How to Have An Orderly Kitchen

BY KATE SULLIVAN ON APRIL 13TH, 2017

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When prepping to make a feast, don’t forget to order organization. Success in the kitchen comes from strategic storage.

First, confront that junk drawer and create efficiency in the kitchen through brutal honesty, suggests Amy Albert, editor in chief, Professional Builder, a business-to-business magazine. “You must be ruthless about what you do and don’t need,” Albert says.

Unless you are a pastry chef, you don’t need a cookie press. Catherine Gentile, digital marketing manager, social media, for organizational superstore Bed Bath & Beyond found herself in a similar position when she renovated her kitchen. “You have to think about what works for you. You need to personalize the space to function in a way that suits your style.” If you live to cook, opt for a 10-piece cookware set. But for those who cook as a means to eat, one non-stick saucepan does the job. A general rule, if you haven’t used it in a month toss it or store it, but keep it out of your main drawer or cupboard. “Gather with friends to give away what you don’t use,” Albert says. One chef’s toss-able tongs quickly becomes another chef’s treasure.

To maximize space, think double duty for your kitchen tools. “Anything that can be used for more than one use is an essential,” says Albert. For her, a micro-plane grater earns its keep by making Parmesan and chocolate shavings. Another space saver? “My favorite piece for all my spices is a tiered expandable cabinet organizer,” raves Gentile.

Albert warns, “Using too much of your overhead space can make a room feel heavy. I love utilizing open space under cabinets as storage. It’s not at eye level and is out of the way, and if you have pretty pieces, it adds to the room.”

As families grow so does dishware. From everyday to holiday, finding a home for each set of dishes can throw a hiccup into your space-saving plans. When Los Angeles-based event planner and lifestyle expert Mindy Weiss advises her clients, she says, “If you use it everyday, keep it convenient. If you don’t, store it. In my own kitchen, I use plastic storage bins and put labels on them. I store holiday items out of the way at the top of my pantry cabinet, and just pull out the bin when needed.” When it comes to more precious pieces like fine china, add an extra layer of TLC. “China is much thinner than regular dinnerware and that makes it much more fragile,” Weiss says. Storing safely is as important as saving space.

And to feed a litter of little ones? Keep everything accessible to free up space and demands on parents. “If you have one cabinet that is lower, make it the kid cabinet so kids learn to take what they need out on their own,” Weiss says. “And keep everything plastic so there is no way they can get hurt if they drop something.”

A smart kitchen keeps the chef moving around the least. Everything that you use regularly should be at an arm’s length or just a step away. And perhaps the biggest misconception to a great kitchen? “The organizational elements that make a kitchen’s operations smooth are one size fits all. Other than storage space, a large kitchen offers no advantages over a small kitchen to creating a chef-like work space,” Albert says.

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