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NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Kitchens - Tips And Tricks

Organizing Your Kitchen

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.


  • set up a "station" for each of the five basic kitchen activities
  • keep your equipment nearest the appropriate center
  • making it easier for you to perform kitchen duties
  • cleaning (sink, dishwasher, trashcan, soap, rags, sponges, etc.)
  • cooking (stove, pots, pans, microwave, toaster, etc.)
  • food prep (countertop, mixing bowls, blender, measuring cups, etc.)
  • food storage (refrigerator, Tupperware, canned foods, etc.)
  • serving (dishes, linens, candles, flatware, glasses, etc.)


  • pay attention to your movement from one center to the next
  • you should be able to reach major appliances in only a few steps
  • set up your kitchen as a triangle
  • moving from stove to sink to refrigerator
  • keep these paths clear of obstacles (trash cans, dog dish, etc.)


  • remember that even non-perishable foods go bad
  • go through your cabinets and clean out
  • get rid of anything rancid, old, stale, or hairy
  • follow some basic guidelines about how long food stays edible
  • canned foods (2-5 years)
  • cereal (6 months)
  • pasta (1 year)
  • spices (6-12 months)
  • flours (3-6 months)
  • grains and legumes (1 year)
  • dried herbs (6 months)
  • condiments (1 year)


  • ask some questions that influence the design of your kitchen
  • how often do you shop for groceries?
  • do you buy in bulk?
  • what do you normally buy (more boxed, frozen, fresh, etc.)?
  • do you eat in the kitchen or in the dining room?
  • is the kitchen a social and family center?
  • do you have need of a computer in the kitchen?
  • do you want a TV or CD player in the kitchen?
  • how many meals a day do you cook?
  • how many people do you cook for?
  • do you do much large-scale entertaining?
  • do you prepare many elaborate or complicated meals?
  • do you bake often?
  • do you want a "pass-through" to the dining room?
  • what items do you use most frequently in your kitchen?
  • how many recipe books do you have?
  • how often do you use your recipe books?
  • do you have any physical limitations?
  • are you tall or short (determines high and low storage)?


  • limit yourself to one category of paraphernalia per area
  • ex: glasses on one shelf, dishes on another, appliances separate
  • avoid storing food and cookware together in the same cabinet
  • group your foods together in categories for easy access
  • ex: canned vegetables, baking goods, breakfast foods
  • alphabetize spices in a rack to make them easier to locate
  • keep small packets (gravy, Jell-O, sauces) together in a basket
  • ex: canned vegetables, baking goods, breakfast foods


  • storage tools can do wonders with your current spaces
  • stepped shelving makes use of the back space in a deep cabinet
  • drawer dividers keep utensils under control
  • rectangular storage containers take less space than round ones
  • choose containers that stack
  • line up pot lids and flat cookware in a vertical rack
  • use overhead bins, cup hooks, and racks for hanging storage
  • use pullout racks and stacking bins to make use of dead space
  • save your counters for items you use daily


Copyright Ramona Creel, all rights reserved-- you are welcome to reprint any article, but you MUST include this resource box.

Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity -- traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities -- clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you've always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona -- read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order -- at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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