Streamlining your kitchen

  • Reserve counter space for appliances you use daily, such as the coffeemaker, toaster and microwave.
  • Group your pots, pans and utensils - say, cooking versus baking - and store them in separate cabinets and drawers, if space allows.  Often, we do this in the pantry.  We always create a baking zone.
  • Use top drawers for everyday cutlery, middle drawers for kitchen tools such as whisks,  and mixing spoons; and lower drawers for less frequently used items, like entertaining pieces and barbecue utensils.
  • Find a new home for items you rarely use.
  • If family members use the kitchen for activities other than cooking, set aside an area for their supplies.
  • Think vertically to create new storage space.  Mount a pot rack on the ceiling, add a plate rail to hold lids and install a spice rack on the wall.  Use under-cabinet space to attach a pull-down cookbook holder or a radio; they will be easily accessible but out of the way.
Everyday put away dishes, clear and clean countertops, and gather items for recycling.

Once a week clean out the fridge, neaten the contents of drawers and cabinets, round up items that don't belong in the kitchen and put them away.

Once a month spend an hour organizing one area - a cabinet, the pantry etc., go through the cabinets and toss old items while making a list of anything that needs replacing.  Also assess your kitchenware.  Match pots and pans with their lids and toss broken or mismatched pieces.

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