Kitchens are often the hub of activity in households. It’s where people gather to make food, discuss daily happenings, and gather supplies before they head out the door. It’s also where people frequently end their days, unloading their lunchboxes and grabbing a glass of water for bedtime. And like most places that see a lot of activity, it can be hard to keep kitchens looking clean and organized. Here are 5 things you can do to keep ahead of the mess and tidy up your kitchen.
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Bundle Up Cords
It’s probably safe to say that you don’t use every one of your countertop appliances every day. If you’re like a lot of people, the cords get curled up and shoved behind the appliance or stretched out along the countertop where they get caught on other kitchenware. To tidy up your counter and extend the life of your appliances, it’s a good idea to bundle those cords. You can use the classic wire twist tie rescued from your last loaf of bread, or you can try something that will hold up longer and is quicker to use.
3M Command Cord Bundlers are hooks attached to a long plastic piece that wraps around the cord bundle and slides into a base. Whenever you need to use the cord, just slide the hook out, unbundle the cord, and slide the hook back into the base. The bundler can be attached to the wall or the appliance and uses the same removable backing as other Command hooks.
Invest in Multi-Purpose Plastic Bins
There are tons of pantry organizers on the market, and you can find some gorgeous pantries on Pinterest organized with baskets, airtight containers, and fancy labels. However, using too many organizers can be inefficient if you don’t have a lot of space, because organizers can take up more space than the food and kitchenware would by itself. For these reasons, I recommend analyzing the current state of your cabinets and pantry (if you have one) and figuring out which areas are most problematic.
Do you work out a lot or just own a lot of reusable water bottles? Pulling out your favorites may be a pain. I know my empty water bottles tend to tip over. If that’s the case for you, there’s water bottle organizers that may be worth the investment. You lay the bottles on their sides, lid first for easy grabbing.
Do you store a lot of canned food or buy packs of sparkling water? Stackable can racks can make it easy for you to quickly grab the can you’re looking for. They can also keep the cans from tipping forward or rolling around.
But in all honesty, all you’ll probably need for most of your organizing needs are some plastic bins and/or stackable plastic food containers to optimize the space in your kitchen and prevent things like food packets from sliding around. These containers can be used in the fridge, cabinets, or the pantry. They are easy to clean and can be moved around as your needs change.
Use a Pot and Pan Organizer
Metal organizers for your pots and pans can seem almost too simple to be worth the investment, but they will keep your cookware from sliding around and taking storage space away from other things. They also help save your cookware from scratches and dings. Of course, you’ll need to do some measuring to find the perfect organizer for your needs, because not all cabinets are made to the same width, depth, and height. There are also stands that are vertical and others that are horizontal. Make sure you choose one that fits the durability of your cookware.
Utilize Unused Cabinet Space
Do you feel like your kitchen is filled to the brim? I’m betting there is some amount of unused cabinet space. Where? In the spaces above what you stack in your cabinets and right below your cabinets above your counter.
You may be one of the lucky ones who can use an under-cabinet hanger or under-cabinet cutting board holder to expand storage. These are low-cost and easy to slide on to shelves. Or you may be like me and have thick molding glued to the front, which makes it hard to use the one-size-fits-most options. There are products you can screw to the underside of the cabinet, but that may not be an option due to physical limitations.
Instead, small key racks come in handy. They allow for the hanging of measuring spoons and cups, and cooking utensils with holes or straps in their handles. They also come in permanent and temporary options (3M Command products). While the goal is to hide these out of sight in your cabinets, there are some nicer ones with an above storage compartment that could hold your favorite spices. So, if there’s no room in your cabinets, and you’re able to drill into your kitchen wall, these are an option for more vertical storage.
Organize Countertop Kitchenware in One Color Scheme
Some of the uneasiness created by an untidy kitchen isn’t necessarily from disorganization or uncleanliness but from the barrage of colors and textures that hit your vision. To make your kitchen feel tidier, consider replacing your current countertop storage containers and kitchenware with ones in a similar color scheme (1 or 2 colors). This gives the impression of organization and tones down all the colors your brain must process.
But First and Foremost…
Before you start organizing, sort through all your kitchenware, dishware, spices, and similar, and throw out anything expired or that you haven’t used in a while. If it’s holiday themed and you didn’t use it last year, chances are you won’t use it this year either. Really try to eliminate things you don’t need. It will make tidying up your kitchen much easier because you won’t have to make room for anything extra.