When you organize kitchen cabinets, you increase the functionality of a kitchen. You also save valuable time since you won't be searching for items you need while cooking. Another added advantage is saving money on grocery bills since you won't buy items you already have just because you couldn't find them.
When you organize kitchen cabinets, work in small sections. First work on the upper cabinets and then base cabinets. Upper cabinets are shallow compared to base cabinets. So they hold lesser number of items. So it will be much easier and will take less time to organize them. Once you get the hang of it, you can move on to the base cabinets.
Start to organize kitchen cabinets by taking everything out of the cabinets you are working on (like upper or base cabinets).
Sell/donate items you no longer need or use and recycle or trash the items which are broken. Also discard any expired food items.
The best way to organize kitchen cabinets/cabinet shelves is to designate them for specific items or group of like items. Group items into categories like dinnerware, drinkware, serving dishes, bakeware, storage containers, food, pots and pans, cleaning supplies and special occasion items (like holiday/party ware).
When you organize kitchen cabinets, put lighter items in the upper ones and heavier ones in the bottom cabinets. That way it is easier and safer to put them in as well as take them out. You won’t be lifting heavy items above your head. Another important point to consider while you organize kitchen cabinets is to put spices, utensils, daily use pots & pans on the right side of your stove if you are right-handed and vice versa.
Dishes and glassware can be placed in upper cabinets near the dishwasher. Use the bottom shelf of an upper cabinet to store dinnerware by stacking dinner plates, salad plates and saucers. Put bowls inside casserole or serving dishes and place them on the other side/end of the same shelf. Arrange the glasses on one shelf or one side of the shelf. Place mugs on another shelf or on the other side/end of the same shelf if there is space.
Designate a bottom shelf in an upper cabinet near the stove for all your spices. Use upper shelves of the same cabinet for bakeware (except for large cookie sheets, which can be placed in the range/oven drawer or a base cabinet), baking supplies (flour, baking soda/powder, extracts etc.) and also mixing bowls.
You can reuse empty boxes of parchment paper, cling wrap or aluminum foil as risers to elevate items like spices, jars, cans etc. in the back of the cabinet so that they are more visible. Leave the cardboard tube/core inside for strength. Wrap the boxes with contact paper for a decorative touch.
Designate an upper cabinet for your food storage containers. Stack them to optimize space. You can use the same cabinet to store condiments, salad dressings, honey/syrups, tea/coffee etc. Grouping these items in inexpensive plastic wire baskets available at supermarkets or dollar stores makes for easy cleanup if they leak or spill.
When putting things on the top shelves of the upper cabinets, it helps if you put them in baskets/boxes for easy reach especially since you may not be able to see the things at the back once the shelf is full. Also put items that are not used as often on top shelves.
Put aprons, kitchen towels, potholders and oven mitts in a basket and store them on the left side and disposable plates and cups on the right side of the small cabinet above the stove. You can also put place mats, napkins, napkin rings etc. in another basket and stack on top of the basket on the left.
Store rarely used items like party supplies and holiday dishes and drink ware in the cabinet above the refrigerator.
Put pots and pans in base cabinets near the stove or dishwasher according to your preference.
Put all your saucepans on one shelf, sauté pans on another one in the same cabinet. Likewise store stockpots/dutch ovens on one shelf, roasting pans on another one. Stack these by putting smaller ones inside larger ones. Then place large lids facing up making a flat surface to put another small lid face down. If you have limited space to separate them, stack them by putting saucepans inside dutch ovens and dutch ovens inside sauté pans and store lids inside roasting pans or stock pots. If you have drawers on your base cabinets instead of shelves, designate drawers for each group of items like sauté pans, sauce pans, dutch ovens, stock pots etc.
Designate a base cabinet for all your appliances. Only keep appliances that you use daily like coffee maker and toaster on the kitchen counter.
Canned goods can be stored on the bottom shelf of a base cabinet by grouping vegetables, beans, soups, tomatoes etc., in separate plastic box/baskets (you can also use cardboard boxes or cartons from the grocery store). You can store boxed foods (like pasta, snacks and precooked meals) grouped on the top shelf of a base cabinet. Storing in boxes makes for easy access since base cabinets are much deeper and darker than upper cabinets. If one shelf of the base cabinet is not enough for canned goods you can always stack the canned goods in boxes by keeping often used items on the top in the box.
Put cleaning supplies and trash can under the sink. Dishwasher/dish soap, anti-bacterial wipes and trash/grocery bags can be stored on one side of the sink cabinet and trash can on the other side. Storing plastic grocery bags in tall antibacterial or similar container will save space.
If you are not storing trashcan under the sink, use that space for oils and vegetables like potatoes, onions, garlic etc., which do not need to be refrigerated. If not using plastic basket or cardboard box lined with plastic wrap/trash bag to store oils, make sure you line this cabinet. It doesn’t need to be fancy. You can use a trash bag to do this. Also keep a fire extinguisher here.
Once you organize kitchen cabinets, you will have everything you need within easy reach. Make sure you maintain it.
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