Home Organiziation: Tips for Downsizing Your Kitchen

by Grace Brooke

Getting ready to move into a new home with less kitchen space than you currently have? Do you have so much “stuff” that you aren’t sure how to make it all fit in a functional manner in your new space? Rather than just throwing everything in boxes now and attempting to deal with it later when space is really a premium, let’s take a different approach.

By de-cluttering and downsizing what you currently have combined with a little planning and preparation before you pack can save you lots of stress on the other end. By making the decision now on what to keep you are setting yourself up for less clutter in your new home.

Keep in mind, the less you have to pack means the less you have to carry and then unpack saving you time and effort!

Here are 10 tips for downsizing your kitchen before a move:

1)      Clear out the junk drawer: Why does every kitchen have a junk drawer? Even more confusing is what is in the junk drawer, which nine times out of ten are items that are better suited for other rooms in the house.

2)      Pick your appliances carefully: Being selective about your electric appliances is a necessity in a small space or one with limited countertop availability. That means sacrifices need to be made! The two key things to think about are what you use the most and what saves you the most time. For me it is the coffee maker, Vitamix and cutting board that make the cut. Also if you aren’t regularly cooking for a lot of people, smaller can be better for things like microwaves, toaster ovens and the like.

3)      Matching sets for dishes and glasses: Over time many of us collect a hodgepodge of dishes, glasses, mugs and the like. However, the more mismatched your items, the more space they take in the cupboards. While a plain white set of dishes might seem boring, you can still dress up table settings with good tabletop decor.

4)      Invest in space-saving pieces: Nesting bowls, multi-purpose tools and stackable kitchen gadgets can combine functionality with fun. For example, the Bin 8 Bottle Kitchen Tool, which retails for about $25, is about the size of a wine bottle when stacked and provides useful and needed tools for cooking.

Multi-purpose tool

5)      Match your Tupperware: Tupperware and similar food storage items are very useful, but only if they have a lid. Go through and make sure each piece has a matching lid and place any that don’t in your get-rid-of pile. Now look at what is left and keep a reasonable amount, focusing on those that stack easily together.

6)      Go to the back of the pantry: What is in the back of your pantry or shelves as far as non-perishable food? People tend to buy items like canned goods, pasta and baking items then never even use them before the expiration date. Unless you use items regularly they shouldn’t take up space and expired food should always be thrown out.

7)      Organize bulk foods: Certain food items like cereal, beans, oats, flours and the like come in odd shaped containers that do not organize easily or fit shelf space in the most efficient manner. A good solution is to develop an organization system that incorporates simple canisters or storage bins that effectively fit your space. For example, Mason jars are an inexpensive and efficient way to store a variety of items. They can easily fill up shorter shelves, are visually appealing and you can tell how much of something you have at a glance. This method can also be combined with adding an extra shelf in larger cabinets to effectively double your space.

8)      Get rid of the knife block: Knife blocks might seem like useful storage when in fact they are space suckers! A mounted knife rack is not only functional, by keeping tools close at hand, but a great way to save space in your new digs.

Magnetic Knife Holder

9)      Re-think knick-knacks: People tend to acquire items that end up becoming clutter. Ask yourself, does this item have a function or mean something special to me? If not then it should be placed in the “unnecessary pile”. Also when considering knick-knacks you want to look at wall space rather than counter space for placement.

10)   Do I need it: It is time to play the consideration game as you go through your cabinets and drawers looking at each appliance, utensil, pot and pan! Ask yourself, “When was the last time I used this?” and “Does this give me joy?”

Give yourself time, keep it simple and don’t over think things. The bottom line is that it’s all subjective based on you and your needs. A good thing to remember is that this is an opportunity to ensure your new kitchen has only the things you truly love and need. Good luck!

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