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7 Tips for Maintaining Kitchen Organization

7-tips

The hardest part of kitchen organization is not the process itself, but the kitchen maintenance. Learn Caraway's tips on maintaining an organized kitchen and reducing clutter.

We all love photos of a gorgeous, well-organized kitchen. But when the ingredients start flying and the cooking gets hot, your kitchen may more closely resemble a garage sale than a magazine cover. Once you’ve got everything organized and neatly tucked away, how do you keep it that way?

We’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you keep your kitchen clean and organized even when it gets heavy traffic.

1. Start Organized

Kitchen organization begins inside of the cabinets

Okay, so this one’s kind of obvious, but you can’t stay organized if you don’t get organized! Investing in brands and products that help to optimize storage and make your life easier, like our Magnetic Pan Racks and Canvas Lid Holder that come with your Cookware Set (at no extra cost), helps remind you why an organized kitchen is so nice, and gives you the tools to stay that way.

2. Clear the Counters

Clear counters as a result of optimal kitchen organization

The first thing you see when you walk in the kitchen are the counters. The cleaner they are, the more organized your kitchen looks and feels. Pick a few well-chosen decor items or kitchen utensils and appliances to stay on display. Get rid of or store everything else out of sight.

3. Eliminate the Extras (aka Clutter)

Clear counters as a result of optimal kitchen organization

Not to be too cliche, but you have to clear the clutter. Many of us have kitchen utensils and gadgets we rarely use. If you haven’t used your egg separator… ever, then it’s time to donate it. Go through your pantry and get rid of items that are past their due date. You might be surprised by how much extra storage space you have once you clear out all the things you don’t use.

4. Containers are Your Friends!

Food and spices being stored in containers on a shelf

From reusable plastic bins to retro glass apothecary jars and bottles, containers of all shapes and sizes are a quick and attractive way to keep your kitchen organized. Save the most attractive pieces for your countertop and tuck the rest away in the cupboards and pantry. When everything has a container, your items are easier to find and put away. We personally love these storage baskets from Yamazaki Home, which help to keep things tidy, while also being pretty to display.

5. Label Everything

Label everything for best kitchen organization practices

Along those same lines, label (almost) all of your containers. If your jars, containers, baskets, and bins are labeled, you can easily get things out and put them away. The same holds true for the classic kitchen junk drawer: labeled drawer dividers help to separate pens, pencils, rubber bands, and notepads. That way, when it’s time to take a message or make a note on a recipe, you’ve got everything you need on hand.

Think beyond scotch tape labeled with a Sharpie as you plan your labels. Chalkboard stickers, whiteboard stickers, and wooden tags give you plenty of options that are a lot more sightly than the labels

6. Utilize Every Available Space

Optimal kitchen storage with shelves and clear counters

This seems like, well yeah! But we often only organize the parts of the kitchen we see most often, like the top shelves of the refrigerator and the silverware drawer. What about the drawer under the oven (which, fun fact, is designed to keep food warm, but makes for a great storage drawer too), or the cupboard above your refrigerator? You may not look in these areas very often, but they are a great place to store items you infrequently use.

Speaking of rarely used spaces — the gap between the refrigerator and the wall, the space from the top of the cupboards to the ceiling, and vertical wall space. Custom drawers, and attractive storage bins and baskets can fill these rarely used spaces and give you some extra storage options.

7. Think Vertical

Pots, pans, and ceramic nonstick cookware being stored vertically for kitchen organization

We tend to be horizontally oriented, but vertical space offers unique and attractive organization options. For example, magnetic strips to hold kitchen knives, pegboards, and floating shelves take advantage of wall space that may otherwise remain empty. You can also think tall in how you store items. Kitchen utensils, while practical, often take up valuable drawer space. A rarely used pitcher or vase can just as easily organize utensils and take up less square footage.

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