Easy tips to declutter your kitchen

If the mess in your kitchen is getting out of hand, fear not: your clutter is manageable. Here are some tricks that will keep the counters a bit clearer, and the cupboards a bit easier to find things in.

Easy tips to declutter your kitchen

New rack, less racket

Tired of having to take the pots and pans out of a cabinet to get to the cookie sheets on the bottom? Transfer a metal desk file organizer to the kitchen. This compartmentalized metal rack will allow you to store cookie sheets, jelly-roll pans and thin wooden or acrylic cutting boards vertically. The upshot? You'll be able to pluck flat items out of a crowded cabinet with ease.

Multipurpose furniture

Do you have an old china cabinet lurking in the attic? Put it to use in the kitchen, if you have the room: instead of storing grandma's plates in it, turn it into a storage unit for spices, measuring cups and baking tools or anything that otherwise clogs your cabinets.

Hats off to plates

Whether you keep inheriting piles of plates from well-meaning relatives or you just can't resist them at tag sales and antique fairs, don't let them over-run your cupboards. Empty out those old hatboxes you may have and use them to store plates on top of each other, separated by pieces of soft cardboard or paper plates. Label the boxes and stow them in the attic or on a basement shelf.

Keep small appliances in plastic containers

Kitchen counters a mess? Can't find the coffee grinder behind the electric pepper mill? Large, clear plastic storage containers are a great way to keep infrequently used small tools out of the way but still in sight on a garage, basement or walk-in pantry shelf.

Decant big bags of flour

If large bags of flour, sugar, cereal or pasta are on sale, don't worry about keeping them on your cabinet shelves; empty the bags into individual, supersize clear plastic storage containers, label them and stack them on an out-of-the-way shelf in the basement.

Get your recipes organized

A box will keep your recipe cards all in one place, but a three-ring binder will go it one better. Slip the cards into pocketed plastic photo holders made for ring binders. Arrange recipes by type and then tape a coloured plastic file tab on the first page of each category: soups, chicken dishes, and so forth.

Using a binder will make it easier to browse through your cards and choose the perfect recipe for the occasion. If you're computer savvy, clear your clutter by scanning all of those yellowing recipes into computer files. Organize them into style of food, entree, desserts, holiday favourites, salads — the possibilities are endless. This will enable you to search for recipes with a couple of keystrokes!

You'll love these easy-to-follow tips on decluttering your kitchen — fumbling to find what you need will be a thing of the past.

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