Making the Kitchen

In a new everyday ORGANiZiNG series named Making Room, we’ll take a journey through the house. Each post will offer ideas to find and maximize space, organize the contents of each room and ensure the room functions in the way you need. Remember, the room should work for you, you shouldn’t have to work for the room. First up, Making Room…in the Kitchen.

More than any other room, the kitchen just might be the hardest working. It’s one of the few rooms that everyone in the house uses. It often serves multiple functions, too. Not only is it a place to prepare meals and store the food supply, it might serve as the homework station or the arts and crafts center. And isn’t it the room where all the guests gather?

The kitchen more than any other room requires much thought and attention when it comes to organizing since it supports so much action. Look around, open the cabinets and drawers. Think about what activities happen in the room. What’s working and what’s not working?

Get In the Zone

Map out the room according to zones or activities. Based on the how the room needs to function for you, set up each zone stocked with the necessary tools and supplies in the closest cupboards, drawers and shelving. Most importantly, create zones and arrange items in a way that makes the most sense to you. You might want to keep together everything necessary to make a cup of coffee, or you might want to store the coffee with other food items. Dedicated, labeled spaces will make it easy for everyone to find and put away everything being stored in the room.

Sometimes the challenge is having more stuff than space. Where can you find space? Mount open shelving on an otherwise empty wall. Hang a pot rack to free up cabinet space and install hooks or wire baskets on the inside of cupboard doors to expand storing options. Take a close look at the shelf spacing inside the cabinets. Shelves are often adjustable to better accommodate various sizes of what’s being housed there. A stacking shelf is also a great option to essentially double a cupboard’s storage capacity.

There may be a few, or a lot of things in the kitchen that don’t serve current needs. If you’re tossing frozen waffles in the toaster, it’s probably time to say goodbye to the waffle maker. Likewise, the bread machine may have been a most thoughtful gift at the time, but when was the last time you had time to use it? Many kitchen appliances fall into this category and take up a lot of space, so be honest with yourself about what deserves the room’s most valuable real estate. If you’re not ready to part with some of these items that are not regularly used, where else in the house can they be stored?

Since the kitchen is the hardest working room in the house, everyone needs to be on board with its maintenance. Perhaps it’s easier said than done at first. Daily habits like washing or loading dishes into the dishwasher and putting things in their assigned spaces, need to be developed, and it’s well worth the effort.

Now you’re cookin’!