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Organizing your Kitchen for Efficiency

When you move into a new home, trying to figure out how to organize a completely new space can feel overwhelming. One area that will immediately be utilized is the kitchen.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan out the new space:

How does it compare in size and similarity to your current kitchen? Does your new home have more cabinets but less pantry space, or more drawers? You may need to re-think how you've been storing things.

What items do you use most often? These should be in areas that we organizers like to call “prime real estate”, meaning that it is easily accessible and therefore should be used for items accessed on a daily/regular basis. In my house, the coffee pot has front and center on the countertop, along with the sugar and coffee tins.

As for plates, glasses/mugs, and silverware, think about how you will unload the dishwasher (if your kitchen has one) or sink when these are clean. Can you store them in the cabinets/drawers immediately adjacent to the dishwasher? Will you have to close the dishwasher door to open other drawers/cabinets? If so, those are not the ideal places for storing your dishware/utensils.

The same goes for often-used cooking essentials such as oils and spices – are they close at hand so you don’t make unnecessary trips back and forth? In my house, we don’t have upper cabinets close to the stove, so I am often dashing between the stove and cabinets to grab these things.

One thing to keep in mind for over-the-stove cabinets is the heat; it is much hotter than the cabinets away from the stove/oven, and oils can go rancid if not stored in a cool place.

For categories such as baking, kitchen appliances like a blender, waffle-maker, crockpot or specialty cookware such as dutch ovens and lobster pots, ask yourself how often you use these tools. Daily or weekly? Then these rate high to be stored in prime real estate areas. Monthly? Maybe in a cabinet that is high up, or in the back of a deep cabinet. Once a year (holiday roast pan, lamb-shaped cake mold for Easter)? Consider storing these items elsewhere if you have the space. Many people have an overflow rack in their basement to store rarely-used kitchen objects.

With some pre-planning and then post-tweaking, you can make your kitchen into a well-oiled machine with the objects you need at your fingertips!

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