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October 09, 2019

How to Organize Your Kitchen

Kitchen appliances and gadgets have made healthy food prep easier than ever. From the Magic Bullet to the Instant-Pot, and from the zoodle-maker to the vegetable peeler, there are plenty of handy tools that can cause the organization of a kitchen to get completely out of control. 

The truth is, there are a number of kitchen tools we use on a daily basis. There are others that come in very handy every once in a while, and other tools that just create clutter. However, there are some great ways to prioritize your kitchen supplies so that you can find them when you need them - and rid them from adding stress when you don’t. 

These kitchen organization ideas will help your cooking space to be a more stress-free zone, allowing you the space to create healthy and nutrient-dense meals. 

Easy Ways to Declutter and Reorganize Your Kitchen

  • Consolidate the cupboard. 
    Pull out everything from your pantry - dry goods, spices & seasonings, bulk items - and organize them on the kitchen counter. First, toss anything that is expired (yes, spices and seasonings do expire). Anything you find two or more of, consolidate them into one container. For example, if you have a partial bag of brown rice, and another bag that’s opened that you didn’t realize you had, combine all of the rice into one mason jar and return it to the cupboard.

    Storing dry goods in jars instead of plastic bags keeps them safe from pests, keeps them fresh for longer, and allows them to simply look prettier on the shelf. 
  • Cut back on your knife supply. 
    When you’re about to start chopping things for a meal, do you notice that there is really only one knife in the drawer that you reach for? That’s because we don’t need an entire cutlery set to prepare food, just one or two really nice slicing tools. 

    Knife companies count on the fact that you desire the entire set to make your kitchen feel complete. But the reality is that you don’t really require much. The best necessities for slicing and dicing in the kitchen: one really good large chef’s knife (for chopping and slicing), and one nice serrated knife (for breads and heavy-duty carving). Maybe a pair of good kitchen scissors too if you’re feeling fancy.
  • Get rid of some gadgets. 
    If you have a large gadget that only serves one purpose, it’s taking up a lot of space to only do one thing. Have a rice cooker? A pot with a tight-fitting lid works just as well. Have a food processor and a blender? Find one item that can do both.

    Step two: consider everything else you purchased to make your cooking life “easier”. Do you really need a garlic press, or will the back of your chef’s knife work just fine? You can also get rid of that lemon press - your hands press pretty darn well. Cheese slicers - aren’t they really just fancy little butter knives? 
  • Donate duplicates. 
    Clear out all of your drawers and set all of your kitchen gadgets and tools out on the table. How many spatulas do you really need? We guarantee you have one or two favorites that you’d rather hand wash when dirty than wait for them to go through the dishwasher. Donate any duplicate items to Goodwill or another local thrift store. Really, nobody needs more than one meat thermometer. 
  • Toss what is unusable. 
    Why are you holding on to that knife with a broken handle? If it’s your favorite, replace it. If not, toss it. Have pots with missing lids? They aren’t useful, and just causing clutter. Let them go. 
  • When unsure, use a post-it note. 
    If you’re not sure whether or not you use a certain serving platter, gadget, or kitchen item enough to keep it, stick a post-it note on the item and put it back on the shelf. When you use the item, remove the post-it. Give yourself a deadline (say 1-month or even 6-months if you have separation issues), and donate anything that still has a post-it note on it after that time-frame. 

Applying these techniques to declutter your kitchen will ensure that you can not only find everything you need when cooking, but also prepare healthy food in a clean, organized, and stress-free environment. 

[Credit: Brick, Jason. “Stupid-Simple Ways to Declutter Your Kitchen.” Thrillist.]

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