We use our kitchen more than any other room in our home, it’s the lynchpin of every household. And yet it’s almost always the most chaotic and least organized of them all.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a perfectly organized kitchen, to know exactly where everything is at all times and to have a clear, uncluttered counter top?
Given that we spend most of our time in this room, can you imagine the domino effect this would have on the rest of your home and your life?
Sounds like an impossible dream? Well it really isn’t. A gloriously organized kitchen is well within your grasp. All it takes is a little time, patience and knowledge of your habits to get started.
For 30 years now, we’ve been making custom cabinets for Toronto kitchens, and we like to think we know a little bit about how to organize them.
So what follows is a distillation of the organizational knowledge we’ve gained in our many years crafting custom made furniture.
Table Of Contents
- A Cabinet Maker’s Tips for Easy Kitchen Organization ?
- Organize Your Kitchen into Usage Areas.
- Your Counter is Not a Storage Space.
- Containers are an Organized Cabinet’s Best Friend.
- Easy Access—Using Pull-Out Shelves and Lazy Susans.
- Divide up Your Drawers.
- Use Every Bit of Space You Have for Ultimate Efficiency.
- When it Comes to Custom Furniture, No Space is Too Small or Unusual.
- Uniquely Custom Made Furniture
A Cabinet Maker’s Tips for Easy Kitchen Organization
Though we’ve seen many constants in peoples’ kitchen preferences, everyone’s perfect kitchen is slightly different. A good kitchen needs to be molded uniquely around you and your lifestyle.
But before you do anything, our advice is to de-clutter and get rid of what you don’t use or need first. Even if you think your kitchen is organized, you may be surprised (or not) at how much you have to throw away.
And perhaps what you once thought was a storage-poor kitchen will have ample space for all you have left. You might find that you don’t actually require as much storage space as you first thought. Or you may come to the conclusion that you need more storage solutions.
Either way this is an important step because, by doing this, you become aware of your space and what you’re using it for, which will give you insight into what a uniquely perfect kitchen would look like for you.
What are your pain points? How would better kitchen cabinet organization solve them? We’ve put together a few ideas to get your juices flowing:
Organize Your Kitchen into Usage Areas.
This is a game changer. It’s amazing how much time we waste going back and forth from cabinet to cabinet when we don’t think our kitchen setup through. Above all, your kitchen must be built around you and the way you use it, which requires a bit of forethought. That’s why we’d recommend organizing your kitchen space around three distinct areas for maximum efficiency and convenience.
Firstly, your Cooking Area should have pots, pans and cooking utensils readily available around the stove, whether hanging or in a cabinet. Keep your spices, herbs and oils nearby, arranged from most to least used, ready to be grabbed mid-stir.
We all know how annoying it is to have to pace back and forth about the kitchen when cooking, madly opening and closing cabinet doors searching for that missing ingredient. Keeping everything in one small area will save you so much time, believe us.
Then create a Dish Area for your bowls, dishes and glasses—everything you use on a daily basis. These should be located near the kitchen table or dishwasher (both if possible) for easy serving and clearing. Keep rarely used, fancier, dish ware in less accessible spaces, and everyday dishes easily accessible on the lower shelves or in drawers.
Thirdly, have a Storage Area where all reusable containers, plastic wrap and tin foil can be found, ready for wrapping leftovers.
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Once you start to think of your kitchen in this way, and build it around your habits and specific uses, it’ll take you a fraction of the time to get dinner on the table.
Your Counter is Not a Storage Space.
We all start off with such good intentions, but sometimes and little by little, extra items and foodstuffs make their way onto our work surfaces. And before we know it, what was once a temporary solution becomes permanent. Our once-pristine counter becomes a messy nightmare.
These are the many jars, kitchen utensils, spices and cooking books that often obscure the surface of our kitchens. They belong in well-made, organized kitchen cabinets and drawers, not the counter. Keeping it clear means it can be used as it’s meant to be—for cooking and serving.
So why does this keep happening? Is it because we’re lazy? No, it isn’t. It’s because we don’t think to give proper homes to the items we accumulate in our kitchen. The Cardinal Rule of kitchen organization is that everything needs a home, no matter what it is.
Hopefully this rule, together with a strict No Clutter counter policy will force you to use your cabinets more efficiently. If nothing can sit on the counter, then it will have to be stored away in its cabinet home.
But what to do with those hefty and ubiquitous appliances—the juicers, blenders, mixers, coffee machines, steamers, toasters, microwaves, pressure cookers etc.? Well that’s what appliance garages are for. Appliance garages are a wonderful piece of custom furniture specifically created to keep appliances accessible, plugged in, but conceal them when they are out of use.
Another nifty gadget is the mixer lift, which your back will thank you for. Install this in a floor level cabinet to lift your heavier appliances like mixers from below to counter top level. And when you’re done, simply stow it back below again.
Containers are an Organized Cabinet’s Best Friend.
We’re all too familiar with that post-spring clean feeling—if we haven’t properly organized and compartmentalized what’s left, it soon descends into chaos.
Again, this most often stems from not giving each thing its own home and place to perch. There really is no better way to do this than with containers and labels. Once you’ve gone to the trouble of sorting and clearly labelling your containers, there’s no way you’ll forget where anything goes again.
Organize your food into intuitive groups tailored to your usage and you’ll never waste precious cooking time searching your kitchen for missing items again. Better still, you’ll actually have room to cook.
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Store pulses, beans, rice and other grains in labelled jars. Transparent baskets and bins will help organize snack bars, breads, chips, vegetables and other foodstuffs that would otherwise clutter your counter-top.
You’ll be amazed at how organizing everything into its own labelled container and home will go a long way to creating a blissfully calm and organized kitchen. It’ll look and feel so good, you’ll actually look forward to placing items away in their own proper place when you’re done (we promise!).
Easy Access—Using Pull-Out Shelves and Lazy Susans.
Tired of searching the netherworld at the back of your cabinets for that can of soup or beans? Now you’ve spent all that time organizing your culinary goods, it’d be nice to be able to access them freely, wouldn’t it? Pull-out shelves and Lazy Susans have been created to solve just this problem.
Cabinets with pull-out shelves come in many shapes and sizes depending on your needs, and can be used to store anything—pots and pans, spices, utensils, glasses, vegetables and even trash cans. Simply open the cabinet door, and out the shelves slide for easy access to whatever you require.
The Lazy Susan is a simpler but popular solution for those tricky corner cabinet spaces. Like pull-out drawers, it gives easy access to condiments, jars and other food items, rotating so you don’t have to delve deep into the cabinet’s recesses.
And corner drawers, specially made for your space is another example of Modern furniture that gives you full access to everything in the corner of your kitchen.
Divide up Your Drawers.
Now we’ve got your cabinets organized, let’s take a look at drawers. Often overlooked, they’re actually a source of enormous organizational potential. For one, we don’t need to worry about our food languishing forgotten at the back of them.
But, maybe for this very reason, we often neglect to realize their full storage potential. Usually drawers are the repository of haphazardly placed oven mitts, dishcloths, silverware and all sorts of utensils that just make no organizational sense together.
This is where dowel drawer dividers come in useful. Whatever you’re using your drawers for, divide them up accordingly using dowel dividers to give each item its own home. You’ll never have to rummage aimlessly through your drawers again!
And, if you have deep drawers, you don’t have to use them just for the usual suspects—silverware and utensils. Deep drawers are ideal for dishes, glasses, pots and pans—just make sure they are of sturdy construction and won’t buckle under extra weight.
If they prove strong enough you can go wild—use racks to create varying levels on which to stack them pots, pans, dishes and plates, making the best use of your deep drawer’s ample vertical space.
Use Every Bit of Space You Have for Ultimate Efficiency.
Another often-overlooked piece of kitchen real estate is your cabinet doors. Put them to work by attaching racks, hooks, railings and boxes in which you can store chopping boards, spices, pot lids, foil and plastic wrap dispensers, storage containers, plastic bags, measuring spoons, cleaning bottles…the list really is endless.
And don’t forget your kitchen’s vertical space. Use hooks to hang pots, pans, kitchen utensils, towels, gadgets, and cups.
Hanging may be fun, but try not to over-crowd your kitchen—you don’t want it to look too cluttered. Our aim here is always to make your kitchen the most efficient and organized it can be in the space available.
When it Comes to Custom Furniture, No Space is Too Small or Unusual.
Any cabinet maker worth their salt will always be able to find a practical and aesthetically pleasing solution for unusual spaces and specific storage needs. Never think that a space is too small or too weirdly shaped. Just because you won’t be able to find a cabinet in a store that fits, doesn’t mean it’s an impossible task.
Wall or base fillers, for example, fit storage into a narrow space that most would deem too small. And whether it’s a pull-out ironing board, footstool, paper towel holder or just transforming a redundant space into a useful one, custom cabinets can be fitted with nearly every kind of hardware you can imagine to suit your every need. If you have a vision, don’t give up on it, just ask an expert!
So that’s it—a handful of the organizational nuggets we’ve picked up in our years creating dream kitchens for our customers. We hope this has given you some great ideas on how to organize your cabinets for a better functioning kitchen.
Uniquely Custom Made Furniture
Of course, there’s so much more to reorganizing and having uniquely custom made furniture for your kitchen than can be conveyed in this short blog post.
There’s a lot to think about and consider when designing a kitchen that fits you like a glove. And that’s where we come in.
For three decades, Gil Avivi Ant Man Woodworking & Design has been designing custom cabinets for Toronto based homes and businesses. We’ve helped thousands of people transform their kitchens into a unique expression of their needs and lifestyle.
But no two clients or kitchens are the same. And that’s why we provide our customers with thorough private consultations before creating custom furniture that’s unique to them, their vision, space and existing decor.
We take the time to get to know our customers and what they need from their custom cabinets, crafting unique solutions from scratch in the finest quality, durable hard and softwoods.
No off-the-shelf mass-market cabinet can compete with the unrivalled durability and uniqueness of custom furniture tailored to you and your family.