Moving into a new place is always exciting, but putting everything away in your new place can cause some consternation particularly when it comes to the kitchen. Organizing the kitchen is usually a top priority. It is the center of the home after all! When it comes to unpacking after a move or a kitchen remodel, organizing all of your kitchen items in a way that is efficient and productive is important. Here are a few tips and tasks for organizing your new kitchen.
Image via Real Simple
The First Task is Cleaning
It’s not the most fun part, but it is better to get it done now than later. In your new kitchen you are going to need to clean and dry the appliances, cabinets, drawers and storage spaces. You want to take advantage of this time while all these things are empty to make sure they are clean to your liking. Even if you moved into a new construction home, there will certainly be dust and dirt. It is better to clean everything now rather than discover longtime dust and grime later. Be sure to pay attention to the back of the cabinets to remove any dust, crumbs or anything else left by the previous home owner. It is helpful to grab your vacuum and use a long attachment to clear the corners of cabinets and drawers. After vacuuming, wipe out the spaces with a sponge and mild cleaner (like dishwashing soap) and dry with a clean towel.
If you did not sort through your kitchen tools for anything you should have ditched or donated before your move, do it now. There is no need to clean them and take up new space for something that is not practical or used.
Second, is More Cleaning
After cleaning the storage areas unpack, clean and dry all dishes, glasses, flatware, gadgets and tools. If you took the time to clean out the drawers and cabinets, you want to make sure that what you are storing in them is clean, too. Do your best to lay things out in organized piles or areas, so when you're deciding where to store something, you have an idea about how much space you will need.
Third task…Organizing Your Loot
With every nook and cranny and every dish and pot cleaned, take a moment to assess the storage areas you have. Sometimes you get lucky and find a cabinet built specifically for cookie sheets and other flat pans for cooking or a spice drawer. If you're this lucky…then no more decision-making is necessary. If you have a blank canvas to work with, here are some tips to help guide your kitchen organizational efforts.
- Think about which cabinet you would look to first if you wanted to grab a glass for water. Would that cabinet have enough space for all your glasses?
- If you are lucky enough to have a pantry, note how many shelves you have available for items like the turkey roasting pan you use only one or 2 times a year.
- Where is the most convenient drawer for the kitchen hot pads when you have to pull something out of the hot oven?
- Which drawer is closest to both the dishwasher and the table? This will probably be the best drawer to store the flatware.
- Is there enough room in the cabinet where you want to store your mugs – for all the tea and coffee supplies, too?
- Do you have pantry space, or will you need to use a cabinet for staple pantry items?
- Do you want to keep your counters completely clear, or will you store the toaster oven (coffee pot, juicer, etc.) on the counter?
Use Common Sense
It is best to base your organization decisions on how often you think you are going to use something. If you will be using the item every day, it should take priority storage over something you may only use occasionally. If you are not a morning person and need that cup of coffee before doing anything, it is best to store the mugs close to the coffee maker! But if you bake pies only in the summer, you can store the glass pie dishes in the back of a cabinet or the top shelf where you only have to reach for it a few times a year.
Here are the organizing rules:
- I use this every day. If you use something every day, give it priority space in the kitchen.
- I use this occasionally. If you use something occasionally, its location is not a priority, but you still want quick access to it.
- I use this infrequently. If you use something once in while or only on holidays, then consider storing it in the pantry or utility closet where it will not take up valuable kitchen space.
These helpful kitchen organization tips are certain to save you the headache of tackling the question of "where is the best place to put this in my new kitchen?" Once that is figured out, then you can work on what to make for dinner!