Harris, Reed & Seiferth
Is your hard-working kitchen getting cluttered and unmanageable? If you need more storage, but every cupboard, shelf, nook and cranny is filled, it's time to take a second look at your use of space. Chances are you can reorganize and reclaim more storage than you ever thought possible.
Well-planned cabinets, drawers and shelves maximize space, save steps and eliminate frustrating searches for necessary kitchen tools and gadgets. An organized kitchen doesn't cost a lot of money, but does require a practical plan to keep items handy and easy to reach. Here are a few ideas to help make efficient use of your kitchen space and create some new storage areas as well.
Clear the Clutter
Your kitchen holds an awesome amount of stuff. The more stuff you collect and store in the kitchen, the more you have to manage. It makes sense to get rid of anything you don't need or want anymore. Reducing clutter is a must. If you do nothing else to organize your kitchen, do this.
A well-designed, folding step stool is an indispensable tool for your reorganizing strategy. Choose one that helps you access storage space without requiring much of its own. Be sure it's sturdy and can easily hold your weight while you're stretching and reaching into upper cabinets, shelves and closets.
Pick a starting point and begin at the top. Work one shelf, cupboard or drawer at a time and remove everything you find. Most items you run across will require a decision, so group your “stuff” into categories. For each item, ask yourself:
Create separate stacks for each category and stick to the plan.
Remember these tips:
Look For Extra Storage
To make the most of potential kitchen storage, think beyond the individual cabinets, shelves and closets to every available inch. A careful inventory of existing space can help you plan how to use it effectively. Start your planning process by searching for unused or underused spaces. Examine all surfaces, including the area above or below appliances, behind doors and unused floor space. Grab a notebook and pen and make a list of any potential storage spots or areas that can be better organized.
These quick and simple pointers will also help you gain extra kitchen storage in unexpected places:
Now that you've cleared out the clutter and discovered a few new storage areas, it's time to take your final step toward creating an efficient, well-organized kitchen. Think of your kitchen as a single room with three separate work centers: preparation, cooking and cleanup. Keep in mind where, what and how you use an item before you put it back into each cabinet or drawer.
Easy access and return is important. If you can get to something and return it to its designated space without a hassle, the chance of your kitchen staying organized is greater. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
How to Arrange a Food Pantry
When your pantry or food storage cabinets become packed with food that isn't sorted or organized, you will eventually have a huge mess on your hands. The pileup of ingredients can be avoided without spending a lot of time or effort. It just takes about an hour from start to finish.
Start by emptying pantry shelves and moving everything to boxes or a nearby countertop. Clean shelves with warm, soapy water and wipe dry. Before you put things away, think about how you will fill prime and non-prime spaces. For example, prime, eye-level shelves should be reserved for your items used most often.
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