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Get organized: Create a clutter-free kitchen

Even in Atlanta where I call home, this winter has been unusually cold and dreary. The days are getting warmer and the grass greener, which means it’s time for spring!  Baseball, bike rides, long walks, and yes, even spring cleaning.
In our “Get organized!” series, we’ll share tips on how to reduce clutter in some of the most high-traffic rooms in your home, beginning with the heart of the home — the kitchen.
A recent weekend evening had me in the kitchen churning out hamburgers for the kids, and filet mignon, potatoes in gorgonzola sauce and fresh roasted baby carrots for a few adult friends.  I enjoy cooking for family and friends and do so often, so to avoid chaos in the kitchen, I organize!  An organized kitchen makes meal prep, cooking and cleanup easier. Here are some tips for organizing any size kitchen.

  • Make frequency your friend. Visit each zone and arrange tools by how often you use them. Put everyday dishes on easy-to-reach lower shelves. Use higher shelves for pieces you don’t use as often, like dishes for entertaining or holidays.

  • Free up space. Creating counter space for prepping and cooking is the first step. Mount a holder under the cabinet for paper towels or store spices in a wall-mounted spice rack. Kitchen carts are a great option for storing cookbooks and baking tools, and they can double as counter space in smaller kitchens. Wheeled carts are even better for transferring heavy dishes from the kitchen to the dining room, and they can be repositioned when it’s time for entertaining.

  • Get in the zone. Assign tasks to specific areas of the kitchen — prepping, cooking, cleanup, etc. — and store dishes and utensils accordingly. Pots and pans go as close to the range as possible. Put cutlery and dishes near the dishwasher. Knives and cutting boards go near the prep area. You get the idea. 

  • Maximize storage. I’m a believer that there’s no such thing as too much kitchen storage. Be creative to get the most mileage out of kitchen cabinets. Alternate stemware stem up and stem down, rearrange cabinet shelves to accommodate larger dishes or wrangle utensils with inexpensive drawer organizers. Mount towel bars on the inside of cabinet doors to organize lids for pots and pans, or attach magazine files for small items like plastic wrap or aluminum foil. If you’re lucky enough to have open wall space, turn it into storage with built-ins or freestanding options like buffets and bookcases. 

Have you recently reorganized your kitchen? What tips would you share?
Next up: The kids’ room.
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