How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

Learning how to organize kitchen cabinets to your liking is not a skill that comes all by itself.

As a service wife I had the challenge of organizing many different kitchens over the years - every time we moved it was to a different house with a different kitchen layout. Later on, we remodelled a few kitchens, and I got to design them from scratch. Only once did I ever get a nice big kitchen with lots of counter space and cabinets. Most of the time I had to do exactly what you probably have to do - 'make do'.

Here are a few things I learned that have really helped me over the years:

1. Stuff for making coffee/tea should be close to the kettle/coffee maker.

That includes mugs/sugar/coffee/tea/hot chocolate/etc. Normally the kettle and coffee maker are best located near the sink for easy filling.

2. Pots and pans are best kept right next to the stove.

3. Food prep items are best kept close to the counter where you do your food preparation.

4. Dishes can go just about anywhere, but should be easy to reach and easily accessible from the dishwasher or dish drainer.

5. Use the top shelves and the cabinet above the fridge to store items you don't use often.

6. Limit what stays on the countertop to just a few necessary items. For instance, we only use the coffeemaker when we have company, so it stays in a lower cabinet the rest of the time. 7. Almost everything else can be carefully distributed in the space left over - keeping like with like wherever possible. I like to have all my baking ingredients together, such as chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, extracts and mixes.

I have celiac disease and keep a variety of specialty flour mixes on hand for baking my own breads and treats - these take up considerable space and all stay together.

Main course carbs, like pasta and rice are grouped together, as are breakfast cereals, condiments and canned goods.

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