Clean and Clutter-Free: A Guide to Organizing Kitchen Cabinets
Posted: Nov 05, 2018
Picture it: you’re standing in your spick and span kitchen after hours of cleaning, and are overcome with a feeling of deep satisfaction. You tell yourself that this detox was long overdue, and that you’ll never put it off this long again.
Well, all owners of quality kitchens have been there. But while setting yourself the goal of keeping your space organized is admirable, most of us once again face an overly cluttered kitchen only a few weeks later. Finding the time and energy to clean is easier said than done!
Although keeping your messy side in check may be a challenge, adhering to a few easy tips and tricks can cut your cleaning time in half. To help you get started, let’s talk about how to keep your cabinets – the dumping ground for outdated appliances, expired foods, and spices that you never use – as clean and clutter-free as possible.
1. Cut Down on Contents
Before you get out the cleaning supplies, evaluate the contents of your quality kitchen’s cabinets. If you have cabinets with doors, as opposed to pull-out drawers, it’s especially likely that you’ll find items lurking at the back that you haven’t used in years – and that you may not even remember buying. As you go through each item, ask yourself two simple questions:
- When did I last use this?
- Will I need this again over the course of this year?
If you use the items on a regular basis or plan to within the next 12 months, keep them. If, however, you see no real use for them, getting rid of them is your best bet. You may even be able to donate them to a charity shop if they’re in a decent state.
For spices and cans of food, perform a similar check: toss them if they’re well past their expiration date, or consider donating them to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen if you simply have no use for them. The key is to be resolute – fully commit to decluttering!
2. Cleaning is Crucial
Before you re-organize your cabinets, don’t forget to give them a proper wipe-down. This step is essential to eliminating food crumbs and spills, and to preventing insects, mice, and other unwanted creatures from finding their way into quality kitchens. What’s more, taking care of your space is a sure-fire way of avoiding mold, as well as other, equally unpleasant surprises. Along with using disinfecting wipes or spray, consider investing in shelf liners to prolong your cabinets’ lifespan.
3. Organize Like a Pro
After going through the first few steps, it’s tempting to get lazy and simply put items back without a proper system. But trust us: making the effort to optimize your storage space pays off big time! Try some of the following to get an easier and more comprehensive overview of your food and appliances:
- Change the height of some of your shelves so that they can fit taller, bulkier items.
- Place taller items at the backs of cabinets and smaller ones at the front.
- Buy a rotating spice rack.
- For pull-out drawers, use a cutlery organizer and dividers.
- Store items that you use regularly at hand or eye level.
- Arrange foods with the closest expiration dates at the front of cabinets.
Not only do these suggestions combat chaos effectively, but they’re also easy to implement. It’s a win-win for quality kitchens!
4. Keep Up the Good Work
Congratulations, the worst part is over! Now that you’ve done the legwork, don’t revert to old patterns. While spills, crumbs, and other slip-ups are entirely normal, don’t let them fester: actively enforce your new system by checking and tidying up your cabinets on a monthly basis. From discarding expired food to wiping down surfaces, a little bit of effort goes a long way towards feeling great about your space – and avoiding arduous clean-up sessions in the future!
About the Author
Caroline Krogh-Jensen is a co-founder of BauBox, a manufacturer of affordable, high-quality kitchen cabinets based in California. With over a decade of experience in the furniture industry, she has built up an outstanding reputation for helping her clients design
Annie Taylor is a writer and consultant, commuting between London and San Francisco.