Organize the Kitchen: DIY

Organizing your kitchen doesn’t have to involve buying things, often just rearranging your shelves can help you make space and streamline the kitchen process. Here are some tips for organizing your kitchen:

1. Sit down and map it out. If you go to reorganize your kitchen you are going to come out more frustrated than you started. So take a second. Sit down. Get a piece of paper and jot down ideas. Do you want all of your cups near the dishwasher, but there isn’t any room? Think it through. Also, make a guideline of where you want all your non-perishable items. Storing like items together (e.g. crackers, cereal, granola bars) will really help you find things. But if you don’t have a plan and run out of room, green beans might end up with the rice and then you’ll never find them later.
2. Create zones. Over your stove is a cooking zone, keep spices, pots, pans, spatulas and whisks nearby. Near your Kitchen Aid is a baking zone, keep measuring cups, flour, sugar, etc. at hand. Put your dishes near the dishwasher or close to the eating area for easy access when setting the table. Put coffee and tea items near the stove or a doorway for easy access. Keep your coffee pot near the coffee items. Keep all items that belong in that zone in that zone. If you go to reorganize and find you don’t have enough room, utilize some containers or switch zones.
3. Be intuitive. Put large bulky seasonal or seldom used items up high or in awkward cabinet corners. Leave the easy-to-reach spaces for the frequently used items.
4. Take some time. It is understandable to want to organize your kitchen right away. But often you don’t know where clutter will gather, or where items will gravitate toward until you spend some time in it. So live in your space for a little bit. Then reorganize around where the stuff settles. If a corner of your countertop seems to collect pens or purses, put out a pen container or a nearby hook to collect these items. Then they will have a natural home in the house without causing clutter. This may be a little bit of a hassle but it will have big pay-offs in the end.
5. Give everything a home. When you sit down to plot out your kitchen, make sure you include everything you want in your kitchen and give it a home. If it doesn’t have a home it is at risk for getting lost, broken, or worse, stressing you out because it is cluttering your life.
6. Pare down. So many people have unnecessary clutter because they will not throw things out. Do you really need to keep all those souvenir beer mugs? Those plastic cups from Wendy’s or that plethora of cool whip containers? If they are cluttering up your life, then get rid of them. Offer them up on Freecycle. Or decoupage them and use them as containers for craft items. Whatever you do, get them out of there.

Sometimes our kitchens just don’t work the way we want them to. This is where creativity and some strategically placed items can help.

amazon hanging pot and pan holder thumb Organize the Kitchen: DIY
No room for pots and pans? Consider an overhead pot organizer, like the Ikea ceiling mounted utensil rack for $24.99 from Ikea or the hanging pot and pan holder from Amazon for $34.95 (pictured above).

target magnetic knife rack thumb Organize the Kitchen: DIY
A magnetic strip can clear some drawer space and get those sharp knives out of reach of your little ones. Like this one for $7.99 from Ikea or the magnetic knife rack for $16.99 from Target (pictured above).

Target storage solutions stacking shelves Organize the Kitchen: DIY
A shelf insert can help you make room for all that cream of mushroom soup, without having to stack it. Target sells a set of 6 stacking shelves perfect for your cupboards for $34.99.

Kitchen Aid Wall Rack Organize the Kitchen: DIY
Also, consider using a wall rail–you can use them to hang pot lids, towels, or use the accessories, like the utensil caddy, the shelf for the extension rail can hold olive oil, salt and pepper, really the only limit is your creative juices.The 16″ Kitchen Aid wall rack is only $17.99.

Space Savers Flour thumb Organize the Kitchen: DIY
One of the biggest problems in the kitchen is storing flour and sugar. Consider putting them in plastic storage containers and storing them on your shelves. Storing them in their own paper or plastic containers is messy and leaves them vulnerable to a bug invasion. To solve this problem, Space Savers has some fabulous flour containers for $6.99.