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Benefits of an Organized Kitchen: How to Start

The benefits of an organized kitchen include faster cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping, saving money, reducing waste, and helping family members become self-sufficient.

April 11, 2024

Benefits of an organized kitchen

Why Organize Your Kitchen?

An organized kitchen benefits the family cook and all household members. An uncluttered kitchen also leaves more room for cooking. This post explains the benefits of an organized kitchen and how to get started and maintain it.

1. Saves Time

An efficient kitchen makes cooking faster because you can find the ingredients and cooking equipment. You can’t make a 25-minute recipe if you are rummaging for food, getting a step stool for the cutting board, and going to your kid’s bedroom for kitchen scissors. Not only will cooking go smoother, but so will unloading the dishwasher, meal clean-up, and making a grocery list because everything has a place. Additionally, being well-organized can inspire creativity in the kitchen, as you can easily see all the available ingredients and cook dinner on the spot.

2. Saves Money and Reduces Waste

Making a shopping list before you go to the store is always a good idea, and checking on-hand inventory is just as important. Reviewing ingredients will be a breeze if you have an organized pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. It saves you money because meal planning with stuff you already have reduces your food bill and eliminates waste. Make a meal with slightly wilted produce before it goes into the compost pile or, worse…the garbage can. Get more ideas on reducing waste in your home with this article from Food Waste Prevention Week.

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3. Helps Family Members Become More Self-Sufficient

Having food and kitchen supplies in a designated spot allows everyone to participate in family chores like putting groceries away, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning after dinner, and making their own breakfast, school lunch, and snacks. 

Family baking - baking supplies make perfect cooking gifts

4. Improves Safety and Health

An uncluttered and organized kitchen benefits the home chef and young children who want to be near the action. Keeping the pantry clean can also deter critters and bugs. 

Taking the time to clean and organize your kitchen may seem insignificant, but the advantages to your cooking routine are invaluable.

Benefits of an Organized Kitchen: How to Start

Determine what areas need to be cleaned and organized. I recommend starting with the pantry, followed by the refrigerator and freezer. Let the food run down and start this project before going to the grocery store. Take one day for the pantry and another for the fridge/freezer, then move on to counters, drawers, and cabinets. Each area’s process is the same: 1) clean, 2) organize, 3) reduce, and 4) use labeled containers and bins where beneficial.  

1. Clean

Remove all the items from the pantry or food cupboard and place them on the counter or table. Discard any outdated items, and donate any you do not need. Wipe down the food or container, dust, and wipe shelves with an all-purpose spray cleaner. Repeat this process with the refrigerator, freezer, and any other areas.

2. Organize

Pantry: Categorise shelf-stable pantry items together, such as baking, canned goods, nuts, seeds, spices, and grains. 

Refrigerator: Place food, such as meat, fruit, and vegetables, in the drawers designated by the manufacturer. Each compartment has features that extend the freshness of the food. Then, start by grouping other sections, such as dairy, beverages, and leftovers. Adjust the shelving to accommodate different-sized items. 

Freezer: Group the freezer items by type so they are easy to find, and take inventory before shopping. Make a designated area for protein, fruits, vegetables, snacks, meal prep items, and other favorite freezer items. 

3. Reduce

The kitchen is by far the most used room in the house. It tends to attract unnecessary items, but a consistent review will help keep it uncluttered. You want to keep the kitchen cooking area (prime real estate) for functional, highly used kitchen essentials.

 

  • Food – get rid of unhealthy and expired food and consolidate duplications.
  • Remove items that are used sparingly by storing them in another area.
  • Donate items that are not used at all.

4. Use Labeled Containers and Baskets

Review your kitchen areas to determine if storage containers, bins, dividers, etc., can benefit the sections. The goals are to keep food fresh, save space, improve efficiency, and save money.  

lidded storage containers help organize a kitchen
Keeps Food Fresh

Look for airtight containers that can be labeled and will maintain freshness better than the manufacturers' packages.

oatmeal provides whole grain in the diet
Saves Space

Containers that stack provide more storage space and more location options. Consider them for the pantry/food cupboard, fridge and freezer.

lidded storage containers benefits an organize a kitchen
Improves Efficiency

Clear containers let you see contents. Small round containers are great for items that are poured one handed and square are great for scooped and measured ingredients.

using food containers benefits an organized kitchen
Saves Money

Purchase high volume groceries in bulk and place contents in an easy to manage food container. Look for pourable container or wide mouth that will hold all the contents and a scoop.

How to Maintain an Organized Kitchen?

Continue the process of cleaning, organizing, reducing, and using containers and bins. It will go much faster as a maintenance routine. An organized kitchen benefits your ability to make meal planning a more consistent habit.

1. Quick Inventory

While reviewing your grocery list inventory, quickly reset the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer inventory. Tidying the stations also makes it faster to put groceries away. 

2. Quick Clean

Clean the refrigerator before creating a grocery list to make room for the new items. Include unused items on this week’s meal plan. This will also help you be more realistic about next week’s needs.  

3. Continue to Reduce

I am often overzealous with my vegetable purchases and have over a week’s supply. I hate throwing away food, so it puts me in a frame of mind to buy necessary groceries. Other options are to plan quick-wilting items like asparagus for the first few meals, leave romaine and hardier greens later in the week, or use frozen vegetables for a few meals. 

4. Evaluate Organization Tools

Are the containers and baskets working? Do you need more or switch containers around? Consider it a work in progress. I was tired of never having my kitchen sheers in my cooking station, so I bought cheap scissors and put them in every drawer. My husband thinks nothing of taking my poultry sheers and trimming the garden. 

Summary

Maintaining a clean and organized kitchen can make your meal-planning routine efficient and hassle-free. Labeling containers and regularly decluttering can help you save time and money and reduce waste. Moreover, it encourages self-sufficiency among family members and ensures a safer and healthier home environment. So, involve your family in the process and encourage them to keep things where they belong. With everyone’s help, you can enjoy the benefits of a well-organized and efficient kitchen.

 

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WHAT TOOLS ARE NEEDED?

  • Basic cleaning supplies
  • Round glass containers with lids for pourable ingredients
  • Square and rectangular containers with easy pop-off lids for high-volume staples like rice, flour, cereal, and oatmeal. 
  • Labeler or removable multi-purpose labels.

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Karen the Supper Sanity Home Chef

Welcome to Supper Sanity

Hello, I’m Karen, a very passionate meal planner. As a mother of three, I have been planning family menus for years. When I was diagnosed with a digestive condition, I found it necessary to follow an eating regime that eliminated many ingredients. That made meal planning a health necessity. I’ve learned a lot and want to share my resources to simplify meal planning, shop efficiently and cook affordable homemade meals. If you wish to try new recipes, plan healthier meals, and enjoy a great dinner with your friends and family, Supper Sanity can help.

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