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  • Amanda Arcone

How a Professional Would OrganizeYour Kitchen

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Pantries aren't the only place to store your goods.

Whether your pantry is as big as your walk-in closet or as small as that tall cabinet near your refrigerator, you've likely run into the issue of simply not having enough storage - or of having too much stuff in your kitchen - let's be honest.

Regardless, you know there has to be a better way to keep the heart of your home better organized and maintained, even when the kids or your partner are constantly putting things where they don't belong. The struggle is real but not unsolvable. I have a few ideas for organizing kitchen spaces, and today I'm pulling back the curtain on some of my most effective practices.

Let's start with pantry storage. Let's start with the obvious: The pantry was built to house all your wares, but all that space seems to create more room for clutter. To make the most out of your pantry, large or small, I would start by removing all non-food items. We can find a different home for those things later.

Next, I'd group the remaining items into 5-ish categories, discarding anything that is expired along the way: Hot and cold cereals, canned goods, baking mixes and ingredients, pasta, and dried goods (beans, herbs, etc.).

I would empty all frequently opened packages (cereal, pasta, dried beans, and baking ingredients) into wide-mouth jars or containers (also called decanting). The more cardboard boxes and paper bags you can remove from your pantry, the tidier it will be.

Lastly, I would group all other items "like with like" and place them inside shallow bins or baskets, which is enough to keep them contained without hiding their labels. Using bins also creates cleaner lines inside your pantry that are easier on your eyes.

Did you know that storage can be stylish? If you have space in your kitchen for open shelves or an attractive countertop spice rack, there are easy ways to use your space better. If space is limited in a pantry, I would take some time to focus on these outside-the-box storage solutions.

Open shelves are great places to store recipe books alongside framed photos of your grandma cooking all those years ago, and they can also be an excellent place to hang any dried herbs. Spice racks, recipe book holders, fruit baskets, countertops, or wall-hung wine storage are attractive and functional. Why not use them? My old house has limited cabinetry, and I've learned to embrace open storage. I have fun changing things out to accommodate the season of cooking.

Remember: You don't necessarily want your kitchen countertops to be completely bare. They should be styled tastefully with items that you actually use.

Dining room storage. If your home boasts a dining area, you might benefit from adding or repurposing a narrow console cabinet. This is a brilliant place to store table linens, baby bibs, disposable tableware and napkins, and anything else that just isn't a good fit for your pantry.

When I have a client who loves their daily glass of wine (or two), I'll often source wine glass and wine bottle storage that can be placed inside or on top of the console for easy access. Plus, it just looks nice!

Lastly, here are a couple of tips for you.

Avoid layering your pantry more than two jars deep. Trust me when I say that it's easy to forget what is hiding back there. Alternatively, you could use risers to ensure the items in the back are still seen and used. I employ this trick often when working in spaces with spacious shelves.

Your KitchenAid mixer is a beast, and you might find that it isn't practical to constantly hide it in a cabinet somewhere (hey, those mixers are heavy!). Unless you have an appliance garage, try using a tailored pull-over cover. Check with the brand of your mixer to see if they offer this.

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