Clever kitchen organisation can change your life. It can give you an extra 5 minutes in bed every morning and make cooking a breeze. An organised kitchen, that allows you to ‘flow’ through your chores is joyous and, quite frankly, a godsend in a smaller space.
So where to start?
Well, it’s crucial when organising any space, to think about how you use it, so we suggest starting with your ‘tea triangle’.
Clever Kitchen Organisation Tips
The Tea Triangle
The ‘tea triangle’ is the space between your kettle (or hot tap), fridge and sink. In order to optimise your kitchen layout, this ‘triangle’ should be as small as possible. Think about how often you make a cup of tea (or coffee). If your caffeine habit is anything like ours, it will be at least 5 times a day, probably more. Ideally, your kitchen layout should allow you to make a cuppa without moving from one spot. This means positioning your kettle (and/or coffee machine) as close as possible to the sink and fridge (assuming that you take milk). It also makes sense to have your bin in this area, along with your tea, coffee, sugar, and mugs.
If you’re choosing a new kitchen or redesigning an existing one, consider installing more drawers. Drawers work better than cupboards underneath counters because you can easily access everything and keep the contents more organised.
Having the same size (depth) drawers around your kitchen looks neater. For example, medium, medium, large from top to bottom all the way around looks better than mismatched drawer depths.
Likewise, drawer inserts keep things tidy and prevent them from moving about. You probably already have a cutlery drawer insert, but how about utensils, spices or pan lids? An acrylic or metal letter rack can help keep chopping boards upright and tidy in a deep kitchen drawer.
Plan for the inevitable ‘messy drawer’ for storing items such as takeaway menus, elastic bands, plasters and pens, which would otherwise end up cluttering your kitchen counter.
Above countertops, cupboards tend to work better. If you (or your partner) are short, drawers in upper cupboards aren’t especially useful (since you won’t be able to see or reach inside them).
While at first thought, glass-fronted cupboards might seem useful in terms of being able to see where items belong, be aware that they will need constant cleaning. It also means trying to keep your cupboard contents neat and tidy, rather than just your kitchen countertops.
If you’re having new cupboards installed, make sure that they go all the way to the ceiling. This not only looks better and provides more storage space for less-used items, it also stops hard-to-clean dust from gathering on top. Consider a tall cupboard or two for storing things like a mop, broom or vacuum cleaner.
Inside cupboards and pull-out drawers, use clear, uniform containers to easily organise dry goods. Decant packets where possible into labelled air-tight jars and tubs.
In the fridge, use open containers like these, which act like mini drawers and prevent foodstuffs from getting hidden away at the back and forgotten. This will save you money since you’re less likely to waste leftover food by forgetting about it.
Think carefully about kitchen lighting. Lights in drawers and under cupboards are useful and look good. In contrast, lights around kickboards and plinths serve no purpose and risk looking tacky.
If you have a dishwasher, consider where to locate it in relation to your dishes, mugs and glasses so that you can unload the most common items without moving around too much. This dramatically speeds up the process and increases your morning lie-in.
Think about investing in cookware with removable handles, since this makes pots and pans much easier to stack in a dishwasher (and will also nest inside each other in a drawer).
If you can fit one, a waste disposal system is great for getting rid of all your food waste, vegetable peelings etc. which otherwise start to rot in your bin, making the kitchen smell.
With this in mind, place your bin inside a cupboard to reduce any unwanted aromas. Consider installing a kick-operated sliding bin for easy access. And remember to place it near your kettle (or hot tap) to easily dispose of used teabags.
Additional thoughts on kitchen organisation and design
- You can never have too much surface space. Make sure you have ample, particularly on either side of your hob.
- Put plug sockets everywhere you plan to use appliances, plus a few extras.
- Avoid too many appliances on worktops. Choose smaller ones where possible, that you can easily reach down from a cupboard when you need them
- Install your microwave in a well-ventilated cupboard
- Modern induction hobs are far easier to clean than gas hobs (and just as responsive)
- Kitchen islands aren’t always the best choice for your space. Consider whether you’re likely to have to walk around it a lot. Perhaps a bar could work better (see below)?
- Think twice about having a wooden worktop. Wood looks beautiful but will require regular maintenance. It can easily get scratched, heat marked and food-stained.
More home organisation tips
- Declutter and streamline your wardrobe
- Why decluttering can make you happier and healthier
- How to organise your hallway
- How to organise your home office