on the floor for each group. Be ruthless. Most kitchens are short on storage space, so the goal is to only have things you love and use.

Kitchen Organizing Tip #2: Group Like Items
After your cabinets are all empty, consider what is best for you in terms of how to group items. Sort all your baking items and pile them together. Sort your cooking items and pile them together. Group the dishes you eat from, glassware, holiday or other seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year, as well as those special entertaining or serving pieces that are only used occasionally.

Kitchen Organizing Tip #3: Organize the Cabinets
Now that you have groups laid out on the floor, decide where each item should be stored. Cooking and baking pieces should be kept close to where you do food preparation. Utensils should be in the drawer nearest to the prep area as well. Glassware might be best near the sink or refrigerator. Make a coffee or tea station that includes sugar, mugs and filters, and place it near the water source, if possible. This way you avoid going back and forth across the kitchen for the things you need just to make your morning beverage.

Kitchen Organizing Tip #4: Use Clear Containers to Store Items
Use containers to streamline the inside your cabinets. Group together things like packets of sauce mixes, gravy mixes, hot cereal packets and hot cocoa envelopes, then put them into small plastic containers to avoid them being scattered all over the cabinet. Use clear plastic shoeboxes to store food that is in tiny boxes such as gelatin or pudding mix.

Kitchen Organizing Tip #5: Store Containers and Lids Together
Discard containers without lids, and store the remaining plastic containers either with the lids on them, or store the lids in another larger container so they all stay together. Do the same with the lids for your pots and pans. A large clear plastic box will keep them nicely together and on their sides. Another option is to store them on their sides in the cabinet on a wire rack.

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