Today, we’re sharing our best tips and tricks for organizing and maintaining a clutter free kitchen. While the kitchen may be widely considered the heart of the home, we know it’s not always easy to organize and maintain. We seriously struggled to have an organized yet efficient kitchen for years!
One day, I decided to divide the entire kitchen into zones and just like the 15-minute clutter catcher, it was a game changer. In fact, organizing your kitchen into zones is probably my best and easiest tip because it’s doesn’t cost a penny!
Our kitchen is now made up of five separate zones (cooking, baking, lunch meal prep, drink station, and cleaning) and it’s honestly been the most efficient way to organize the kitchen for us. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to cook, bake, plan and clean!
In addition to creating zones, we’ve also implemented a basket system in two of the most commonly used areas of the kitchen – the refrigerator and the pantry. I’ve done an extensive post on both of these topics if you’re wondering if a similar system will work in your home. You can find out if using baskets in your refrigerator is right for your family here.
and find out how we’ve kept our pantry looking like this for years with a small initial investment here.
Whenever you’re ready to start organizing your kitchen, it’s important to remember these simple tips:
- Declutter, declutter, declutter – before you organize
- Toss food and spice items that have expired
- Sort, Categorize and Pair like items with like items according to their zone. For example, if you’re organizing the pantry keep all the canned foods, etc., together. If you’re organizing the baking station keep all the baking pans and mixing bowls together. If you’re organizing a drink station by the coffee pot and the refrigerator, keep all the mugs and glasses together.
- Chosoe the baskets that best meet your needs. Baskets are great for corralling everything from canned goods to peanut butter. This is important because neither the pantry nor the refrigerator are a “one size fits all” kind of space.
- Use clear containers for spices and dry goods so you’re always able to keep the pantry fully stocked with staples. Clear containers can be a visible reminder when/if you’re running out of something.
- Use kitchen drawer dividers to keep eating and cooking utensils organized.
- Don’t over buy – this is a big one – if your snack basket is already overflowing, you need to eat your chips and cookies before heading out to the store to buy more, ok? I know it’s hard but you can do it!
Now that we’ve covered several organizing tips, let’s talk about ways to maintain and keep the kitchen clutter-free…
- Clean out your refrigerator at least once a week preferably the day/night before your trash gets picked up. This will keep your baskets free from expired food or leftover takeout, so you can immediately put items away after bringing them home from the grocery store.
- Meal plan each week so you’re less likely to over buy groceries.
- Utilize the “one-in-one-out” rule for items in your kitchen from small appliances to coffee mugs.
- Maintain order in the pantry, kitchen cabinets and drawers by spending 5-15 minutes straightening or decluttering when needed.
- Get your family on board so they can help put items away in tidy manner.
- Empty the sink and run the dishes every night as part of your nightly routine.
- Empty the dishwasher each morning as part of your morning routine so you’re not coming home to a sink full of dishes.
- Have a designated maildrop so it doesn’t pile up on the counters, kitchen island, desk or the conversation bar.
I hope these tips and tricks have helped! I know it’s not always easy to clean out, organize and maintain spaces like these, so take your time.
Even if you can only complete one zone at a time – small changes create big impacts – so stick with it until your kitchen is organized the way you’ve always envisioned.
Believe me, it’s worth the effort!