Kitchen Organizing 101
This week did you fumble through kitchen drawers trying to find scissors, a can opener or utensil? If this is a frequent occurrence, then it is time to get organized. With a plan of attack in addition to some accessory add-ons, you can be sure to alleviate some of the stress in your kitchen.
The plan of attack
Begin a strategy that is based on how you want to function in the kitchen. Prioritize by identifying frequently used items and separate them from occasionally used items.
Get rid of the clutter
Walk into your kitchen and start with the most visible items first. These are typically the items on the countertops. The change can be immediately dramatic and provide motivation to proceed to the next step.
Seek treasures, not trash
Rediscover unappreciated items instead of hunting for items to discard. Specialty items like citrus peelers, garlic presses, funnels and more can be assigned their own drawer.
Throw out flimsy dividers
Throw out plastic trays and let install sturdier, chrome dividers ideal for baking sheets and pans. This applies to drawers as well. You can install after-market drop-in drawer dividers customized to your utensils and workflow.
Work on the landing zone
Designate a drop zone for car keys, cell phones, etc. Hooks, shelves and a message board create a very manageable solution for on-the-go organization. Concealing these space savers behind doors makes for a flush appearance with the rest of the area.
Cubbies are for kiddies
Customizing cubby sizes for store bought wire or plastic tubs make for an eye-please way to organize your life. Put a color-coded label on the end and allow household members to quickly know the contents.
Keep items like small jars, tall bottles, oils, dressings and spices at eye level. This might seem like a common sense approach but people have a tendency to store these items high or low resulting in eye strain and the occasionally accident when reaching high.
Let there be light!
Consider mixing different types of lighting for work and mood. By installing dimmers to adjust light level you can full brightness for meal prep and art project and then soften the lights at mealtime or evening tea.
Great Tips Matt, very helpful!!
You are so correct when you say that varied lighting sources are a great idea in a kitchen. Kitchens seem to have become the living rooms of the past. Living rooms are for polite company, and I never get any of that!
I have two 150 watt ceiling fixtures and undercounter spots, as well as a reading swag-type lamp over the table. These are all fine for tasks, but during my reno I had to move a torchiere lamp into the kitchen while the ceiling wiring was out of commission. It's not a halogen - I have a regular old fashiioned tri-light in it. I'm now in love with this damn lamp in there! Casting the light upward creates a completely different ambience and now I'm totally re-thinking my lighting.
In my house the kitchen is the most used room, as I gave up trying to socialize in the living room. Everyone invariably gravitates back to the kitchen, and with the bulb on t 50 watt power it is very cosy and inviting. I must now go on a hunt for 50's retro sconces and work overtime to pay an electrician.
Isn't this always how a reno goes? You start with a plan and as things evolve, you see all kinds of other possibilities. When I moved the refrigerator to replaster the wall it has lived against for 10 years, I realized how much space that big ugly box takes up and started thinking about where else it could possibly go.
So I had a brainwave... I am going to rip a big old hole into the outside wall of the kitchen and build an alcove for the damn thing. It will be nicely recessed into the wall and we gain a clear sight line through the kitchen.
Best of all, there will be nowhere to stick those blasted frig magnets and all the coupons we never use!
I also applaud your comment that we should keep frequently used items at eye-level, and I applaud myself for having thought of that too with my new cabinets.
Thanks for these tips Matt! A very big help! :)
What wonderful suggestions! The landing zone for the keys is killer, that empties out my pockets pretty much :)
Thanks guys! Seems that I got a few ideas rolling around in a couple of aesthetic-minded heads out there... I might just keep the suggestions coming. :)
And Holly... I laughed when I read your response. My family only uses the living room for watching Lost and opening Christmas presents. It seems the kitchen has become the modern-era social room. When I did my first renovation, I took this into mind and ended up with a transitional bar between the living room and kitchen. Now, we have seating on both sides with a large window in between.
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