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The Art of Kitchen Organisation: The Expert’s Guide

Assessing the Current Kitchen Situation

A well-organised kitchen is not only aesthetically pleasing but also plays a crucial role in creating a functional and efficient space for cooking and meal preparation. Kitchen organisation goes beyond just tidying up; it involves strategic planning and implementing effective kitchen storage solutions. 

In this expert’s guide, we will explore the art of kitchen organisation, including the importance of it and the benefits you can reap from having an organised kitchen.

1. Assessing Your Kitchen Needs

Before diving into organising your kitchen, it’s essential to assess your specific needs and understand the items that belong in your kitchen. Take inventory of your kitchen items, including utensils, cookware, appliances, and food storage containers. Discard any duplicates or items that you rarely use. This process will help you determine the storage requirements for your kitchen.

Additionally, consider dividing your kitchen into zones based on functionality. For example, create separate zones for cooking, food preparation, and storage. This segmentation allows you to plan and allocate space accordingly, making your kitchen more efficient.

2. Implementing Kitchen Storage Solutions

kitchen organisation little miss organised brisbane

One of the keys to effective kitchen organisation is maximising your storage space. Make use of vertical space by installing shelves or hanging racks for storing frequently used kitchen items. Utilising floor space with the addition of cabinets, drawers, or pantry shelves can also provide ample storage options.

When it comes to organising specific items, opt for suitable kitchen storage solutions. For instance, invest in stackable food storage containers that can be easily stored in your pantry or refrigerator. Use dividers in drawers to keep utensils and small tools organised. Explore different storage options like spice racks, pot lid holders, and adjustable shelving to accommodate various kitchen items efficiently.

3. Optimising Your Kitchen Layout

kitchen organisation little miss organised brisbane

The layout of your kitchen plays a vital role in its functionality. Arrange your appliances, cabinets, and work surfaces in a way that optimises your workflow. Place frequently used kitchen items within easy reach to avoid unnecessary movements. Consider the “work triangle” concept, which involves positioning the sink, stove, and refrigerator in a triangular formation, allowing for seamless movement during meal preparation.

Creating ample counter space is crucial for efficient kitchen organisation. Clear the counters of unnecessary clutter and keep only essential items within reach. This provides you with the necessary workspace for chopping, mixing, and assembling ingredients.

4. Keeping Your Kitchen Clutter-Free

kitchen organisation little miss organised brisbane

Maintaining an organised kitchen requires regular decluttering and organisation. Set aside time every few months to review your kitchen items and purge anything you no longer need or use. Donate or discard excess cookware, utensils, food storage containers, or appliances that are taking up valuable space.

Implement practical habits to prevent clutter from accumulating. Clean as you go while cooking, immediately putting away ingredients and utensils once you’re finished using them. Make it a habit to return items to their designated places after use. This simple practice goes a long way in maintaining an organised kitchen.

Tune in to the ABC Radio Podcast featuring Bonnie as she joins Katherine to share her professional advice on effectively organising your kitchen:

Bonnie 19 Sept 2017

Katherine:

Katherine Feeney with you, filling in for Kelly Higgins-Devine. We are about to start, to get organised on this program. Lord knows I need a little help in that department. Bonnie Black, our organisational expert, is about to join you in the studio, offering you some tips and advice, some guidance. If you need a little help whipping your place into shape, if you’re in the midst of a spring clean, what a time to do it. We’re having a particular look at kitchens in the next couple of minutes. So, if you’ve got a kitchen related organisational question or just a plea for help in general, 1300 222 612 to  speak with Bonnie Black, or you can shoot me through a text message, 0467 922 612. It’s about 35 minutes past two in the afternoon. Lovely to have you company.

 

This is ABC Radio, Brisbane, Queensland. 

Assessing the Current Kitchen Situation

Katherine:

When you open that cupboard in your kitchen and instead of pulling out the lasagna tray, it’s a bit like Oh, dear. That’s an audio representation of my kitchen, and I’m slightly ashamed to admit it. How about you? How are things at your place? 1300 222 612. Now’s your chance to get organised because Little Miss Organised herself, Bonnie Black, is in the studio. Good day, Bonnie.

Bonnie:

Good day, Kat. How are you?

Katherine:

I’m all right. And you know what? I visit shops that specialise in storage, in selling organisational stuff in the vain hope of trying to do something. Then I buy this stuff and months go by and I’m back at square one. My kitchen is a mess again. Where do I begin? How can I organise my kitchen properly? 

Getting Organised Step-by-Step

Bonnie:

The first step is definitely not to go out and buy storage. And a lot of people think that in any room of the house, if they’re having issues, I’ll go and buy some storage. But that tends to just exacerbate the problem because it’s a new place for us to put stuff. So, the first thing is to actually do an assessment, do a cull, declutter, and then organise what you want to keep, and then buy storage solutions if you need to after that.

Katherine:

That is sound advice. My passing excuse is, Well, it’s because I’ve got a galley kitchen and it’s so small and so we need a bigger house, babes. Probably, I just need to work better with the space that I have allocated, which probably is perfectly adequate. So begin with an audit, how can I tell what is an essential item? I mean, this is the thing. We’re talking about kitchens. I cook from time to time. Sometimes I bake. So, I’ve got all these accoutrements that go along with that that I’m not using regularly.

Bonnie:

Should.

Katherine:

I hang on to them or at what point do I turf them? 

Letting Go of Unused Items

Bonnie:

It’s a really difficult question. And people can get emotionally attached to stuff in their kitchen, which is funny. But sometimes I think the stuff we keep in our kitchen can represent that ideal Betty Crocker situation. We saw people growing up, maybe our mothers or our aunties or our grandmothers, who were these amazing people in the kitchen. And so we want to be like that. And so we think, oh, I might one day do my kid’s cake and do all the decorating.

So, I’m going to keep all the cake decorating stuff, and I’m going to keep 50 million types of tins for baking cookies, even though I’ve never baked anything in my life. So, I think a good question to ask yourself is, have you used it in the last year or two? Are you likely to use it in the next six months? If the answer is no, but you still feel like you should keep it, you have to have a really hard look at yourself. Why do I feel attached to this item?

Katherine:

Yeah, okay. Something more profound might be at play than whether or not you actually need the sifter for the icing sugar for the cake that you haven’t ever made.

Bonnie:

That’s right.

Katherine:

Right. The other thing that drives me to absolute destruction, but is, I suppose, an essential item to a degree is the plastic containers glass or otherwise that are used for food storage. 

Bonnie:

Yes.

Katherine:

And when they’re not storing food, they are taking up a fair chunk of space. I’ve tried doing one basket for the lids and then one basket for the containers so I can stack the containers and then I can never find the lid to match the container. What’s your tip?

Organising Food Containers

Bonnie:

Well, I have to admit, I do like having the containers and the lids separated because it does make it easier to make sure that the lids aren’t falling all over the place. And it’s hard to stack when you’re trying to do the lids underneath and that thing. But what’s also important is to make sure that if you’ve got circular containers, that you have those separate from your rectangular and your square containers, because that can get confusing, especially with lids. And making sure that you do that order and pull out all your Tupperware and your plastics and all your Pyrex type dishes and actually work out, oh, this doesn’t have a lid. Can I get rid of this dish now? Rather than keeping things that I’m sure it’s got a lid here somewhere. I just can’t.

Katherine:

See that far back in the nightmare that is my pantry, my storage area. 1300 222 612. If you’ve got a kitchen in crisis that you would like to organise, Bonnie Black from littlemissorganised.com.au is in the studio now ready to take your calls. Mary from Northgate. Good afternoon.

Mary:

Good afternoon.

Katherine:

Now, your question isn’t specifically about kitchens, and that’s all right. You’re about to move house. What’s your question for Bonnie?

Kitchen Food Container Lids

Mary:

I could definitely do Kitchens, but I have to do the critical picture, which is I’m about to move house. And when you move into a new house, everything looks nice and neat. And I wondered if there’s.. I vaguely remember when… I don’t know whether my mother did it, but when people used to do stuff through a routine. So Monday they did the washing and Tuesday, they did the… I don’t know, whatever you do on Tuesdays. And then that thing. I just wondered if that’s about it.

Katherine:

It, really. To help keep that new house.

Mary:

It’s not much of a plan I have. But I’d like to have it, maybe stay a little bit like it’s going to look when I arrive, instead of the one I’m currently in.

Preparing for a Move

Bonnie:

That’s a really good question, Mary. And I think the most important thing that people tend to forget with moving is that they need to actually declutter and get rid of the things that they no longer use before they move because a lot of people moving is very stressful and so they just pack it all up in a box and think, Oh, I’ll deal with it at the other end. So, the most important thing… That’s what I thought.

Mary:

That’s why I decided.

 

Bonnie:

So, that actually creates an issue for you at the other end. It’s not actually getting rid of the problem, it’s just taking it with you. And of course, you’re paying for it because you’re transporting it with a moving company or paying for petrol or whatever it is. So, do your declutter before you move. And then once you actually move in and you set things up perfectly how you want them, spend that time, make sure that you’ve got the time to actually set things up properly, and then put in place that routine if you would like. Because once you’ve actually set the foundations right, then the maintenance becomes really easy. It’s when we’ve set foundations that are a bit wonky that maintaining becomes tricky and we end up in a bit of a clutter. 

Katherine:

When do you actually move in, Mary?

Decluttering Before a Move

Mary:

Well, I have a tiny little bit of flexibility about that, but I have an awful lot of stuff. I think I heard the tail end of the one before about, do I really want to keep the icing machine that my assistant goes to, I’m never going to use. 

Katherine:

My bread machine, my other machine.

Mary:

That’s good stuff. I probably have a fair bit of that, perhaps just in case, maybe one day, rather than the fact that actually I don’t bake, so I’m probably never going to start.

Katherine:

It’s good that you are taking the time out, Mary, though, to plan ahead because planning is usually key. Thanks for the call, Mary. Good luck with the move. 1300 222 612, if you’ve got a question about getting organised for Bonnie Black. Yeah, Mary makes a good point, doesn’t she? We are talking about kitchens, specifically organisation in general, that we do accrue all sorts of appliances, and that can usually cut down on the space that we have available in our kitchens really quickly. What do you think? Do you box them up and put them in the garage? And then if they don’t come out of the garage, then you get rid of them? Sometimes they’ve been quite expensive, so you don’t want to part with them.

Dealing with Unused Appliances

Bonnie:

Yeah. And appliances can be really hard because sometimes they’ve been a gift from the mother in law who thought that you might like a pie maker or a slushy maker or something like that. I tend to think that if you box stuff up and you stick it in the garage, it’s just going to sit there for five years, 10 years until you can be bothered throwing it out. So I think it’s a bit of a delayed decision by just storing it somewhere. I think people just need to bite the bullet and say, you know what? I’ve not used it. I’m not going to use it. It doesn’t matter that it costs me or somebody else money. The purpose of this machine was to be used as a bread maker. Let’s donate it somewhere where someone can actually make bread with it.

Katherine:

Okay, let’s talk now about designing a kitchen, because for some people, they have the luxury of being able to pick whether they have the cupboard here, the drawer there, the island here. What’s your advice? What makes it easier to keep a kitchen clean, tidy and organised? Cupboards. Drawers? Bonnie Black? 

Kitchen Design Tips

Bonnie:

Drawers all the way. Oh, yes, absolutely. I actually got to design my own kitchen about three years ago, which was so exciting because I could put this all into practice. And we have a big two X 2 metre island bench, and I’ve got drawers down one side and then kind of hidden cupboards around the other sides because it’s actually our dining table as well, so we can fit six people around it. And then we’ve got these two massive hidden cupboards for all those entertaining type platters and things like that that we don’t use every day. But the drawers are definitely my favourite because they’re just so easy and everything’s accessible. You can pull it out and see what’s in there. Drawers are just the way to go.

Katherine:

Okay, so pick the drawers. And what other handy considerations might you suggest people take into account if they are designing their own kitchen?

Opting for Drawers in Kitchen Design

Bonnie:

I think if you can afford to spend the money, get things like the soft closed drawers and get those special corner cupboards. Because everyone has to have a corner cupboard, really? Like, unless you’ve got a really nice, long galley style kitchen like you do.

Katherine:

It’s not licensed for long. Pretty pokey, but thanks for putting a positive spin on it. 

Bonnie:

Bonnie appreciates the lining there. If you have to have a corner cupboard, make sure you get those rotating inners so that you can actually pull everything out and utilise them properly. If you have any special considerations, like you want wine racks or tea towel holders that pop out, or a bin that goes on the top of your bench, or a pop up PowerPoint. These are all the sort of things that people should consider when they’re designing their own kitchen, because you want functionality over anything else. As much as a kitchen is going to be beautiful to look at, and that’s what you want. If it’s not functional, it will really annoy you.

Katherine:

Yeah, it’ll put the funk in, funky and not in a good way. Not a word you want applied to your kitchen. Bonnie Black is from littlemissorganized.com.au. She is our organisational expert. Bonnie Black, thank you so much for your time today.

Bonnie:

Thanks for having me, Kat.

Katherine:

Thank you. And if you would like to find out more about how you can get organised, just head to Bonnie’s website, littlemissorganized.com au.

Conclusion

The art of kitchen organisation is about creating a harmonious and efficient space for meal preparation. A well-organised kitchen not only enhances the aesthetics but also improves productivity and reduces stress during cooking. 

By assessing your kitchen needs, implementing kitchen storage solutions, optimising your kitchen layout, and keeping it clutter-free, you can create a functional and enjoyable space for culinary endeavours.

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