Or­ga­nize Your Kitchen Like a Pro

Taste of Home staffers know even the small­est kitchen can be or­ga­nized to work like a dream. Here are their ge­nius ideas.

Simple & Delicious - - SPRING CLEANING -

Min­i­mize

Take stock of all the tools, dishes, plat­ters and serve­ware you have in your kitchen. Food Ed­i­tor Peggy Wood­ward is all about the min­i­mal­ist move­ment. She’s pared down the num­ber of pots and pans she owns based on which ones she uses for ev­ery­day cook­ing. And her kitchen tool stash has been whit­tled down, too. “I used to have eight wooden spoons,” she says. “Eight! I kept three and do­nated the rest.

And who re­ally needs two veg­etable peel­ers? Keep one, and that should do the trick.”

Do Dou­ble Duty

Food Stylist Shan­non Roum uses cookie trays for more than just bak­ing. “I keep tools and serve­ware on cookie trays if they’re go­ing to be stored back deep into a cabi­net,” she says. “That way I can slide out the pan to eas­ily reach items in the back with­out any dig­ging.”

Keep It In Sight

Keep things you reach for of­ten in plain sight on the coun­ter­top or on open shelves. Peggy cor­rals her sil­ver­ware in ma­son jars in­side a wooden crate placed on her kitchen counter, open­ing up space in

kitchen draw­ers for less-used (or less pretty) tools. She also stores plates, bowls and drinkware within reach. “I like keep­ing my dishes on open shelves to help get my fam­ily’s meals on the ta­ble faster,” she says.

Di­vide and Con­quer

To keep kitchen draw­ers from be­com­ing a jum­bled mess of tools, Se­nior Dig­i­tal Ed­i­tor Ellie Martin Cliffe opts for large desk drawer or­ga­niz­ers to keep ev­ery­thing in its place. “They cre­ate zones that group sim­i­lar tools to­gether: wooden spoons and spat­u­las, mea­sur­ing cups and spoons, and sharp stuff like veg­gie peel­ers and kitchen scis­sors.” She also keeps all of her stand­ing mixer at­tach­ments in a large, clear con­tainer so she can find them eas­ily.

Our culi­nary di­rec­tor, Sarah Farmer, di­vides her kitchen into sec­tions based on the job each tool per­forms, in­clud­ing a ded­i­cated space to wran­gle es­sen­tial items. “I have a bak­ing tools drawer, where I keep clear con­tain­ers of mea­sur­ing spoons and cups, off­set spat­u­las, a ruler, a cake tester and a pas­try blender,” she says. “And then there’s my dec­o­rat­ing tools drawer, filled with cup­cake lin­ers, pas­try bags and tips, as­sorted sprin­kles, can­dles, parch­ment pa­per and card­board cake rounds.”

Store Pans Side­ways

If you’re wrestling cookie sheets and pans out from the mid­dle or bot­tom of a stack, try ver­ti­cal wire or­ga­niz­ing racks that let you slide pans in side­ways, mak­ing them eas­ier to grab quickly. In the Taste of Home prep kitchen, we use in­ex­pen­sive wire file or­ga­niz­ers avail­able at any of­fice sup­ply store to ar­range cut­ting boards neatly. “They work great for hold­ing pot lids, too,” says Shan­non.

Get Hooked

Se­nior Ed­i­tor Rachel

Seis in­stalled in­ex­pen­sive plas­tic hooks on the in­side of her cab­i­nets so she can hang pot hold­ers when not in use. There’s an­other hook on the side of her fridge, where she keeps her pret­ti­est oven mitts on dis­play—and avail­able to grab in a flash. In­stalling hooks in­side up­per cab­i­nets cre­ates the per­fect place to hang cof­fee mugs, free­ing sur­face space for plates, bowls and drink­ing glasses.

CRE­ATE DED­I­CATED SPACE

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