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Organizing

Is There A Proper Way to Organize the Kitchen?

An interior designer gives tips to help you achieve a neat and functional cooking space

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Photography: Jilson Tiu (Main Photo)

From visual clutter to bottles of ingredients—eyesores seem to take the spotlight in the kitchen. We’ve experimented with hacks and looked into different storage solutions, but have you ever wondered if there’s a foolproof way to keep it organized? “I find that the key in maximizing your kitchen is having a place for everything and [practicing] the habit of ‘cleaning as you go’ to avoid clutter,” says interior designer Angelica Dumalus.


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To maintain an organized and streamlined kitchen, you need to find solutions that work for you. Having a spot for each of your belongings, maximizing every nook and cranny of your space, and returning an item to its proper place are just some of the must-dos that can help you keep it clutter-free. Discover your own secret formula with these tips:

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Take note of your needs and cooking habits.


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“When organizing the kitchen, you need to take into account your must-haves. Whoever is the cook or the one using the kitchen most of the time will have needs and specific requests. From there, you’ll have an idea what to prioritize,” the designer shares. Are you the one tasked to prep meals or is your Mom the one using it often? Do you bake or do you need a place for your cookbooks? Prepare a list of the things you do and the essentials you need in the kitchen so you’ll know what organizers to get and if you need space for specific must-haves.

Keep everything within reach.

Is your shelf too high that you need a chair just to reach the jar of spices? Are the pots and pans kept in a cabinet far from the stove? To be able to move around easily, it’s best to keep your cooking arsenal within reach. “Make sure you have all your tools within reach by using your overhead cabinets, drawers, and even canisters for your spices and oils. If you have this setup, not only will you be organized, but you’ll be able to cook efficiently as well,” Angelica explains. You can keep pots and pans inside a cabinet or drawer near the stove while the utensils can occupy a drawer. If you’re low on space, consider installing rods where you can hang your utensils. You can also go for a wall-mounted spice rack.

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There are no hard rules when it comes to choosing baskets, bins, and trays.

Depending on the size and number of your kitchen essentials, you can shop for bins and baskets accordingly. Some prefer to organize drawers using trays to keep everything in order, while baskets are used to hold produce and other ingredients. Make sure your storage pieces match the overall look of your home and that they’re sturdy enough to last for a long time. “It helps if your trays, baskets, and containers are uniformed so as to keep you motivated in maintaining the kitchen clean,” adds the designer.

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Clean your kitchen regularly.

We can’t stress it enough—expired food pose a great risk to your health. Discard items that are way past their best before date, broken appliances, and essentials that you no longer use. “One common mistake I notice [in homes] when it comes to organizing the kitchen is that [homeowners] hold on too long to their stuff. Everything they’ve accumulated when they moved in is most likely still there—taking up more space in the kitchen that’s needed. A good rule of thumb is to do a cleanup/assessment of your kitchen every six months. By doing this, you’ll be updated with what you have and [you’ll know] what other items you need in your kitchen setup,” explains Angelica.

Know where your items are kept.


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Are you guilty of stashing pots, pans, and bottles into empty nooks you find in the kitchen? Doing this can only result in visual clutter and a kitchen where it’s difficult to find what you need. To help you maximize every inch of space in the cooking area, Angelica shares these suggestions:

  • Cutlery, kitchen tools, pots and pans: Consider keeping these in a pullout drawer to minimize clutter. “It also protects your items from getting dusty and frees up more countertop space for preparation and cooking. You can use drawer trays to organize small loose items for a more streamlined setup.”
  • Canned goods and kitchen appliances like the blender and mixer: Place these inside the overhead cabinets if the space permits. “It’s easy to reach and you get to use the vertical space in the kitchen. You can buy relatively affordable shelving spaces in your local department stores to maximize this space.”
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Ready for your home makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Angelica Dumalus through email at angelicadumalus[at]gmail.com.

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