Kitchen Organization

How is it already Thursday? This week flew by! I am EXTREMELY excited for the weekend so that I can lay low and play granny. Last weekend we ventured to New York City to visit some of our friends and while I had a great time...man, have I been paying for it all week!

If you don't realize how old you are, make yourself go out BOTH weekend nights (my inner self is screaming, "partying on both nights...NOOOO!"), drink lots of alcohol, eat out for every meal, and consume about 2 drops of water and then let me know how you feel. Yup, this is the story of my life when ever I go out now. Guys, this is the last year in my 20's. I'm not even old. Or am I? Anyway, a weekend like the one I just experienced makes this girl feel like she got run over by a dump truck. Defeated, tired, sore, dehydrated...I'm sure you're catching my drift. 

Moving on. 

Let's talk kitchen organization, shall we?

Who has 900 Tupperware lids and only 2 bottoms, all jammed into one dysfunctional spot? Yup, I know you do. It's okay because most people do. In fact most people have so much shit (sorry, I swear because I'm a real human behind this screen) in their kitchen cabinets that they literally don't know what half the stuff is. 

Or maybe you find yourself scrambling around your kitchen putting one serving platter in one cabinet, only to find your other three serving platters in a completely different cabinet? Your drinking glasses hold the same real estate as your coffee grounds? What the? 

Yup, this is where someone like me can help you. The kitchen gods need to save you and they can. There is hope. There is hope to have a Pinterest-worthy kitchen even if you don't have those white carrara marble countertops or that 6 burner range. You see, you don't need fancy finishes or even brand new cabinets to have a well organized and clutter-free kitchen. With most things in life, it's all about quality over quantity. Your old rickety cabinets and drawers might not suck so bad if they weren't jam packed with excess and there was order to where all of your kitchen gadgets lived. 

Once you've purged and feel like a weight has been lifted, it's time to re-install. Back tracking for a second here - during your purging, it might be wise to pull everything out and think about the placement of everything. Are your drinking glasses in a cabinet that is furthest away from your refrigerator, the place that you'd go to fill that glass up? Is your heaviest pot stored up high thus making it a workout to get it down? Maybe that's why you never use it...

You want the layout of your kitchen components to make sense for how you use your kitchen. It's important to realize that the kitchen is one of the most complex spaces in a home to organize. It requires more than just a couple of hours of time to transform a cluttered and rather unorganized kitchen, from A to Z. 

Now who's ready to hear some of my tried and true kitchen organizing tactics?

Cooking Utensils 

These guys should ideally be in a wide drawer near your stovetop so when you're cooking at your stove you can easily whip out the tools needed to perfect that bologenese in which Giada made look so damn easy. Try using drawer organizers like this one, to help contain all of the different pieces.

If you're like me and literally have five drawers in your kitchen (yup, I have five rinky dink drawers), then get creative. I made use of an otherwise bare wall that is conveniently to the left of my stove. 

My thoughts on keeping cooking utensils on the counter are well, the thought kind of makes me cringe. I know, I know. So many people put these guys in canisters on the counter but I personally would rather not have them taking up countertop space. 

If you do keep your cooking utensils on the counter or on a wall (like me!) then consider having all matching pieces. I know, it sounds so annoying and crazy but it's really not. I like metal because it doesn't get as crummy as the plastic/rubber kinds and when on display with all other metal pieces, it actually looks nice. 

Tupperware

Hah! This one makes me laugh a little. I can't even describe the hilarious Tupperware collections that I've seen. Number one rule people, DITCH THE MISMATCHED TUPPERWARE. It's so simple. If you have 4 different brands/types of Tupperware then they will not stack neatly within each other thus giving you heart palpitations when you're looking for one stupid container. Did I just blow your mind or what?

No but seriously though, choose one type that you really love. I love my Pyrex 18-piece set . I love that it's glass - I have this weird thing with food going into plastic containers. And the variety of sizes is perfect. In our household, we meal prep A LOT and always have cooked or prepped food stored in the fridge so whether I need a big one for soup or a small one for a dip, these are perfect. Lastly, they do that beautiful stacking thing that is literally music to my ears. I'm never jumbling my hand around trying to find a lid or a bottom because they stack neatly.

If you want to go the extra mile, stand your lids up in a container like this one or even one of these guys would suffice! 

I store my Tupperware in a lazy Susan beneath my kitchen peninsula. I can easily access the containers while I'm prepping on the peninsula countertop. Easy peasy!

Glassware

As I mentioned above, you ideally want your everyday glassware to be in cabinets that are closest to your refrigerator. Often times, there is so much space LOST in cabinets that house glassware.

First, take advantage of adjusting the height of the cabinet shelves based on what you're looking to store in this cabinet. Again, this requires thinking and should not be treated as a "whatever, this will do!" type of scenario. Instead, think about what you're storing on the shelf above the bottom one (where your glasses should go). Maybe you store something that is easier to grab since it might be up quite high. I store bigger bowls because they're easy to grab and they stack nicely. 

To truly maximize the space in these specific cabinets, try using shelf inserts. These are great and they're one of my favorite "organizers" to use in really any type of space - kitchen cabinet or closet shelf, they're amazing! I love these Ikea shelf inserts and use them in my glassware cabinet.  

Pantry & Food Storage

Do you suffer from having 30 packs of dried cranberries? I will never forget this one kitchen organizing project I had a few months ago. My client emailed me after the session and says, "wow I didn't even realize I had 10 bags of dried cranberries!, you must think I'm crazy!" Hah! 

Sifting through your pantry can be the most dreadful part. Just like with the other areas within your kitchen, you want to start by purging - trash anything that has expired as well as anything that you learned you had stashed away behind many other things. Chances are it's old and if you didn't know you had it and if you don't have 3 more trickling about, you're not going to use it.  Plain and simple. 

Next, consolidate and categorize. If you have 10 bags of dried cranberries and 5 of them were open, consolidate and store them in one big canister! I love food storage containers. Whether you're a mason jar person or a love a container, these guys are so helpful. They keep food fresher and they stack on top of each other! You can even go as far as labeling them so that you know what's what when it's time to replenish. 

Other great pantry organizers are these and these. Organizers like these are excellent for things like nutrition bars, small-medium size bagged items like chips and even loose/non-perishable veggies! These types of organizers work best on open shelving in a pantry closet!

Okay, that's all I'm sharing! I hope you enjoyed reading some of my favorite kitchen organizing tips! Obviously there is SO much more to touch upon when talking about the kitchen, but these are definitely common areas of concern for pretty much anyone.

Have a question for a problem area that wasn't mentioned above? Drop it below and I'd be happy to get back to you! 

Thanks for reading!

Candace