Quick Ways to Organize Your Kitchen | Reader's Digest

Quick Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

Get the most out of your kitchen space with these smart ideas.

Pots And Pans
Identify the pots and pans that you use most often, then find a place to store them where they’ll be easy to pull out. Store heavy pots and pans that you use frequently no more than a foot above or a foot below waist level, making certain that they have sturdy support and can be removed and replaced without upsetting other cookware.

If the storage space in your cabinets is full and there’s no room on the walls, consider suspending a metal rack from the ceiling to hang your cookware. (Be sure it is installed properly in a joist, so that it can carry the weight of the pots and pans.) Save your most frequently used — and most attractive — pieces for hanging on the rack. If you can position the rack directly over the cooktop, you can take a pan from storage to service in one quick motion.

Small Appliances
Toasters, coffee makers, food processors, and other small appliances that you use almost daily need their own space on a kitchen counter with a nearby receptacle. Many of these appliances now can be mounted under a cabinet to allow you more working counter space. Consider an under-the-cabinet model next time you need to replace an appliance. Appliances that you use only occasionally, such as a standing mixer or slow-cooker, can be kept in cupboards. If you only use an appliance — the waffle iron, for example — once or twice a year, you can store it in the back of a cupboard or shelf in order to free up more usable space in the kitchen.

Linens
Store sets of place mats or everyday tablecloths with a piece of cardboard between them. Then, the ones that are on top of the pile won’t get disheveled when you pull out the ones that you want below. You can make the dividers out of suit boxes or posterboard.

Pantries
Group pantry supplies so that it is easy to do a quick inventory of what you have and what you need. Cereals, pasta, canned soups, cooking oils, condiments, and beverages like coffee and tea should each have a designated space. Store small cans, jars, and boxes in front of larger items so they’re as easy to see as they are to reach.
Stepped plastic cupboard insets also help in keeping supplies visible.

Clutter Control
Once a year, you should go through each drawer and shelf in the kitchen, checking for unnecessary duplications and items that you don’t use. Do you really need more than one melon baller? Have you ever tried the gadget for making radish roses?

Discard any canned goods and jars that have passed their expiration dates or are more than a year old. Box up the non-food items you don’t need and put them in a neighborhood garage sale, or give them to a friend who’s just setting up housekeeping.