Need More Room for Cooking? Use These Hacks for Maximizing Kitchen Space
Streamline your pantry and fridge so your organization lasts.
When cooking for a crowd, nothing is more stressful than zero counter space and not being able to find your ingredients. To reduce Thanksgiving-day annoyances, organize your kitchen storage space ahead of schedule. Just in time for the holiday rush: Pro organizers and sisters Meg DeLong and Ea Fuqua of TheTidyHomeNashville.com, who shared tips to streamline your pantry and fridge with Woman’s World.
Tips for Your Pantry
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.
Bonus Tip: If you have more than you need (and it’s not expired), use these three tips for easily donating pantry items.
2. Get drawer units.
Stash spice mixes and other bits in bins so they don’t get lost. Also smart: “Tucking drawer units into your pantry makes the most of unused space,” she says. Drawers can stow overflow like baking ingredients or even non-refrigerated produce.
3. ‘Raise’ items.
Small containers can be tricky to store! For spices or odd-shaped bottles, DeLong suggests turntables and tiered storage risers, like the iDesign 3-Tier Clear Organizer, (Buy from the Container Store, $17.99) that let you fit more (and see more) on shelves. No more digging!
4. Use clear containers for dry foods.
“We love decanting items into clear glass 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.
5. Corral your snacks with a spinning organizer.
Organize cabinets and find snacks fast, thanks to this nonslip spinning organizer with dividers! One we like: iDesign 11-Inch Divided Turntable (Buy from the Container Store, $27.99)
6. Stash tiny tidbits in canisters.
Easily store small bites like nuts, pumpkin seeds and more in the EZOWare cute and clear stackable canisters (Buy from Amazon, $26.99).
Tips for 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. Think clear.
“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.
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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