Kitchen Cabinets: Organizing the Chaos

This has always been a problem of mine…my wife and I are making dinner and I go to grab a can or spice or any food for that matter only to realize it is buried behind 15 other things or worse we don’t have it at all. I finally thought it was time to clean out and reorganize our cabinets. Not only has this made life easier when searching for food, but it saves a huge amount of time come grocery shopping each week, instead of rummaging through a pile of cans and bags of half eaten potato chips we now have an excellent system that allows us to know what we have and how much of it we need. If you are in the same boat give these tips a try the next time you go to clean your kitchen, trust me it’s worth the time.

Clean House
In my opinion the first step to organization is to start over from scratch. This meant it was time clean…clean A LOT; we started by removing all our can goods, cereal boxes, pasta, etc., etc. Basically we cleaned house. This is a great time to really get in there and clean out those cabinets and pantry. A mix of warm water and pine-sol really did the trick.  This is also a good time to replace or put down new shelf liner.

Organize and Categorize
I’m sure many of you will can relate, but after shopping in a crowded grocery store listening to the person’s child screaming next to you, the last thing you want to do when you finally get home is to “categorize” your food. But this next tip really helps open up extra space in your cabinets and pantry. Check for expiration dates on all of your food, and toss what is no longer fresh. Group similar products and place them together in your cabinets. You’ll be amazed how much space you have when everything isn’t thrown in every which way.

Make a Move
This next tip pretty much goes hand in hand with the “categorize” tip. Think about your shelf space, now think about the food, canned goods, spices…anything you reach for the most. Use this to create a better layout with said items. Place taller items towards the back of your cabinets and smaller cans or food near the front. Keep frequently used items together and easily accessible. This goes a long way to helping keep track of the things you have, what is running low, and when you need to pick up more on your next shopping trip. 

The biggest struggle in this process is after it is all finished. I really needed to develop a habit of placing items back in the specific grouping. This keeps the shelves looking neat week after week. I generally try to clean out and refresh our cabinets every few months just to make sure things don’t fall back into the mess that they were before. Best of Luck! 

Have you recently gone on a cleaning spree or just want to share some helpful tips? Leave me a comment below or connect with me on Twitter @DiaryofaDIYer