If you’re like most people, your kitchen can always be a mess, especially when you host many gatherings at home. You rush to get dinner on the table and before you know it, the countertops are cluttered with dishes. Tupperware containers are all over the place and the cabinets are crammed with food storage containers that came from God-knows-where.
Having said that, we’ve asked the help of kitchen and home experts to give us 6 kitchen organizing mistakes to avoid at home.
1. There Are Too Many Items on the Display
Stylish storage jars on shelves and design-led appliances on kitchen countertops add charm. But there is a fine line between too little and too much display on your kitchen counters. You should only keep the items you use most frequently in your kitchen, and store everything else.
According to Lucy Gough, “Think about your routine and what you use every week and put only those items on display in your kitchen.”
“A kitchen needs not so many key appliances on the counter to run smoothly; perhaps a toaster, kettle, and coffee maker or a microwave oven. A mixer isn’t necessary unless you bake every day, so I’d keep it in the cupboard.”
Instead of mug trees and knife blocks, choose in-drawer storage and cupboard shelves. If you prefer to keep pans and utensils near the kitchen, rearrange them for everyday items you use. Then, stash the rest in a drawer or cabinet.
Lucy also suggests fixing strong magnets inside cupboard doors to keep knives out of sight but easily accessible. Put fresh herbs, favorite cookbooks, wooden chopping boards, and bowls of fruit on display for color and character.
2. Not Using Internal Storages Often
Using spare nooks and crannies for storage is great in bespoke kitchens designed by professionals. Although mass-market manufacturers like IKEA offer a variety of internal storage options, they can also ensure a tidy space.
If you’ve ever been in a kitchen with too many items on the display, you know how cluttered it can get. It’s hard to see what you’re grabbing, and it’s even harder to find what you’re looking for.
But is this really a problem? According to Ken Adams, CEO & Founder of FullOfSports, it may be more of a mistake to avoid putting too many items on the display than to try and cope with the mess.
“There are two main problems with having too many kitchen items on display,” he said. “First, it’s easy to lose track of what you have and where it is. Second, it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for.”
Adams recommends creating separate shelves for different types of food. This will help keep everything organized, and you’ll be able to see immediately what’s available. “It might not be pretty, but it will work better in the end,” he said.
Shelf inserts, drawer partitions, pot lid organizers, and door racks can also store smaller items, making your home look less cluttered.
3. Do Not Use Trays
Organizing your kitchen can be a challenge but using trays to keep everything tidy could be a bad idea. There are several reasons why using trays in your kitchen is not the best idea.
“First, they can become cluttered very quickly. If you have a lot of pots and pans on one tray, for example, it becomes difficult to see what you are cooking because everything is muddled together. Secondly, if something spills onto the tray, it will be much harder to clean than if it was located on a countertop or in one of the cupboards,” says Amelia Thompson of Homestyle Kitchen and Baths.
Finally, Amelia adds, “if there is a fire in your kitchen and the flames spread to the tray full of pots and pans, you’re going to have a lot of trouble putting out the fire!”
If you find that your kitchen is becoming too messy and organized items are constantly getting misplaced, try switching to more traditional storage methods such as cabinets or drawers.
You’ll be able to see what’s inside each storage area without everything cluttering up your countertop.
4. A Docking Drawer is Not Included in the Design
Having a dedicated drawer in your kitchen for charging phones and tablets may seem like a luxury. But having one is well worth it if you have the space. It’s great for kids who have their own devices.
A kitchen with docking drawers is key to keeping tools and utensils accessible without disorganizing the countertop. This type of drawer can also be handy for storing small appliances, such as coffee makers, blenders, and toaster ovens.
“Kitchens having a docking drawer is usually more efficient than not having one. This is because they keep all the tools and utensils within easy reach without taking up counter space. Additionally, a well-organized kitchen with a docking drawer is often more aesthetically pleasing than one that doesn’t have one,” says Bruce of LAX Concrete Contractors.
By keeping all the tools and utensils within reach, you’ll save time and energy by not having to search every single time. Bruce Rodriguez also recommends installing a docking drawer in any kitchen that has counter space available.
He says that this type of drawer is essential for efficiency and organization in any kitchen. But especially in larger ones where there’s lots of room to store things. If you’re looking to install a docking drawer but aren’t savvy on handyworks, consider the help of a construction firm.
The years of experience they have in installing these types of drawers can provide you with helpful tips and advice along the way.
5. There is Excessive Children’s Art on the Walls and The Fridge Door
Too many children’s art pieces in a kitchen can be overwhelming. Not only do they take up valuable counter space, but they also create an obstacle for adults trying to get in and out of the kitchen.
Plus, if your kids are constantly asking to borrow your pots and pans, you might as well just buy them their own set! “Having too much child’s art also makes it difficult to keep track of who owns what piece,” says Lizzy Warren.
If one of your little ones spills grape juice on their Mickey Mouse painting, for example, it can be tricky to figure out where to assign blame. Not to mention, if every adult in the house has a different Mickey Mouse painting, you’re going to have a lot of cleaning up to do when the party’s over!
Of course, there are always exceptions to rules. If you have a toddler or young child living at home and their artwork is the star of the show, then by all means go ahead and fill up your kitchen with kid-themed art!
But if you don’t have any kids under 5 years old living at home or if you want to keep your kitchen looking professional and organized, try limiting your child’s artwork to just a few select pieces instead of having it cluttering everything up.
6. Jars Overfilled with Utensils
Jars are a popular organizational tool in kitchens, but they may not be the best option if you want to keep your utensils organized. In fact, overfilling jars with utensils can make it harder to find what you’re looking for. If you’re trying to organize your kitchen by type of food, for example, jars can be a hindrance.
You’ll have to dig through a lot of pots and pans just to get to the baking dish or skillet you need. Plus, if your kitchen is cluttered and you have a lot of jars on the countertop, it’s likely that other things will get lost in the shuffle.
According to Smith Sodine, the founder of Smithy Home Couture, “Instead of using jars as an organizing tool, try using drawer organizers or baskets instead. They’ll allow you to see more easily what’s inside without having to search through a bunch of pots and pans.”
And if your kitchen is already messy, adding drawer organizers or baskets won’t make it any worse.