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.
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.
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