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Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Clean and Organized

The kitchen can be one of the most intimidating areas in your home. A mess of cooking implements combined with a mess from cooking means that it can be, well, a mess. You can do better. Follow these tips to make it easier to keep your kitchen clean and organized on a regular basis.

Organize before you start cooking

When you’re about to start cooking, know what you’re going to make. Get everything out and ready ahead of time. If you wait to find what you need until later, you’ll be too busy juggling the cooking to make sure that things go exactly where they need to be. Take the time at the start and you’ll make less of a mess.

Have a place for everything

This isn’t about having the space for everything. This is having specific places set aside for everything. The silverware always goes in the same drawer, the spices go here and anything else. This saves you from having to figure out where to put something. Go through and make sure everything has a place and it’ll make organization so much easier for you.

Clean as you go

If there’s some downtime while cooking, wipe down the counter instead of just waiting. Start to soak the dishes in the sink right after you finish eating. Letting things sit and accumulate will just make a bigger mess for you to clean later. Take the time to clean as you go and it’ll save you some real trouble later on.

Plan for bigger cleaning jobs

Some jobs are too big to do while waiting for dinner to cook, so make plans to do those later. Write down a date on your calendar and stick to it. You’ll do a deep clean of the kitchen on this day in the future, so you don’t have to worry about the bigger jobs until then. This helps you actually do those jobs at that time. It also frees you to focus on the little jobs when you have the time since you’re not preoccupied with when the big things are going to get done.

Declutter (especially plastic containers)

We all have that drawer or cabinet full of things that fall out when we open it. Usually, it’s Tupperware or plastic take-out containers. Before you try to organize those, get rid of a lot of them. You don’t need nearly as many as you probably have, so get it down to a manageable number before you start to organize them.

Clean out the fridge and any other smells

Cleaning isn’t just about looking good. Bad smells can make a clean looking place feel like a mess. The fridge is the main offender here, while the garbage can comes in a close second. Get rid of old, rotting food that’s causing smells and the kitchen will start to feel a lot cleaner.

Keep your most used things at eye level

What do you use the most? Pots, pans, types of food, or whatever else you use all the time should be kept near eye level. This way, you don’t have to keep kneeling down or getting on your tiptoes to find what you’re looking for nearly as much.

Shelf risers can nearly double shelf space

If your problem is not enough shelf space, shelf risers will help a lot. They don’t quite double your shelf space, but they’ll add quite a bit where you have smaller items.

Create work zones for different tasks

This helps you stay organized and prevents cross-contamination. Always use the same space for chopping vegetables, while a different space is for cutting meat and so on. This may require a lot of space, but it helps keep you from making a big mess if you can manage it.

Organize by what type of cooking you’ll be doing

Rather than putting all pots and pans together with all dishes in a different place, try organizing by type of cooking. All baking items go here, while all grilling items go there and so on. This means you don’t have to look in quite as many places when you’re trying to find what you need to get ready.

Don’t hide food

Out of sight is usually out of mind. If you have food items that you can’t easily see, they’re likely to be forgotten. Make sure anything you want to use is easily visible. Everything else should probably go.

What are your best tips for keeping your kitchen clean and organized? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author
Steffi Cook

Steffi Cook is the head of content for Rentals.com. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her on the tennis court, hiking in the mountains or trying a new restaurant.