Kitchens can be one of the most overwhelming rooms in your home to begin organizing. The mishmash of everything from pots and pans to old plastic containers can easily halt progress in its tracks, particularly if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on fancy storage solutions.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to create an organized kitchen, and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to do it. At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we’ve seen people plow through the mess by using a few of the following budget-friendly ideas for efficiency, so they can have a kitchen that works for them.
Grab a Few Drawer Dividers
It’s easy to let all of your kitchen items get jumbled together, but this only encourages you to hold onto objects that you aren’t using. It also means losing time because you’re forced to search for it all. One easy way to cut back on the leaning tower is to buy drawer dividers. We recommend separating the lids of food storage containers and pots and pans as a way to both free up space and make both components easier to find.
One important tip: get rid of any plastic containers that don’t have a lid (and vice versa). This will not only make your kitchen more organized (in that you won’t be trying to track down something that doesn’t exist), but it will also make more room if you do need additional containers.
Expandable drawer dividers are inexpensive and they can make your drawers so much less stressful to open. If you keep your lids and food containers in kitchen cabinets, an inexpensive lid organizer can at least help them stand on their sides, which will make them far easier to grab. CD racks and DVD holders also make for great lid organizers, and it’s exceptionally practical when most of your media is probably online anyway.
Snag a Pan Organizer
Your pans are likely some of the bulkiest items that you have in cabinets, which may make opening them up a nightmare (particularly if the pan lids are likely to tumble out as soon as the door is cracked). At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we recommend a stand-alone pan organizer that both separates your pans and allows you to stack them vertically. (You can also stack them horizontally with the same product, but in a small kitchen cabinet, you might not have that luxury).
Try Out Hooks and Caddies
Hooks can be used to hold up a variety of small items in the kitchen, including coffee mugs, spray bottles, cleaning tools, pot holders, etc. You might be surprised at just how much more room you have by sticking a few inexpensive, removable hooks by the coffee station and hanging up your mugs. It might even inspire you to only use a few coffee mugs if there aren’t that many coffee drinkers in the house.
Whether you display your objects or hide them on the inner wall of a cabinet, the effects are often remarkable. You can also take the hooks idea to a new level by labeling everything. For instance, hanging up all of your measuring cups/spoons on a hook and displaying the measurement (e.g., half a cup) above or below the hook.
Finally, try caddies for other tools in the kitchen, such as chip clips, spices, or your sponge. There’s something about sorting and reducing the amount of clutter in a kitchen that can leave you inspired to keep up with the daily tasks of cleaning.
Having a place for everything can cut back on anxiety when you’re in the middle of a mess and it can streamline the process of putting it all back in order. Also, putting your sponge in a caddy means it will dry faster and reduce bacteria spread.
Clean Out Your Pantry
If your pantry is overflowing, chances are it’s because there are a lot of items in there that need to be cleared out. This task, which doesn’t cost anything, is not exactly exciting, but it’s necessary if you don’t want to lose your kitchen to cans and boxes that have been accumulating for months. When it comes to what to do with the leftovers, stacked racks are highly recommended for any canned storage.
The tiers on racks will ensure that you can see what you have (a budget-friendly tip cuts down on duplicates) and it allows you to take advantage of the total square metrics in your drawers and cabinets.
When you’re cleaning out your pantry, try to be ruthless about what you keep and what you donate. Chances are if you haven’t used an item six months after you purchased it, you’re unlikely to use it in the next six. At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, we highly encourage you to take these items to a food pantry before they officially expire, so you can ensure they don’t go to waste.
Use Mason Jars for Storing Utensils
Organizing your counter space when you have a small kitchen is often about removing items from the counter, such as the blender that you only use once every other month. However, sometimes it makes sense to add things to your kitchen counter so that you’re not spending time rooting through every drawer to try and find a small spatula.
Three or four mason jars on a counter make it possible to separate your whisks from your slotted spoons and your graters from your tongs. It’s nice when you’re cooking a new dish and don’t want to spend time tracking down your meat tenderizer.
Explore Your Everyday Items
There are so many everyday items that you can reuse if you want to organize your kitchen. For instance, magazine racks can hold anything from water bottles to cutting boards, and they’re an inexpensive storage solution that can be stored inside your cabinets, behind doors, and atop refrigerators. These are widely available in a variety of forms, which means that you can turn them on their sides or use several in a stack to divide and conquer.
Some people will store their plastic wrap and aluminum foil upright, while others will organize cans or cookbooks in them. Or consider the virtues of pant hangers, which offer handy clips that can be used to hold recipes or bags of snacks. This not only cuts down on the money that you’ll need to buy regular chip clips, but it also makes a lot of your items more accessible.
Check Out Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona
Budget-friendly organization is possible when you know how to reimagine your space. Even tiny kitchens can maximize their space when they have the right tools. At Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, there are plenty of items you can buy to reuse in a unique and creative way to organize your kitchen.
From dividers to storage bins and baskets, our stores make it possible to put it all in order without breaking the bank. Goodwill will also take the non-food items you choose to get rid of to help declutter. Just drop off all your excess pots and pans, etc. to your nearest donation center. Happy organizing!