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The ultimate guide to organizing your kitchen

Our kitchens have been working overtime in the pandemic, and if you're like most of us - it's starting to show. Take your kitchen up a notch with some clever cleaning and organization solutions from Erica Wark. 

FRIDGE

1: CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE COMPLETELY, TOSS EXPIRED ITEMS AND CLEAN ALL SPACES

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but getting started is always the hardest part. Put on some good music and dance your way to a clutter-free space to start with

2: USE CLEAR BINS OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES THAT BEST SUIT YOUR SPACE

This will be a little different for everyone, depending on the size and layout of your cupboards, but investing in clear bins that really work for your own space will make a world of difference - promise!

Here are some good starting points for your search:

  • Use a circular turntable for condiments to access them easily without digging or having to pull things out
  • Use rectangular bins to save space and organize your food items by groupings (dressings go together for example)
  • Raw meats can leak, so having them in a bin can avoid that mess and makes it easy to clean up after
  • Items from your pantry that needs to be refrigerated can also live here labelled in containers (coffee, chia seeds, flax for smoothies!)
  • Eggs can also live in a external or clear container - again this helps see when you're running low and need to pick up more as they're hidden in a egg carton

3: ORGANIZE YOUR BEVERAGES

While you might think this is an expensive you can skip, we're willing to bet that once you incorporate beverage storage solutions into your life, you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Erica's notes:

  • Use stackable wine holders to save space and keep your wine cold
  • Use can holders as well to save space and have all your sparkling water in one spot (this also helps because you know when you're running low to pick up more!)

4: ORGANIZE YOUR DELI DRAWER

Don't ever open your deli drawer to find expired foods agains. A few simple tricks make organization and regular cleanup a breeze.

Erica's notes:

  • Add a shelf liner for easy cleaning
  • Add multiple clear bins to organize your deli drawer more efficiently (cheeses go together, meats go together etc.). This makes it easier to grab and go, and your household will know exactly where to find things and where to put them back

5: ORGANIZE YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES

This step might be one of the most satisfying, especially when it comes to meal time. Gone are the days of loose fruits and veggies being piled on top of each other - these tips make it easy to see exactly what you have, so you can use all of your produce before they go bad.

Erica's notes:

  • You can also add bins to your fruit and veggie drawers if that suits your lifestyle. For me, I only did that for my fruit drawer for all of my loose fruits to keep them organized and easy to grab. For my vegetable drawer I left it as is as it tends to fill up quickly and empty out quickly as we eat a ton of veggies through the week, and they're always changing
  • The fruits or veg that needs to be washed and prepped for the week should be done as soon as you're home to avoid getting lazy and them going bad - things like berries or cherry tomatoes - use sealed tupperware and store them in your fridge - they'll be ready to go and easy to grab when you need them, plus they'll last longer in the fridge sealed in tupperware instead of the plastic containers they come in. 

6: WHERE TO PUT CERTAIN ITEMS

Your fridge needs to work for your family, and not the other way around. So when it comes to placement of items, there are some strategies to follow to ensure you get the best use of the space

Erica's notes:

  • The highest point in your fridge is the coldest, so if you have leftovers, that's the perfect spot for them
  • The doors on your fridge is generally the warmest, so have items like cooking condiments, mustards, jams, peanut butter etc is the perfect spot. I also house my almond milk there because it's the tallest item in my fridge and it's also something we go through the quickest over the week.
  • Everything else can go where it fits the best and makes the most sense for your day to day!

CUPBOARDS

This is another situation where your kitchen's layout and how you need it to work for you will dictate how you organize it, but here are some great products to get you started!

DRAWER ORGANIZING

UNDER SINK STORAGE

CONTAINERS FOR PANTRY:

COUNTERTOP STORAGE SOLUTIONS

  • Garlic keeper, $12 from CB2
  • Salt and Pepper duo, $55 from CB2
  • Black marble utensil holder, $90 from CB2
  • Marble butter dish, $90 from Williams Sonoma
  • Fruit bowl, $49 from Fable Home