The kitchen is the true heart of most homes, which ends up being a mixed blessing—great when you’re gathering everyone around the table, not-so-great when you’re digging through drawers trying to find that missing measuring spoon. With spring (and the subsequent impulse to clean and organize) hitting after a long winter, we put together some quick and easy tips that can help you corral your kitchen clutter and make cooking easier, without spending an arm and a leg.
1. Tackle the junk drawer. We all have one (and sometimes more than one), and it’s often the worst offender in terms of kitchen clutter. Make it easier on yourself by picking up either a flatware organizer or a bunch of small plastic containers that fit inside the drawer, which can hold important items like thumbtacks, rubber bands, batteries, and paper clips in an organized fashion.
2. Make a list. Whether it’s a whiteboard on the fridge or a chalkboard-paint panel inside of a pantry door, a place to write things down is essential. Make the top half into a shopping list (and encourage everyone in the family to scribble there when items run out), and use the bottom half as a running tally of what’s in the freezer.
3. Splurge on a sink organizer.
Nearly everyone has a dish rack, but if you’re not lucky enough to have a flip-out sponge drawer beneath your sink, your cleaning area is likely a wilderness of stray sponges, scrubbers, and dish soap. A suction-cup organizer (this OXO one gets great reviews
) will help corral the clutter.
4. Seek out unused space. Is there a swath of cabinet wall to the side of your sink? That could be just enough room for a magnetic knife strip. Got a tall cabinet that still has no room for all your stuff? Pick up a $5 two-tier shelf and watch your cabinet space instantly double.
5. Upgrade your tubs. Cambro tubs
are a standard in restaurant kitchens, but most home cooks don’t know about them. That’s a shame, because they’re great for storing prepped food and leftovers, they’re indestructible, and they last forever. (The CamSquare Translucent are the best ones to get.)
6. Lazy Susans are your friend. You may have one to organize your spices, but have you considered putting one in your fridge? (It makes digging out those leftovers all the way in the back a thousand times easier.)
7. So are magazine holders. Turns out they make pretty darn good storage: they hold everything from onions and potatoes in a cabinet to rolls of aluminum foil and plastic wrap on the inside of a cabinet door.
8. Spice up your life.
If you haven’t cleaned out your spices in a while, you might be doing your cooking a serious disservice. Here’s a full guide
to what needs to be rotated on a regular basis (and what you can keep forever).
What’s your favorite tip for a more organized kitchen? Let us know in the comments.