Kitchens might be the most neglected yet the most functional space of our home. And this pandemic has made this more prominent. With increased home cooking, more grocery shopping, and storing, you might be rethinking how to upgrade and organize your kitchen. If you are thinking about adding a new storage rack or cabinet in your otherwise overstuffed kitchen, you should think again.
No matter how much new storage area you add to your kitchen, you will always run out of space if you don’t know how to keep things organized first. And no, you don’t need to be Marie Kondo to keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free. Here are some handy tips for you to make the best use of the existing kitchen storage setup.
1. Use the Vertical Spaces
The perks of using the vertical spaces in the kitchen are endless. First, it’s easy to grab and use whatever item you need- be it a knife, pot, or even a spice jar. Besides, it saves time as you don’t have to rummage through a cluttered cabinet trying to find your item.
There is a myriad of ways to incorporate vertical spaces as your storage space. Here are some options for you-
Hang Your Cookware
If you are annoyed with pots and pans banging every time you open the cookware cabinet, hanging the cookware will work like a charm for you. There is less hassle in finding the right pot when you are not stacking them on top of one another in the jammed-closed cabinet. Besides, there might be some awkward-shaped pots that don’t quite fit inside your kitchen cabinet. Hanging those bulky pots above the stove can be a good option. You can check out tools of the trade cookware to get some space-savvy affordable cookware.
Install a Pegboard in Your Kitchen
Pegboards are not only reserved for your garage or workshop, you can hang one right in your kitchen. They are easy to install, convenient, don’t take up much volume (unlike a boxed cabinet), and thus become both functional and aesthetic. You can dedicate an entire wall for installing a pegboard, and your kitchen scissors, whisk, or even spice jars- all can get organized there. You can also hang some crafts or a few houseplants to add color to the vertical space.
Use a Magnetic Knife Holder
Using a magnetic knife holder can save you more space than a countertop knife block or even a knife drawer. A magnetic knife holder is a wall-mounted rack, attached with a heavy-duty magnet, that can hold all types of knives. It provides easy access and versatility to knife storage. However, easy access has its downside. If you don’t want your kids to grab any of those knives that are out in the open, make sure to keep the knife holder out of their reach.
2. Invest in Smaller Appliances
If that bulky blender that takes up a large portion of your countertop is used only when you make some smoothies, maybe you should consider swapping it with a smaller, compact immersion blender. It’s easy to stow away in a drawer, and there’s less maintenance hassle. You can find similar bulky appliances that you rarely use occupying the countertop. Make sure to store those appliances away if they are rarely used, or find some smart, smaller alternatives.
3. Think about Shelving the Microwave
If you use the microwave only a few times a week, you can consider moving it to a shelf. Let’s face it, microwaves usually take up a substantial portion of our kitchen counter. By moving it to an overhead shelf, you will free up a lot of counter space that can be used for food preparation.
4. Make Good Use Of The Refrigerator
All these years, refrigerators were only used for preserving foods. But why waste the large exterior space of that hunk of an appliance, when you have magnetic racks at your disposal. Add a magnetic shelf to the side of your fridge and store your cutting boards, cooking oils, and some spice jars. You can even hang your kitchen towels there too.
5. Install an over-the-sink Drying Rack
Spreading all the washed dishes over the counter to dry is not always convenient. Invest in an over-the-sink drying rack where you can stack your washed dishes. The excess water from the dishes can get easily drained through the sink. With washed dishes no longer taking up your counter space, you get more room for other work.
6. Invest in a Cutting Board that Fits over Your Sink
If you are struggling to find enough prep space on the kitchen counter, you can always use an over-the-sink cutting board. These are elongated cutting boards that sit over the sink. Some of them even come with a built-in colander for easy washing of food items.
7. Don’t Interrupt the Work Triangle While Inserting a New Storage Facility
Underneath all the chaos of a kitchen, there is a fundamental principle that systematizes all the work- the kitchen work triangle. Be it an industrial-grade large restaurant kitchen or a studio kitchen, all kitchens have to maintain this basic principle. It’s a triangle that connects your stovetop, sink, and refrigerator, ensuring seamless traffic. Each leg of that work triangle should be somewhere between 4 feet to nine feet; anything less than that will create a bottleneck.
Kitchens nowadays, however, don’t always fit into that “triangle” layout. But the key concept of seamless movement when you wash and prepare your food (sink area), cook the food (stove area), and store the food (refrigerator), remains unchanged.
So when you are thinking about installing a new storage facility or a moveable island in your kitchen, make sure it doesn’t interrupt that work triangle. For greater efficiency, there should be zero restriction or obstacle in your path of movement between your stove, sink, and refrigerator. If your existing kitchen layout doesn’t support this effortless traffic, don’t hesitate to change it.
The Bottom Line
No matter how smartly you organize your kitchen, if you don’t know how to maintain it properly, it will end up being chaos. So make sure to tidy up your kitchen every time after you prepare the food. We know tidying up might be the last thing on your mind when you are done with the day’s cooking, but when you leave it for later, you will have to deal with a messy kitchen the next day. So clean as you go and see how it boosts your work efficiency around the kitchen.