Kitchens are the heart, and backbone, of a home.
Ahh, the beloved kitchen. Often the most-used space, it’s easy to let things like daily mail, packages, and random clutter begin to take over countertops and fill junk drawers. Instead, intentionally keeping this one room organized and tidy can have a positive effect on the entire household. To bring you some organizational tips and tricks, we chatted with Monica Leed, owner of Simply Spaced, a Los Angeles, California-based organizing service. “When set up with intention, a kitchen can become the backbone of a happy, healthy, and functional home,” shares Leed.
Leed takes us through her three-step process, as shown in this Los Angeles, CA, kitchen that she and her team organized.
SIMPLIFY: Declutter Your Chaotic Kitchen
The quickest way to create order in the kitchen is to simplify and declutter. Be relentless and honest with yourself! Leed suggests that you touch every item and ask yourself, “Do I love it, need it, or use it?”
Things to Let Go of Now: (Be sure to donate any usable discarded items!)
- Expired foods and spices
- Foods misaligned with your current diet
- Toxic and expired cleaning supplies
- Mismatched food storage containers
- Broken or missing-part appliances, dishes, and tools
- Gimmicky gadgets
- One-purpose appliances that will get used “someday”
- Dud duplicates (4th strainer with the broken handle)
- Reusable bag overflow
- Outdated cookbooks and recipe cards
- Unused china/crystal
- Gifts you wish you never received
- Expired coupons, old receipts, menus, and manuals
- Junk-drawer junk: overflowing rubber bands, twist ties, corks, caps, and packaged condiments
- Souvenir mugs/impulse buys
- Scratched pots and pans and warped utensils
- Single-use disposables like paper plates and plastic utensils
PRO TIP: By purging unused appliances, tossing expired food, and streamlining collections of dishes to only the most frequently used, you will immediately see the space become more spacious and easy to navigate. Remember, an item isn’t useful unless it’s used!
STREAMLINE: Optimize Space in Your Kitchen
Once you have decluttered your kitchen, the next step is to optimize the space in your kitchen. Create zones for ease of use—establish a designated home for each category of items in your kitchen: cooking, baking, pots + pans, plates + bowls, glasses, mugs, flatware, cutlery, cooking utensils, and large appliances. Think about vertical storage solutions like wall shelves and racks, shelf risers, pull-out drawers, and lazy susans.
PRO TIP: Use sticky notes to map out the best place for each zone mentioned above.
STYLE: Curate a Stylish Kitchen
To curate a kitchen that’s the heart of your home, you want it to look and feel beautiful. Find decorative accents that you love—petite paintings, vases, a tea kettle in a vibrant color, tea towels, a comfortable rug to place under the sink, etc.
PRO TIP: Place all food items into mason jars or BPA-free containers. It’s not just beautiful, it’s a healthy alternative to storing food in plastics that can release toxins.
In this kitchen, floating shelves and a vertical wall grid were used to create a beautiful and functional vignette. Clear glass containers keep dry goods looking chic, while an oil painting and greenery bring life to this side of the kitchen.
Create stations based on the activities you do most in your kitchen. If you make the same smoothie every morning, perhaps you need a smoothie station with your blender and ingredients in one cabinet. If you’re an at-home barista, create a coffee station complete with hanging mugs for an efficient morning routine.
Adding labels is a great way to keep your kitchen organized. Use them on shelves, baskets, fridge bins, and more to keep the entire family in sync.
Make it yours!
Head to simplyspaced.com to stock up their most used organizational items.
Bormioli Hermetic Glass Storage Jars, $4-$14
3-Tier Acrylic Cabinet & Spice Organizer, $15
Glass Spice Bottle with Chrome Lid, $2
Chrome Cupboard Shelf, $12
Water Hyacinth Storage Bin with Handles, $7-$17
Under-Shelf Baskets, $9
Threshold Gold Wall Grid, $10
READY FOR MORE ORGANIZATIONAL TIPS AND TRICKS? Follow along on Instagram, or preorder Leed’s new book, Simply Spaced: A Modern Decluttering Guide for Simplicity & Style at Home.