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I knew I had a problem when I found myself wishing I had an extra pair of hands when preparing for a dinner party.
There’s nothing wrong with my culinary skills but the ingredients were scattered all over my kitchen on 3 different work spaces and putting everything together was much harder than it needed to be.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
I learned my lesson and changed up my kitchen to work for me and now, I’d like to share my top kitchen counter organization tips, so that you can cook in a stress-free environment too.
In the kitchen, we prepare food, we cook it and then we serve it.
If you break up your counter into zones for each of these tasks, you can then start to store things in the right places.
For example, you keep cooking implements, oils, spices and any raw foods near the cooking area (where your stove is).
Anything you use for prep should be arranged near the largest area of counter.
And then the serving stuff wants to be near the sink (or if you have one, the dishwasher).
You can find mounts for the bases of cabinets, etc. that offer storage for your best knife sets or act as spice racks or racks for glasses.
This can free up a lot of space in drawers and cabinets and it doesn’t encroach on your counter space.
Shelf-risers essentially double the space on a shelf without costing you a fortune.
They can also look really nice, if you invest in risers that match your kitchen.
“Decorative storage” can be anything at all.
Think masonry jars for holding utensils or a vase for storing your wooden spoons in.
It makes the kitchen space feel more homely and personal rather than like a production line.
If you don’t have a lot of kitchen space, it’s better to keep it organized than to cover every surface with equipment.
In this instance, get a chest of drawers and locate it near your kitchen and put all the things you don’t use very often in it.
Items like these knife sharpeners, for example, are very useful but they’re not everyday items, either.
We all have things that we store in the ktichen that aren’t really about cooking and food.
We dump some mail on one end of a surface, we drop our keys on top of the refrigerator, place our wallet on the end of the breakfast bar, etc.
If you create a space for these items it has two benefits.
The first is that you don’t have to look for things when you need them and the second is that it keeps them out of the way when you are cooking.
Anything you use a lot, you’re likely to want to keep close to hand.
This includes oils, spices, seasoning, etc.
The problem is that these things often degrade in natural light (particularly oils which discolor very quickly and are no good for cooking with afterward).
So, it’s best to use smaller bottles for the things you keep out in the kitchen and keep a larger stock in a cupboard.
We’d also recommend storing all these “regular needs” in a tray which makes them easier to find and offers them an intentional aesthetic appeal too.
This is a tip that could also grace our tiny home kitchen guide but you don’t have to keep anything that you don’t use.
Seriously, turn out your cupboards and get rid of all the things that you don’t use and then do the same to your kitchen drawers.
You don’t have to ask “does this spark joy?” but rather “when is the last time I ever used this?”
If the answer is more than a year – you almost certainly don’t need it.
Also keep an eye out for duplicates and lose the older, more battered items as they arise.
You don’t want to overdo this or using the oven will become a chore but you can easily keep you 3-4 favorite pans and a couple of your most used oven trays in the oven.
This frees up space in cupboards without making the place look untidy.
Just remember to take them out before you warm the oven.
No, this isn’t a punishment for naughty kitchen items but simply a very cool space saving tip.
Create a space on an empty wall and hang your pans and utensils on it.
This looks awesome and saves on buying artwork for the kitchen too.
Your kitchen is the heart of your home but if you don’t keep it neat and organized, it can start to beat slowly.
This leaves you without enthusiasm for preparing and cooking delicious meals.
So, why not spend a little time each week dedicated to making your kitchen a pleasure to be in?
You deserve it.