Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your home. You probably use it to make at least two meals each day, perhaps for your whole family. Many people also eat in their kitchens and spend time doing other things at their kitchen table or island, from making shopping lists to homework. When you use your kitchen a lot, it needs to be a space that you can use efficiently. You don’t want to lose things all the time or spend longer doing things than you really need to. With a bit of organization, you can make your kitchen much more efficient and useful.
Identify the Busiest Parts of Your Kitchen
There are certain parts of your kitchen that you use more than others. Focusing on these parts when you want to make your kitchen more efficient makes sense. It’s likely that there are three areas in your kitchen that you use most, such as the stove, refrigerator, and sink. However, this could be slightly different, depending on how you tend to use your kitchen. Being able to quickly move between these areas will help you to use your kitchen more efficiently. Keep the paths between these areas clear so that you can maneuver easily.
Break Out the Labels
Being able to find where everything is makes your kitchen much easier to use. You won’t be rummaging through your cabinets trying to find something in the middle of making a meal. You won’t mix up ingredients or run out of something without realizing it because everything will be simple to find. The best way to make it easy to look for everything that you need is to label everything. You can use whatever labeling tools and systems that you want to use. You could write your labels by hand, use a labeling tool, and even color-code everything.
Set Up Somewhere to Make Notes
There are lots of things you need to keep organized in your home, including in the kitchen. Having somewhere to make notes and schedules can help you to keep your home in order. In the kitchen, it’s useful to have somewhere to write shopping lists, keep track of chores, plan meals, and even write out recipes. You could have a chalkboard wall or a whiteboard, a noticeboard, or keep it simple with a notepad and pen on the fridge or somewhere else close by. It will help you to run your kitchen and home more smoothly.
Streamline Your Kitchen Appliances
Kitchen appliances, especially smaller ones, can sometimes overrun your kitchen. You start buying new gadgets that take up a lot of space, and you don’t even end up using all of them. Streamlining your gadgets and only owning what you use regularly will save space in your kitchen and make it a more efficient and useful space. You can also combine different functions into fewer gadgets, like using a bean to cup coffee machine instead of having a separate coffee grinder and espresso machine. If you currently have a lot of appliances, think carefully about what you really use. Is it really worth having a blender that you only use every six months?
Get Smart with Storage
Getting your kitchen storage right is another clever way to make it a more efficient space in your home. There are lots of different things that you store in your kitchen, including food, pots and pans, utensils, and more. Each of these things can benefit from being stored neatly, so you know where to find anything, and you make the best use of the space that you have available. Choosing different types of storage to suit the different things that you need to store will make your kitchen tidier and better organized. Think about how to store awkward items, such as lids for pots and pans.
Give Everything Its Place
Most people know where everything is kept in their own kitchen, except for maybe a few times when they forget where they put something. However, even if you know where it all is, have you organized it in a way that makes sense? If someone else were to walk into your kitchen, would they be able to find what they needed? Giving everything in your kitchen a sensible place, and always returning it back to that same place, will make it much more organized.
Keep Everything Ready to Use
One of the things that can interrupt you when you’re busy in the kitchen is having to stop to clean something, plug something in, or even fumble about with packaging. When you have everything ready to go, you won’t have to stall in the middle of cooking to correct something. It can be useful to make sure you have your knives sharpened at all times, for example. Servicing your appliances regularly means they will be working and ready to use, while putting everything back where it belongs after using it will mean you’re never frantically looking for something at the last second.
Create Different Zones or Stations
This is something that can happen naturally as you use your kitchen, but it’s worth thinking about if you think you could be more efficient. Different stations for different purposes will help you to make every inch of space in your kitchen more useful. A preparation station, cleaning station, cooking station, and storage stations will allow you to divide up the space and give everything a purpose. When you have these zones outlined, it will make it easier to organize everything so that all of your things are in places that make sense. For example, it makes sense to store everyday dishes close to your cleaning zone, so putting them away takes less time.
Make Oft-used Items Accessible
What do you use most in your kitchen? Whether you have a favorite pan or you tend to reach for the pasta before the quinoa, it’s sensible to make the things that you use most accessible. When you can reach for your favorite things without having to dig through your cabinets, you can cook more easily, find plates and glasses, and avoid losing things. Think about how to use vertical space, as well as the depth of your cabinets. Glasses that you might use less often, like champagne flutes, can sit on higher shelves because you don’t need to reach for them all the time.
Use Your Wall and Ceiling
When you want to make the most of the space in your kitchen, using the vertical space that you have available is sensible. You can use the walls and even hang things above your head if you need more storage space. Use hooks to hang pots, pans, and other items so that you don’t have to store them in cabinets. You can grab them whenever you need them, and quickly put them away too. The ceiling above your kitchen island, if you have one, is an ideal place to install some hooks and expand your storage space.
Create a Separate Social Space
It can be fun to have company while you’re cooking, but you don’t want other people to get in your way. If you want to be able to keep things balanced and avoid bumping into anyone, you should have a separate space for socializing that’s away from the cooking. This might mean a kitchen island, a breakfast bar, some stools, or a dining table where some people can sit and chat or do other things while someone else is cooking.
Keep Sets Together
Not being able to find the correct lid for a pot or piece of tupperware can be very frustrating. The same is true for anything else that should go together, like matching plates and bowls or matching utensils. If there are things in your kitchen that are meant to go together, storing them together is the smart thing to do. However, if you don’t think that’s the best use of the space you have available, sometimes labeling can work better. For example, if you color-code your tupperware tubs and lids, you can easily tell which lids go on which tubs without having to try them all on for size.
Group Your Foods
You probably already do a certain amount of storing like foods together. Your vegetables might go in the vegetable drawer in your fridge, while you might have a cabinet for things like rice and pasta. Grouping together different types of food in an organized way can be one way to make it easier to grab what you need and to put your groceries away when you get home. It can be particularly useful for spaces like your freezer, where leftovers and other frozen foods can get jumbled up and become impossible to find, or your spice rack, where it can make sense to alphabetize everything to make it simple to pick what you need.
Your kitchen can be much more efficient than it is now. A more efficient kitchen can save you time and stress, and it can be a more enjoyable space to spend your time in.