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organizing the kitchen

Organizing the kitchen while social distancing

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros with a blog about organizing the kitchen.

Since we started quarantining and social distancing in March, Americans have been spending more money on food, cooking more homemade meals and spending a lot more time in the kitchen. So, organizing the kitchen is more important now.

The pantry

Go through your pantry and organize the food. Start by looking for expired items and toss them. If things are going to expire soon, you might want to plan some meals around these foods.

There are websites like Recipeland or Yummly where you can enter what you have on hand to get recipes that use those foods. That way you can use up the items expiring soon.

When you organize the pantry, put the most popular items in the front and those used less often in the back. Due to the height of shelves, you might be forced to put the taller things in a certain area. You can also group like things together making them easier to find. It’s up to you to put things in a logical order that works for you and the space you have.

Refrigerator and freezer

Go through the refrigerator and freezer and remove any expired items. The freezer can be tricky if you freeze a lot of leftovers. 

Start putting the date on anything you put in the freezer in containers. You can put a piece of tape on the container and write on it. That way you can use the oldest things first.

Anything in the refrigerator that is too old needs to get tossed or composted, if possible. Leftovers should be thrown out after five days if they are not eaten.

Put foods you want to encourage the family to eat at eye level. They will see those foods first and hopefully eat what is healthier. You could also put foods that are expiring soon at eye level to make sure it gets eaten while it’s still good.

Condiments go on the door shelves. The taller shelves are on the bottom so put taller items there. Smaller things go up higher.

Pots and pans

If you can, put the lids on pots and pans when you store them. They’ll take up more space, but you can easily find the set when you need it. If you need to nest them inside of each other, that works too. Put the lids in a stack next to the stack of pots.

Cookie sheets, cake pans, mixing bowls and other cooking and baking supplies should be stored in the front if you are using them more often these days. If you are not doing more cooking, they can be placed toward the back of the cabinets. In other words, put the most used items in the most convenient locations.

Dishes and glasses

Make sure you have room for everything you have. Coffee mug collections seem to grow over time. Go through them and look for chips and cracks that can harbor bacteria. Get rid of anything that is damaged.

Put things in a logical order when organizing the kitchen. If you have “good dishes” and everyday dishes, the dishes you use all the time should be easier to reach. If you can adjust your shelves, move them to accommodate where you need more or less height.


Finally, when you organize the kitchen you have to figure out what goes in cabinets and what stays out on the counter. Only keep things you use daily on the countertop like a toaster and a coffee maker. It doesn’t make sense to put things you use all of the time in a cabinet because you have to get it out and put it away each time.

Things that you use occasionally, like an electric can opener or a blender, put in the front of the cabinets. Equipment you use rarely should go in the back, like bread machines or ice cream makers. If you don’t use them at all, it’s time to let them go. This will free up more space for the things you do use.

As you continue to make adjustments to your daily life during social distancing it is important to make your home more livable. You want to make the most of the space you have when organizing the kitchen. Need help organizing your home? I offer virtual appointments. Contact me for information and to set up an appointment.

Buying or selling your home? Contact Gigi today!
Oh by the way, I’m never too busy for any of your referrals.

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