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Eight Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen

Kitchens are where we spend a lot of our waking hours. Your kitchen may also be the busiest room in your home, and for that reason the most disorganized room in your home as well. You can save time and effort by organizing your kitchen to save steps and improve workflow. Here are a few things you can do to make your kitchen more efficient.

1. Determine which areas of your kitchen need help. The refrigerator, cabinets, drawers, and pantry are all prime candidates. Choose the areas that will make the most difference in your regular kitchen routines. Then tackle them one by one.

2. Arrange your refrigerator to minimize rummaging. Group like items such as condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, etc.) together. Adjust shelf heights for tall, medium, and short items. Label leftover containers with contents and date.

3. Organize your cooking utensils. An overhead hanging rack for pots and pans makes it easy to see and grab the right one for the job. Consider a pegboard near the stove for spatulas, wooden spoons, whisks, and other kitchen tools. If you can see and grab the right utensil rather than walk across the kitchen and rummage through a drawer, you'll save hours in the course of a year.

4. Install slide-out cabinet organizers wherever practicable. Use one under the sink, and put them in cabinets where you keep your less frequently used cooking and baking utensils.

5. Organize your countertops. Group breakfast items (coffee maker, toaster, juicer, etc.) together to cut down on excess motion. A countertop bread bin keeps bakery items fresh and easy to find.

6. Organize your pantry. Designate one shelf for canned goods, one for cereal, another for crackers, chips, and snacks, another for paper goods, and another for baking supplies (flour, sugar, oil, etc.). If the pantry has deep shelves, install slide-out shelves or roll-out baskets.

7. Organize your kitchen drawers. Put the silverware drawer near the dining area and save steps when setting the table. Use plastic dividers or boxes to organize items in drawers by type--knives, corkscrews, tongs, cheese slicers, etc.

8. If you have room for it, a rollaway kitchen island can move around to create extra workspace, such as additional work surface for those holiday baking projects. It should have drawers for extra storage space.

Follow these suggestions and you will have a well-organized kitchen that will save you time and effort, and make your kitchen a much more comfortable place for the whole family.