How Kitchen Organization Can Boost Your Bottom Line (And How To Do It)

organizing the kitchen with containers
Photo Credit: Depositphotos

Searching for a way to improve your health, boost your budget, and decrease stress levels? Here’s why kitchen organization may be the key to doing just that. 

If you are like most Americans, you’ve likely noticed your grocery budget has had to stretch more lately. You aren’t imagining it—according to the consumer price index, groceries cost, on average, 6.5% higher than the previous year.  

With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to utilize every tool to combat rising food costs. With its other benefits, you’ll see why a streamlined and orderly kitchen should be at the top of your to-do list this year. 

The Importance of Kitchen Organization

an organized kitchen
Dream kitchen makeover | Photo Credit: Ben Vandenberghen

First and foremost, a well-organized kitchen can save you money and help you easily stick to your budget plan

How? Knowing exactly which ingredients you have allows you to plan meals accordingly and avoid buying duplicates or unnecessary items. A tidy fridge and organized pantry can also prevent food waste and spoilage, ultimately saving more money. It is better for you and the planet, too.

Savings aside, a clutter-free kitchen can also assist with time management. Everything in its designated place lets you quickly grab what you need without wasting precious minutes digging through cluttered cabinets or drawers.

But the benefits of kitchen organization go beyond just financial and time savings. A tidy and well-organized kitchen can also create a peaceful environment, reducing stress and promoting a sense of calmness while cooking. 

The kitchen is the heart of the home for a reason, and having a harmonious space can positively impact your overall well-being and that of your family.

How To Organize Your Kitchen

Now that I’ve covered the why let’s dive into the how. After designing and renovating six kitchens over the last decade, including a galley kitchen remodel, I’ve learned plenty of organization ideas to make the most of any space. 

Here are some practical tips and tricks to help quickly get any kitchen in tip-top shape: 

1. Set Aside a Day Devoted to Kitchen Organization 

an ikea kitchen in white
Photo Credit: Rachael Turner

Organizing a kitchen can certainly be a daunting task. Rather than work on the project a few minutes per day, I have found it best to dedicate time to tackle everything at once. 

Depending on the size of your kitchen and the level of disorganization, this could take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day or even a weekend.

2. Clear Off Your Counters

kitchen island hack
Just 4 things to DIY this kitchen island | Photo Credit: @yatt_azml 

Before organizing anything, start with a clean slate by removing all items from your countertops. This also includes your kitchen island and potentially even your kitchen table if you have one for extra workspace.  

You’ll utilize the counter space for decluttering and organizing, so having it cleared off and ready to go is essential. 

3. Declutter Cabinets and Drawers

kitchen organization using a pantry system
Pantry Closet Hack | Photo Credit: @homeandkind

Next, go through your kitchen cabinets and drawers and declutter ruthlessly. 

The most effective way is to empty every item into the open. Create zones on your counter to group like items together – have one space for all your cookware and another for utensils, serving dishes, cups, etc.

I have also found it helpful to corral small items in a bin or basket to help keep everything visible during the process.

Once you see all your like items grouped, it is easy to find duplicates that are not needed. If you haven’t used something in the last year or have multiple versions of it, take the opportunity to donate or toss it.

This will create more space in your kitchen and make finding and accessing the items you use frequently easier. 

Give your empty cabinet and drawers a thorough cleaning as well! Remember to wipe down your cabinet doors, too. 

4. Evaluate Storage Needs

kitchen organization with baskets and jars
Ideas to organize your pantry | Photo Credit: @homganize

After decluttering, look at your remaining items and assess your storage needs. Do you need additional shelving, organizers, or containers? 

For example, if your kitchen lacks food storage, consider adding a DIY pantry to your space or additional shelving to your existing cabinetry. 

I also recommend utilizing vertical space. By adding shelves or hanging racks, you can use this unused area to store items like pots and pans, baking sheets, and even small appliances.

Other kitchen storage ideas could include:

You can purchase items online, pop into a store like the Container Store, or repurpose and reuse items around your house.

5. Replace Items Utilizing the Zone Method

display cooking utensils
Cooking Utensils in a Frame | Photo Credit: Michelle

We all dream of that pristine, clutter-free space where every spice jar and cooking utensil has its dedicated spot. Imagine stepping into your kitchen, reaching without looking, and picking up exactly what you need without rummaging through piles or opening multiple cabinets! 

This is the step that will get you to that ideal. Rather than just place your items back where they were, now is the time to get strategic and make changes that add function to your space. 

The goal is to make life easier and avoid wasting time and food. After years of trial and error, I have found the best way to do just that is to divide your kitchen into zones that make sense for your family. 

Here is an example of what this has looked like for my kitchen:

  1. Cooking – this zone includes the cabinetry and drawers immediately around the stove. I store frequently used items like pots, pans, cooking utensils, oils, and spices here.  
  2. Prepping – this zone includes the cabinetry and drawers around my sink. I store cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls, zesters, peelers, and other prep tools here. This is also the area where I keep food storage containers. 
  3. Baking – this zone stores all baking supplies like flour, sugar, baking sheets, measuring cups, and a stand mixer.
  4. Serving – this area includes platters, utensils, cloth napkins, and any seasonal items I want to use for events. 
  5. Cleaning – I use a lazy Susan underneath my sink to keep cleaning supplies like stainless steel cleaner or disinfecting spray within reach. I also keep paper towels, microfiber cloths, and extra sponges here.

The zones you need depend highly on each family and what you make in your kitchen. It is easiest to keep my kitchen tidy when we have even more specific zones, so we also have a dedicated zone for coffee, tea, and smoothies. 

Separating items into designated zones makes finding what you need while cooking or entertaining easier. Plus, it allows you to have what you need for a task within arms reach rather than wasting time and energy.

For example, a smoothie zone can hold a blender, protein powder, peanut butter, cups, and straws so that everything needed for a quick smoothie is easily accessible. On the other hand, a coffee station can host mugs, coffee, sweeteners or syrups, and anything else you need to make the perfect cup of java. 

Take the time to think about what will work best for your family, and plan accordingly. This is also a great opportunity to loop in other family members and let them voice their thoughts. 

6. Tackle Your Fridge and Pantry

integrated fridge panel with IKEA
Integrated fridge panel hack | Photo Credit: Spencer Guy

Now that your cabinets are in order, don’t forget to tackle your refrigerator and pantry. 

For the fridge, start by emptying everything. Again, group like-items together on your counter, such as condiments, vegetables, and dairy. You’ll likely find that you have multiple items that can be combined or discarded. 

Make sure to take note of expiration dates. Anything that is no longer good can be thrown away, while anything nearing expiration should be placed in a more prominent spot in the fridge to be used soon.

Before you replace items in the fridge, wipe down the shelves and drawers. Then, return the items using the zone method once again. For example, you can utilize plastic bins to group together sliced cheese, deli meat, mayo, mustard, and pickles. The next time you crave a sandwich, simply pull out the bin! 

Repeat the above for your freezer as well.

For the pantry, follow the same steps. Remove everything and group items together on your counter. This is also a great time to check expiration dates and declutter unused or expired items. 

Wipe your shelves down and place the items back into the pantry. I recommend using storage containers and bins to combine like items and maximize function. 

7. Stay Consistent

Now that your kitchen is organized, it’s essential to maintain it consistently. Take a few minutes daily to return items to their designated zones and quickly wipe down counters and surfaces. 

Also, regularly reassess your storage needs and declutter as needed. By staying consistent, you can prevent your kitchen from becoming disorganized and save yourself time and money in the long run. 

Once you finish this project and discover all the benefits of kitchen organization, you may find yourself ready to organize every room in your home. Take that first step towards a more functional, peaceful kitchen today. Your future self with thank you!

See more IKEA kitchen hacks, organization ideas, and tips.

This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks