What makes you happy about your kitchen? For me, my favorite features that my kitchen has are the flat stove and wealth of cabinet space. We moved from a smaller student apartment that we lived in when one of us went back to school into a bigger, more spacious apartment. This was a fantastic upgrade. But there was a problem: we didn’t have enough stuff to fill out all of our cabinets, including the ones in the kitchen! When you don’t have a lot of stuff to fill your storage space, it can become a problem that people think only happens when you have too much stuff. It becomes a mess and things get easily misplaced. As such, my kitchen organization was pretty deplorable. Just look for yourself!
My Cringey Kitchen
The photo above is of two of my own kitchen cabinets before I started my kitchen organization. I named the cabinet on the left the “miscellaneous cabinet” because it has everything from coffee to mail in it. The one on the right is a ingredient/spice cabinet for spices that didn’t fit in the center cabinet (a cabinet dedicated for spices) and random sauces, ingredients, and cooking supplies. I didn’t include the center cabinet in this because it’s actually pretty nice looking already because I changed most of our spices into matching cute little spice jars when we moved. Yeah. It’s a mess. I know. With cabinets like these, we never know where things are located. Things are always moving around, too, because nothing really has a “home”.
Now, this photo on the right is my most frustrating cabinet. It’s my food cabinet. There’s dry and non-perishable goods in this cabinet as well as baking ingredients and seeds. The problem with it largely is that I can’t reach some of the ingredients on the higher shelves and that I have to pull them all out to get to some. Also, things spill or fall a lot in the bottom shelf. We have to cram pasta in on the right to get it to stay. Otherwise, it falls out. Yikes.
Solving The Kitchen Organization Problem
Second to function, we all want a kitchen that looks good. But doing one often results in doing both. So, that’s what I’m going to teach you how to do while demonstrating using my own kitchen. Let’s take it piece by piece.
When organizing anything, especially kitchen organization because food expires, the first step is decluttering. In this situation, I sorted through old mail, tea, coffee, spices, and food that had expired. I threw out any trash and empty containers there were. I refilled my plastic ingredients containers with flour and coc
oa packages that I had from the store, as well. All in all, there wasn’t a ton for me to throw away. But what I did manage to throw away freed up some room which allowed me to have some extra space in my dry goods cabinet pictured on the left here and allowed me to take a shelf out so I could fit my tall mail organizers pictured later in the article.
One important part of my kitchen organization that I had employed even before cleaning up my cabinets was repackaging things. Repackaging is always a great tip for the kitchen and bathroom because original packaging that comes with our products and food/ingredients can be pretty bulky and make it actually harder for us to find things. So, I didn’t have much to repackage myself because it was already done. But I do recommend repackaging your dry ingredients like flour, sugar, and seeds because they keep their properties much better in a moisture-free air-tight container.
I already had three organizers in action in my kitchen cabinets. I had a jar for dog treats, a jar for pens, pencils, and markers, and a box for tea and individual packages of coffee and hot chocolate. However, one that I desperately needed to incorporate into my cabinets was the mail organizer. There’s one for new mail and one for old mail. Mail always piles up for us. We just aren’t great at throwing it away when we’re done with it. At least this way, we wont ever have to worry about accidentally throwing something new away that we needed to keep.
Putting It All Back
Now that you’ve decluttered and have all of your containers and organizers, it’s time to take on the final step of kitchen organizing closets edition. And that step is putting it all away. The key here is keeping like with like. Put things together that are of the same kind. For example, I keep my tea and hot chocolate together because they’re similar in that they both get brewed with hot water. I keep my dry ingredients together because I often have to use them at the same time. I keep my spices together. And I keep my pasta and rice together. You get the point.
The other important aspect of organizing your cabinets is to keep things ordered according to priority. So, while I do bake a lot, I use things like salt and pepper more. So, the salt and pepper are on the bottom shelf where they are most accessible. The shelf on top holds gluten alternative flours because I don’t bake with them as often. See what I mean? It makes it a lot easier to access things in your kitchen. It also makes it easier to put things away and keep it clean.
With all this said, you can be well on your way to creating a kitchen cabinet environment that is both functional and nice to look at. The steps are really similar to that we employed last week when we organized our bathroom storage spaces. It makes cooking and snacking a heck of a lot easier to have everything you need easy to find and within reach, as well. All in all, it took me about twenty minutes to do all of this and I feel like it made a world of difference in the kitchen organization front. So, what do you think? Is it time to tackle your own kitchen cabinets?