The kitchen truly is the center of your home. It is where your family gathers to share meals, it is where guests congregate during parties and celebrations, it is where you discuss plans for your next vacation, and it is where you handle the bulk of the household chores. Yet even with all of this importance attached to a single room, so many families report difficulty in keeping their kitchens organized.
Why is that?
Perhaps it is because kitchens are, by definition, multipurpose rooms. Perhaps it is because the kitchen experiences relatively little “down time” where people are not coming and going. Whatever the reason, it is an extremely common complaint, and one of the foremost reasons people seek to renovate.
The good news is that there are plenty of different solutions out there. It’s simply a matter of figuring out where the organization problems begin, before you can appropriately address them. Check out this list of questions below, and decide which one best describes your organizational woes.
Does Your Kitchen Hinder Your Cooking Ability?
The main purpose of any kitchen is food preparation, but of course, the way each family approaches food preparation is unique. Therefore, it is entirely possible that your kitchen is optimized for cooking – just not the type of cooking that you do.
A chef who is fond of fine cuisine and experimental cooking is going to need room for fresh herbs and vegetables, specialized utensils, a wealth of different cooking spices, and nearly every type of serving dish you could imagine. If each of these items do not have their own specified home in your kitchen, it is easy to see how this could quickly lead to chaos.
Likewise, someone who is more fond of comfort food may find themselves in a kitchen with storage shelves that can’t handle heavy cast iron, cabinets too shallow for large crock pots or stand mixers, and not enough room in the pantry for all their baking supplies.
Start Here: Make a list of everything that you need to have within arms reach from your oven. When redesigning your kitchen cabinets, make sure that they are appropriately sized to handle the utensils and ingredients you need to continue making those meals you are so famous for
Your Kitchen Is a Multi-use Space. Are You Set up for it?
When you were growing up, where did you complete your homework? The kitchen table? What about if you need to take down a phone message or sign a permission slip?
If you have come to realize that your kitchen is really more of a kitchen/office, you are merely experiencing what many other families do. It is simply not feasible for most families to provide each member of the household with their own personal workspace or office – therefore, the kitchen becomes the next logical place. This may seem fine in theory, but many homeowners feel like they are constantly shoving math workbooks aside in order to set the dinner table.
Start Here: Consider building in space specifically for school work or paperwork. You may be surprised how easily a small desk could fit along your kitchen wall, or how the addition of an island can alleviate the problem of a cluttered dining table. Add in a few drawers specifically for pencils, pens, and scrap paper, and you have addressed one of the biggest organizational woes of the modern family.
Here are some good collection of Wash Basin Designs
Can You Reach Everything in Your Kitchen Cabinets?
Even the tallest family members will find that there are certain corners or upper shelves that they have trouble reaching. However, some kitchens make even the lower shelves and drawers unnecessarily difficult to reach.
When cabinets are up too high, or sit at strange angles, this leads to a tendency for people to simply avoid putting things away. If you find that you have to drag a step ladder over just to be able to put away dishes, don’t be surprised if those dishes are more likely to pile up on your countertop out of convenience.
Start Here: Talk to a designer or contractor about your issues with accessibility. Look for slide out racks and shelving for your cabinets, appliance lifts to assist you in bringing out and putting away heavier objects, and rotating lazy Susans. Kitchen cabinet design has come a long way from rectangular boxes with rectangular shelves.
How Long Does It Take to Inventory Your Pantry?
Have you ever arrived home from the grocery store, only to realize that you purchased several items that you already had? Ideally, you should be able to inventory your pantry at a glance, but so few families are able to do this.
The pantry tends to become a catchall space in the kitchen. Anything that doesn’t appear to have a home in either the refrigerator, or in a cabinet can end up here are, and that can lead to some huge organizational problems.
If you have cereal boxes falling out every time the door opens, or soup cans stacked three deep on a shelf, your pantry space is not optimized, and it can lead to a chaotic kitchen, and to you overspending unnecessarily on food.
Start Here: Talk to a designer or home remodeling contractor about ergonomic pantry design. Not only will a better layout increase visibility of everything in your pantry, but it will also increase accessibility and usability too.
So many homeowners beat themselves up about having “organizational issues” when in reality it’s not their fault at all. Your kitchen should be built around you, yet so many homeowners do the opposite and try to bend their lives around their existing kitchen layout. Standard cabinets that were installed 30 years ago or more are not doing the modern household any favors when it comes to battling chaos in the kitchen.
It is true that a kitchen renovation can be costly, it is therefore an undertaking that should be considered carefully. There are cost-cutting measures which can be taken, and by working with a reputable contractor, you may be surprised by how much bang they can get you for your buck. Smartly designed cabinetry can decrease clutter and make your kitchen a much more pleasant and usable space.
Niv Orlian is an online marketer and the Co-Founder of DO Online Marketing, a Chicago based company that helps local businesses such as Planet Cabinets, acquire, manage, and retain local customers online.