Storage and How to Organise a Kitchen Guide
Kitchens are full to the brim with gadgets and accessories, so ensuring that everything has its place is key in order to avoid a cluttered, untidy space. Kitchen storage solutions are generally perceived as being clunky and unattractive, but this doesn't have to be the case. Below you will find a variety of ways in which you can safely store away your utensils and appliances without ruining the overall look and feel of your space.
As kitchen equipment becomes more stylish, the need to hide that ugly old potato peeler at the back of the drawer lessens. If you are proud to show off your kitchen kit, why not ditch the cupboard doors and incorporate open shelving into your new kitchen? With both horizontal and vertical divides, you can make a feature out of your lentil-filled glass jars and duck-egg blue pestle and mortar instead of tidying them away in crowded cupboards never to be seen again.
Create space within cupboards
If conventional cupboards are a must in your kitchen, it is imperative that you do something to utilise all of the space. Open most kitchen cupboards and you will find rows of tinned goods filling only half of the height of the shelf, when this needn't be the case. Fitting some shelving within shelving would mean that you could fit more useful items in your cupboards without having to stack goods directly on top of one another. If you find you need to do this in all your cupboards, it probably means you have too many bits, so a cull may be necessary, but used sparingly and creating extra storage space within cupboards can be a real winner.
There aren't many things more irritating than being unable to find your favourite colander just as you approach the business end of creating your favourite pasta dish. This situation usually occurs because kitchenware is merely thrown into a cupboard wherever it will fit, meaning you have to no idea where it has ended up when you need it most. One way to do this is to install internal drawer organisation. This is especially helpful in deep, waist-height units, and means all of your plates, pots and pans can be neatly stored in the same spot every single time, right where you need them.
Although it is usually recommended to designate specific areas of your kitchen to definite tasks, if your kitchen space is particularly large this isn't always possible. In this instance, mobile storage may be the way to go. Kitchen trolleys mean that all of your dried herbs and spices or pots and pans can be pushed to the side neatly when not in use, or pulled right up next to you by the stove when you are cooking up a storm. The wheels also mean that you can create extra floor space temporarily in the event of a party or other social gathering by simply wheeling it into a utility room out of sight.
Hide away that washing machine!
While we mentioned earlier that many pieces of kitchen paraphernalia are becoming more pleasing on the eye, the same cannot be said for the poor-old washing machine. This is undoubtedly a key part of the kitchen family, but seems destined to see out its days as an ugly cube of white plastic. Therefore keeping the washer and all other associated items hidden is a must to maintain the ambience desired from your cooking space. Sliding doors are perfect for such a task - especially if you lack the room to allow doors to swing out - as they can also be left slightly ajar to for allow ventilation when drying clothes.
Think tall and slim
Low on floor space? One possible solution is to reduce the depth of your cupboards and instead build upwards. In a kitchen with high ceilings, this is the perfect solution to create a light and airy space that still has room for all of your bits. Don't worry if you think you will be a little too small to reach the shelves towards the top - simply store lesser used items towards the ceiling and consider investing in some compact steps that can be stored neatly away when not in use. The shallower shelf will also mean that you reduce the risk of dishes or bags of flour being lost out of sight in the dark corners of deep cupboards.
Organise your kitchen
Having a tidy and organised kitchen doesn't just improve the efficiency of your cooking process; it also makes your workspace a much nicer place to spend time in. You don't have to redesign the whole room to achieve order, either; making the most of empty space and creating some storage solutions to hide clutter in is all you need for a simple, stylish kitchen.
Step 1: Re-plan your kitchen zones
There's a popular school of thought around kitchen design and organisation which states that you should have three distinct kitchen "zones": food preparation, cooking and cleaning. Make sure you have a space for each - an uncluttered counter top for food prep, an empty sink for cleaning up, and a clear space around the oven for cooking. Generally speaking you want to make sure you have the right tools in reach of the right zone:
Food preparation: You're likely to need knives, peelers, graters and chopping boards, so make sure these are all within easy reach of your food prep area. Try to keep things like spices or small appliances out of the way - except, of course, a food processor, which is ideal in this space.
Cooking: The kitchen needn't be empty to be organised; in actual fact, you'll be more efficient if you keep your most-used cooking ingredients close by, such as olive oil, salt and pepper, as well as cooking utensils like wooden spoons. The units around the oven should be the ones to hold pots and pans, so that you can get to them easily.
Cleaning: It's all too easy to let sinks become cluttered with cleaning equipment and dirty crockery, so make sure you have a designated space next to the sink that isn't also used for storage, to make clean-up quick and painless.
Step 2: Re-think your storage
Most kitchens have a certain amount of dead space, which can be utilised with a few innovative measures put in place. Corners and high spaces aren't the most convenient areas, but they are ideal for storing things you rarely use - making more room for the things you do.
Interior fittings: Certain storage fittings can be fixed to the inside of your cabinetry for example, fold-out corner shelving, which allows you to keep store cupboard items tucked away but maintain easy access when you need them. Pull-out shelves can be slotted inside spaces between cupboards and appliances, while plinth drawers underneath the oven are the ideal location for baking trays, as the heat from the oven will keep them nice and warm for when you need them. Mount baskets or hooks on the inside of cupboards to maximise your use of the space, as these can be used to hold things like cup measures and peelers if your drawers are starting to fill up.
Food and Cooking: You need to find a way to make your storage work for you, and if you're an avid cook this may mean some drastic changes in the way you keep your ingredients. A good spice rack is essential; you could easily fill a whole shelf with a comprehensive spice collection, so instead make sure they're tidied away on their own shelf, where they can't get muddled up. Similarly, ensure your dining utensils are stored properly; if you have the space, keeping your plates in plate holders inside a plinth drawer is an easier option than piling them up in a cabinet, and cutlery is easier to organise when you have an adjustable storage tray for your collection.
Step 3: Keep it together
The best way to ensure you keep your kitchen tidy is to keep similar items in the same place. If you love baking, store your flours, sugars, cup measures and scales in one cupboard - preferably near your prep counter, to prevent flour from being spread across the kitchen. Similarly, use a lazy Susan to keep breakfast things such as butter and jam, so that in the morning you only need transport the whole thing to the dining table and back - saving you from a search through the cupboards every day.