Simplify Your Kitchen

Making meals can be a chore when you spend your prep time rummaging for the right ingredients, cookware and kitchen tools. With new storage solutions and a fresh look at your space, you can make cooking easy and fun again!

Keep your kitchen organized with these ideas!

1The pantry

Clean out that pantry! Get rid of past-date items and group items by use. Pantry items stored by category will make searching for basics a thing of the past. See-through storage, clearly labeled, is ideal for non-perishables like rice, pasta, sugar and flour. Add newer purchases to the back of the row so you'll always grab and use items before the expiration date. An organized pantry makes finding ingredients simple. Add a door-mounted organizer for small items like sauce mixes, and keep a shopping list there so you can jot down items that need to be replaced on the next grocery run.

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2Keep your tools close

Keep essential tools in close reach. A decorative crock can house spatulas, whisks and other items you need to grab while meal preparation is underway. Keep the clutter off the counter and everything in easy reach distance to the stove.

3Cookbooks

Cookbooks are fine on open storage shelves if you keep them away from the grease and humidity of the oven. A bookstand can hold your favorite cookbook open to allow for checking a recipe while you work. Collapsible models are available to be tucked into a drawer when not in use. Other storage on open shelves can be contained and organized with baskets. Wicker and rattan containers look great and keep the clutter hidden from sight.

4Lazy susan to the rescue

Cabinet-sized lazy susans organize sticky and spillable items, still allowing for easy access. Honey and syrups, condiments and oils are there at a turn. These space-saving organizers help you see where items are stored and keep clean-up to a minimum. They're essential for corner cabinets with hard-to-reach storage space, and come in a variety of sizes.

5Keep climbing

Go up! When space is at a premium, keep counters clean and go vertical. Hang pots and pans, if possible, and add a row of pegs – at least two feet away from the oven and stovetop – for aprons, dishtowels and potholders. Place a wall-mounted spice rack near your cooking surface so you can spice up your dishes with fresh herbs attractively stored and easily accessible.

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6Drawer dividers

Drawer dividers keep cutlery from becoming a tangle. When storing dishware, keep the everyday items on lower shelves and store the decorative and special occasion items higher up. Group glassware by use: water glasses, wine goblets, cocktail glasses. If unable to hang your pots and pans, keep them stored in close proximity to the range.

Six easy organizational steps will get you cooking without the chaos and make meal preparation fast, fun and free of frustration!

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