Kick My Bucket List

Quick and Easy Tips to Organize Your Kitchen Once and For All

Organizing the kitchen can seem very overwhelming. But if it’s hanging over your head and adding stress to your life, there’s no better time than now to check that off your to-do list.

Here are some pro tips to help you get going. Before you know it, your kitchen will be in tip-top shape. I promise, it’ll feel like a giant weight has been lifted once you’re done!

Contain the Plastic Bag Mess

Plastic bags are pretty useful for litter box waste or carrying lunch to work, but if your bags have taken over, it’s time for a change.

First of all, if you have more than 50, you should toss some. Be honest: You’ll never need 300 plastic grocery bags, and you keep bringing more home.

Once you’ve got it down to a manageable amount, you need to give them a designated container. Stores like IKEA sell containers designed specifically for grocery bags, or you can make your own out of a canister (like a large coffee can). Roll plastic bags together in a circle, kind of like a cinnamon bun, and then stick the last bag through a slit cut in the lid. Bonus points for actually using one of those empty coffee cans you’ve been hoarding.

Clean Out the Refrigerator

This is a big deal. Take everything out of the refrigerator to make it easier to see everything. Go through everything, checking expiration dates. If it’s expired, toss it. If it’s questionable, toss it. If you have no idea how old it is, toss it.

While everything is out, give the fridge a really good, thorough cleaning. And then, as you place everything that’s still acceptable back into the fridge, organize it all by type and keep frequently used items in the front. Make sure you take full advantage of the drawers labeled for fruits and veggies, and adjust the temperature and humidity levels as appropriate. It’ll help your food stay fresh for longer.

Hey, while you’re at it, go ahead and clean out the pantry in the same way, too!

Fix the Plastic Container Situation

Have you ever seen someone in a tv show open a cabinet and a cascade of plastic containers and lids hits them in the face? That used to be my kitchen. I’m pretty sure that’s at least 80 percent of kitchens out there. If you dread opening that cabinet door, it’s time to organize those containers.

Any containers that are cracked, don’t seal properly, or are stained, need to get thrown out. The rest of the containers need to get neatly stacked by size. Sort the lids by size, and then use dividers to store them for easy visibility.

Get Creative Inside the Cabinets

Especially if you don’t have glass cabinet doors, it can be really easy to let the inside of the cabinets get really cluttered. If you’ve got a lot of stuff, you might have to get a little creative to make enough room.

Store all of your water bottles and travel coffee mugs on their sides in a wine bottle organizer Flip every other wine glass upside down to maximize space. If possible, add additional shelves inside your cabinets. Make sure that your most-used items are on the bottom shelves that are more convenient to reach.

Wrangle the Small Appliances

I am guilty of having way more small appliances than I regularly use. If you have a few that you use almost daily, like a stand mixer or a microwave, they can stay out on the counter. Appliances that you use sometimes should get stashed away in a cabinet, like on the top shelf that isn’t useful for dishes or other daily items. If you have specialty items that only get used once or twice a year, like for special occasions, it might be appropriate to stash them in the attic.

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