A working kitchen has two things in common – chaos and order. The order of the kitchen has to be able to deal with the chaos of the dinner rush. For this efficiency, chefs live by the concept of ‘Mise en Place’ when organizing their kitchen space. But homeowners can also benefit from having their kitchens feel neat and organized.
To get started, you can use the SPACE acronym developed by Julie Morgenstern.
A= Assign a Home
E= Equalize (or evaluate and maintain)
This means to pull everything out of your kitchen and categorize it. Take the opportunity to see what you have and use and consider why you are keeping each item. If you’re not sure of the answers, then it’s likely something you no longer need. Categorizing items together helps you to find them quickly and easily.
Get rid of any kitchen item or pantry item that’s broken, expired, or something you don’t use or need. Sell by dates are placed on food by the manufacturer and are meant to indicate the last day the food should be sold. Use by dates are an indication of how long the food should stay fresh and is safe to eat. If it’s something you can donate or recycle, do that instead of throwing it away.
3) Assign (Efficient Triangle Layout)
Everything needs a home. This means finding a designated place for each item or ingredient. Consider how often you use each item and find a place that is easy to access. If you have limited cabinet space, try hanging your cooking essentials from a pot rack, or storing them in a drawer near the stove.
Next, think about items that you need for food preparation and cleanup, such as cutting boards, knives, measuring cups, sponges and towels. These should be stored in a drawer or cabinet near the stove so that they are easy to reach when you need them. You may also want to consider adding a spice rack with all of your spices in one convenient place.
Now is the time for those of you who want to bring some of your own personality into your space to do so. The bins and containers that you select for your space are a great way to not only help the space be efficient and organized, but also have some fun!
5) Equalize and Evaluate
Lastly, what works and what doesn’t work? Consider if the items are easy to access, if you need to reorganize, or if you need any additional storage. Our use of space changes over time, and our organizational systems must adapt in order to keep supporting us in feeling efficient and productive.
By following the SPACE acronym, you will be able to organize your kitchen like a pro. Taking the time to sort, purge, assign a home, containerize, and evaluate will help you achieve “Mise en Place”, and spend more time on the good part of cooking- the eating!
Erin Gaskins is owner of Room Redefined, a professional organizing company based in Denver, Colorado. After 25 years in public education, Erin decided to put her passion for organizing to work in the service of others and entered the entrepreneurship journey. Five years later, Room Redefined stands out in their dedication to offering customized organizing services to homeowners, businesses, and schools. She and her company are strongly committed to the work of changing society’s narrative- helping other women feel comfortable with the notion that we are all stronger when we give up the “superwoman complex” and work together to accomplish our goals!