I’m going to help you figure out how to keep your kitchen organized and clean with a bonus tip featuring Zep’s Microwave Miracle. This article is part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #ZepSocialstars
I’m not the best organizer, you guys, which is why you should take my advice on how to organize your small galley kitchen. I’m not a professional organizer, I’m not Type-A, I’m just a regular gal who wants a functioning kitchen that I’m able to keep up with on a daily, working basis.
Let’s face it, the kitchen is probably the most used room in your house, unless you’re newlyweds, in which case your bedroom might see more action. I digress, in this house of 5 people who love to eat, our kitchen is the busiest room in the house. I’ve found that the more organized my kitchen is, the easier it is to clean. A clean kitchen means that any baked goods I send to the ballet bake sale are safe to eat, so please, rest at ease that my gluten-free brownies are not only bangin’, but free of last week’s dinner crumbs or dog fur.
I’m sorry, I got off topic there.
This little house we’re renting has a tiny galley style kitchen that I have a love/hate relationship with. When we first moved in, I loved that we had less cabinet space to clutter. I had to be mindful of where I put things, and take a few extra seconds every time I put dishes away so that they were stacked well. I’m only 5’6″, so reaching my Pyrex dishes on the top shelf of the highest cabinet can be a concussion hazard if things aren’t put away appropriately. We also don’t have a pantry so part of our limited cabinet space is consumed with our pantry goods. This has been one of my biggest hurdles. I can’t remember a time in my life where I never had a pantry.
As we’ve figured out how we consistently use the kitchen on a daily basis, things have been added to the counters that make the place look like a complete pigsty. I’m not gunning for a centerfold picture in Southern Living, but I would like for the kitchen to look a little more put together and a lot less cluttered. We’ve also accumulated a few new appliances like a NuWave oven and a Fryer. I actually use both of them on a fairly consistent basis and I have been storing them on the bar counter and in our utility closet which is just off the kitchen. Every time I change out a load of laundry, I have to move the NuWave to the floor, switch the laundry, then put it back.
You guys, I’m lazy and this just doesn’t work for me.
I’ve had this insane desire to use chalk paint on something, because everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t I. I figured what we really needed was an old kitchen cart or even a low bookshelf I could convert to a place to store some of our large items that don’t have a home. After scouring several thrift stores and antique shops in my area, I found a pristine-looking rolling cart with a granite top. It doesn’t need to be chalk painted which is kind of a bummer, but it looks like it was made for this house. As soon as I laid my steely grey eyes upon this cart, I knew it had to be mine. I paid $99 for it, brought it home, and introduced it to the Fry Daddy, the NuWave, and my Kitchen Aid chopper. I also gave it a bottle of wine and some small batch bourbon as a house warming gift.
Now that my kitchen counters are clear and free of clutter, it makes it easier for me to spray the counters down with my favorite Zep Commercial cleaner and degreaser. Speaking of Zep, I’m in love with their microwave cleaner. I’m all about taking the easy way out of things and with this stuff, the easy way out is the only way in. You spray the foam inside your microwave, zap it for 1 – 2 minutes, let it cool off, then wipe your microwave out. It steam cleans your microwave FOR YOU! I cook bacon on a fairly regular basis, and there was no scrubbing or second passes involved. It was really just a quick wipe of the microwave with a paper towel and BAM! clean microwave. It gets major bonus points for making the kitchen smell citrusy, like you scrubbed it all day long. You can find it at Home Depot and you won’t regret it. Make sure you pick some up next time you’re there. You can definitely thank me later.
When the kitchen is free from clutter, it’s easier to keep clean, and the cleaner my kitchen is, the happier my husband is.
If you’re having trouble keeping your space clean, make sure you check out my other post with free printables that help keep your house clean with as little effort as possible every day.
Enough of my blathering. The moment you’ve all been waiting for.
How to Organize Your Small Kitchen
1. Buy a kitchen cart, book shelf, or other organizing tool to house necessary appliances that you don’t have cabinet space for. A rolling cart can be mobilized to the kitchen, but kept just outside of the kitchen so you don’t add more clutter to your small space.
2. Place your spices in a utensil organizer and put it in those out-of-the-way-never-used cabinets above the refrigerator. This way you can take all of the spices down at the same time when you need them, and you put those cabinets to good use.
3. Use a pantry canned goods organizer to put your daily medicines and supplements on. I take a ton of supplements every day, as do my children, and some of us have other medicines that we take on the regular. When we leave our meds in the bathroom, we forget to take them so we find it best to keep them in plain view. No, it isn’t the prettiest option for your kitchen, but it is functional and the organizer keeps things in plain sight so that they don’t get scattered all over the kitchen.
4. Use an over-the-door coat hanger to stash your handbags. Clearly this only applies to my gals, but I have to include it. Do you find your purses hanging from the backs of the kitchen chairs on a regular basis? This hanger keeps my bags out of the way of the kitchen table, and away from grimy little hands who have been known to use Sharpie on my favorite Dooney & Bourke.
5. Papers, papers, everywhere! I picked up a little paper organizer on the cheap and hung it by our garage door. This is where we put necessary school papers for each of the kids, mail that needs to go out, and coupons we want to use on our next outing. Keeping the papers off of my bar top has been a huge struggle, and this little device, when used properly, makes it easier to see what we have.
6. Clean your counters every day. Yeah, so this might not seem like much of an organizing tip, but hear me out: When you clean your counters daily, you are forced to put clutter back where it belongs. Everything has a home, but sometimes those things have dementia and forget where they belong. Help them find their way home by making an effort to clean up daily.