How to Organize Your Kitchen Like a Pro

White Kitchen

As a Professional Organizer who has exposure to many different types of homes, I find that while closets pose the biggest challenge for our clients, kitchens carry the most clutter.  The key is to install systems and bins so that groceries and the daily invasion of paper all find their way off countertops and into their proper homes. Here are tips on how to organize your kitchen like a pro!

De-Clutter Your Kitchen Countertop

Decluttering your kitchen countertop is key to having an organized kitchen. Find a tucked-away home for appliances (even that pretty mixer) so that surfaces are as clear as possible.  This will preserve your counters by making dust and muck removal more effective.  It will also make you happy to come downstairs each morning to a clutter-free kitchen. We find that a bowl or two for produce, a paper catch-all, large utensil holder, toaster and maybe a vase or potted plant are the only essentials for a pretty kitchen countertop.

Organize Your Pantry

Your kitchen organization project will not be complete without organizing the pantry! Since it’s winter and there are lots of indoor time, try to carve out one hour to review your pantry. Below you will find the best way to organize your pantry in 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Take Everything Out of the Pantry

The easiest and first step is to purge expired items. Once that’s done, take EVERYTHING out and wipe down the shelves.

Step 2: Categorize Pantry Items

Once the shelves are clean, categorize food and pantry items by type.  Do this by making a huge mess all over your kitchen.  Making a mess is a necessary means to an organized result. Once categorized you’ll know what you have the most of and what takes up the least space. 

Step 3: Put Everything Back in Bins by Categories

Put items back in bins, by categories, such as “family dinner”, “kids lunch”, “breakfast”, “condiments” etc.  Organizing doesn’t have to be expensive but if you invest in baskets or nice looking bins it really elevates the look of your pantry. The Container Store offers their “plastic bins with handles” that look phenomenal with labels.  And they range from $3.99-$6.99 depending on size. They now come in a wide range of colors and you are guaranteed to find one that matches your kitchen’s palette.

How to organize your kitchen

Organize and Store Your Spices

The best way to organize your spices is to decant, alphabetize and label your spices so you don’t overbuy what you already have (But we understand that’s not realistic for everyone! Wink, Wink.) It may sound a little overwhelming, but once you have a system in place it will be easy to maintain. Plus your spices will not look hodge-podge in uniform containers!

Store and Get Rid of Paper Clutter

It’s easy to clutter your kitchen with piles of paper so it’s important to have a system in place to organize paper clutter in your kitchen. When it comes to paperwork and decluttering countertops, there are several systems that we love to use. Install a pocket system on the inside of a door. Pantry, Closet or basement doors are usually nearest the kitchen and these spaces allow you to utilize otherwise untapped vertical space to clear your counters. Give each person in the household a pocket. The Poppin Wall System and the Elfa Door/Wall system both look great with our custom labels. The Elfa system allows for more categories of pockets such as “Mail”, “Bills” and even has attachments for keys, change, sunglasses and more. When the mail arrives and kids get home from school, artwork, permission slips, junk mail, bills, etc should be sent to its home, off tables and counters, for review when you have time to dedicate your attention. 

How to organize your kitchen
Behind the door organizer

Labels are Essential to Organizing Your Kitchen

The final and absolutely essential step for effortless maintenance is label application. Labeling is a system that will ensure your pantry and cabinets remain well ordered – no matter who is unpacking the groceries.   

Pantry labels
Pantry organization-labels

Happy Organizing! Please don’t hesitate to reach out for friendly advice. We are always here to help!

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About Maura Fitzgerald

Maura Fitzgerald was born in NYC and raised in Bronxville, NY. She holds a BA from Georgetown University and worked in Print and Digital Advertising Sales for 20 years at Forbes and Time Inc. Now Maura is the founder of Fitz Just Right (FJR), a Luxury Organizational Design Company servicing Westchester County September through June and Annapolis, MD in summer months. She recently launched a new label business, Labelize It. Offering Luxury, Custom Cut Vinyl Labels that keep your home and business organized – one label at a time! Maura and her husband love working for the weekends where they have non-stop action and fun with their 3 children….and everything isn’t always organized. She lives in Bronxville, NY with her husband and three children. Website: www.fitzjustright.com  Instagram: @labelizeit and @fitzjustright

Maybe You Have Some Downtime this Month, Check out Other Home Organization Articles written by Maura:

3 Things To Do Now to Get Organized for the Holidays

How to Organize Your Linen Closet

How to Organize Your Junk Drawers

Top Shoe Storage and Organization Tips

About Suburbs 101

Suburbs 101 is an online lifestyle guide for the New York Suburbs of Westchester County, Long Island, Fairfield County and Northern New Jersey.  Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in the New York suburbs through our interviews with local suburbanites and features on Food, Fashion, Home, Travel, and Local Events. Be sure to Follow Us on InstagramLike Us on Facebook and subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter.