A kitchen can easily become cluttered and disorganized, whether it’s used by one person or by a busy family. Finding items quickly and returning them to their proper place doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are some tips that will help you save time and make working in your kitchen a pleasure.
1. Canisters and Jars
Canisters and jars are ideal for storing and organizing frequently used ingredients on your countertop. Canisters come in all shapes and sizes, as well as different materials, such as ceramic, glass, and copper. Airtight jars also come in various shapes and sizes, and are perfect for easy identification of contents. Storing your baking supplies, grains, beans, and pastas in airtight containers helps keep out moisture and retain flavor. Not only are they practical, they can be decorative and add character to your kitchen. Labeling your containers with decorative labels (bought, homemade, or downloaded from the internet and printed) also adds a level of organization and color to your kitchen.
2. Pet Feeding Stations
Pets have been known to push their food or water bowls from their regular spot, and it’s no fun accidentally stepping in them. Pet feeding stations are a good solution to this problem. Depending on the design, built-in pet dishes can be hidden entirely in a pullout drawer on a kitchen cabinet, or tucked away in a niche on the side of an island so they’re not underfoot. These feeding stations can be custom built into kitchen cabinetry to accommodate your pet’s preferences for height and privacy while eating.
You can also purchase pet feeding stations to keep dishes off the floor, and there are some fun DIY projects as well. For example, if you have room for a small dresser in your kitchen, you can convert it into a feeding station for your dog and cat. Keep the bottom drawer, remove the two drawers above it, lay some plywood over the top of the bottom drawer, and cut two circular holes in the plywood to fit two bowls for your dog. For your cat, cut two holes in the top of the dresser for two more bowls. Paint the converted dresser to match your kitchen’s decor, and you have a pet feeding station plus some storage space in the remaining drawers for storing pet food and treats.
3. Hanging Racks for Pots and Pans
A hanging rack is a good option for storing your pots and pans, freeing up cabinet and drawer space. Ceiling racks are ideal for hanging over islands. They have hooks all the way around, and you can store smaller items on top as well. There are different styles and materials to choose from to suit your kitchen. Make sure you hang the rack high enough to avoid bumping your head on any pots and pans, and store the longer pans on the ends. Be careful not to hang so many that there’s a danger of other pans falling when you try to take one of them off a hook. You can buy hanging racks, or make your own from such items as window frames, wheels, and sawed-off ladders (3 rungs is a good size).
If you don’t have a kitchen island, a hanging wall rack is another option. There are many different styles and materials to choose from with this type as well. For example, some sit close to the wall, while others are mounted to the wall with brackets and sit further out, with one or two shelves above the hooks for extra storage. A handy place to mount a wall rack is above the stove, but other available wall spaces in the kitchen will do as well.
4. Rolling Kitchen Carts
These are wonderful for kitchen storage and organization. They come in different styles (open shelf, partially enclosed with cabinet or drawers, and fully enclosed), take up little space, and store a lot of items. Plus, you can move them out of the way if you need more room. You can use them to store extra dishes and cooking ingredients, or you can make it a theme cart, storing your prized tea collection, or items related to coffee or baking.
The enclosed style of kitchen cart can also act as a small island for your kitchen. It often includes a towel bar, spice rack, drawer or two, cupboard, and a butcher block or stainless steel top that provides extra counter space. This style of rolling kitchen cart can be a welcome addition to a smaller kitchen where storage is limited.
5. Bookcases and Armoires
If you have room in your kitchen, a bookcase or armoire (a tall piece of furniture that usually has two doors used for storage) can act as your pantry. A bookcase can hold an entire dish collection, plus cookbooks, canisters and jars with baking and cooking staples, and baskets with dish towels, snacks and stacked canned goods.
An armoire, because it has doors, and a bottom drawer or two, can store items out of sight, preventing your kitchen design and color scheme from having that “too busy” look. With its deeper shelves, an armoire gives you more storage space, and you can also use the inside of the doors to hang such items as chalkboards, corkboards, aprons, small kitchen utensils, or oven mitts. You may have to paint your bookcase or armoire to complement your kitchen, but it will be well worth the effort for the extra storage.
6. Under the Sink
The cabinet under the sink is a difficult area to organize because of the sink drain, and possibly a garbage disposal or water filter, taking up a lot of space. The first thing to do is get rid of nonessentials, such as old cleaning supplies you rarely use, dirty rags and sponges, the trash can, and your plastic bag collection. You don’t need a different product for everything in the kitchen, so try to keep cleaning supplies with multiple purposes. You can now decide what you need for storage with the remaining items. Keep in mind that using clear containers with labels helps with quick identification of your products.
Clean the bottom of the cabinet and then line it with a wipeable mat, contact or shelf paper (protects cabinet from stains and damage). There are many different types of storage organizers to choose from. For example, if you have a deep cabinet, using a pullout drawer system or a shelf riser works well to access supplies. The riser has the advantage of instant visibility of products at the back of the cupboard. Glass jars with lids are great for storing dishwasher tablets. Store your bigger cleaning items in another location, such as a cleaning closet, and store smaller spray bottles in a portable caddy under the sink. The caddy can also store brushes and cloths, and is easy to carry to other parts of the house. If you have the space, you can also use a tension rod to hang spray bottles, cloths, or a mug that holds sponges.
You can install hooks and baskets on the inside of the cabinet doors for extra storage as well. Cabinet doors are also handy places for a towel and dish cloth rack, a paper towel holder, or a holder for garbage bag rolls.
7. Drawer Organizers
Utensil organizers are a excellent method of organizing your flatware drawer. These are inexpensive, and if you have the drawer space, some are expandable for storing spatulas, whisks, flippers, can openers, vegetable peelers, and cheese knives. You can save space in your flatware drawer, however, by placing your cooking utensils in a glass jar or ceramic pot near your stove.
If you store your pots and pans in a deep drawer, installing a tension rod on the side to store pot lids upright frees up space for stacking your pots and pans on the drawer bottom.
Protect your kitchen’s most important elements – the major appliances. Call C&W Appliance Service at (855) 358-1496 or (214) 358-1496 for the very best in appliance repair and service.