setting up a functional kitchen

setting up a functional kitchenThe kitchen is the heart of the home. Family and friends gravitate to this room where conversation is warm and appetites are satisfied (hopefully). It doesn’t matter if your kitchen is large or small, it’s about utilizing your space efficiently and minimizing excess. With a little creativity and patience, you can set up a kitchen that functions well and motivates you to cook. By setting up stations to create a smooth work flow, your kitchen can function and perform at its best. Believe us when we say, this could take several rearrangements! We are sharing some ideas that have worked for us, so take a peek and tailor your kitchen stations to meet your needs. The time you invest in this project is definitely worth it and you may find that your heart of the home is exactly where you want everyone to be! Make sure you have your donate box handy for this project!

Tip 1
Start with one drawer or cabinet at a time. Pull everything out and use counter top and/or table top to sort like items, ie: cooking tools, serving utensils, storage items, serving trays, etc. Go through all items and make sure you donate those items that you have not used or have duplicates of. We know that in some cases you do need some duplicates, but be realistic.

Tip 2
Clean each space with green cleaner before placing items back in.

Tip 3
Ask yourself with each item if it is functional and do I use it regularly. If not, donate it!

Tip 4
Place pots and pans convenient to the stove for easy access.

Tip 5
Organize plates and glasses near the dishwasher making unloading easier.

Tip 6
Set up coffee, tea, cups and saucers near your coffee pot or electric tea kettle.

Tip 7
Group all baking supplies together and place close to where you do your baking.

Tip 8
Go through your spices and make sure none have expired. Place in clear jars with labels and pencil the expiration date on the label. Store all of your spices near the stove where you use them most. However, make sure they are not in an area that will get over-heated (like above the stove) as it shortens the life of the spice!

Tip 9
Don’t keep every appliance you own on the counter as this reduces your work space. Appliances that you use less frequently can be placed in the cabinet below or above where you use them for easy access.

Tip 10
Large pots, crock pots and other items used less frequently can find a home in a less accessible place like above the stove or refrigerator.

Tip 11
Create a prep area. Think about how you use your kitchen and where you stand to bake, make lunches, and prep dinner. Then set up your work area to be efficient so that you are no going back and forth within the kitchen.

Tip 12
Hang pots if possible. This creates alot of extra room in the drawers and cabinets.

Tip 13
Utilize wall space with magnetic strips for knives and spices. Take advantage of the end of your counters or islands by hanging a towel rack. This can also be used with “S” hooks to hang long kitchen utensils that do not fit in a drawer.

Tip 14
Keep kitchen towels near the sink and hot pads near the oven for quick access.

Tip 15
Use Lazy Susans in your cabinets, pantry and refrigerator for quick access to items.

Tip 16
Find a convenient spot for recipe books and use them! Each time you try a new recipe, note on the page if it is a remake or toss out. We use smiley and frowney faces.

Tip 17
Corral kitchen tools and place in vintage crocks or other treasured pieces and keep on the counter for easy access when cooking.

Here are some ideas from our kitchens…

setting up a functional kitchen

keep cloth napkins and placemats together

stacking bowls and cups saves space

stacking bowls and cups saves space

hanging pots saves cabinet space

hanging pots saves cabinet space

store small gadgets together

store small appliances together

easy access with lazy susans

easy access with lazy susans

Stay tuned for our pantry makeover!

Cheers,

Liz & Kari

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