6 kitchen organizing tips

Your kitchen should be organized to make cooking, baking, storing food, family scheduling, feeding pets  - virtually everything you do here daily - as simple and quick as possible.

Seems obvious, doesn't it? 

If your kitchen isn't as efficient as you'd like, these 6 kitchen organizing tips can help get things back on track.

  1  Kitchen Organizing Tips for Family Activities

Was there an orthodontist appointment today? An extra hockey practice? Minimize miscommunications regarding each family member's schedule and commitments by creating a family communications central. 

Some families post messages on the refrigerator. Others use a bulletin board. Still others just leave notes on the counter. Use whatever method works best for your family. The goal is to organize your time as well as your schedule so that you'll be the picture of relaxed organization when the phone rings with a last-minute carpool emergency.

  2  Kitchen Organizing Tips for Cooking

Getting dinner ready each night is time-consuming enough - why add to it by having your cooking and baking items in different cabinets and cupboards? Get it all together by creating areas in your kitchen for each type of cooking and baking you regularly do.

  • Slicing and dicing: Near the sink, create a workstation with all the paraphernalia you need to wash, peel, and chop foods, including knives, butcher block, peelers, scrub brushes, bowls, etc.
  • Food preparing: Here's where you would group scrapers, colanders, mixing bowls and spoons, whisks, measuring cups and spoons, blender, and your food processor. Try to contain them all in one cabinet.
  • Baking: Arrange all the things you'll need for baking in one cabinet. Then organize the items inside plastic storage containers for grouping like items. I put our collection of cake and ice cream sprinkles in a big plastic box. When it's time to frosh cupcakes for class, we all know right where to go.
  • Snacking: Make kids more independent and let them fix their own breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. In an accessible low cabinet, station snack food for the kids: peanut butter, bread, jelly, raisins, cereal bars, chips, and zip-close bags. This is also a good spot for storing lunch boxes. Grouping these items makes it easy for kids to pack their own lunches. 

  3   Organizing Food Storage

Few things are more frustrating than buying the ketchup you thought you needed at the grocery store, only to discover, upon bringing it home, that you already have two unopened bottles. Organizing like foods in the same area cuts down on unneeded bottles of ketchup (unnecessary expenses) and simply makes life run smoother.

These pantry shelving ideas can help.

  • Group foods by type. Don't just stuff items into the first open place you see; instead, stock food in the same place each time, grouping like items.
Kitchen organizing tips.Repackage shelf hogs in glass or plastic air-tight containers.
  • Put rarely used item on the top shelf. Put your family's favorite foods in the middle, at eye level. Heavy items such as cans go near the bottom.
  • Use lazy Susans. Use lazy Susans, pullout shelving, and wire racks to maximize storage space.
  • Repackage shelf hogs. Get rid of half-empty boxes of cereal and place the cereal in smaller, airtight containers. Label them with the contents and the expiration date. Unlike wine, food don't get better with age!

  4   Create a Pet Feeding Center

Hey! You're not the only one chowing down in here. And yes, you can feed the pooch in the kitchen without letting the whole place go to the dogs.

Stash the less-than-fragrant dog or cat food dish out of the way of (foot) traffic lanes. Try to store the food nearby.

I keep our trio of bowls - two food dishes and one big water dish - underneath an inconspicuous corner table. The food is tucked into a nearby cabinet out of sight, but within reach when our two cats need chow.

  5   Create a Kitchen Recycling Center

Under the sink, keep plastic tubs for recycling aluminum, glass and plastic. Let the kids do this. They'll love it. They'll even like taking it out to the garage. Really.

  6   How to Create a Kitchen Study Hall

Many a mom, including me, likes her kids to do their homework in the kitchen so she can answer kiddie questions while they work. If your kids study here, too, keep all supplies close at hand, so the kids aren't continually jumping up and down (and prolonging the whole homework process) for erasers, compasses, protractors, dictionaries, etc.

Empty a cabinet and create a little office supply center with notebook paper, construction paper, folders, pencils, pens, rulers, calculators, markers, crayons, and whatever else your kids use. Leave room to store ongoing projects, such as term papers and note cards.

› 6 Easy Kitchen Organizing Tips