I know you have done this dance MANY times! It’s where you dance around the kitchen opening and closing cabinet doors in search of utensils, plates and bowls, recipes and small appliances. Finally your spouse or kids observe this dance and either ask what you are doing !

Moving into a kitchen is full of decisions. When you first set up your kitchen after moving in, you maybe spent days doing so. After a few weeks the confusion begins…..where did I put the measuring cup…..I know I put my salad bowls here but where are they???? I have a friend who put sticky notes on all of the kitchen cabinets (temporarily) with the contents of the cabinet/drawer written on them. I thought this made good organizational sense!

So how do you choose the best places to store your kitchen items? Well, it makes sense to put the most used items closest to your “working area”, i.e., stove, dishwasher. Drinking glasses should be in a cabinet closest to the dishwasher. You can carry a stack of plates across the kitchen, but you can only carry a few glasses at a time. Put them in the easiest-to-reach location. This goes for silverware too! They should be in the neighborhood of the dishwasher. Everyday dishes should be in the next closest cabinet. Along with the dishes, you’ll be doing a lot of food prep work at the sink. Remember that if you have an island in your kitchen, the cabinets in the island directly opposite of the sink are also convenient. Dish and cleaning products we all know are best in the cabinet space under the sink. If you have a young family, make sure to take appropriate safety precautions.

Pots and Pans. Gather everything you use for the stove and oven and locate it nearby. An under-the-oven drawer is great for broiler and baking pans, saucepans and lids or skillets. Don’t forget to put pot holders right next to the stove….and remember which drawer you put them in for those times when you need one QUICKLY!

After you have decided where to put the basic and essential kitchen items, you can expand into food, appliances, etc….If you don’t have a dedicated pantry, choose several kitchen cabinets located next to each other and turn those into your pantry. You don’t want food spread all over the kitchen. Appliances that you use daily should be on the counter and easy to reach, otherwise, store it away. Lower roll-out shelves are perfect for these. Entertaining items, such as chip and dip sets and platters, are perfect for storing in out-of-the-way cabinets over the fridge or stove. Over the fridge for me requires a step stool so I usually put seasonal stuff up there!

So hopefully next time you dance it will be for fun and not in the kitchen being confused!