Organization Ideas for Your Kitchen, Pantry & Cupboards
North Americans recently learned the name Marie Kondo, an organizational expert who believes that tidying a space can be a transformative experience. She invigorated a movement where people wanted to renew their love of their favorite spaces through a newfound devotion to organization and joy.
Whether you have a cozy kitchen or a spacious one, you need to make sure it is functional and that you can make everything from a simple low carb breakfast to a healthy thanksgiving turkey feast with ease. Additionally, an organized kitchen is an easier one to clean and maintain.
Let’s get moving so you can get your kitchen organized right away. We’ll start by reviewing the value that organization can bring to your everyday life and what principles should guide these types of projects. Then, we’ll get down to brass tax and offer tips on how to organize your cabinets and pantry.
Why Organize a Kitchen?
A messy kitchen can make life difficult and result in food being wasted. Imagine how much money you’ve invested in products that line the back of your cabinets and fridge that have never been used or have long expired. Just as frustrating and wasteful are the products you bought solely because you needed a single teaspoon for one recipe.
An organized kitchen is an accessible one where the most utilized gadgets and products are readily available. It also curbs the possibility of waste and allows the space to become the one it is meant to be; a place where people congregate and where parents and grandparents can share their love of cooking with a younger generation.
An organized kitchen offers a lot of other benefits:
- Cooking becomes more streamlined and efficient
- Easier to find things & less frustrating
- Takes less time to clean and maintain
- More energy efficient saving you money
- More environmentally friendly by wasting less food
And, of course, don’t forget that an organized kitchen simply looks better than a cluttered one where the cabinets can’t close because they’re overflowing.
What Does an Organized Kitchen Look Like?
Organization is subjective. Some adhere to a more rigid definition of being organized whereas others are naturally disorganized so anything is an improvement. You need to set your own standard and then stick to it.
Whatever your level of organization might be, we suggest trying to push it a little further. Being organized not only benefits your kitchen, it can seep into other aspects of your life. Imagine having a tidy garage, a clean car and all your towels are neatly stacked in your linen closet.
Yes, it’s true that organization of any space requires an investment in time initially, but over time, it saves you far more time than what’s required to set things up in an organized way.
If you open your mind to the possibilities and benefits of being organized, you might be surprised by how much you love it.
Organizing Tips for your Kitchen
Here are some general tips to get your kitchen into tip top shape. Keep in mind that this can be a big—and often annoying—project and you want to get it done quickly since you probably can’t afford your kitchen being out of commission for too long. Be sure to have a plan so you can get your kitchen in order in only one day.
Empty your Cabinets
A good first step is to empty your cabinets. Once everything is out, take an inventory and sort by the following:
- Items you use regularly
- Item you use every now and then
- Items you haven’t used in a long time.
- Items you only used once.
Put aside any duplicates you find (who doesn’t have a bunch of glasses or coffee cups taking up valuable cupboard space?). The trick here is to be ruthless and only keep what you actually use, need and love. The rest you can put in another location for the odd time you might need it, or better yet donate it to goodwill.
Use Clear Containers
To organize your fridge and cabinets, make the investment in buying some good quality storage containers. They’ll make organization so much easier, and you’ll be using less throw away plastic, like ziplock fridge and freezer bags.
With some quality containers in hand, put as much as possible in clear containers. This way you can know what something is at a glance. This should include things like sauce packets or smaller boxes like the ones that pudding mixes come in. Then you can group baking supplies together, and when you need them, you can just pull the whole container out and have it all at hand.
Whenever you use clear containers, take that extra step and label them because different types of rice and flour could be hard to distinguish.
Here are a few more tips:
- Buy dry herbs and spices in bulk when possible.
- The reason this is a good idea is because you can buy the amount you need and refill containers. This will keep everything organized and make sure you don’t have loose bags floating around.
- Buy a food container lid organizer.
- This will make sure you can neatly store lids and stack the actual containers.
- Slide out garbage bins are a great way to keep waste away from food preparation areas.
- This is a smart option for households of one or two as bigger families might produce too much garbage to keep under a sink.
By emptying your cabinets and utilizing the right containers, you can take the first step toward your kitchen resembling a proper filing system.
Declutter your Pantry
Over time, pantries become a museum, holding a collection of untouched things that are often forgotten. Non-perishable food and other kitchen items tend to fall to the back and are relegated there until you discover them while moving. Worst of all, people end up buying two of something, not realizing that they already have one hidden in the pantry.
Pop-in drawers are a great way to organize a pantry in addition to make sure you can see what’s lurking at the back. These sliding drawers tuck nicely into a closed pantry and can easily “pop out” when needed. We recommend keeping similar items grouped together.
An innovative idea is to take shower caddies usually designed to hold body wash and shampoo, and hang it on the inside of your pantry door and fill it with produce that doesn’t require refrigeration.
And again, using larger storage containers for the pantry can help keep things grouped together in logical order, making finding things much easier.
Take Control of your Cabinets
Having cabinets that are overflowing with food or other items can turn something fun like cooking into a daunting task. Additionally, it can make you feel as if you’ve lost control of your kitchen and makes cooking less enjoyable. These tips are specific to cabinets but will have a ripple effect throughout the entire space.
Here are a few ways to organize your cabinets:
Use Vertical and Hanging Space
By installing a magnetic or hook system you can save room in your cabinets. You can hang mugs above counter tops or pots and pans on the wall, which are especially nice since these are bulky, awkward and hard to store. You can also hang knives on the wall with a magnetic strip instead of the traditional bulky counter top block storage systems, saving you valuable counter top space.
Divide and Conquer
Don’t look at your cabinet as one big space. Instead, use rotating trays and dividers to separate it into tiny rooms for food and items. Rotating trays are great for oils and vinegar’s and you can also use them to sort vitamins. Dividers are perfect for separating cooking utensils or miscellaneous items that clog areas. The right dividers let you carve out small spaces for different things, making everything easier to find.
Once you’ve taken inventory of your food and kitchen utensils and gadgets, you can get a sense of how many trays and dividers you need.
Time to Grocery Shop!
Hopefully these tips and ideas inspire you to make the organizational leap and set aside a day to transform your kitchen space. Once you’ve cleared out and organized your kitchen, it’s time to get the right ingredients to make delicious low carb meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Browse our low carb food store, you’ll find tons of unique, healthy ingredients to make wonderful low carb meal ideas that you and your friends and family will love!