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How to Maximize Kitchen Space: 7 Easy + Affordable Secrets From Pro Organizers

Streamlining your pantry and fridge is about to get a whole lot simpler!

Whether you’re cooking for a crowd, prepping meals for the week, baking a special dessert or even just trying to put groceries away, nothing is more irritating than zero counter space and not being able to find your ingredients! The good news? There are a variety of surprisingly simple ways to enhance storage space in your pantry, fridge and kitchen that don’t require a full reno or a ton of cash. Here, Woman’s World caught up with pro organizers and sisters Meg DeLong and Ea Fuqua of TheTidyHomeNashville.com. We asked them how to organize a kitchen and make the most of your space — no matter what size it is! Read on for their must-try solutions!

How to organize your pantry

organized pantry with shelves, storage bins, and storage containers
The Container Store

1. Remove old food

“To start, remove all items and throw away old food, then group like items,” says DeLong. To keep it neat, display similar items together and place rarely used items and baking tools up top. Also, keep everyday snacks and essentials at eye level.

Also smart: “Tucking drawer units into your pantry makes the most of unused space,” she says. Tucking extra drawers into a pantry, below shelving as shown in the image above, can hold overflow like extra baking ingredients or even non-refrigerated produce.

2. Stash spices and dry goods in clear bins

How to organize a kitchen
Getty

Stash spice mixes and other dry ingredients (like flour, pasta or beans) in clear containers so they don’t get lost and you can see what you have at a glance. “We love decanting items into clear containers,” says DeLong. “Not only does it cut down on all the visual clutter of different food boxes, it helps you keep an eye on how much you have left.” Plus, dry foods stay fresh when sealed in these.

3. Corral essentials with a spinning organizer

How to organize a kitchen
HBB

Small containers can be tricky to store! For spices, olive oils or odd-shaped bottles, DeLong suggests turntables or Lazy Susans and tiered storage risers that let you fit more (and see more) on shelves. No more digging!

To make your own Lazy Susan (like the one shown above), place a handful of old marbles in a glass pie plate, then set another pie plate on top and place go-to spices or small bottles onto the top plate. The marbles allow the plate to spin so you can easily find what you need!

Related: 10 Small Closet Organizing Hacks From Pro Organizers That Will Change Your Life

How to organize your refrigerator

1. Set up zones

To organize your kitchen with the the tidiest look, designate zones for types of food (meat, produce, drinks). Tip: The lower shelves are the coldest spots in the fridge; be sure to stow meat and fish here. The doors are warmer and ideal for foods that are less prone to spoilage, like condiments.

2. Go vertical

Stowing foods vertically in stackable storage helpers maximizes space and keeps everything within easy reach. Also smart: Decant juice into glass dispensers (about $5 at thrift stores) for a clean look and to avoid a pileup of bulky cardboard containers.

3. Banish odors with activated charcoal

Sure, you know putting a box of baking soda in the fridge helps eliminate smells, but there’s now a better option: activated charcoal. Activated charcoal reduces moisture and humidity, which means it cuts down on mold and mildew, making your food last longer. A few versions of activated charcoal even stick onto the walls of your fridge to maximize space.

4. Think clear

How to organize a kitchen: fridge bins
Amazon

“Clear bins are great for storing produce — they keep everything visible, so it’s less likely to go bad,” says Fuqua. And if you opt for bins with air holes, fruits and veggies stay fresh even longer. Tip: Lay a paper towel in the bottom of the bins to soak up moisture.

Related: This Lazy Susan Trick Makes It So Easy to See What’s Inside Your Fridge

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.


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