Today, we’re sharing the best way to organize the kitchen!
I spent a good part of the holiday at Bliss Barracks helping my Mom organize her kitchen. We organized everything from the butler’s pantry to the drink station to the cabinets.
It was SO much work at the time. Now that they have a solid system in place though, I think it’s going to be a game-changer for them both.
As we ease back into our work schedules, school schedules, and routines I thought it would be a great time to concentrate on the heart of the home – the kitchen.
Truthfully, we’ve tried all sorts of home organization tips and tricks trying to find the best way to organize the kitchen.
I literally used to move things around nearly every week trying to make the kitchen more efficient.
Until one day, I decided to divide the kitchen into work-friendly zones and it changed everything.
The Best Way to Organize the Kitchen – Zones:
- cooking zone
- baking zone
- drink zone
- lunch prep zone
- cleaning zone
This system was so impactful we continue to use it today and it’s the one I just implemented at my parent’s house too!
Here’s a look at how you can use this system in your own home and the best way to organize the kitchen…
Pots and Pans – For the longest time we struggled to keep the pots and pans organized. The cooktop and oven came as a package deal which meant having pull out drawers to store pots and pans in wasn’t an option.
I decided to move the pots and pans to the upper cabinet and we haven’t looked back.
It’s so much easier to find a specific pot or pan while cooking now. The lids are stored in a basket to keep them corralled and save space.
If you have a smaller kitchen or don’t have upper cabinets consider keeping your pots and pans together in the same space or purchasing a pot rack.
Everyday Dishes – To keep our everyday dishes organized, we store them in the cabinet next to the stove. The cabinet is also by the dishwasher and sink which feels like an added bonus.
This kitchen cooking zone helps to make plating food more efficient during meals. It also makes clean up a breeze when we when we’re unloading the dishwasher because the dishes are easier to put away.
Spice Drawer – The spices are labeled and placed in a drawer next to the stove for easy access while cooking. The glass jars are clear so we can always see if we’re running low on specific spices.
I made all of the labels using PicMonkey and we bought these jars at Dollar General for $1 each.
Cooking Utensil Drawer – Most of the utensils we use for the stove are kept together and organized in this drawer.
If you don’t have a drawer you can designate specifically for cooking utensils, set a pretty ironstone pitcher, champagne bucket, or crock on the side of your stove, and fill it with your cooking utensils.
Kitchen Linens Drawer – Microfiber towels and flour sack towels are kept in our kitchen linens drawer.
Small Appliances Cabinet – One of the best ways to organize the kitchen started with a BIG dose of decluttering. Especially, where small appliances are concerned.
Consider donating small appliances that serve the same function in lieu of keeping one that is multifunctional. It’s also a good time to consider donating the small appliances you no longer use or only use once in a while.
The Baking Zone:
Kitchen Island – The kitchen island is our baking zone. We keep mixing bowls, cake decorating utensils, cookie cutters, baking pans, rolling pins, and silicone mats in this space.
The top of the island is a food prep area and the stand mixer is one of the few appliances we leave out year-round.
It’s close to the sink when there are messes and close to the oven when it’s time to bake.
If you don’t have a kitchen island, no worries, consider using a small mobile work station that can serve as an island.
Baking Station Utensil Drawer – We keep all the utensils related to baking in this drawer.
As you can see it includes everything from measuring cups to wooden spoons. Using a utensil divider is another way to help keep all of your items neat and organized.
Everyday Flatware Drawer – We started using an in-drawer wooden knife block over the holidays and it’s really helped to keep our countertops tidy.
As always, use caution and care if you choose to store knives this way. Especially if you have small children, elderly adults, or mischievous pets that could access the knives as sharp objects can cause harm and injury.
This is another drawer we kept close to the dishwasher and sink to make mealtime prep and put away a breeze.
The Drink Zone:
All of our glassware from champagne flutes to tea glasses are kept in these two cabinets.
While they’re further away from the dishwasher, we wanted to make grabbing a glass of juice in the morning from the refrigerator or making a glass of iced tea in the afternoon as easy as possible.
We’ve also created a drink station in the lower cabinet to store holiday mugs, a basket for dry smoothie supplies, and for storing to-go cups.
The drawers of the cabinet hold our coffee and tea supplies for the indoor coffee bar.
The Meal Planning Zone:
On the other side of the refrigerator is our built-in desk area.
The drawers hold office supplies and the cabinets are used for household-related items like cards, receipts, important documents, and cookbooks.
It’s also where we keep our simple cleaning schedules and cookbooks.
The Lunch Prep Zone:
Just across from the drink zone is the lunch food prep zone because it’s the closest to the refrigerator and we eat a lot of salads.
We keep food storage containers, napkins, and to-go flatware in the drawers above and larger food storage containers, collapsible lunch bags, and plastic pitchers in the lower cabinet.
This area was one of the hardest for us to manage at first. But with a little decluttering and a lot of determination, it no longer looks like a hot mess ?
The Cleaning Zone:
Paper Goods Drawer – This drawer holds most of the paper goods from wax paper to individual trash bags.
We used to keep all of these items in the pantry but this has worked out so much better for us. No more hunting around for a trash bag after we take out the trash ?
Kitchen Cleaning Supply Cabinet – Everything from gloves to various cleaning supplies for almost every space in the house save for the bathrooms is kept in this cabinet.
We also keep the bigger boxes of trash bags and bulk paper towels in here too.
As always, any time you have littles, elderly parents, or mischievous pets you need to make sure cabinets like these are locked or kept out of their reach as chemicals can cause harm and injury. Use caution and care if you chose to create a cleaning supply cabinet in the kitchen.
You can read more about how to tame cleaning cabinet clutter here.
Recycling and Trash Cabinet – Just under the sink is where we house the trash and recycling receptacles.
Again, it’s mostly for the convenience of being close to the sink and cooking zone which makes cleaning up kitchen messes really easy.
The Best Way to Organize the Kitchen Take-Aways:
I know this was a long post but I struggled for years to have a functional kitchen so I wanted to be as detailed as possible.
Breaking your kitchen into work-friendly zones can help to make your space more efficient.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when organizing your kitchen:
- Evaluate how you use your kitchen
- Declutter before organizing the kitchen into zones
- Place items you want to donate in bins or boxes next to the front door so carrying items to your car will be easier
- Create a zone for only what is necessary based on your current lifestyle
- Use your kitchen or dining room table as a staging area for items you want to transfer
- Wipeout/clean zones before placing items you want to transition into their new spaces
- Maximize the cabinet and drawer spaces you have
- Use baskets and drawer dividers to help corral supplies
- Pair similar items together in drawers and cabinets
- Use a second shelving system to increase storage options in your kitchen
It took almost a full day to get a solid plan together, declutter, transition items then organize each zone so this project is best completed when you have some uninterrupted time.
That said, the kitchen is one of the most used spaces in the house and it’s definitely worth the effort!
Other Organization Posts to Enjoy:
- 52 Weeks to a Simplified & Organized Home Challenge
- 10 Tips for a More Organized Life
- Organize an Easy Lunch Station at Home
- Our Favorite Home Organization Products
- Pantry Organization Tips Made Easy