Kitchen Tips from Live Simply by Annie

Educate Yourself to Better Organize Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of the household, and as such, the state of its organization is crucial. The amount of traffic a kitchen gets also makes it especially prone to collecting clutter. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep your kitchen looking and feeling beautifully simplified.

Carefully edit the contents of your kitchen, removing everything from a given category from wherever it lives in your kitchen and evaluating it in a neutral setting (the kitchen floor will do). With each item, ask yourself whether it’s still serving you and your family, and whether it’s making your daily routines easier or hindering them.

Pay special attention to groups of things in the kitchen that have a tendency to accumulate: Tupperware, travel mugs and water bottles, cooking utensils and so on. Let go of any items that have wandered into your home and life without very much intention.

When editing your spice collection and your pantry items, be sure to check expiration dates. You’d be amazed by how much expired food-stuff constitutes people’s kitchens in my experience! Besides expiration dates, be sure to evaluate whether or not you still cook with various spices, or eat various types of food. While people’s tastes, eating and cooking habits change, they often don’t take the time to ensure their pantry reflects that shift.

Eliminate the daily struggle of wrestling with things like pot lids and mis-matched Tupperware. The former you can remedy by storing the lids all together in one spot, rather than enmeshed with the pots and pans you’re (probably) nesting within each other. Keep lids in their own drawer, or use a lid rack that suits the space you have available.

Beat the Tupperware tops-and-bottoms-blues by streamlining to one cohesive set. I prefer glass-lock containers which keep your food fresh far longer, and are much easier to keep neat in your cupboards.

There are so many helpful organizing products that can make a massive impact in the kitchen. In the pantry, a uniform set of canisters can keep dry goods looking neat and staying fresh. Baskets or bins can also be helpful in the pantry to corral various categories of food, like snacks, baking supplies, breakfast essentials and so on. Deep cupboards can be made hugely more effective with the addition of pull-out drawers (they’re easy to install, I promise!). Corner cabinets can be made mercifully more accessible by way of a lazy susan.

Always measure a given space before you shop for organizing products, and keep in mind that in most cases, the best option is the one that will fit your space best. The best drawer organizer is the one that best fits your drawer, the best pantry bins, the ones that best fit your pantry shelves, etc. So make sure you do the legwork before shopping for anything—the organizing products are your reward for a thorough editing and planning session!