How to organize your kitchen

Hello everyone! Today I want to offer you some tips on organizing your kitchen for better efficiency of use.

When you moved into your current home and started unpacking, how much thought did you really put into the placement of your small kitchen appliances, dinnerware, flatware, cups, etc.? The truth is that strategic storage of kitchen items can add up to HOURS of time saved in food preparation and cleanup.

Let’s start today with storage near the dishwasher. (By the way, don’t you love it when you hear a man laugh and point to his wife and say “there’s my dishwasher …”?)

When unloading clean stuff from the dishwasher, I like to follow what I call the “one-reach rule.” The items that get used the most (in my case, cups, glasses and flatware) go in the cabinets that are only one reach away from the dishwasher.

Exhibit A: When I unload the glasses (cups and mugs are in the cabinet to the right), I literally only have to exercise one movement to get them from the dishwasher to their home.

Exhibit B: My flatware is located in a drawer in the center island. Again, it is only one reach away from the dishwasher. Bonus tip: Keep dirty spoons, forks and knives together in their respective dishwasher compartments. Then you can just grab the whole bunch at once and put them away.

I keep my dishcloths and towels in the drawers to the right of the sink (yes, I realize this is not rocket science).

Dishes go in cabinets near the dishwasher and sink.

With regard to small kitchen appliances, I display very few on my counter tops.

This space in my center island works perfectly for keeping the others out of sight. There is an outlet on the island, so I can just set these appliances on the counter top above and plug them in. When I’m done using them, I can swing around – following the “one-reach rule” – and clean them at the sink, then immediately put them away.

Pots and pans go in the cabinet closest to the range and oven.

Potholders also get stored next to the range and oven.

Well, that pretty much wraps up today’s mini lesson on kitchen organization. There is a lot more we can cover regarding this topic, so I’ll be cooking up (sorry, I couldn’t resist) some more great ideas for future posts.

In the meantime, check out this grocery list I created.

As soon as we realize we’re out of something, we jot it down on the list. I keep about 10 copies attached to the fridge. Any time I go to the grocery store, I take the top list with me. THIS WORKS SO WELL FOR OUR FAMILY! We rarely run out of something we need. The categories are organized according to our local supermarket’s aisles.

Click the link below to download a FREE copy of my list.

By the way, I need to give a big shout out to the sweet and talented Rhoda from Southern Hospitality. Her photography tutorial is helping me improve my photos immensely. Thank you Rhoda!

Ciao for now.

I’m linking this up to Jen’s Top Kitchen Tips.


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11 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for the shout-out! Nice to meet you & I look forward to seeing you at Haven, I hope.

  2. Sharon Hines says:

    Great post, Susan! I love your grocery list and have been needing to do this for a while. No need to reinvent the wheel…I’ll just borrow yours. Thanks for sharing!

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  3. sandi says:

    funny how we all have our *way* of doing things. our dishwasher is in an awkward place ~ to the left of the sink at the beginning of a corner leading to other cabinets. it’s hard to reach the cabinet above the dishwasher with it open… i have my pantry items used frequently for cooking (spices, flour, sugar etc) in that cabinet since it is close to the stovetop. the glasses are next to the fridge and the plates and flatware are in cabinets next to the table. it is more of a hassle when unloading but more convenient for setting the table. i keep my dishtowels and rags under the sink, along with trashbags, home made counter cleaner and dishwashing detergent. i use shaklee products also, but our youngest used to taste test cleaning supplies so they are now in the closet with the vaccuum on a high shelf. your cabinets are pretty. i am enjoying being new to your blog and looking over your archives…

    • Susan says:

      It sounds like you’ve got a system that works for you. Thanks for stopping by Living Rich on Less. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

  4. April says:

    O love your dishes. Where did you find them?

  5. April says:

    Ah. I have 6 young kids. And the reason I’m in the market for new dishes is because they have systematically broken most of my existing collection. I’ll put those in the someday pile. Thanks 🙂

  6. April says:

    But just for future someday reference, does food get stuck in the pattern pretty easily? Are they hard to clean?

    • Susan says:

      I don’t have too much of a problem with that. But because the pattern is raised, sometimes the little circles around the edges wear off. Man are they pretty, though! I’m thinking about maybe hanging a few in my dining room just for show.

  7. Angela says:

    Love that flatware organizer, do you remember where you got it/the brand?

    • Susan says:

      I love it too because it is actually screwed to the drawer (so no shifting around). Unfortunately, it was left in our house by the previous owners so I didn’t actually purchase it. Hmmm. I might try Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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