Sanctuary

Organizing Your Kitchen to Reduce Stress

February 20, 2019

We’ve covered the pantry organization and how to organize your refrigerator, and now it’s time to look at what is on your counter tops, in your cabinets, and drawers! The kitchen is the most used room in most homes. It’s where things get dropped off when you come in the house, where the family gathers, and the center for nourishment. A lot of things move in and out of this space. It has been my experience that more comes in and tries to stay! Now that I have the room organized as I like it, I attempt to keep it up by regularly doing a quick wipe out of drawers and getting rid of things that don’t have lids to match them or may be chipped or broken. This way, hopefully I’ll never have to do the major overhaul again that filled my garage with unused, broken things.

Here is how I organize my kitchen. I think of all areas in terms of zones. I’ve added a shopping guide at the bottom of the post with clickable links for most of the items you will see in the photos.

By the main sink and dishwasher are glasses, silverware, chip clips, foil, and ziplock bags, rags and dish towels, and to go containers for lunches.

Dishes and smaller serving trays are in a cabinet just around the corner from the silverware and close to the kitchen table. This keeps everything in close proximity to the main kitchen sink and dishwasher.

We color code our lunch containers so that we always know who will take what container. Each person in the house has a color that they always use. This prevents my teenagers from swiping the containers, not bringing them back, and leaving someone else without a container!

Next to the kitchen sink area is the enclosed microwave, blender, toaster cabinet with opening and closing doors. We also keep a bread box there for one loaf that isn’t stored in the refrigerator. Above this area we store protein powders and rehydration packets. Just below this cabinet is a drawer that contains all of our snacks divided by clear plastic containers so snacks can be organized in this area by type. We keep some backup supplies for regularly used snacks in the pantry. This way the snacks are organized, handy, and easy to grab to go.

The next drawer is reserved for chips, crackers, and nut mixes. Any larger bags used for snacks are kept in here. There are two containers inside that help keep things separated and organized. I always keep a couple chip clips in here too just to have available for when a bag of chips is opened.

We have a large kitchen island that was constructed of a chopping block for food prep. It also contains a prep sink. The drawers in this area are all stocked with prep tools such as knives, trivets for really hot pots, cheese boards, graters, citrus juicer, graters, etc. In the lower drawer, we keep colanders. I have several sizes and my favorite are the ones I have for berries with a detachable bottom for draining. We regularly use these to wash and keep fresh berries in the refrigerator.

In the cooking zone near the oven we keep all utensils usually used for cooking. It is also in close proximity to the prep area so the utensils here can be easily accessed for prep. The upper cabinets contain oils, spices, vinegar, baking soda, powder, etc. on tiered trays to make it easy to see everything. We also keep a fire extinguisher right next to the stove in case of a cooking fire.

The baking counter is a lower height for rolling out dough and other baking prep work. Underneath the counter are all measuring tools, rolling pin, glass prep dishes, and mixing bowls. In the cabinet underneath is a pullout shelf that holds the cuisinart and the Kitchen Aid mixer. It works magically!

We have two beverage stations, one inside the pantry with alcohol and the regularly used coffee station. I make sure to keep everything needed for making coffee and cocktails here. In the cabinet are shakers and glasses for drinks as well as coffee mugs for coffee. The drawers around this area have teaspoons for making drinks. Also in this area are the dining room table supplies like napkins rings and place cards.

In the other beverage station with the built in espresso machine (that we never use anymore) there is tea and tea cups, pots, stir sticks and sweetener. We definitely do not need both areas but since we have them, have organized them to be efficient. Below this area are all of our linens and daily placemats for eating at the kitchen table.

Cookbooks are kept in a little desk nook. There is also a drawer here with notepads to keep a running list of needed groceries.

The counters contain minimal items. I like the look of a clean kitchen with just a candle and a plant on the counter. It feels more relaxing and inviting to have less stuff near the prep spaces. I do keep a tiered fruit stand that I keep bananas, potatoes, avocados, and tomatoes on. I found a beautiful lazy suzan that matches our counters, made out of marble, that I set near the stovetop. We keep oils, salts, and my pretty butter dish on it. It keeps all of the most used seasonings and oils within reach.

And that’s how we set up our kitchen for efficiency! If you have any questions please message me. The more organized you get, the better you will feel and you will be more efficient. I certainly am far less anxious because I know where everything is!

Kitchen Organization Shopping Guide

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I'm a people pleasing filmmaker turned dream-inspirer life coach, that used my personal hardships in life to grow my ability in empowering women around the world to create practices that promote healthy living and a freedom lifestyle. 

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