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5 Tips for an Organized Kitchen

Denver, CO

Thinking about organizing your kitchen? Here are a few tips to help you create a long-lasting system that will keep the clutter at bay.

Food storage ziplock bags organized in a drawer with bamboo organizers

TIP 1: Declutter

Decluttering a kitchen can be overwhelming because there's so much stuff, so I always recommend decluttering one category at a time. 

For example, pull out all of your cooking utensils (spatulas, tongs, wooden spoons, etc.), lay them on the counter, and group them by like-item. Toss any that are broken or worn, donate duplicates (i.e., keep two spatulas versus seven), and keep the utensils you love and use all the time.

Then, move on to the next category until you have sifted through all your kitchen supplies.

Kitchen utensils on counter grouped by like-item

A good second category to tackle might be your Tupperware. Pull out all your Tupperware and match lids with bases. Get rid of any lid or base that doesn't have a matching friend, toss any Tupperware that's overly used (has burn marks and stains), and keep the ones that are in good shape and cover a selection of sizes.

If most of your Tupperware is in rough shape, now might be a good time to replace it. I recommend buying a matching set, such as a Pyrex glass set, because they will nest within each other nicely for easier storage. 

Glass Tupperware organized in a drawer with bamboo dividers

As you go through this process, make piles around your kitchen (on the counters or floor - wherever you have space) for each category. Bag up donations and trash.

TIP 2: Plan your cabinet and drawer organization

Now that you have all your like-items categorized in piles, make a list of all your categories (silverware, glassware, cups/plates, pots & pans, small appliances, Tupperware, etc.), and then use Post-it Notes or Painter's Tape to mark which category will live in each cabinet and drawer. This is a great way to plan before you move everything in because if you change your mind, it's much easier to move a Post-it Note around versus all your pots and pans.

Post-it notes on kitchen cabinet doors

Organizing a kitchen is all about the process of elimination, as there are only a few places where certain items can physically fit and/or make sense from a functional standpoint, allowing for ease when cooking and unloading the dishwasher.

I always start with the every day, regularly used items such as silverware, plates/bowls, and cups and identify where they should go in relation to the dishwasher for easy unloading. 

Plates and bowls organized in a kitchen cabinet near the dishwasher

From there, I focus on what will live in drawers because there are only so many items in your kitchen that are small enough to fit in drawers.

Then, I focus on the big items, like pots and pans. Again, we want to do our best to keep like items together, so you need to figure out 1) which cabinet or drawer your pots and pans will fit in and then 2) the best place to store them from a functionality standpoint (close to the stove, etc.).

Pots and pans organized in a cabinet with a cookware rack

Work through each category with your Post-it Notes until everything has been given a home. Move the Post-it Notes around until it feels right, THEN start moving everything into its respective drawer/cabinet. 

TIP 3: Choose Product (the fun part!)

The products I use most in kitchens are silverware organizers, drawer dividers (great for utensils and Tupperware), drawer organizers (great for junk drawers and small gadgets), cabinet shelves (great for maximizing cabinet space in smaller kitchens), cookware racks, and my favorite fun bonus item is a water bottle organizer

Water bottles organized in a stackable bottle holder

When choosing colors, I typically choose white, clear, or a color that matches the inside of the kitchen drawers and cabinets for a cohesive look. For example, the inside of this drawer was grey, so I chose a grey silverware organizer.

Silverware organized in a grey drawer with a grey silverware tray

Be sure to measure your drawer before you buy any product. You want to find products that fit the space edge to edge to maximize your available space. Measure your drawer's width (side to side), depth (front to back), and height (top to bottom). Expandable products are always a winner!

Kitchen tea drawer organized with clear bins

I buy most of my products from The Container Store and Amazon. Both have a wide selection to meet any budget, size, and color you might be looking for. 

If you're not an experienced organizer, I highly recommend buying your products AFTER you do most of the steps above to avoid buying the wrong products. You can always place your categories in their respective home (cabinet/drawer) until your products arrive to avoid leaving yourself with a mess and having to return products that don't work.

Knives organized in a drawer with a bamboo drawer organizer

TIP 4: Plan enough time and phone a friend!

The biggest mistake people make is not planning enough time to organize their kitchen. Don't organize your kitchen when you only have an hour in between a busy day. This is a sure way to create a whole lot of stress and mess! Make sure you plan a day to do this when you have the whole day. Find a rainy Sunday when you have nothing else to focus on. Call upon a friend or family member to help you. Turn on some fun tunes and take it ONE step at a time :)

Two friends organizing a kitchen

TIP 5: Align and Maintain

Once your organizing system is in place, it will be SO much easier to avoid clutter because every item now has a home. Be sure to inform your family members, roommates, nannies, housekeepers, and anyone else who contributes to your household to ensure they are aligned with the new system. Show them where things are, make adjustments if needed, and implement labels for extra guidance.

Kitchen utensils organized in a drawer with clear drawer organizers

To keep your organizing system in check, be sure to put items away when you use them, keep things out of the kitchen that don't belong, and tidy up your kitchen every night before you go to bed so you wake up in a clean space. 

Tidy and organized kitchen with decluttered counters

If you find that something in your system isn't working or your habits change over time, make an adjustment! This is totally normal and a must for system longevity.

Lastly, as you get new, fun kitchen gadgets and supplies, practice the "one in, one out" rule to keep your drawers and cabinets from bursting at the seams. 

Don't want to tackle this alone? Reach out! We can do it together.

Happy organizing!


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