10 Mistakes to Avoid When Organizing Your Kitchen

By Alex Chung

Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks

By far the biggest complaints I get from people who want to cook more food at home is one, they don’t have enough time, and two, they feel like cooking is a chore. Maybe they get home from a long day of work and they’re just not inspired to get in the kitchen and whip up a meal. But I think a big reason for this is because people are making a lot of mistakes when it comes to organizing their kitchen. Everyone wants the techniques. They want the new recipes. They want to cook better, but without that foundation, without an efficient and an organized kitchen. Well, you’re not going to be able to flow in the kitchen and you’re certainly not going to have as much fun. So today I’m gonna be showing you the 10 most common mistakes that I see people making when it comes to organizing the kitchen. I’m going to show you exactly how to fix them to become a much better home cook. Click here to see the full video.

Mistake 1: Not Utilizing Shelves in the Kitchen

Solution: Every single kitchen I’ve moved in to I have put shelves into myself. So much of modern kitchen design is built around putting things in cabinets but when it comes to cooking, seeing your tools and ingredients will inspire you! You can see something, grab it, and get to cooking. Get an Ikea shelf and install it on an empty wall in your kitchen!

Mistake 2: No effort in drawer organization

Solution: All you need to do is measure the length and width of your drawer and pick out some kind of organizational elements that you like and stick it inside your drawer to add some sections to your drawer. Check out the video to see all the different kinds that I have in my kitchen.

Mistake 3: Hiding Pots & Pans

Solution: Be honest. Do you have one of those drawers where you stuff all your pots and pan? Well, its one of the least efficient ways to have your kitchen. Instead put them on a rack. You will be able to see them. It’s better for drying and they will be less damaged prone. You can pick up a cheap rack from ikea and hang it up on your wall. My first rack only held 6 of them and it was good enough!

Mistake 4: Using a Knife Block

Solution: Knife blocks are generally design by a specific company to hold their set of knives. It does look beautiful in the kitchen which is why I have one in my studio but it’s not always the best solution. The best solution is to have a magnetic strip to hold all your most used knives. You can see them and you pick which one you want to use that day.

Mistake 5: Not Dedicating Space for Cooking Essentials

Solution: I always dedicate a space on my counter/kitchen for my most used cooking essentials like oil, salt, and pepper. You could even have a caddy/lazy Susan/rack with your favorite spices!

Mistake 6: Stuffing Spices in a Cabinet

Solution: You know you’re guilty of this. We all have been at some point in our lives. The way to combat this is to have a dedicated spice rack or spice area where you can see your spices or at least see the name of the spices you have. Don’t let them go bad, display them out of direct sunlight so when you are ready to cook you can see what you have!

Mistake 7: Not Leveling Up Your Pantry

Solution: This goes for regular cabinets as well. You can pick up a couple of lazy Susan, containers, or rack where you can section off your pantry to change the way your pantry operates. Lazy Susan are some of my favorites to put in a pantry because it can bring what’s in the “back” to the “front”.

Mistake 8: Throwing Away Take Out Containers

Solution: People throw out take out containers all the time. Instead, keep them because they are the best free organization containers. You can keep hundred of these in a cabinet and use them when you are meal prepping.

Mistake 9: Not Maximizing Counter Space

Solution: You probably have more room than you think. My last kitchen was probably 50 square feet. So I built a custom table that was 1 foot wide and put it on the opposite side of the kitchen. You can totally find a long thin table from Ikea to add some counter space to your kitchen. It’ll change the game for you!

Mistake 10: Not Creating Space for Dish Towels

Solution: I have a magnetic strip with magnetic hooks lined under my island. I hang my towels so they can dry out and don’t get moldy. However, you can use this technique for aprons and other tools you might have lying around in your kitchen!

By Alex Chung

Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks