Updated: Mar 29, 2019
Many of us show others our love through cooking, so it seems appropriate that on Valentine's Day we share our top organizing tips so that you can show your kitchen a little organization L-O-V-E.
And speaking of love in the kitchen, isn't it obvious the love and attention the top chefs show their kitchens? If you've watched Chopped or Iron Chef or Beat Bobby Flay, you've seen Mise En Place in action. Mise En Place is a culinary term for "putting in place" or "everything in its place". For chefs, it means having your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you start cooking. Pans are prepared. Mixing bowls, tools and equipment are set out. It allows the chef to quickly and effortlessly put together a meal.
When organizing a kitchen, the same philosophy applies. Everything should have a clear and defined place. Doing so has many benefits including faster food prep, faster prep for grocery shopping, ability for all members of family to participate in keeping it organized and it can decrease a lot of mealtime stress.
We've organized a wide variety of pantries from tiny cupboards to spacious walk-ins, and the top tips to keep them organized and looking beautiful are the same.
1. Like items together - a rule of thumb for all organizing, but especially important in a pantry, is to group like items together. Place snacks with snacks, pasta with pasta, oils with oils, etc. Putting like with like makes it easier to find the things you're looking for quickly. Putting smaller items in bins allows those items to stay together and make finding them a breeze.
2. Ditch the packaging - packaging takes up a lot of space, so it's most efficient to remove products from the extra packaging before putting into the pantry or refrigerator. Not only is it the most space-efficient, but it also simplifies your cooking or baking.
3. Convert to clear - using clear bins in the pantry allows you to quickly see when stock is low. Keeping dry items like flour, sugar, coffee in air-tight containers also keeps your product fresher longer. And while you will need to make an investment in the containers, it should be a one-time purchase if you plan your pantry out well and you buy high-quality items. You'll find my favorite items here
4. Label like a pro - labeling is important piece of organizing, but in a shared space like the pantry, it's essential. Best to keep category labels broad so you can buy new items and not feel like you need to switch the labels out all the time. Additionally, choose labels that go with your personal style and bring you joy. You can go as simple as handwriting with a sharpie marker to custom labels like I use with my clients shown in this post.
5. Divide it up! - there are many simple solutions to managing the chaos inside a kitchen drawer all based in dividing up the space. Think about how the game of Tetris worked in the 1980s. There are so many options available, that I've rounded up my favorite and you can find them here.