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Professionally Organize Your Kitchen!

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Pantries aren’t the only place to store your goods.

Whether your pantry is as big as your walk-in closet or as small as that tall cabinet near your refrigerator, you’ve likely run into the issue of simply not having enough storage, or of having too much stuff in your kitchen. Regardless, you know there has to be a better way to keep the heart of your home better organized and maintained, even when the kids or your partner are constantly putting things where they don’t belong. The struggle is real, but not unsolvable. 

Pantry Storage
Let’s start with the obvious. The pantry was built to house all your wares, but all that space just seems to create more room for clutter. To make the most out of your pantry, large or small, start by removing all non-food items. 

Next, group the remaining items into around five categories, discarding anything that is expired along the way. Examples are hot and cold cereals, canned goods, baking mixes and ingredients, pasta and dried goods such as beans and herbs. Then empty all frequently opened packages (cereal, pasta, dried beans, and baking ingredients) into wide-mouth jars or containers (also called decanting). The more cardboard boxes and paper bags you can remove from your pantry, the tidier it will be.

Lastly, group all other items like with like and place them inside shallow bins or baskets, which is enough to keep them contained without hiding their labels. Using bins also creates cleaner lines inside your pantry that are easier on your eyes.

Non-Pantry Storage
Did you know that storage can be stylish? If you have space in your kitchen for open shelves or an attractive countertop spice rack, these are easy ways to better use your space. 

Open shelves are great places to store recipe books alongside framed photos of your grandma cooking all those years ago and can also be a good place to hang any dried herbs. Spice racks, recipe book holders, fruit baskets and countertop or wall-hung wine storage are attractive and functional. Why not use them?

Remember, you don’t necessarily want your kitchen countertops to be completely bare. They should be styled tastefully with items that you use daily.

Dining Room Storage
If your home has a dining area, you might benefit from adding or repurposing a narrow console cabinet. This is a smart place to store table linens, baby bibs, disposable tableware and napkins and anything else that isn’t a good fit for your pantry.

Do you love your daily glass of wine? Place your fancy wine glasses and wine bottle storage inside or on top of the console for easy access. Plus, it just looks nice!

Design Tip #1
Do you have deep pantry problems? Avoid layering your pantry more than two jars’ deep. It’s easy to forget what is hiding back there! Alternatively, consider using risers to ensure the items in the back are still seen and used. 

Design Tip #2
Hide your small appliances. Your KitchenAid mixer is a beast, and you might find that it isn’t practical to constantly hide it in a cabinet somewhere. A pop-out dedicated mixer cabinet is a good investment. It is the perfect storage, and it is always at easy (pop-out!) reach when you’re baking cookies.

Written by: Kathleen Jennison

Before becoming an interior designer, Kathleen Jennison worked as a certified public accountant for a national firm. A near-fatal car accident changed her career path and life forever. She suffered serious brain injuries, and her doctors suggested she take art classes to help with her rehabilitation. With her newfound love for design, she studied at the Art Institute in Sacramento, obtaining her bachelor’s degree in interior design. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and has served as the director of marketing for the National Association of Remodelers for the Greater Sacramento area. In 2009, she started KTJ Design Company.