Kitchens are where most people spend a lot of time. Whether you're cooking for yourself or having a dinner party, the kitchen is often the center of the home. A dirty, disorganized kitchen does not make for a happy cook. Pots and pans, as well as bakeware, tend to get thrown under cabinets and eventually you have a cookware avalanche whenever you go to find that long forgotten brownie pan. Over the head pot, racks are great for people with higher kitchen ceilings.
These are designed to hang your pots and pans by hooks and keep them all in one place. If you do not have room for a pot rack, you can always add hooks to the wall or in the pantry, where pots and pans can be temporarily stored until you're ready to cook with them. Bakeware like brownie and bread pans can be kept in a separate area either on pantry shelves, or in bottom cabinets, but be sure to keep them organized.
Small kitchen appliances tend to clutter up the counter tops. This can be a bit tricky. The best way to keep this problem at bay is to only "display" those items you use frequently such as the coffee maker and toaster or toaster oven. Microwaves that have a built in the hood fan are an excellent way to reduce clutter on the counters. Install one over the oven and you've saved yourself several cubic feet of counter space.
Using canisters for things like sugar, coffee, tea, and flour is a good way to avoid a mess and a nice way to easily locate these commonly used items. Modern, stylish canisters look beautiful in any kitchen. Keep in mind that things like pasta and rice can actually expire and should be thrown away at regular intervals. Pay attention to the sell by date of your food. If it's expired, toss it out.
People tend to keep things like bake mixes and noodles around for ages until they go to cook them, and then realize they're not good any longer. Clean out your refrigerator regularly as well. Check the date of condiments like salad dressings, relish, and ketchup. Throw out foods that have gone bad. It's a good rule of thumb to do a weekly or even bi-weekly check of the fridge and clean it out often. Do not stock up on anything you probably will not eat within a month or so.
Recipes are another common reason for kitchen clutter. Think about it: how many cookbooks do you truly need? Downsize your cookbooks or tear out your favorite recipes and copy them onto small index cards. A nice, compact recipe organizer is a neat way to keep everything together and in one place. Catalog them alphabetically for quick reference and you will be able to easily find that recipe for your mother's apple pie.
A good rule of thumb when organizing the kitchen is to keep each type or category of the item together. For instance, keep all glasses in one area of the cabinets, all bowls in another, and salad and dinner plates stay together as well. Use drawer dividers to keep your forks and spoons separated properly. Large utensils like spatulas and big spoons can be kept together in a large container, usually called a utensil crock. By grouping all of your kitchen tools, you can find things fast when it's time to bake, roast, fry, broil, or sauté.