Organizing the kitchen can be a work in progress, an evolution that takes place over time. Even so, the foundation of creating a kitchen that is functional and provides ease of use is rooted in basic elements.
The basic elements of the kitchen exist in what I call the ABCDs.
A: Alphabetization and arranging. Grouping similar items together will go a long way to creating an orderly kitchen. Beyond grouping similar items together you can also create a color coding system or arrange items in alphabetical order.
B: Boxes and bins. Boxes and bins will go a long way. The essence of an organized kitchen prep and work environment is to have a place for everything.
C: Containers and cabinets. Containers, especially those that are clear with lids, can be the perfect choice for loose items such as spices, flour and sugar. Cabinets allow for multi-level storage. When looking for ways to maximize storage, be sure to order extra shelves so you can maximize your vertical space.
D: Dividers, drawers and doors. A kitchen with lots of drawers allows for easy access. Dividers can be of great use when it comes to organizing and separating items, and doors help to keep items concealed.
The Kitchen for One: The very first purchase one should invest in to enhance the dinner-for-one experience is to purchase a great set of pots. Purchasing a good quality of pots is a worthy investment as a quality set can last you for decades to come.
The Kitchen for Couples: This is the phase when purchasing an appliance or two can help you transition from solo meals to those shared with a friend or special someone. Some good basic appliances that are great to begin with include a food processor, blender, mixer or juicer.
The Kitchen for Families: This is the point where you will begin to prepare meals for one’s family. Cooking for a family successfully can in some instances involve a flawlessly executed balancing act. In this phase of maintaining a well-organized and well-equipped kitchen, efficiency is key. Below are some of the specific aspects one should incorporate when thinking of the basic components of a family kitchen.
▪ Purchase appliances such as a slow cooker that allows you to make larger meals in advance.
▪ Create two different sets of dishware. One for everyday use, the other for entertaining.
▪ Think decorative and creative. The phase into family will likely bring opportunities to entertain as well. As such, this may also be a time when you wish to purchase more decorative items to use for special occasions.
10 Easy and Affordable Kitchen Ideas
1. Use tension rods to help divide and store your cutting boards.
2. Use magazine holders to store your foils and wraps, cutting boards, or even canned goods.
3. Use short mason jars, plain glass jars from the hardware store or office supply containers to store spices.
4. Use Lazy Susans. Being able to rotate items is always a plus.
5. Use a pocket or shoe organizer to hold cleaning supplies.
6. Use stacked PVC tubing to store wine bottles.
7. Use drawer inserts for multiple storage uses around the kitchen.
8. Use wire baskets for storage. They allow for transparency and can work in both modern and country settings.
9. Use a peg board to hang pots or other kitchen items such as utensils.
10. Use a dish drainer as an organizer for plastic storage lids.
Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.