Ready for a little reorganization after the holidays? We’ve got storage ideas for your kitchen cabinets, pantry, shelves and drawers. Special thanks to Southern California resident Marilyn Conlan, who graciously opened her home for some real-world photos of a well-kept kitchen. She shared not only her remodeling and organizing experience but also decades of stories about family gatherings and high-energy group cooking she continues to host in this space.
See above how to group like items such as trays, cutting boards and party platters together. Consider using open divider walls, so you can grab what you need from both sides, which is helpful for maneuvering in and out.
Consider storing kitchen pots and pans in deep drawers rather than shelves. Even when they are on rollers, shelves lack walls to contain items such as lids, which can slide around and land on the floor.
Store plastic or glass storage containers in drawers, stacked and sorted so they are easy to find and use.
Categorize like food and other items together so they are easy to find and grab in a hurry.
Save your out-of-the way cabinets or pantry shelves for bulky seasonal or other items you use less frequently.
Consider grouping like items such as vases or seasonal items in random-sized or out-of-the-way cabinets that don’t make sense for standard kitchen items such as place settings.
When remodeling, don’t let contractors or tradition make you shy away from a longer, counter-to-ceiling kitchen cabinet or two if you need storage more than prep surface space. In this case, some family members also have trouble reaching higher shelves.
When you remodel, remember to keep in mind what your space will be like if all of the oven, cabinet, dishwasher and refrigerator doors are open. Someone else may need to get by while you’re working.
Finally, just as organizing can make your kitchen more pleasant and efficient for cooking or socializing, personalizing your space with unique items such as this stained glass made by Marilyn’s husband can also help you enjoy your time in your kitchen. Bon appétit!
by Ann Griffith