We suggest you do this by carrying out the following 5 simple actions: you’ll find yourself with an orderly and well-spaced kitchen, even if it’s a small one.
1. Start by decluttering
Before reorganizing your kitchen, getting rid of unnecessary objects – the utensils and saucepans that we only use occasionally – is always an excellent idea. Decluttering means freeing yourself from superfluous things, and it’s an activity that will streamline your spaces and your spirits. Try it: you’ll be astonished at just how amazingly satisfied you’ll feel.
You only have to select all the things you no longer need or have never used. Don’t fall into the “I’ll keep this: you never know” trap: if the 12-person fondue set you were given at Christmas ten years ago has never even been removed from its packaging, what makes you think you might use it now?
Therefore (and all the more so if your kitchen is rather small), the first thing to do is to select and rid yourself of things you have no use for… remembering that you don’t necessarily have to literally throw them away: you can make a gift of them to someone who needs them, or recycle them to create a creative object in DIY style.
2. Order the things in drawers
The way you organize your kitchen drawers is a crucial factor in making the necessary space for practical operations. Open a random drawer in your kitchen: if what greets the eye is an inextricable tangle of cutlery, oven gloves, corkscrews, cake molds, dishcloths, bottle openers, potato mashers… here’s what you should do: order the objects in your kitchen drawers according to the frequency with which you use them. We suggest the following order:
- in the top kitchen drawer, which is the closest and easiest to access, using a cutlery divider, organize your knives, forks, tablespoons and tea spoons, but also salad servers and wooden spoons
- in the second drawer place your ladles, potato peelers, strainers, apple corers and knives for cooking and carving but not for laying at table
- in the third drawer, make space for kitchen cloths, neatly organizing oven gloves, dishcloths, aprons, napkins, tablecloths… all carefully arranged so that they stay perfectly ironed and clean.
If you also have a deep drawer, that’s the place for salad bowls and various containers for preserving food. Stack the bowls and containers in order of size, placing the smaller inside the larger, and group all the lids together vertically, on one side: you’ll always find the ones you need.
3. Apply the law of grouping
Similar things make groups: true in the kitchen as well as in society… so, when reorganizing your kitchen spaces, you should gather objects according to their functions, in compact groups. Otherwise, the more heterogeneously you scatter utensils at random between various shelves and work areas, the more difficult it will be to find what you need.
Here too, a brief list may be useful:
- keep together your cups, saucers, mugs, dessert plates, fruit bowls: these are often used at the same time, making it simpler to lay tables and serve.
- Open plan shelves are indispensable in a small kitchen: objects are visible, but above all there’s more storage space to accommodate more things. On the highest shelves, store the pots and pans you use the least, plus large dishes and small kitchen appliances. On the lower shelves, place your herb and spice containers, plus transparent jars for rice and pasta, along with the recipe books you use frequently.
- The cupboard spaces below the sink area are often under-used: organize these by adding small shelving where you can neatly store products for cleaning sinks and hobs, hooks to hang wrung-out sponges and microfiber cloths, and systems for dividing differentiated garbage.
To sum up: organize your kitchen using the same criteria as you apply to your wardrobe. Think about it: would you mix your shoes with your shirts?
4. Establish what you want to always keep in view… and what not
Organizing your kitchen spaces also means making it easy to quickly see and reach for the things you need while you are preparing food. In other words: it’s not enough to keep your utensils in order, you also have to be able to set eyes on them immediately. For example: when you’re just about to drain the pasta, you need to have an oven-cloth hanging on the wall, not shut away in a drawer…
In this case too, when deciding how to organize objects in your kitchen, the golden rule lies in frequency of use: the utensils and accessories you use every day must be out in the open, where you can reach them, placed in specific points where they don’t get in the way.
If you’re not obliged to reorganize a small kitchen, because your kitchen is reasonably large, you can create function-orientated corners. For example, near the coffee machine you can set up a breakfast area, with everything needed for breakfast, including biscuits, jams and sugar, inside a wicker basket or a colorful container.
The knife rack, chopping boards, weighing scales and trivets should be on your worktop, preferably near the wall, the hob and the sink, without reducing your available workspace. Condiments, such as oils, vinegars and sauces are best stored on small trays, so as not to dirty the worktop.
Use your kitchen’s walls as an invaluable place for keeping things in view: a metal bar with hooks can support ladles and small saucepans or frying pans, and you can use pegboard to support small shelves and hooks for your favorite utensils.
If, on the other hand, you prefer a kitchen where things are stored out of sight, exploit the inner sides of your cupboard doors: there you can hang utensils or saucepan lids, or attach small shelves with front bars, for storing condiments, sugar, honey and so on.
5. Avoid the following mistakes in your kitchen
You now know how to organize kitchen spaces. But remember to avoid certain errors that are more frequent than you’d think:
- don’t cram your cupboards: there’s no sense keeping dozens of saucepans when you habitually use only two or three (that’s why we started with decluttering instructions)…
- don’t fill your worktop with too many utensils: not only will they hinder you while you’re preparing your favorite recipes, they’ll also make your kitchen look disorderly.
- don’t fail to use internal divisors: a large compartmented tray of 60 or 90 cm will be much more useful if you break it down into smaller compartments where you can arrange things according to their functional uses.
One final piece of advice: now you should mentally familiarize yourself with the new layout you have given your kitchen and the way you have subdivided and situated your utensils. In terms of cognitive accessibility processes, when we learn something thoroughly, our gestures become automatic. That includes being able to immediately mentally locate a certain wooden spoon in a certain drawer…
Once you know how to do that, it’s time to invite your friends to dinner in your perfectly organized kitchen!