If you cringe every time you open a kitchen cabinet (or get hit by a falling tuna can) it may be time to tidy up. These cupboards hold a little bit of everything, so it's natural that they easily get cluttered. Luckily, they're just as easy to clean up. New York City-based professional organizer has the 10 steps that'll get you to de-cluttered glory.
Behold, the most beautifully organized kitchen cabinet. Is this your happy place? Do your kitchen cabinets look nothing like this? Don't despair: The following steps will get you there.
Yes, it can be a little stress-inducing seeing everything out on your counters. But it's the only way you'll really be able to determine what you can toss — like those expired spices (yes, they do need to be replaced, typically after ) — that have been hiding in the back corners of your shelves. "Take absolutely everything off the shelf and evaluate what you have and what you don't need," says Heller.
"Put spices and other ingredients you don't regularly use in a shoe box [or other bin], and tuck them away," says Heller. Label the tops of the spices and boxes. When you grab the box for that once-in-a-blue-moon recipe, you can look down and see everything you have at a glance.
A 21st century fact: Most people aren't whipping up pies on a daily basis. If this is also true for you, don't let chunky baking supplies take up valuable space on your easy-to-reach shelves. "Put baking supplies on the top shelf, along with any extra items you may have, like extra boxes of sugar or even extra Ziploc bags," says Heller.
Though this space-saving gadget is typically only used for spices, it can also come in handy for tall bottles of, say, sherry or olive oil you use regularly. "Put cooking wines and cooking oils on a Lazy Susan on the very bottom shelf, where there's more space," says Heller. "They're easiest to reach there."
A major organizing mistake many people make: centering the Lazy Susan on the shelf. "Push it to the left so it doesn't take up too much space," says Heller. "This way, you can place the items you absolutely always use, like salt and pepper, on the right side of the cupboard." Instead of spinning the Lazy Susan, you'll always know exactly where to find your essentials.
"If you're visual, it may work best to sort, say, all the green spices together," says Heller. "If you think more in terms of dishes, organize the ingredients that way." The latter tends to work best for regular dishes: So, if you make pot roast every Sunday night, it might be best to group all the spices that recipe calls for in one spot.
Heller can't emphasize this enough: They. Do. Not. Work. "They generally get dirty and grimy inside cupboards, and don't help because people always put things in the front that block their view," she says. Stick to Lazy Susans and bins (or shoe boxes).
How often do you crowd cans into your cupboard, only to discover your favorite soup in the back corner a year later? "Double stack cans so you can see what you have at a glance," says Heller. This goes for everything from small cans of tuna to large cans of beans.
"Don't be afraid to rearrange shelves to best fit the heights you need within your cabinet, or even add an extra shelf," says Heller. "It's easier than you think and a better idea than placing shelf organizers within."
"If small items tend to clutter your cupboards, use a small pocket organizer on the door for peanut butter packets or individual soup packets," says Heller. You'll just want to make sure the organizer doesn't interfere with the shelf; most stick out two to four inches, so opt for the flattest variety you can find.