Trying to get your kitchen perfectly organised can be a never ending game. Your needs change, your wants vary and you keep buying things you will never end up using.
Read on to get my top tips and advice on organising your kitchen.
So how do you get your kitchen set up just right for you? When is a good time and what questions should you be asking yourself before you dive in? With so many beautifully presented kitchens starring back at us online or in our feeds, the kitchen envy is real; and not just the colour of the stunning mid-century or the solid look of the farmhouse, I'm also talking about the perfectly styled spice cupboard or the cleverly designed vegetable drawer. Life-at-home in 2020 and now 2021 (God help us), raised our home decor/style/space antennae to def con 1000!
So when is a good time?
Well, I'm soon to embark on a new kitchen project, so will most certainly share that journey with you!
Naturally when you are getting a new kitchen installed and moving home you are presented with the perfect opportunity to go full on 'Home Edit', so don't let that opportunity pass you by. And if you're not, then it's always a good time to think about how you store and use your kitchen when you buy or are about to buy, a new appliance or kitchenware. When you struggle to fit things in your cupboards easily or you can't find or access your favourite frying pan then you know it's time to turn into Marie Kondo (big her up for basically ever - did you see episode 5?!).
Tidying up with Marie Kondo: Netflix
Time to be honest... What questions should I ask myself before deciding if my 2005 cheese grater sparks joy?
1. Am I into cooking and do I cook a lot?
For example if you are Nadiya or Nigella or both (I bow down to you queen), then the chances are you own more than the average amount of cookware. The three best options are:
Choosing more drawers over cupboards in the lower half of your kitchen works well. Cookware is easy to organise in drawers and super accessible.
If you want to stick with cupboards then use cookware organisers that sit at the front of your cupboards or pull out racks.
Invest in a decent hanging cookware or pot rack.
Use pull out racks/drawers in cupboards to store smaller appliances like blenders they are a great for utilising space. Use baskets or boxes if you're on a budget.
Larders are great for regular cooks as you will probably have a lot of different spices, condiments and other ingredients that you use each day. So if you are getting a new kitchen definitely have one of these. If you have cupboards use clever and creative cupboard storage like lazy susans, baskets, long lasting acrylic containers and pull out racks. Create your own larder by using a top and bottom cupboard.
2. How do I really use my kitchen? Is my kitchen a multi-purpose space?
Open plan living first popped up properly in the 1970's but before then architect Frank LLoyd Wright was beginning to design homes with larger more open living spaces.
Now they are the norm and is often the basis of many refurbs.
With us all at home at the moment many a Zoom background is the cooker or open shelves, as we find ourselves using our kitchens as our offices (why wouldn't you be as close as possible to the fridge?!).
Our kitchen/diners are working for us in different ways now and the flow needs to serve us as best it can so it's important we don't over clutter our space.
When life returns to normal having friends and family over will be at the top of our list for a long time therefore consider how you entertain. For example can you swap a cupboard for a wine cooler? Then the wine rack can go, creating more worktop space.
3. Do I like a cosy feel to my kitchen? Am I more of a maximalist than a minimalist?
If you're a maximalist it doesn't mean you need to have all of your items on show, you need to make sure you have done an honest purge (don't keep items you simply do not use - if the cost per use is high sell it!).
If you still have a few sets of plates then rotate their use and store them so the ones you use currently are at the front and the others in the back. If you have cupboards baskets are great for storing the less regularly used items.
Decide on the two most used appliances and have those on the work tops and then store the others.
Store in categories - this is especially important for the maximalist as it's easier to find the many different items this way - designate a place for each category.
Use colour and texture to serve your maxi-cosy vibe.
Maximalist kitchen: Pinterest
For the minimalist like me, it's all about saving space to give you a sense of more. You want your counters cleared and a kitchen that just isn't clean but looks clean. Doing a ruthless purge is likely to be easier for you.
Again categorise your items.
Integrate your bins or hide them inside of cupboards.
Use over door racks, drawer dividers and have a dedicated appliance cupboard.
Use items that can have a dual purpose and get rid of single- functioning gimmicky items.
Setting up your kitchen
4. Does the flow of my kitchen work for me or what do I want the flow to be?
Zone your kitchen and get the flow working perfectly for you so you can move easily and comfortably between the different functional areas.
If you are getting a new kitchen:
Think function first then the design can be made to meet your practical needs. E.g. Don't put a below counter fridge on a island as people sit around it and prepare food on it and will have to keep moving out of the way.
Calculate the space and mark up the plans visualising yourself in the space. A kitchen designer can also help you. If you are having an island, allowing yourself and your family to be able to walk around it easily, creates great flow.
When zoning, literally set up mini locations e.g. Have a hot drinks area or cupboard space. Have a spot for your toaster and bread. Install a pull out chopping board above the hidden vegetable rack. Locate pots and pans next to your cooker or above your cooker.
Integrate, integrate, integrate.
Contain, contain, contain - there are plenty of choices for good inside cupboard or drawer storage.
If you are reorganising your existing kitchen:
Empty all of your cupboards
Label each cupboard using a Post -it note and then each section of the cupboards to map out the new storage configuration of your kitchen. Take the time here to decide on your storage items for each location.
Make sure you store what you use the most at the front (this is usually a result of HOW you use your kitchen).
Use this opportunity to create new zones that give new energy to your kitchen, our lives change over time so your space should reflect that.
Don't let paperwork/mail build up in a corner on your worktop. If it does, have a small stationery tray in place and empty it at the end of each week when you file your paperwork.
My final quick fire tips:
Think about what you need and want the most.
Consider all members of the household. Kids grow fast and their needs are always changing. Who cooks the most and what works for them.
Declutter your kitchen every 6 months and even do mini- declutter sessions along the way.
Think easy access for your favourite and most used items.
Music adds great energy and vibes to a kitchen so why not make space for it.
If this blog has helped you, please comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.