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Monday 20 March 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# task master
How do I get my kitchen cupboards organised - and keep them that way?
If you’re faced with avalanche of spice jars every time you open a cupboard door, here’s how to fix things.

THE KITCHEN ISN’T just a place to cook. It’s a gathering space for everyone in the home, somewhere bags get dropped, shopping gets unpacked, and breakfast gets eaten.

It’s a multi-functional space, but that also means it can get busy and messy quickly – and kitchen cupboards are prime spots for disorganisation.

With a jumble of jars, tins, boxes, packets, sachets and kitchenware inside, it’s all too easy to just shut the cupboard doors on the mess and think “out of sight, out of mind”.

That is, until you need an important ingredient and rummage around to find it, only to discover it went out of date a year ago. So, what’s the best way to keep cupboards streamlined and tidy? Here are a few tips that have worked for me…

1. First up, do a cupboard edit

This doesn’t just refer to perishable items like food. Do an edit of your kitchen tools and pass on the crockery, cookware, utensils, and appliances that you no longer use to a charity shop. Likewise, if you’ve built up a stock of long-life foods and find that they’ve started to take over your cupboard space, make a plan to either use them up or donate them.

2. Be honest and realistic with layout

Yes, the herbal tea is in a beautiful box, but there’s no point in having a full shelf of artfully arranged fruit teas if you reach for the Barry’s or Lyons more often. Put the things you use most frequently on the easiest to reach shelves, group similar items together, and arrange your cupboards so that ingredients and utensils are closest to where they get used.

For example, keep coffee, tea and sugar close to the kettle, and keep spices and long-life dried foods like rice and pasta near the oven. Keep bowls close to where you store the cereal, and pots and pans midway between the oven and the sink. 

3. Use tiered or vertical storage where you can

This is a great way to eliminate dead space. Consider tiered racks for tins and packets, use vertical stacking baskets or even wire magazine racks for vegetables, and mount holders on the inside of cupboard doors to store longer items like clingfilm or tinfoil.  Ensure every bit of space is being put to use.

4. Give the back of your cupboard a starring role again

Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean the two bags of pasta from 2009 aren’t there. Do a big cupboard clear-out to start with, and then implement a system to ensure nothing in the cupboard gets forgotten about.

One cheap way to keep small jars and packets organised and easy to access is to use a lazy susan for small containers like spice jars. On a bigger scale, basket and larder units, kidney units or carousels are a great way to prevent things getting buried at the back.

5. Use your countertops as storage too

Keep the things you use most often on the countertop instead or tucked away in cupboards. Bread and crackers can be kept on the counter in a bread bin, biscuits in a tin, coffee and tea in stylish jars, and spices can be conveniently stored in a magnetic spice rack. Eye-catching containers on the counter top can really complement your kitchen, like this fairly chic bread bin.

More: How to get your shower properly clean, according to a pro>

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