Out with the old in with the New Year! Begin your kitchen organization journey by decluttering. We’re getting rid of old habits so why not rid your cabinets and countertops of unnecessary items, expired ingredients, and kitchen tools you no longer use. This not only frees up space but also makes it easier to find what you need and saves time when looking for specific items. Now’s the time to pass on or donate that old casserole dish, taking up space in your cabinets that someone gave you for Christmas. (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
Divide your kitchen into functional zones based on the activities that take place in each area. Create designated spaces for food preparation, cooking, and storing utensils. This zoning approach ensures that everything also lives in its rightful place, minimizing chaos during the meal preparation and allows you to save time. (For Heartland veterans, we recommend setting up a defrosting station!) Then, once these “zones” are created you can hack your spaces accordingly. Setting up methods to store the essentials you need for each part of your cooking process!
- Invest in Simple Storage Solutions
Kitchen organization doesn’t have to be fancy – optimize your cabinet and pantry space with storage solutions like stackable containers, drawer dividers, and lazy Susans. These tools maximize space utilization and save time when accessing items, preventing that dreaded avalanche of pots and pans when reaching for the one you need. Not to mention unsightly drawers that you have to dig through when you need a certain utensil.
- Organize by Frequency of Use
We recommend placing frequently used items within easy reach (like your favorite defrosting tray!), while reserving higher or lower shelves for those less commonly used items. This eliminates the need to rummage through cabinets, saving you time and frustration. Plus, our pre-cut and pre-trimmed portions ensures that you don’t need all those cutting boards and knives!
Labels are your best friend in proper kitchen organization! Clearly label spice jars, storage containers, and pantry shelves. This small effort pays off when you can quickly locate ingredients and prevent confusion. This is also important for those things inside your main fridge as well! An overpacked fridge can lead to confusion as to which items are older or newer. (Fortunately, when it comes to your Farm-to-Freezer goodies this isn’t a concern since those stay all safely nestled in your Heartland freezer!)
- Create a Solid Command Center
Establish a central area in your kitchen for important information, such as a family calendar, cleaning schedules and meal schedules. This command center not only streamlines communication and keeps everyone on the same page, but it is especially helpful when it comes to meal planning! We recommend having whiteboard so everyone in the family can write down what there favorite meals are. Then, you can even more easily conquer the “What’s for Dinner?” with your Heartland toolbelt.
- Think Outside the Cabinets
Cabinets don’t have to be the only way to store. Maximize your kitchen’s organization potential by using all vertical and horizontal space. Install hooks for pots and pans, hang utensils on a wall-mounted rack, or add shelves above countertops. These not only creates additional storage but also adds a touch of visual interest to your kitchen decor. If you have a corner to use, we recommend using jars or utensil holders to keep your favs in sight and at the ready! And for anything you don’t wanna see, stash them away in baskets or boxes.
- Implement a Cleaning Routine
Maintaining an organized kitchen involves regular cleaning. It’s much easier to clean a little each day than to do it all at once. Establish a routine or checklist for wiping down surfaces, cleaning out the refrigerator, and tackling small organizing tasks. Create a rotating cleaning schedule so all members of your family can pitch in to keep your culinary haven tidy. A little goes a long way and trust us, it will save time in the long run!
Reduce paper clutter in your kitchen by transitioning to digital recipes. (Tip: You can find ours here!) Use a tablet or a phone kitchen computer to access recipes easily. This not only saves space but also saves time as there’s no need to physically thumb through recipes cards or papers. (And it’s better for the environment too!)
As much as we hate to admit it, organizing your kitchen is not a one-time task. Set aside time each month for a quick maintenance check. Toss expired items, rearrange as needed, and address any clutter that may have accumulated. And just because you rearranged once, don’t be afraid to do it again to suit your lifestyle and further streamline your culinary adventures!