How To Organize or Unpack your Kitchen
The kitchen is the most important area of the home when it comes to organization and efficiency. Think about the amount of time spent in the kitchen. Unloading groceries, food preparation, snacks, drinks and clean-up, the kitchen is such a heavily used area that proper organization is critical. When Chaos To Order organizers unpack a kitchen, we think not only about being able to find what you need quickly, but also about making the most out of every inch of space. Here are some things to consider when you are organizing or unpacking your kitchen:
First, make sure all cabinets and storage areas are wiped down and clean before you start putting things in them. If you’re not unpacking but only organizing, you don’t want to pull everything out. Work on one cabinet at a time.
Next, if you want to put shelf liner down, now is the time. Shelf liner is a good option if the inside of your cabinets are wood. If the cabinets have a laminated surface, shelf liner is not necessary. Consider the purpose of the shelf liner as there are many different types to choose from. You can find everything from a super sticky contact paper to a light non-stick paper covering. We suggest a shelf liner with a light tackiness.Unpacking boxes. When you are moving in, it’s always a good idea to ask the movers to load the kitchen boxes on to the truck last so that they are the first ones delivered into the home. We usually spend more time unpacking a kitchen than any other room, so getting a head start is a benefit. Proper packing and labeling is a huge help on the front end and will help to keep things organized at the destination. Weeding out prior to packing up is essential, of course our organizers are pros at coaching you through this process. Having like items packed together eliminates that overwhelming feeling of, “where do I put this” on the landing side. When movers come to pack, they don’t sort and organize, they take the drawer and wrap all the contents up with packing paper. If your movers are helping you pack up, make sure things are placed together and organized similarly to how you want them in your new space. The more planning you can do prior to the move, the smoother the unpack will be.
When the kitchen boxes are delivered, they can either all be unpacked at once or unpacked by zone. If the boxes are packed properly and you know that you’re not going to find dish towels with the pots and pans. Unpack one area at a time. It can be overwhelming to have all of the boxes unpacked at once, not to mention you will run out of counter space to on which place things.
Dishes. Our organizers will need to know which dishes are used for every day and what is used only for special occasion. We will make everyday dishes most accessible and find more out of the way places for infrequently used pieces. Here’s a tip on the pack-up end. Place a paper place in-between each plate to protect them during the move. You won’t waste a thing, you can still make use of both in your new place!
Glasses. How long has it been since you’ve weeded out your glasses cabinet? Have you noticed strange cups from movie theater promotions or restaurants make their way into your collection? Moving is the best time to clear out. You’re forced to make decisions about what stays and what goes, so take advantage of that process and edit everywhere you can. Do you like your glasses facing up or down? I like to recommend glasses facing up so the part you drink out of isn’t
always resting on the bottom of the cabinet, but it is really just a preference.
Pantry/Food Storage. Dry Goods. Having good pantry space is definitely a bonus, but we also love to find creative ways to maximize space. There are so many great custom cabinet options as well as terrific organizing gadgets that can help you make the most out of every corner and crevice of your kitchen. No matter how big or small your kitchen is, maximizing the space and optimizing it’s efficiency will help you save time on a daily basis. In your pantry, think not only about the space on the shelves, but every area. Vertical space on the wall and on the door can offer a great deal of bonus storage. Our organizers have a keen eye for maximizing the space to it’s potential.
Baking. Keep all of your baking goods together so you know exactly what you have. It’s best to separate baking items from the other food storage so you’ll be able to grab what you need quickly.
Spices. Of course a nice custom spice drawer with alphabetized spices is ideal, but the best tip for organizing your spices is to know what you have and what you use. We see many spice cabinets that are filled with ancient spices, long past their expiration date. If your not sure how long to keep foods before they expire, check out this post on Still Tasty.
Pots & Pans. A lovely drawer below your cooktop is most advantageous, but other options include a hanging rack or in the smallest of kitchens, you can even use the oven to store some pots and pans.
Cookware. How many casserole dishes does a kitchen need? Treat your bakeware like your clothes, if you haven’t worn it in the past season, it’s time to move on. If you keep some pans for special occasion use only, store them high up to make what you use often more accessible.
Plasticware. Tupperware and the like are usually the hardest items in the kitchen to keep organized. My son has tried (unsuccessfully) to refuse putting it away when he empties the dishwasher. Getting all like items together and lids stacked properly takes more than the 5 seconds he allows to empty the dishwasher. Keep only matching pieces. If you’ve lost a lid or a container is without one, it’s time to eliminate it. Be ruthless with your plastic ware, especially the “disposable” ones that tend to linger on way beyond their disposable time.
Utensils. Separate utensils used every day with ones used infrequently. Those escargot tongs don’t have to be accessible if you only use them once a year. The drawer you designate for flatware for should have appropriate dividers based on how many pieces you have. Use custom dividers if you have more than 10 pieces of each. Do you like to keep everyday cooking utensils in a container on the counter? If so, don’t let it fill up with extras, keep it specific to what you’re using most.
Of course as organizers we always suggest keeping like things together. However, if your kitchen space is overflowing, consider thinking outside the kitchen into other rooms for storage. The nearby dining room is always a good option. Each and every space is different and how it is best used depends on your lifestyle. that’s why your best bet is to always get the professional advice of a professional organizer if you are overwhelmed in your kitchen.