The more compartmentalized your kitchen is, the more functional it becomes. Each drawer in your kitchen that holds any sort of utensil including knives, forks, spoons, measuring cups, pizza cutters, ice cream scoops, wine stoppers, bottle openers, can openers, spatulas, etc., should be in a compartmentalized tray. All of these items should be present in all drawers in your kitchen. Therefore, this allows me to proceed in saying that all kitchen drawers should have trays with organized compartments. When you have similar utensils together in a designated drawer and organized accordingly, you get much more use out of them.
This leads me to my second recommendation when it comes to drawers. Never ever have a “junk drawer” in your kitchen or anywhere in your house for that matter. The fact that the English language has even adopted the term junk drawer as an everyday norm and term that almost every person has heard of and knows of goes against the laws of organization. A junk drawer is organization’s mortal enemy. So, the moral of this story is to place everything in a designated place where you can find it or if you don’t use it, then get rid of it! A junk drawer to me is abysmal and serves no purpose and will never allow anyone to feel peaceful and serene!
In regards to silverware, someone had once asked me how long should they keep their silverware until replacing it. I tell them to look closely at the intricate designs on the handles of most knives, spoons, and forks. When you start to see the slightest trace of rust, it’s time to dispose of them. On average, if you take good care of your silverware and do not leave them sitting in a pile of water in your sink overnight repeatedly, your silverware set can last five years or more. I would say I am close to that five year mark, and I can see a slight trace of brown specs on the end of a few of my everyday knives. I will most likely trash them and buy a new set in the near future, myself.
Now that we have covered drawers, let’s go over upper cabinets in the kitchen. What goes in your upper cabinets should be kitchenware that will never go into an oven or a stove, and is only meant to go on a table for holding foods or liquids for eating or drinking out of. These items include plates, bowls, cups, glasses, ramekins, glass food trays, and other related items. The one exception to this rule is with spices, herbs, and oils. If you have a small, upper cabinet that you can devote to these materials, that will suffice. If you have an organized structure or rack on your countertop that can hold spices and herbs, that will work as well.
Your lower cabinets in your kitchen should be used for large, bulky items that would typically go into an oven or on a stove like pots, pans, glass baking trays, baking sheets, etc. There are only two exceptions to this rule of lower cabinets. One of them should contain miscellaneous cooking items, like rolling pins, mixers, etc. Having these items sit in a nice mini basket with fabric in it within an available, lower drawer or cabinet will keep them organized. The lower cabinet that is directly beneath your sink should contain all sorts of cleaning supplies, and trash bags if you do not have a pantry, garage, or main level closet you keep them in. Again, I would have these cleaning supplies in plastic bins. The last thing you would want to happen is for one of these cleaning products to leak and ruin the entire inside of your cabinets. It would be much easier to dispose of the plastic storage container or bin your cleaning products are in, rather than cleaning the entire inner cabinet if by chance a leak were to occur.
My only other major recommendation for the kitchen has to do with items that go on the countertops. Smaller appliances that typically get weekly use should be on countertops, including coffee machines, toaster ovens, and microwaves. These are acceptable to have on the counter’s surface. If you find that there is still plenty of bare space on the countertops, then I would recommend adding some decorations. I prefer using tchotchkes (pronunciation: choch-keys) like colored ceramic or glass containers, and grouped into threes.
Once you re-organize your kitchen into the way I specified, you will feel a warm, melting sensation within your heart, now knowing that behind every closed drawer and cabinet, there is no disorganization or mess of utensils and kitchenware. When you wake up in the morning to make yourself a cup of coffee, you can take your first sip with a pleasant feeling in your body. When you go to bed at night and turn your kitchen light off, you will look back at your kitchen before proceeding upstairs to bed with a smile on your face, knowing the pride you take in your new organization methods you have now applied, to treat your kitchen with respect and dignity. Grab that wine glass and sip up!