Tuesday, November 6, 2012

15 days to a simpler home: day 3 - simplicity in the kitchen

One of the easiest places to become very unorganized, very quickly, is in the kitchen.  I have discovered that the main reason why it's so hard to keep a kitchen organized is because most of us simply have too much of everything.  Take a quick look in your cabinets.  How many different sets of glasses do you have? Plates? Or, when was the last time you opened each of those cookbooks on the shelf?
A few months ago, I removed the doors off one of our large upper cabinets, and starting using the open shelving for the dishes we used the most to see how much we actually needed.
In the meantime, I moved all of the rest of our glasses (there were about 30 extra glasses), bowls and plates to other cabinets to see how soon we would use them.  A few months went by, and we didn't use a single one of those dishes.  So, I moved them to the basement for our garage sale next summer, and started paring down our other items.  The key to an organized kitchen is to have one set of each thing. 

I did the same thing with all those kitchen gadgets.  We had two whole drawers of kitchen gadgets, most of which, we never used.  I went through them objectively, and got it down to just the items that we use most on the counter, and the rest in one drawer.
I also removed the measuring cups and spoons from getting jumbled in a drawer, and hung them on the inside of a cabinet door.
Speaking of measuring cups, I would also recommend grouping items in the kitchen by their uses.  For instance, we have this entire section of the kitchen that is dedicated to baking supplies.
Baking supplies and tools all together, and spices in the drawer.  I currently have our flour and sugar in their bags, but I'm going to purchase some large tubs to store these in as well, just to make sure we keep any critters out.

We also keep all of our small appliances together in the cabinet of the island.  
We only use our toaster once a week or so, and coffee is only brewed for holidays and guests, so these items are kept in this cabinet instead of on the counter.
Small appliances are also another easy way to pare down items that you no longer need.  For instance, we had a blender in that cabinet that we had not used once in 5 years, and so I gave it the boot.  Getting rid of large items like this can really open up valuable space in your kitchen, and make it easier to stay organized.

We also have one set of pots and pans:
Our drawers are organized by item-type, and kept simple.

And of course, there is the infamous junk drawer.  I will admit it, we have one...but it is also organized.
There is really only one cabinet in our kitchen that is a bit random, but it's still relatively organized, and it works for us.  Among the items in this cabinet, we have our mugs and our cookbooks.
For cookbooks, most of the time we don't use the majority of them anyway, and if they're taking up space, get rid of them! If there are a few recipes you love from them, either copy or write them down and sell or donate the book.  

Mugs, I must say, are my weakness.  I'm not even really sure why, because I don't drink coffee or a lot of other hot drinks.  So, that is probably the area that I still need to work on.  I must get it from my Mom...she has a million mugs!

If you're OCD like me, you can even take your kitchen organization a few steps further.  For instance, I really like that all of our tupperware is the same type, and belongs to the same set...it makes me feel calm. Is that weird?
I also really like to keep the counters relatively clear.  Not only do they look great without a whole bunch of clutter, they're so much easier to wipe down everyday.
Paring down your dishes and kitchen items will help you to have more space in your cabinets where each item has a home, making cooking and cleaning easier, and much quicker.  Simplifying your kitchen to just the items you need will allow you to have more time away from the stove and the sink.

Read the Other Posts in this Series:


  1. Alas, I will be so excited when we find a house. My Kitchen has VERY limited space for everything. I have three drawers, three cabinets, and two lazy susan cabinets. Any Ideas?

    1. You will really have to keep your kitchen tools to a minimum! Do you have a pantry as well, or just these cabinets total?

  2. I hung my pot lids on the inside of a kitchen cabinet like this, wonders!


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