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Food 10 Elegant Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

22:25  02 june  2021
22:25  02 june  2021 Source:   lifehacker.com

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Top-down photograph of spices, silverware, and dishes organized in open drawers. © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock) Top-down photograph of spices, silverware, and dishes organized in open drawers.

A well-organized kitchen makes the endless cycle of cooking, cleaning, and repeating a whole lot easier to manage. Earlier this week we did our best to convince you that it’s finally time to figure out how to organize your fridge like an adult, but you can do so much more. Here are 10 tips for making the entire heart of your home (that would be the kitchen) beat more efficiently.

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Declutter, declutter, declutter

  10 Elegant Ways to Organize Your Kitchen © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Decluttering is the first step to organizing any room, and kitchens tend to collect hyper-specific clutter: That ice cream maker you never use to make ice cream; that too-fancy knife set from your wedding registry, crappy old pots you can’t quite bring yourself to throw away, expired spices, and freezer-burned fossils. So: Get rid of it all. If you’re not sure where to start, the box method is a great way to weed out stuff you never use. And if you don’t use it regularly, it doesn’t need to be in your kitchen.

Eliminate dead space

a microwave oven sitting on top of a stove © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Got a kitchen packed with awkward, unusable spaces? Yeah, me too. If you have trouble seeing or reaching items at the back of your cabinets, fridge, or pantry, a Lazy Susan could help. For that weird space between your fridge and the wall next to it, build a roll-out pantry or a sliding spice rack—you might even be able to use an IKEA shelf. If you’re desperate for more space, it’s very easy (and cheap) to turn false drawers into usable storage or install a secret toekick drawer at the bottom of a kitchen cabinet.

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Make use of the backs of cabinet doors

a knife sitting on top of a wooden cutting board © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

The inside of your cabinet doors is wasted space. Instead of leaving it blank, slap some hooks on there and get to organizing. This will give you an easy way to hang up measuring cups and spoons, pot lids, and even cutting boards; with a little more effort, you can even add a custom knife block. Alternatively, paint the inside of the doors with blackboard or whiteboard paint so you have a place to track grocery lists and meal plans.

Use tension rods to create new space

  10 Elegant Ways to Organize Your Kitchen © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Tension rods are a surprisingly versatile organization tool throughout the kitchen. You can use them for hidden paper towel storage, organizing cleaning products under the sink, creating an extra shelf for spices, and creating pantry dividers or lid organizers in drawers.

Master safe food storage

a tray of food on a counter © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Proper ingredient storage is an important part of any organized kitchen. It cuts down on food waste and makes it easy to keep track of what you already have. Here are our general guidelines for storing foods so they last longer in the fridge or freezer and which foods you don’t need to refrigerate. Don’t want to memorize them? Print out these charts and hang on your fridge to keep track of your food inventory and also know when foods are about to expire. Likewise, this graphic illustrates how long essential pantry foods will last.

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Refrigerate like a pro

a refrigerator with the door open: Front-facing photo of an open double-door refrigerator filled with fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, and dairy products. © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock) Front-facing photo of an open double-door refrigerator filled with fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, and dairy products.

It’s not just a matter of keeping foods in or out of the fridge, however. Within the refrigerator there are ideal spots for different types of foods. Dairy, for example, is best kept on the upper shelf where the temperature is most constant, while meat should be in the bottom of the fridge, where it’s coldest and any leaks wouldn’t contaminate other foods. Check out more fridge storage guidelines here or this infographic. You might also want to organize your fridge with a first-in-first-out (FIFO) method, like grocery stores do or use an “eat me first box” in your fridge to make sure you don’t waste food. And of course there’s this stack beverages in your fridge with binder clips strategy for clever beer storage.

Make sure you can see everything in your pantry

a glass display case © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Out of sight really is out of mind when it comes to food storage. In the cupboard and pantry, make sure you can see and reach everything. You can also group items in your pantry by meal (like pastas next to tomato sauces) so you remember what to cook. For hard-to-stack cans of food, create a can holder using a magazine rack or organize canned goods in your cabinet with a closet rack. The back of your pantry door is a perfect spot to hang an over-the-door shoe holder to gather snacks, seasoning mixes, and more.

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Use storage containers that show you what’s inside

a tray of food on a table © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Mismatched food storage containers are agents of pure chaos. You only need a few types of food storage containers to maximize the amount of space you have in your cupboard; we prefer square or rectangular containers that stack up well. See-through containers are great, but not required; clearly labeling absolutely everything in your fridge, freezer, and pantry works just as well.

Create work zones for different tasks

a woman sitting at a table with a cup of coffee © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

When organizing your kitchen, it’s helpful to think of your kitchen in terms of work zones: food storage, dish storage, cleanup (sink and dishwasher), prep area, and cooking zone. Prioritize these zones according to how much use they get. For example, if you and your partner make dinner together, you might want a second prep zone. Alternatively, you might want to add a baking zone or other specialty zones so all your supplies stay organized.

Be Smart

a band performing on a counter © Photo: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

That leads us to the last and most important point: Have a place for everything and everything in its place. Items you use most often should be easiest to reach, while items you rare use can go in less convenient spots; group certain ingredients next to the tools you use them with. Julia Child’s kitchen had a place for everything, with pots and pans hung on pegboards with their outlines drawn around them so she could put everything back in its spot.

This article was originally published on November 28, 2015. It was updated on June 2, 2021 to reflect Lifehacker’s current style guidelines.

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