7 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Work for You

Many of us have kept our kitchens organized pretty similarly to how they we first organized them upon moving in, back when we really didn’t know what the everyday workflow would be in the new kitchen. So take a look at your kitchen—are there things that you can change that would make it a more enjoyable place to cook and spend time with family? Here are seven great ways to revamp and reorganize your kitchen so that it caters conveniently to your everyday lifestyle.

Cooking Area

Move unused items out of the kitchen.

A good de-clutter in your kitchen is always a good idea if you want things to run more seamlessly as you’re working in the kitchen. In addition to clearing out unused and duplicate kitchen utensils, however, you should also consider clearing out those things that have found residence in the kitchen but that don’t really belong there—such as office supplies, personal hygiene items, and crafting supplies. Even things like prescription medication, while convenient to keep in the kitchen, might be better stored elsewhere for safety reasons, as this article details.

Move frequently used items into the kitchen.

Similarly, you should take note of the things that don’t typically belong in kitchens—but that you find yourself needing in the kitchen on an almost daily basis. If you check your mail at the kitchen table, for example, then it makes sense to include a letter opener in a designated kitchen drawer. If your children do homework at the kitchen table, then maybe it makes sense to create a space in the kitchen where your children can hang their school things. Consider how you use your kitchen on a daily basis and arm it with the right “tools” accordingly.

Invest in a few convenience-adding kitchen items.

In addition to those household items that your kitchen might uniquely need, there are several things that can really bring convenience into any kitchen, which you may not already have on hand:

  • Step stool, for reaching those higher cabinet spaces and for children who are helping you in the kitchen
  • Tea kettle, for boiling water more quickly
  • Kitchen shears, for anything from cutting open packaging to cutting chicken into strips
  • Mortar and pestle, for making pesto, grinding spices, etc.
  • Knife sharpener, for sharpening those dull knife blades
  • Plumbing pedals, for turning on the sink water with your foot rather than your hands (granted this one is a slightly bigger investment)

cabinet storage

Upgrade your cabinet storage.

If you’re still using the standard shelving and drawer space that your cabinets have to offer, then an upgrade in your cabinet storage is definitely in order. Built-in storage like spice racks, plate shelving, and dividers for cookie sheets and muffin tins always make a major difference. But even if you’re not looking to revamp your cabinetry, you can purchase easy-to-install options like tension rods, DIY spice racks, and pull-out “drawers” for your cabinet space.

Re-organize to suit your workflow.

In addition to upgrading the storage in your cabinets, it’s also a good idea to re-organize your kitchen so that it suits your workflow. If you have a set of fine china that you don’t use nearly as often as your everyday dinnerware, you might consider storing your china in a higher cabinet and storing your dinnerware in an easily accessible cabinet. In other words, store items according to their frequency of use—and always store them in places where they will be readily accessible just as you need them. The more frequently you use an item, the more readily accessible it should be. You can read more about better organizing your kitchen.

Install task lighting.

There are three types of lighting that together make for a well lit, well balanced ambiance in a room: general, accent, and task lighting. Your kitchen likely already features general lighting installed overhead—and perhaps accent lighting installed on top of your cabinets—but you could likely use more task lighting in the kitchen to balance out the ambiance and make everyday cooking tasks easier. Lighting installed under your hanging cabinets, for example, can make working on the countertop much easier, and lighting installed over the sink can truly simplify your dish washing. Other great places in the kitchen for task lighting are over the stove and over a kitchen island.

Kitchen countertop

Include an eating area.

An eating area can be a great asset to your kitchen for several reasons. Not only does it allow you to eat on-the-go, but it also offers a place for you to help children with homework, for example, as you’re busy cooking. Including an eating area in your kitchen also turns it into a more sociable space, making the kitchen truly the heart of the home.

You need not have a grand, spacious kitchen in order to include an eating area, either. If you have a U-shaped kitchen, for example, you might consider installing an island in the middle of your kitchen to function as both a workspace and a space for barstools.

Involve easy-to-clean materials.

The materials that make up your kitchen can have a major impact on how easy it is (and how long it takes) to clean overall. This article, for example, explains how powder coating is often used on kitchen appliances to make cleaning them a breeze. Granite and quartz, meanwhile, make for extra low maintenance countertop materials.

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