7 Ways to Simplify Your Kitchen

April 14, 2014 by  

If you’re tired of cooking in a kitchen that feels cluttered and disorganized, it’s time to simplify. You don’t have to be a bare bones minimalist in order to reap the benefits of a simplified kitchen. With these 7 easy tips, you can simplify your kitchen without sacrificing your favorite culinary conveniences. It’s not about deprivation, it’s about creating space for the things you love and enjoy.

1. Declutter – This is the first step towards a simplified kitchen. Go through every drawer and cabinet, and get rid of anything you don’t use. Most of us have tons of gadgets gathering cobwebs in the dark crevices of our cupboards, and Tupperware lids whose bowls have been missing for years. If you have a collection of plastic children’s cups and your children have moved on to real glasses, pass them along to someone else. It’s time for them to go!

2. Let it live where you use it – This means that pots and pans should go in the cabinets nearest your stove, and cooking utensils and potholders in the nearest drawers. Your spice rack or designated shelf space should also be in this vicinity. This sounds like common sense, but a lot of people don’t do it. If your kitchen isn’t already organized this way, you’ll love the difference it makes!
Simplify Your Kitchen

3. Open shelves – If you’ll be renovating, open shelves are the way to go. If you don’t have the money or inclination for such drastic measures, you can oftentimes carefully remove cabinet doors and hardware to achieve the same look. This makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, discourages clutter, and lets your dishes and glassware serve double-duty as decor.

4. Knock off the knick-knacks – We all love cute little decorating odds and ends, but too many make your kitchen appear cramped and cluttered. The fewer you have on display, the better they look. Instead of going overboard on knick-knacks, choose a great area rug and one or two pieces of wall art to give your kitchen some personality.

5. Designate the space – This means using it only for cooking. If you have a computer or TV in your kitchen, relocate it to a different part of the house. Clean out your junk drawers and move the contents to another part of the house. Things like hammers and nails can go in the garage, pens can move to your desk, and thermometers to the bathroom medicine cabinet. You get the idea. Don’t let books, purses, and toys, or anything else that isn’t kitchen specific make itself at home on counter tops.

6. Creative storage – Ideally, when you declutter you’ll get rid of enough stuff that everything you keep fits nicely in drawers and cabinets. If that isn’t possible, a baker’s rack, beautiful buffet, or funky vintage wall shelves will do the trick. These work well for displaying dishes or glasses you love, or you can use them as a replacement for a pantry by stocking them with great looking glass jars, tins, or baskets to hold non-perishable food. Unique storage options are available everywhere. You’ll find them in antique and junk shops, big box stores, and at the local mall.

7. One thing in, one thing out – This one takes a little bit of discipline, but it will keep all of your hard work from going to waste. Once you’ve pared down your kitchen to just the things you use regularly, and those things all have a designated home, every time you bring in something new, take something out. One nice side effect is that you’ll probably save a ton of money by avoiding impulse purchases. Before you hit the cash register, decide whether you want it badly enough to get rid of something you already have in order to make room for it. You’ll be surprised by how often the answer is, “No!”

By simplifying your kitchen, you’ll have more space available for its intended use. Cooking becomes less of a hassle and much more enjoyable when everything you need is easily accessible. Investing a few hours in the process will save you time and frustration for a long time to come. It’s a simple strategy for claiming your space and making meal preparation something you look forward to, rather than dread.

photo credit: thekitchendesigner.org via photopin cc

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