If you’ve ever lived in an apartment or your home simply has a small kitchen, you’ve surely encountered some challenging storage issues. After all, the average modern kitchen is overloaded with small appliances, doesn’t have enough counter space, and isn’t designed to accommodate passionate cooks. For those hoping to clear the clutter and make their kitchen more functional, these five tips can go a long way towards making space for your culinary endeavors – and you won’t need to spend a fortune to make it happen.
Assess Your Appliances
One of the most significant sources of kitchen clutter is the small appliances we all tend to accumulate, which is why this is the best place to start the decluttering process. Go through the appliances in your cabinets and figure out what doesn’t work and what you don’t use. Many replicate tasks and there are probably others you simply don’t use. Cull the collection down to the ones you really use, like your slow cooker and blender, and accept that you’re never going to make ice cream often enough to devote all that space to an ice cream maker.
Put The Pantry In Order
If you’re lucky enough to have a meaningful pantry shape and not just a handful of kitchen cabinets, you’re already doing better than most. Still, having space can make it easy for your pantry to get out of control. Take this moment to not just sort your pantry’s contents, but to make sure everything is clearly labeled, eliminate outdated items like stale spices or old baking soda, and organize items by category. You can also make the space more functional by creating a storage spot for lids and installing some hooks to hold small utensils and other kitchen tools.
Find Your Problem Spots
Not only are most kitchens overrun with clutter, but many have particular spots where junk is prone to accumulate – maybe a corner of the counter or half of the kitchen table. This may be because those spots are serving a separate purpose, like holding the mail, or because they’re storing items you find inconvenient to put away. Well, it’s time to solve that problem.
Take a cue from canners who, frustrated by their accumulated store of jar rings began hanging them from strings or bungee cords in their cabinets, a solution that’s also perfect for storing cookie cutter collections. Other creative kitchen solutions for hard to store items include using a tension rod to increase under the sink storage space and using file organizers to put cabinet contents in order.
Multiply Your Shelves
Kitchen shelves are often built to store the tallest potential items, like half gallon mason jars, vases, or serving jugs, but most of the time, they’re used for much small items like plates and mugs or canned goods. Take advantage of that added height by placing expandable shelves in your cabinets, creating more vertical levels for storage without creating precarious stacks.
Sort Your Storage Tools
As noted above, most kitchens are overrun with small appliances, but an even bigger problem might be food storage containers. Not only do these tend to multiply as friends and relatives exchange leftovers and drop off treats, but depending on your home’s style, you may be prone to saving empty glass jars or old takeout containers. Faced with these piles of storage containers, find an appropriate space and then section it off, retaining only the food containers you use. You can try to return some of the strays to their original owners or stick those spares in a bin somewhere for the next round of holiday leftovers.
A cluttered kitchen can be a source of stress, but once cleaned up, you’ll be on your way to culinary bliss. So tidy up and get to work – it’s time to eat, and eat well.