3 Tips for Creating a Useful Kitchen
Stop defaulting to the junk drawer.
The kitchen is arguably one of the most—if not the most—important rooms in the house. (Especially if you come from an Italian family like me.) Food is what brings people together, and being that food is located in the kitchen, it’s natural for people to congregate in the space. The intoxicating aroma of whatever’s cooking permeates the air as family and friends chitchat over the island counter. Drinks are poured, laughs are shared, and food is served. You might be thinking, what’s not to love about a kitchen?
Well, there’s such thing as a bad kitchen. To a houseguest, your kitchen may seem fine and normal. But once someone starts to prepare a meal or reaches for a coffee mug for the fresh brew, bad kitchens show their true colors. No matter how long you’ve lived in your home, you can tell your kitchen needs some recon if you constantly find yourself opening the wrong drawers or cabinets to find the utensils you need. You berate yourself for making the same mistake time and again, but it’s not really your fault. You’ve just got a bad kitchen.
Luckily, you can make your bad kitchen a good, useful one with some easy changes that don’t even require remodeling. Some remedies, if you really want to get your kitchen on track, do call for some slight reconstruction, but it’s all for the greater good of your home value (that’s what you can tell your husband). Here are a few of the things you can do to your kitchen to squeeze out the most usefulness and diminish stressfulness during meal-making.
Keep it together
The Issue: It sounds like a no-brainer, but when you remember how miserable unpacking was when you moved into your home, you might also recall shoving things into random drawers just to get the task over with. Sound like you? Then maybe you’re someone who’s been jolting from one end of the counter to the other just to get all the things you need for a cup of tea.
The Fix: When organizing your utensils, spices, plates, and ingredients, think to keep all related items in the same area. For example, your mugs and teapots are in one cabinet, while the spoons, sugar, and teas are in a drawer directly below.
The Issue: Maybe you’re in a rental or you haven’t had time to update the kitchen in your new house. The cabinet space is moderate at best, and you find yourself cursing out the pots and pans every time they crash out of the Pandora’s box of a cabinet. You truly never know what is going to jump out at you from there.
The Fix: So you don’t have the budget to add a whole row of drawers and cabinets, but you do have overhead space that’s being unused. You can install some quick hooks above the island for your pots and pans, and you’ve got yourself a myriad of new cabinet space! Hanging your pots and pans will also help you find the one you’re looking for much quicker than clanking through the disheveled pile next to the oven.
Organize like a pro
The Issue: Do you find yourself rifling through the junk drawer only to be dismayed by all the, well, junk, in there? Take hold of your organization and stop letting your kitchen items control you.
The Fix: Invest in some bins, boxes, and rectangular drawer organizers to keep everything in its rightful place. With drawer organizers, nothing will shift around, which means you’ll be able to find the scissors in a cinch. And with bins and boxes stored away in smart compartments, you’ll have resting areas for just about everything you can think of—label them if that helps, too!