If there is one thing I LOVE to do, it's cook! I can spend hours upon hours trying out new recipes, searching Pinterest for new recipes and digging through old cookbooks. But, I have a little secret….I'm a messy cook! Put me in a kitchen and I will destroy it from top to bottom. I finally realized that I wasn't necessarily a messy cook but a very unorganized cook. I spend a lot of time watching the Food Network and the Cooking Channel and I learned that you really do need an organized kitchen to be a good cook. Over the holidays I spent some time studying the kitchens of the celebrity cooks and figuring out how I would recreate that in my home. There was one major problem. The cooks on TV have large beautiful kitchens and my kitchen is very small! Some people have bigger closets than my kitchen. With some time, planning and strategizing I finally came up with a way to organized my kitchen and I couldn't be happier with the results.
Organization Tips for Small Kitchens
Clean Out Your Kitchen – First things first, you need to go through your kitchen and get rid of anything you don't need! I was shocked to find that I had enough silverware to feed at least 50 people. I'm not joking! Take sometime to look through your dried goods and check to see what is passed expiration or items your family simply won't use. You will also want to look at what kitchen gadgets you own and what you are still using. If you haven't used something in the past year it might be time to think about donating or selling it. The next step is to get your counters organized. Take a good look at what you have on your counters and only keep items out that are used on a daily basis or to hold fruit or vegetables. Keeping your counters clean can help to make your entire kitchen organized. Here are more tips for Deep Cleaning Your Kitchen.
Create a Pantry – I wasn't lucky enough to have a built in pantry and this was really causing havoc on my kitchen. I had very limited cabinet space and was left with very little room to store snacks and dried goods. To correct this problem I went to Target and but a stand alone pantry for $49. Creating a pantry gives you additional storage and helps you get your supplies organized. If you have a built in pantry take the time to get it organized. Separate canned goods into areas of soup, vegetables, fruits, tomato sauce and then do the same with pasta, cereal, snacks and anything else you have. Here are more tips for organizing your pantry.
Keep A Kitchen Inventory – Creating a kitchen inventory is the perfect way to quickly see what items you have on hand, what you are running low on and what you need to purchase right away. Keeping a running inventory can help prevent you from buying additional products you don't need. You can also quickly glance at your inventory list to see what you have on hand when trying to put together a last-minute dinner. Creating your initial inventory list does take some time but it's so worth it in the long run. Once you have your inventory set-up you can quickly cross off items when you use them and add items when you make purchases. Your kitchen inventory can be as detailed as you would like. Some people like creating and excel document and others like myself like good old fashion pen and paper. Do what works for you! Here are more tips for creating a kitchen inventory and a free printable list.
Create A Work Station – If there was tip you take away from this post it should be this one! I can not stress enough how important it is to have a work station in your kitchen. Creating a work station is simple to do and doesn't take much time at all. Next to my stove I have a Lazy Susan that has my olive oil, salt and pepper. These are items I am always using while cooking thus the reason I keep them right next to the stove. Next to the Lazy Susan I have an oversized cutting board with small prepping bowls stored on top. On the other side of my cutting board I have a canister that holds my spatulas, whisks and other utensils. The cabinet above my cutting boards stores my spices, rice, beans, flour and other oils. I have found that by setting up my station like this I am able to stay organized and it helps me keep the kitchen clean while cooking! Spend some time playing around with creating a work station in your kitchen. Your work station doesn't have to be set up like mine, just make sure it's functional for you.
What tips do you have for organizing your kitchen?