Is your kitchen bursting at the seams, leaving you desperately seeking new storage solutions? With the right system, you can create more space and order. Discover how to achieve this below.
The kitchen, being one of the most frequently used rooms, often descends into chaos. Despite the abundance of storage, cupboards, drawers, and shelves are brimming. But is this really because you’ve accumulated more food over the years, or could it be that you’ve scattered dishes, cutlery, pots, pans, spices, kitchen roll holder and baked goods throughout the kitchen without any real system? If you find yourself spending more than five minutes searching for something specific but failing to find it, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your organisation system and reorganise your kitchen.
Declutter Your Kitchen Though it might not be the most enjoyable task, decluttering is essential — the first step towards improvement. Empty all the cupboards and drawers in your kitchen and sort out anything that is broken, duplicated, or no longer useful. These items should either be discarded or, if they’re too good to throw away but no longer have a place in your kitchen, donated.
Next, you should thoroughly clean your kitchen cabinets and drawers once they’re emptied. This opportunity won’t present itself often, so take advantage of it! Before putting back the remaining items, it’s wise to categorise them, i.e., dishes and cutlery, pots and pans, containers, and spices.
The same goes for your food. Organise your supplies so that frequently used items are together, as are those bought in bulk and those needed for cooking. Also, pay attention to the expiration dates of perishable foods to prevent them from ending up in the bin. This, however, doesn’t apply to canned goods, which are edible far beyond their best-before dates.
Tidy Up Your Drawers Do you have a “junk” drawer for miscellaneous items you believe you might use someday? If so, you’ve probably lost track of what’s inside. You can bring more order to this space by using drawer organisers available in various sizes and styles.
Keep Everything Within Reach Store all household utensils so that everything you frequently use is easily accessible. For instance, drawers near the cooker are best suited for cutlery, or spices needed for cooking. Pots and pans should be stored near the cooking area, and sharp knives should be close to the work surface. For the latter, consider using a space-saving magnetic strip mounted on the wall.
Make Full Use of Interior Cabinets Often, valuable storage space goes to waste. This starts with the rubbish bin, which in many households is placed in the base cabinets. Aside from the fact that food waste emits moisture, accelerating mould growth, this area could be used more efficiently. Instead, opt for a separate bin with a lid that you can place in the kitchen.
Does your kitchen have a corner cabinet? You likely store many household appliances there, such as food processors, which aren’t frequently used because they’re hard to reach. Instead, consider using a special corner cabinet carousel that offers space on multiple levels and can be rotated, allowing easy access to everything. A more affordable alternative would be a cabinet turntable.
Sort Your Food Everything you regularly need in the kitchen should be within reach.
Regardless of whether you have a pantry or just a drawer or base cabinet for food storage, you can create order here too by systematically storing supplies. All products that are used most often should get the best spot. For a better overview, it’s recommended to use labelled storage jars.
Create More Storage Space In small kitchens, it’s particularly challenging to create storage space — or so most people think. The truth is, there are many small tricks that can help you create more surfaces, no matter the size of the room. Utilise the insides of your kitchen cabinet doors to hang smaller items. There are special fixtures for this purpose, like adjustable curtain rods (plus kitchen hooks), door racks, or even cabinet inserts (for cups, for example).
Organise Your Fridge Properly You can also create order in your fridge, as many don’t know that different zones within the appliance have varying temperatures. If your fridge is set to the recommended average temperature of seven degrees Celsius, the vegetable drawer (at the bottom) will be around twelve degrees, while the top shelf might be just under four degrees — and this is intentional to preserve food longer. However, eggs, milk, and vegetables prefer different levels of cold, and some foods shouldn’t be in the fridge at all. Therefore, consider the following when arranging items.
The vegetable drawer at the bottom of the fridge is best for sensitive foods like salad, fruits, and vegetables, with temperatures between ten and thirteen degrees. The bottom shelf should store foods that spoil quickly, such as fresh fish, meat, deli meats, and cheese — here, temperatures range between four and five degrees. The middle shelf is ideal for all dairy products, like yoghurt, cream, milk, and fresh eggs, with temperatures ideally between six and seven degrees. The top shelf is the warmest since warm air rises. Store prepared meals, sauces, and jams here, with temperatures between seven and ten degrees. Tip: You can check the temperatures with a special fridge thermometer.
There are also different climate zones in the fridge door. Here’s how you should organise your items:
Drinks go to the very bottom — except for milk, which is too warm there. Condiments like mustard, ketchup, and salad dressings belong in the middle compartment. Butter and margarine, or foods that last longer, go in the top compartment. One last note: tomatoes, lemons, garlic, onions, avocados, and bananas should not be stored in the fridge. These foods should be kept at room temperature as they don’t develop their full flavour in cold temperatures.