I recently worked with a client to make the layout of the items in her kitchen work better for her. We discussed how just because “most people” store certain things in certain spots, doesn’t make it a rule. I am offering you the same permission. Break those molds and make your kitchen work for you! Here are some tips.
Make sure it’s a good time to do this. I have never been able to organize anyone’s entire kitchen in less than 8 hours. When I say that to a client, the response is typically disbelief, “There’s no way MINE will take that long.” Believe me-Yes, it will. If you do not have at least 8 hours to devote to this job, you will end up having to run out the door to pick up the kids with the kitchen countertops covered in all your baking paraphernalia that you didn’t even realize you had. And when you get home, guess what? You get to try to cook dinner with zero counter space and with no idea of where to find anything. Please heed my warning, and DO NOT be the victim of a kitchen reorganization nightmare!
Start by taking everything out. Yes, the idea of taking EVERYTHING out of all of those cabinets and drawers will feel overwhelming. But keep in mind that the end result will be so worth it! Put a tarp down on your kitchen floor on which to put everything into piles. It is up to you how to sort your belongings. But my favorite method is to sort into three piles of “daily,” “monthly,” and “annually.”
For example, when you pull all of your baking pans out of the drawer underneath your oven, consider how often you use each one. It is likely that you use your cookie sheets daily to bake everything from chicken nuggets for the kids to, well, cookies. But I bet you use your muffin tin less frequently, so it should probably go in the “monthly” pile. And that roasting pan is pretty much reserved for the Thanksgiving turkey, so it’s definitely used “annually.”
Consider usefulness. Look around at your piles. Hopefully, most of what you see will be in the “daily” pile. If not, you may need to consider if some of those kitchen gadgets are truly useful to you. If you own a spiralizer, but you don’t like veggie pasta, you probably don’t need to own a spiralizer. Also, if you own five sets of measuring cups, and you can confidently say that there are never more than two 1-cup measurers in the dishwasher at a given time, let’s go ahead and cut that collection down to your favorite two. It is rare that EVERYTHING you pull out truly deserves to live in your home.
Carefully consider appropriate homes. Think of the layout of your cabinets and drawers as real estate. Prime real estate are those cabinets and drawers that are easy for you to reach without bending or stretching. The items that you use daily belong in those zones. The items that you use monthly can go in the areas underneath. And those rarely used appliances and platters should go in the really high cabinets.
It may feel “wrong” to put your roasting pan up in the highest cabinet versus in that baking sheet drawer underneath the oven. But remember that we’re making your kitchen work for YOU. I officially give you permission to break the “rules” here!
Do any of you “break the rules” in your own kitchens? Or have you ever thought about reorganizing in a way that better fits your habits and preferences? Tell me the ways you think outside the box in your kitchen in the comments section below.