Four ways to create a functional kitchen
It’d be fair to say that kitchen cupboards are the most used of all home cupboards (unless you’re some sort of monster that doesn’t like food), which means they’re often the most chaotic.
Don’t waste time sorting through stacks of pots and pans looking for the ‘right’ lid or rummaging through racks of spice to discover the one thing you need is the only one that’s empty. There are some simple ways you can create a functional kitchen that will improve your enjoyment of the space.
Here are four tips to get you organising your kitchen cupboards in a way that would even impress Ina Garten:
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Don’t double up items, double up uses
Do you need three of the same thing if one is your regular go-to? Purging your duplicates is an easy way to avoid unnecessary clutter in the kitchen cupboard.
And if you really want to have a functional space, think about items that have multiple uses. For example, Le Creuset pots are a Dutch Oven that you can take from oven to table to fridge. Cast iron works similarly well, and Pyrex baking dishes also do the trick.
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Placement priority matters
You will have items that you use daily, and items you use occasionally. Make sure the cabinets that are within arm’s reach are stocked with your daily items. Weekly-use products can go a little higher up, and monthly or occasional-use items are relegated to the top shelves.
Human brains work to be efficient, not accurate, so if you don’t put your high-use items where you can see them (or within easy reach), you just won’t use them. Put your plates and cutlery near one another, and close to the dishwasher. Store spices in a tiered rack so you can easily see them all. Pop your knives near cutting boards. These kinds of small changes can have a huge impact on the functionality of your kitchen. And if something’s easy to use, you’ll use it.
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Don’t forget your verticals
It’s such a pain in the neck trying to wrangle a baking dish that – conveniently – is right at the bottom of the stack. To avoid this common organisational faux pas, stack things vertically. Sometimes, all it takes is a cabinet divider.
Vertical space usage also goes for food items. In your pantry, purchasing a shelf riser will enable you to double the area you can pop things like canned or boxed goods – while still being able to see what you’ve bought.
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Can you contain it?
Using uniform canisters or containers in your fridge or pantry for frequently consumed foods may seem a little extra, but it’s actually a great space-saving tip.
When they’re square or rectangular, they fit together better and not only maximise the space you have, they use the space you have more efficiently. Try to avoid round containers as you’ll waste space, and remember to label your canisters!Image: The Home Edit / Instagram
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Lazy Susan’s aren’t just a highlight at your favourite Chinese restaurant, they are a great way to hack your cupboards. Use them for spices and oils, pop one in the fridge to use for all your sauces, you could even have one under the sink for your dish soaps and other cleaning items that be pretty hard-to-reach.