Trash Bins And Cleaning Supplies
Over by the sink, Waters uses this part of the kitchen to put trash and recycle bins. It’s also where she recommends keeping dishtowels, if you have a drawer nearby. “In terms of cleaning supplies, the only ones I keep under the sink in the kitchen are ones that are specifically for the kitchen, like dish soap, detergent, and countertop spray,” she says. All other cleaning supplies she keeps in a closet outside of the kitchen, where items like mops and brooms are stored.
The biggest mistake Waters says she sees people make when setting up their kitchens is not giving everything a home. That’s when junk drawers start to multiply and cabinets start to get cluttered. With her tips in mind, not only does everything have a home, but it has a logical one.
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Use Cabinets Drawers And Countertops Wisely
Even the smallest kitchens most will have the critical components of cabinets, drawers, and countertops. It would be best to utilize these main storage areas to the maximum by following the organization strategies we mentioned earlier.
For the drawer, dividing it into sections helps you maximize the space, and you can even have appropriate-size containers to prevent the supplies from rolling all over.
Cabinets provide the largest space for most of your kitchen accessories, and you can still make some additions. We find the space on the backside of cabinets and the inner side of the door quite useful. All you need is a couple of sticky hooks.
The countertops are best when free to provide you with the freedom you need when cooking. However, you can steal some of the space for your storage needs, provided you dont make the area cluttered. The countertops organization tips mentioned above can be quite helpful here.
Choose What To Keep On Your Kitchen Counters
If you want to have uncluttered and organized kitchen counters, the big question then is what should be left out on kitchen counters? The answer is, that depends.
How much and what you deliberately leave out on your kitchen counters depends on how:
- big your kitchen is
- much counter space you have
- you use your kitchen
- tolerant you are of visual clutter
If you are a baker and use your stand mixer daily, you will want to keep it on the countertop and create a permanent home for it there. That is unless you love the act of hauling it out of a cabinet every time you want to use it.
If visual mess causes you stress, and you dont mind opening drawers when you want a spatula or slotted spoon for cooking with, then those things should not live on your countertop.
Do you need to keep your paper towels on a holder on the counter, or can you mount a paper towel holder under a cabinet?
So take inventory of what you use regularly. Decide what needs to be out on display and what doesnt. Make note of the main spices you reach for constantly and keep them on a tray on the counter or decant them into small mason jars stored on a wall-mounted DIY spice rack. But put the coffee make away in a cupboard its only used for company.
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How To Clean Your Countertops
- Start by clearing your countertops completely.
- Put any items that belong elsewhere in the place where they belong. Paper do not belong on your countertops. I’ll talk more about that later in this post.
- Clean the countertops really well with a warm, damp cloth and a good degreaser. HERE is my Homemade Grease Cleaning Spray if you prefer a non-toxic version.
Lazy Susan Life Hacks You Need To Know About
It might seem easier to throw all your container lids inside a drawer and call it a day. Even if you stack them neatly, opening and closing the drawer will eventually cause them to become disorderly. Prevent this mess by sectioning off the inside of your drawer and organizing the containers by size using drawer dividers.
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Leaving things out in the open that you use every day isn’t clutteringit’s practical. Keep coffee mugs organized and within reach by adding hooks to the bottom of open shelving or kitchen cabinets. Make sure you position this DIY project close to the coffee pot.
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There are plenty of items to keep clean and organized by the kitchen sink, including brushes, sponges, and dish soap. Keep all your dish brushes together in a stylish way by incorporating a vintage porcelain container that you can keep next to the sink. Or select a container that meshes with your kitchen style.
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Cramming plates, glasses, or mugs into your cabinets can result in chipped and broken cups, especially when they’re stacked too high. That type of stacking makes them hard to reach, too. Fix this common problem with inexpensive cabinet risers. These kitchen helpers create valuable extra shelf space for cabinet organization.
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The Simple Way To Double Your Under Sink Storage
One way to keep basic dry products organized is to pick canisters you love to look at. Implement a design that will function in an organizational capacity but also act as decor for your kitchen. That way, you don’t have to take up space with supplemental decor.
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Stacking dish towels horizontally might seem like an excellent way to keep them in order, but you’ll save yourself a lot of digging if you line them up vertically instead. Use a divider to store potholders and other kitchen linens. A word of warning: There will be wasted space if the drawer is deeper than a vertically folded dish towel, so try to pick a drawer that’s the right size for your folded towels.
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Using bold, simple pantry labels is an effective way to keep dry goods organized. Keep the labels consistent. And label everything, even the items you don’t think require a label. That creates a uniform look and ensures that everything will stay in its place.
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Tea lovers know how easily an entire cabinet can get filled with bulky cardboard tea boxes. Keep your tea, coffee cartridge pods, and other necessities organized inside a drawer instead. Narrow plastic bins will work well to keep your tea in full view.
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Banish: Mail And Other Paper Clutter
Theres something about the kitchen that attracts piles and piles of paper. Tell your family theres a new rule: No paper allowed on the counters or kitchen table. The most important, must-deal-with-now papersbills, permission slips and reminderscan go in our all-purpose clips and get hung on the fridge, so youll see them. Everything else gets sorted in another easy-to-grab spot besides the counteror better yet, it gets dealt with, tossed or filed immediately.
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Lets Not Forget The Kitchen Sink
The kitchen sink and space beneath it are among the most used parts of your kitchen. Its common for most of us to ignore the cupboards under the sink, giving your kitchen an ugly look.
However, Ill give you some simple organization tips that could help you quickly transform the sink into a pretty and functional unit.
Train Yourself To Keep Items At Their Place
Nothing lies on the counter unattended by accident. It can be a bit tempting to leave a used cup up there and rush to work, but if you want to keep your kitchen tidy, make it a habit of not leaving any utensils unattended.
Besides, you have a spot for every item, including those waiting for cleaning, so you can easily place them at the right location in seconds. I ensure everything is clean and put the little things in their proper place before I leave. That way, Im always sure I can grab a meal in minutes if I get back so hungry.
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Organizing Kitchen Counters: Tips That Work
Organizing kitchen counters involves placing things where theyre accessible when you need them without being in the way the rest of the time. Who likes having to move a bunch of stuff out of the way to make a pot of coffee in the morning? Or shoving things around before starting to cook dinner?
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Keep the kitchen triangle efficient. The triangle is the space between your sink, stove, and refrigerator. Countertops in this area get used a lot while cooking, putting food away, and doing dishes. Dont put purely decorative items in this area, and make sure everything on the triangles counters relates to one of those tasks.
Consider a coffee bar. If you have room in your kitchen, consider moving your coffeemaker or electric kettle, mugs, filters, etc., off of the counters. This is especially helpful if you have several coffee or tea drinkers in your family, since they wont have to elbow each other aside to get to the pot.
Using vertical space keeps stuff from spreading. Yesterday, I mentioned the use of magnetic strips to replace knife blocks and utensil holders. You can also maximize vertical storage with stacking baskets like those used in old-time general stores. Theyre great for stashing kitchen linens or produce so it doesnt spread all over your counter.
If you dont use it regularly to cook, serve, or eat food, it doesnt belong on your kitchen counter. Find a spot for it or make one.
Use Trays On Counter Tops
Corral items that have a tendency to spread and stray by using trays. At the sink, a random collection of soaps and sponges can look purposeful on a tray. The same goes for oils and vinegars near the stove. Trays have the added bonus of catching drips, keeping them from staining your countertops, especially those with porous surfaces like marble and granite.
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Store As Little As Possible Out On The Counter
We just took all items off of the counter that do not belong there and found a proper home for them. If youre happy with how little or how much is out, great. But if it still seems too cluttered for you, rethink what you decided to keep out.
Since the kitchen gets used so much, and theres always a variety of cooking utensils and tools being used, keeping your counters as basic as possible will help to eliminate the appearance of clutter even when the space is messy from use.
Create A Command Center To Declutter Kitchen Counters
A lot of the time the things that can clutter up the kitchen counters are important things like meal plans, grocery lists, calendars, and invitations that just dont have a home.
Fix that by putting together a bulletin or magnet board with a couple of wall files or paper trays to hold and display those needed things.
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Use Shelves To Create More Space
Sometimes closed cabinets are useful and the right choice in a kitchen. Sometimes its better to make use of shelves instead or in addition to closed cupboards.
If you want to test out using open shelves, you could temporarily remove the doors on your upper cabinets to see how that works in your space. Then if you like it you can remove the uppers and install shelves. But if you dont, no harm no foul, just put the doors back on! We did this in our wee bungalow and then installed open shelving in our next two houses.
If you like your uppers and you have a little extra floor space you could add shelves to create more storage space and get even more off your counters.
Tips For Keeping Your Countertops Clean
- Make it a habit to put things away instead of lazily sitting them on your countertops to deal with later. I know this sounds harsh, but if you can get in the habit of putting those things away for 1 week, you are more likely to stick to it. If you are really struggling with this, set a time once a day and give yourself 5 minutes to clear them.
- Review and Revise. Every once in a while, you may want to switch things up. For us, we get in smoothie phases…if I find we aren’t using the smoothie maker as often, then I will tuck it away and make some more space on the counters. Sometimes you’ll also find that moving things around a bit makes better use of your space.
- Make a space in your home for papers that come into your house that doesn’t live on your countertops. Mail, bills and schoolwork can clutter up your countertops badly and the truth is, incoming mail is not sanitary. It really isn’t something that should come in contact with the same space that you prepare food.
I hope these tips and tricks will help you get your countertops clean and keep them that way!
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Stackable Nesting Kitchen Caboodle
Its way too easy to toss mismatched bowls and other kitchen gear in a drawer and forget about them until the next time you need something. Avoid wasting time digging around for what you want while saving space with this stackable option. This is an affordable, space-saving, 10-piece mixing bowl, colander and measuring set thats bound to make your life just a little easier.
Check out these other kitchen cabinet and drawer organizers you can build yourself.
Photo: Courtesy of Mexcallen
Clear The Kitchen Counters Daily
Set a regular time where you reset your counters by clearing them off and returning things to their homes.
Maybe thats after each meal if youre home all day. Or after dinner if you work during the day.
Just implement clearing the counters into your routine and before long it will become a habit and you wont have to think about it anymore.
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Keep: Canisters Of Pantry Staples
You dont want to go overboard here, but a few canisters on your counter can do a few things. For one: The canisters add a little decorative touch. Two: They give you a place to store your most-used pantry ingredients. Three: They free up pantry shelves for other things that definitely do need to be stored there. Our iconic POP Containers do all of the above, plus they just got a super-smart redesign.
Cooking Utensils And Spices
When setting up a kitchen, Waters likes to start by the stove, where a lot of time is spent. “If you’re right handed, your cooking utensilsâlike your spatula, slotted spoons, and tongsâshould go in the drawer to the right of the stove,” she says. “That way, you don’t have to walk across the kitchen to grab something you need right away when you’re cooking.” If you don’t have a drawer next to the stove, Waters says you can place your utensils in a utensil holder on either side of the stove, depending on whether you’re right- or left-handed.
On the other side of the stove , Waters says you should place the kitchen tools that you still use, but not as regularly as, say, your spatula. “This includes things like your can opener, garlic press, avocado slicer,” Waters says.
Your cooking utensils may all have a home, but don’t step away from the stove just yet. Waters also recommends putting your spices next to the stove. “I always put my spices right by the stove because you use them so much when you’re prepping and cooking,” she says. “You don’t want to have to walk over to the pantry in the middle of cooking.” To keep it looking organized, you may want to invest in a countertop spice rack. If you’re the kind of person who has a lot of spices, keep the ones that you use most often near your stove top. The blends and other spices that you use less often can hang out in the pantry or in another spot out of the way until you truly need them.
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Divide The Counter Space
To keep things organized, mentally divide your kitchen counter into sections. For example, a section close to where you eat can hold your fruit bowl while a section by the stove can hold your cooking utensils and frequently used spices. This way, every item you keep on your countertop will have its place where you’ll easily be able to find it. And strategically organizing like this can make for an overall neater look in your kitchen.
Show Off What Youve Got
If theres one thing weve learned from Instagram, its that pantry organization is the new cool. Instead of hiding your masterpiece organization behind closed doors, bring it all out on your counters. Keep everything from dry pastas, to baking essentials and teas in containers with air-tight lids to keep everything fresh.
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