To get the most out of your kitchen, first consider all the activities your family does there. Then reorganize the space to accommodate those activities.
Well, duh. That seems obvious, doesn't it? But often we just put things away in the closest place that we can find at the time, without really giving it a second thought.
So think about it. These kitchen organizing tips can help get things back on track.
I've organized my kitchen into five activity centers:
Let's take a peek at each of them in turn.
Cooking can be subdivided into small sub-activities, and these kitchen organizing tips can help.
Such a plan not only saves steps, but it also enables two people to work at once without falling all over each other, which is good for a night of Twister among tipsy newlyweds but bad for married-with-children types packing butcher knives.
Organize your cooking area into these groups:
No pantry? No problem. If you don't have a built-in pantry, assign some cabinets to the task.
Ideally, choose a few large cabinets close to your refrigerator and stove. Most kitchens have a lot of cabinets and drawers, but they are usually a chaotic mess.
You buy marinara sauce, just to find three jars hidden behind the olive oil. The solution? Organize your storage so you know what you have and where you have it.
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.
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.
And while you're at it, start a composting pail (with a tight-fitting lid) with non-meat table scraps.
You can add this to your composting pile or worm bin. (Another great kid project.) Maybe keep your dishwashing detergent here, too.
While we're thinking about the sink, let's talk about what not to keep under there. Do not store poisons, such as cleaners and bleach, under the sink.
It's a bad idea with little ones in your home. This is not one of those times that you want to have logical stuff (like drain cleaner) handy. Households with kids should have cleaners and other dangerous brews stored up high and out of reach in the garage.
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) in search of erasers, compasses, protractors, dictionaries, etc.
Empty a cabinet and create a small 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.
Although younger kids don't do homework, they do do artwork.
For younger kids, I've found that since the kitchen is the room best suited to cleaning up messes, it's the perfect place for an art center.
I use a cleaning-supply caddy as a portable home for coloring books, paper, markers, and crayons, and a three-ring binder with zip-close clear plastic cases for stickers and pipe cleaners.
You could also use a storage tower with see-through drawers for art supplies.