They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. A space where people naturally gather and where memories are made. It’s no wonder kitchens get plenty of use. But that typically means more mess. Having a well-organized and clutter-free kitchen can make a big impact on meal prep, cooking flow, hosting guests, and your overall enjoyment of the space. Here, Minnesota home organization experts bring you six key tips for creating a functional and clutter-free kitchen.
1 Understand Your Flow
Make sure you have a designated place for everything that makes sense for your cooking process. “Understanding how you use your kitchen and where you do your food prep goes a long way in organizing your area,” said Matt Drescher, owner of Kitchen Wise NW Minneapolis. “For example, the pots and pans should be close to the stovetop and oven area, as well as the spices used for cooking.” Keep heavily used items at your fingertips and store away items that only come out on holidays or special occasions.
2 Group Like Items
Store items based on purpose and frequency of use. “Try to put like items within the same area of your kitchen or pantry. Keep utensils, cutlery, measuring spoons, etc. within reach of each other in drawers,” Drescher suggests. “In the pantry, canned goods should be kept together, as well as like items such as cereal boxes, chip bags, and spice packets. Finding an area for each item used in the kitchen, and off of the counter, allows for better organization and more useable space.”
3 Maximize Space
Most of us don’t have unlimited storage in our kitchens. It’s more often a question of how to use the storage options we have most efficiently. “It’s important to think through the types of things you want to store,” advises Amanda Wagner of Homes and Such. “Do you have a lot of kitchen appliances that you want to live somewhere other than the counter? What types of food and snacks do you regularly buy and where do you want to store them? These types of questions ensure storage solutions that fit your lifestyle.”
4 Clear Your Countertops
It doesn’t take much to crowd a countertop — a toaster, blender, knife block, or a utensil holder overflowing with cookware. But a less busy countertop makes cleaning easier, gives you extra space for meal prep, and doesn’t overwhelm the eye with visual clutter. “Look for the places where clutter naturally builds or areas that feel less organized — the problem areas. If the counter is where the keys and wallet are always dropped, or mail piles up, add a decorative basket that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing,” says Wagner. Another great option? Use trays, bowls, racks, or shelves to keep items at your fingertips while also doubling as décor.
5 Invest in Custom Storage Options
Consider adding built-in features or storage options that aid kitchen organization. “Drawer inserts that organize cutlery, silverware, and knives are a great start to organizing items in the kitchen. For the lower cabinets, replacing the shelves with rollout drawers is a great way to maximize the useable space. For corner cabinets, Lazy Susans or blind corner cabinets are great options. There are also many different options to organizing spices that may not be very well known; in a drawer, an upper cabinet, or on a door to name a few,” shares Drescher.
6 Design With Intention
Remember, it’s your kitchen! Choose the layout, storage, and design options that fit your specific needs. “Understand your space, specific needs, pain points, and how you want to use your kitchen,” suggests Wagner. “When you know what the goal is, you are better able to identify solutions that make sense within the broader design.”