Once or twice a month, I like to spend a weekend morning or afternoon deep cleaning, reorganizing and reevaluating my kitchen workflow. If you’re anything like me, the ingredients in your cupboard tend to double, even if your pantry is stocked with cooking and baking essentials. I catch myself at times stuffing some of my spices where I know they don’t belong, muttering to myself that I’ll ‘reorganize it later.’ Next thing you know, your refrigerator, cabinets and countertop are disheveled with items that don’t have a place.
Thankfully, when you take the time to reorganize and rethink your kitchen workflow, it allows you to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Plus, nothing feels better than cooking in an organized kitchen- it’s like the beginning paint strokes on a blank canvas. I’ve come up with a few tips I’ve learned along the way and I hope they inspire you spend some time in the kitchen this weekend!
1. Smart Shelving Solutions
Ideally, wouldn’t we all love to have spacious cabinets and open shelving? (If you have these already, when can I move in? A girl can dream!) In the meantime, use the space you do have smartly. Let’s talk about workflow. Think about how you move around your kitchen daily- are you constantly reaching for your spices while cooking? Besides prepping your ingredients ahead of time, it might make sense to keep your most used ingredients readily accessible- whether that’s on an open shelf near your stovetop or in a nearby cabinet space. Do whatever would make sense for your workflow in your kitchen.
The benefit of having open shelving (if you prefer the look) goes beyond storage of your most used culinary items- it also is a great way to display your favorite cookbooks, houseplants and kitchen-related trinkets. Even if it’s only a pair of shelves, the way your organize them could become one of your new favorite parts of your kitchen.
2. Organized and Functional Countertop Space
image via A Bowl Full of Lemons
The countertop is usually where you store your most-used appliances. However, if you need the extra storage space, try displaying some of your cookbooks, cutting boards or dish towels in an organizational tool like wire baskets. Also, rethink your appliances; for example, I haven’t been baking as much lately and have been using my blender more for morning and post workout smoothies. Naturally, replacing my Kitchen Aid with my blender on the counter just made sense.
3. Glass Ingredient Storage
image via My Name is Yeh
I truly am a sucker for glass ingredient storage (you have no idea how much joy I get from printing out my adhesive ingredient labels.) Not only is it an easy way to spot the exact ingredient you need, it’s easy to remember where you put it too. Also, let’s be honest, glass storage has a more organized look. Mason jars are my classic go to for ingredient storage and so are these glass spice jars from Crate & Barrel.
4. Additional Surfaces
image via Mary Made This
Somtimes you just don’t have enough counterspace or shelving- that’s where kitchen or bar carts (often equipt with plenty of hangers, knobs and extra hidden drawers) come in handy. The nice thing about these carts is that they’re mobile- so you can move them around with ease.
5. Good Habits
image via A Bowl Full of Lemons
Like I mentioned in my opening paragraph, a good deep clean does a kitchen well. Taking the time to thoroughly clean and reorganize your kitchen also allows you to do an inventory of what ingredients you need to restock so you aren’t accidentally buying multiples. Cleaning or picking up my kitchen every night before bed has become one of my favorite habits; something as simple as wiping down the countertops, loading the dishwasher and putting everything in its place gives your morning a fresh, clean start.