Even if you’re not big on home cooking, the kitchen is one of the most important places in your home to keep organized—especially if there are other people in the house. It’s inevitably a hub of activity, because our lives at home tend to revolve around eating. Says organizing expert of 13+ years, Rachel Rosenthal: “It’s not about pretty bins—it’s about saving time grabbing breakfast in the morning, cutting down on food waste, and aiding in accurate grocery shopping.”
The pictures on Pinterest and Instagram are always staged, she stresses, so it’s important not to get hung up on getting your own space to look just like the ultra-minimalist photos you see, and instead focus on what works for you and your family. Here, Rachel walks us through the best way to organize your kitchen, whether you’ve just moved into a new home, or want to take a fresh approach in a long-time residence—minus the pressures of perfection.
Unpack Right Away
If you’re tackling an existing kitchen, consider this similar to the Marie Kondo method of getting everything out of storage and into the light, so you can see what you have. If you’re moving to a new home, try to avoid the temptation to only unpack what you immediately need. With her clients, Rachel finds it becomes easy to live among boxes for weeks, and before they know it, they’ve been in a house for six months without really unpacking.
The bedroom and kitchen are vital to unpack first, Rachel says, since they’re the places you do the most important things: sleep and eat. Get everything out of the moving boxes and within sight (we know, it sounds terrifying), so you can really take stock of what you have. When things sit in boxes for prolonged periods, people tend to forget what they actually have, end up buying multiples, or don’t account for how to store what they already own.
Assess What You Have & Determine Gaps
Now that everything is out of the cabinets (or boxes), it’s time to assess what you already have. You might rediscover some perfectly good organizing products, or find that you’ve acquired more lids than you have pots. If you’re able to see your 15 coffee mugs out on the counter, you can better visualize which place they fit in best. This step is also helpful if you’re moving in with another person for the first time—so you can, for instance, come face-to-face with the lack of a toaster. Onto the shopping list it goes!
Think About How You Use Your Kitchen
Rachel encourages her clients to think critically about their biggest needs for a space: Are you a cook? Do you need to access your spices more easily? Are there plugs for all the appliances or do they need to be put away when not in use? The turkey pan can stay on top of the stove since it’s only used once