Your kitchen is the heart and soul of your home. It’s often where the most time is spent whether you’re preparing for the day, eating a home-cooked meal with your loved ones, or getting ready for tomorrow. With that being said, your kitchen takes a lot of wear and tear and if it’s not regularly maintained, it’s quick to dirty. When your kitchen is dirty, it creates a feeling of chaos and can be hard to focus on anything other than cleaning it up. Having a messy or cluttered kitchen carries into your day and creates feelings of anxiety and stress rather than feelings of comfort and security. That’s not what a kitchen should do. It should make you feel at ease and at home. Instead of spending hours and hours continually cleaning a never-ending mess, there are a few things you can do. To help combat the clutter, here are the 10 best storage and organization tips for a clutter-free kitchen.
1. Always Keep Clean Countertops
The golden rule of maintaining a clutter-free kitchen is to always keep the countertops clean and clear. Having appliances on the counter top is the tip of the ice burg—it’s an invitation for things to be left out. Instead, keep your countertops as clear as possible. Store appliances in easy to reach areas and keep out only the absolute necessities. Doing this will give your kitchen an overall feeling of order and will help you to maintain other good habits.
Instead of dropping off your mail, keys, purse, or other contents onto your countertop when you walk in the door, have a place for everything. It’s easy to slip down the slope when you start leaving small things out. Try to break your bad counter top habits by being mindful for a week and putting things away right when you walk in the door. You’ll quickly notice how a clean, clutter-free countertop helps emanate an overall clutter-free feeling for the whole kitchen.
2. Declutter Your Refrigerator
The same mentality can be applied to your refrigerator. Yes, it’s a great place to store schedules, drawings, pictures, or reminders, but it will create chaos in your kitchen. Even when your kitchen is perfectly clean, a cluttered refrigerator will make you feel like you still need to do something. We’re not suggesting you put all of your children’s artwork or important save the dates directly into a drawer, but there are other ways to display them.
One way to display them is by creating an organization board or bulletin board that hangs in your entryway, mudroom, or a nearby hallway. This will give you the same effect without the feeling of having a messy kitchen. Plus, if it’s on the way out of the house you’ll be more likely to check it for important dates or to-do list items before starting your day.
3. Use Your Cabinets Wisely
Strategic planning goes a long way with cabinets. To make things easier, and increase the chances you won’t leave things out on your counters, store things based on their use. If you always take out the blender and use it in a specific area of your kitchen, store it near that area. Utilize doors, cabinets, and drawers based on your kitchen work zones and it’ll make prep and clean up a breeze. The easier it is to get something out, the easier it is to put it away.
4. Dedicate a Junk Drawer
Bad habits are hard to break. We all carry around things with us that need a place to be thrown when we get home. Our favorite place for all of those miscellaneous items is the infamous junk drawer! Having a junk drawer is like having a cheat day in the midst of a health kick. It’s our secret place to maintain the messiness without making us want to pull out our hair. Dedicate one drawer in your kitchen to being a junk drawer and then contain your mess inside that one drawer.
5. Put Things Away
If you’re used to making dinner, eating, and then putting things away, try and change your habits. Try and put things away as you use them. This means dishes, appliances, spices, or whatever it is you need. If you take it out, use it and then put it right back. Doing so will decrease your clean up time and the chances that you’ll save it for later after you’ve taken some time to rest. Don’t put it down after you’ve used it… just put it away.
6. Keep a Clear Kitchen Sink
Similarly to how keeping a clean counter makes your entire kitchen look less cluttered, keeping a clean sink has the same effect. When dishes pile up it’s frustrating and flat out disgusting. Who knows what are on those plates at the bottom of the sink and that thought makes you want to take care of it less and less. Don’t let old food cake to dirty dishes for hours at a time. Rinse them off after you’ve used them and put them straight in the dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, just wash them right then and there. Trust us, this makes a huge difference! Instill these habits on your family members too for an even easier time keeping your kitchen clean.
7. Get Rid of Extras
How many sets of plates do you own? Are your coffee cups so abundant that you haven’t even seen the ones at the back of your cabinet in years? If so, get rid of the extras. You don’t have to throw them out, but moving them to your self storage unit will give you the space you need for a calm and clutter-free mind. Go through your appliances, pots and pans, and utensils to do the same.
8. Plan Your Meals
A lot of kitchens are overflowing with spices, ingredients, and recipes. Start planning your meals to reduce the clutter in your cabinets and refrigerator. This way, you’ll consciously only buy what you need and you’ll stop stocking up on things that you’ll never use or finish.
9. Have a Mail Zone
In most homes, the kitchen is the first stop when coming in from a long day. If you have the mail in your hand, chances are you’ll just toss it on the counter. Instead of creating hundreds of random piles of paper stacked throughout your kitchen, dedicate a zone for mail and paperwork. Get a nice organizer and start using it everyday. Now you have a mail zone! This keeps everything in one place without looking overly cluttered or disorganized. Plus, you’ll save yourself a headache and stop having to run around looking for a specific piece of paper every few days.
10. Develop Kitchen Rituals
During this whole process, try and develop rituals. Bad habits are hard to break so go easy on yourself if things don’t immediately work out perfectly. Take the time to replace bad habits with good ones and continue to work at them. The same mentality should be applied across your whole family. Teach your kids, and your partner, healthy kitchen rituals and instill good habits early on. This will reduce your workload and keep you stress free and clutter free. Have a morning ritual and an evening ritual that works for your family and your lifestyle and then stick to it.
Even with these storage and organization tips for a clutter-free kitchen, you might find that your kitchen is still overflowing with excess. Rather than get rid of it, consider renting out a self storage unit. You can store holiday kitchenware, extra sets of plates, or even those rare cooking gadgets that only come out a few times a year. A deep fryer is an awesome accessory to have, but you don’t necessarily need it taking up half of a cabinet for the whole year. Luckily, The Lock Up Self Storage offers a number of safe and secure storage units that fit any budget. We have a variety of different sizes and will work with you to find exactly what you need. All of our self storage units are protected by a number of security features like perimeter alarms and individually coded access gates. They’re also all climate controlled so that your things are protected year round, regardless of the weather outside. No matter what storage solutions you need, you’ll find a solution at The Lock Up. Give us a call today or browse our available storage units located near you!