You won’t believe what’s possible when you so something as simple as organizing your kitchen. Okay, well, maybe “simple” is not quite the word for it…but you know what I mean. This seemingly mundane task will allow you to shed years or even decades of serving-, cook- and dishware that you never use (declutter!). Secondly, you may find your newly organized kitchen means you have an extra cabinet or two that can be used for something else. Or, better yet, removed to open up more space. Finally, an organized kitchen can help you de-stress and lose weight.
Organized Kitchens Are Healthier Kitchens
Think that last perk, about stress and weight, is a bit of stretch? They’re absolutely true; several recent studies have shown a linked messy, cluttered kitchen to homeowners who are more stressed out and/or who are overweight. For one thing, the stress created by clutter can cause stress eaters to consume more calories. Additionally, cluttered kitchens often have cereal, chips, and other empty-calorie snacks left out on the countertops, making it easy for busy kitchen visitors to eat more.
Studies like this have proved that organized kitchens are better for both your mind and your body. So, let’s get started.
Tips For Creating a More Organized Kitchen
The following tips will help you to declutter and organize your kitchen. The result is a more spacious and relaxing zone in which to prepare and cook meals while spending relaxing, quality time with family and friends.
- Go through each and every cabinet. The first step is to go through each and every cabinet. It’s time to clear everything out and sort through it. Set out boxes so you can divide cabinet and drawer contents into “keep” and “donate” piles. I assure you, there is always something to get rid of. Last spring, I published a post, A Guide to What Stays and What Goes. It’s worth reviewing if you’re someone who has a difficult time saying goodbye to your belongings. For the kitchen, I absolutely believe that if you haven’t used an item in a year, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Give yourself the gift of a mini-kitchen remodels. If you’re going through the work of reorganizing your kitchen, I recommend thinking of it as a mini-remodel. No, you don’t have to break the bank purchasing new cabinets or countertops, but you should consider upgrading your cabinet interiors. If your cabinets are outdated, I recommend refacing them. Cabinet refacing costs roughly half the cost of new cabinets and it’s an eco-friendly option because it saves the landfills. If you are happy with your cabinets, talk to a professional cabinet company about innovative storage options that will make kitchen organization a snap – and can significantly reduce the amount of cabinet space you actually need.
- Clean them. I hope it goes without saying that every cabinet shelf, recess, drawer and cubby you clear out should also be thoroughly cleaned out, using a soft rag, warm water and a spot of mild dish soap. Let the cabinets dry thoroughly before putting anything back.
- Decide what goes where. Now that the cabinets are empty, it’s time to decide what should go where. I recommend using the accessible, livable design model: put what you use on a regular basis in locations that require minimal bending or stretching. This tip is convenient now, will be safer later on, and certainly, helps to accommodate any guests who use your kitchen. Anything that is seasonal or used infrequently should be placed in upper cabinets or those harder-to-reach lower cabinet corners.
- Clear out the junk. You know the best way to avoid eating foods that aren’t good for you? Don’t have them around in the first place. Use this opportunity to go through the kitchen pantry and food storage areas. Clear out any food that is expired or past its prime. Then, get rid of any foods that don’t serve you or your family in terms of healthy eating and living. Now you can populate your grocery list with fresher, less-processed, and healthier alternatives.
- Reassess your kitchen design. If you were diligent about clearing things out, and you added convenient pull-out shelves, spice racks, pots-and-pan racks, customized drawer inserts, and so on, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to remove a cabinet box or two. If you remove the cabinets alongside the sink, consider installing open shelving for go-to coffee mugs, cereal bowls, and snack plates. If you’re able to remove some of the end/perimeter cabinetry, it may provide an opportunity to put in that breakfast nook or kitchen message center you always wanted, or to add a helpful kitchen island or peninsula.