Kitchens are the heart of our homes. But no matter how big or small your kitchen is, you will always find yourself in a mess. Family members come and go in this room all the time, with everyone always leaving something out on the counters and on the floor. It's difficult to keep every item in place or the whole space organized especially as we now have so many tools for cooking and accessories for decorating, which can increase clutter too. However, if you read these practical ideas on how to use space in the kitchen more wisely, you'll see that it's possible to keep your counters and cabinets always in order and your surfaces sparkling clean.
This is the necessary first step if you want to walk into a kitchen where everything has a purpose and its place. It is especially easy to stuff items in drawers only to never use them again. So you need to be brutally honest with yourself about all the items you keep around this room. You need to answer the following questions:
Do I need it?
Do I use it often ?
Do I love having it?
Is it even in the right place ?
If the answer to all three questions is 'no', then donate it or take it to the recycling centre. Note that your local charity shop will be more than happy to receive your old crockery sets mismatch plates and mugs as well as kitchen tools and cooking books - less so your cutlery.
De-clutter your kitchen at least annually and say 'no' to buying new tools that you will not frequently use. Once all the unused products are out of the kitchen it's time to organise what is left behind!
Sherbourne Heritage Grey kitchen designed by Owen Williams Kitchens
2. Deal with Lower Kitchen Cabinets first
For the lower kitchen cabinets to be 100% effective, you need to keep the less used products in them, like big cooking pans (the ones you use for big family gatherings), larger pots and unusual baking trays (like the shortcrust pastry forms and those for muffins that only come out for the school cake sale once a year!). These should also be as near to the stove or your cooker as possible.
Keep food storage containers in the under counter cabinets too. It's smart to make good use of the vertical space in them, so install a half-shelf in most of the cabinets.
If you are currently planning your new kitchen, a great addition for lower cabinets is a pull-out cabinet drawer. It's perfect for those who usually have to dig through the cabinet to find a specific pan or a pot and will make it easier to reach what you're looking for.
Example: A strong, versatile and flexible pull-out storage unit by Masterclass Kitchens, MagnaSpace will suit the needs of the most demanding of spaces and lifestyles. MagnaSpace is the alternative to expensive, out-of date and flimsy wirework pull-outs.
3. Additional Space for Cookware
Sometimes it's better if the most frequently used cookware items are visible. You can use a multi-tier stand for small pans and pots on the counter, or install hooks on the wall to keep specific pots within reach. You can also use it for large utensils and cookbooks too. And when everything is in order on the counter, you will find some space for some indoor plants too!
Photo: Masterclass Kitchens
4. Organize the Cutlery
Your cutlery drawer probably gets chaotic (I know mine does, often!). Your solution: a stackable or expandable drawer organizer that can be adjusted to any drawer. If it's made of a natural material like bamboo - even better, as bamboo is naturally very hygienic.
We love these deep drawers from Masterclass Kitchens, perfect for everyday cutlery as well as heavy duty utensils! Available 650mm deep, you will benefit from 30% more useable storage than compared to a standard cupboard.
Remember that those cutlery inserts also need to get cleaned up from time to time! I clean mine every 3 months.
5. Deep Cleaning from Time to Time
Talking about cleaning those cutlery drawers: In order for the kitchen to always look clean, fresh and sleek, a deep cleaning is necessary from time to time. It's fine to want to do it yourself but it's usually better to get the professionals in. Why? Because they have professional grade cleaning products in the first place.
What to expect when you call the pros? They sanitize every surface, wipe down all the cabinets, clean all the appliances from inside and outside and finish with making your floor look and smell new. It will take you all day to do it and it still won't be as thorough as when professionals do it. It’s easier to work in a clean kitchen, free of bacteria, isn’t it?
For a service like this in the UK try Bizzby In Australia think about services like those offered by professionals for house cleaning in Sydney and other big cities. There are also professionals who can come in to only do your oven cleaning. Once every two years I like to do an "end of tenancy" deep clean; I minimise the cost by restricting it only to my kitchen.
6. Keep pet products in bags
If like us you have a pet at home, remember not to just leave their lead on kitchen counters (the hair!) and make sure you use airtight containers to keep their food fresh for longer. Obviously, you don't want to leave food out in the counter too, as some pets are known to make a mess trying to get to it!
7. Use All Available space!
An over-the-door organizer comes in handy in the pantry. You can stash pantry items in the transparent pockets and save time when you need something. You can also have hooks for coats over the kitchen door. But make sure this does not become an opportunity for even more clutter!
8. Fast Transport - use carts
Investing in a cart may be one of the most useful things you'll do in the kitchen. It will allow you to safely transport heavy dishes from the kitchen to the dining room. Additionally, it can serve as additional space where you can put away items when you need more space for cooking or entertaining and simply roll them away.
Above and below: Owen Williams Kitchens
9. Add some Colour and Aesthetics
If you have kitchenware coloured with bright, lovely colours, don't hide them in the cabinets. If you put them on display, they will count as artwork and be more easy to reach when you need them. The same goes for china: use glass-front cabinets to put your china and antique bowls on display.
Even glass containers filled with pasta and spices can be used as decorative items, too. But to make the look less busy, try not to introduce too many colours; keep it simple and effective by restricting the number of colours or only use them in one area in the room.
Above: an Owen Williams Kitchen design.
Keeping a kitchen in order is actually all about finding the right balance between having items you love and items that are practical. If everything has its place then cleaning and tidying up will be quicker and more efficient long term.