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Tips and Tricks for Organizing Your Kitchen — Again


Virtually enhanced kitchen from Montecito’s Iconic Masterpiece of International Style Architecture to show how organizing your kitchen can be so satisfying

Every homeowner knows how easy it is for chaos to creep into the kitchen. Expired food lurks in the back of the fridge, grains hide behind cans in cabinets, and family members leave messes on the counters. Now is the perfect time for organizing your kitchen — again. Once your culinary space is organized and easy to use, your entire life will flow more smoothly.

Imagine cooking and dining inside the kitchen of Montecito’s Iconic Masterpiece of International Style Architecture pictured above with a virtually enhanced image. Take a VIRTUAL TOUR of this showcase of casual luxury.

Here are 10 easy expert-proven steps to organizing your kitchen:

Tip #1: Go Multipurpose
Embrace multipurpose tools to free up your shelves and your budget. Use a salad spinner insert as a colander, or mason jars for drinking, canning, and storing dried goods. You can use a pitcher for iced tea, of course, but you can also use it to hold cooking utensils next to your stove, or to place some freshly cut flowers on your table. Just don’t do both at the same time.

READ: Open, Closed and Beyond: A Real Estate Pro’s Guide to Kitchen Design

Tip #2: Clean Cabinets 
Take everything out of your kitchen cabinets and clean both inside and out using diluted vinegar. Used as a cleaning product, vinegar is non-toxic and eco-friendly, plus, it’s a strong disinfectant because it’s made from acetic acid. The acidic nature of vinegar is so powerful it can dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, grease, and grime. It’s also strong enough to kill bacteria; making it the ultimate multipurpose cleaning solution. 

Next, decide what to keep and what to discard or donate by separating things into groups:  what to throw out, what to keep and what to donate. The goal here is to eliminate items you don’t use so you can have easy access to the things you do use.

Tip #3: Organize the cabinets 
Now that you have groups laid out, decide where each item should be stored. When you’re putting things back into your cabinets, group like items together. Cooking and baking pieces should be kept close to where you do food preparation. Utensils should be in the drawer nearest the prep area as well. Glassware might be best near the sink or refrigerator. Make a coffee or tea station that includes sugar, mugs and filters, and place it near the water source, if possible. This way you avoid going back and forth across the kitchen for the things you need just to make your morning beverage.

Tip #4: Store Items in Clear Containers
Take things like packets of sauce mixes, gravy mixes, hot cereal packets and hot cocoa envelopes, and put them all into plastic (or, preferably, glass) containers so they aren’t scattered about. Make sure you store your containers and lids together. And go ahead and throw out or recycle those containers that are missing lids!

Tip #5: Make Vertical Space Your Friend 
Install hooks on a free kitchen wall to hang your most-used kitchenware. That way, they’ll be at the ready, and you’ll free-up precious cabinet space for bulkier, less attractive equipment like that clunky blender. Also, consider using a ceiling rack to hang pots and pans. This look is totally in right now and any space you can use to hang something will free up flat space inside a cabinet.

Tip #6: Put Lazy Susans to Use
When organizing your kitchen, you can rely on turntables to maximize space in cabinets and under the sink. Rotating trays can be used to hold things such as oils, vinegars, and other cooking ingredients, as well as spices, supplements, or medications. They’re game changers, especially inside your refrigerator.  By placing a few lazy Susans in your refrigerator, nothing ever hides in the back to spoil or freeze.

Tip #7: Drawer Dividers Are Very Handy
Use kitchen drawer dividers to customize your drawers and segregate items such as cutlery, serving pieces, gadgets and more. A utensil organizer is ideal for multiple kitchen tools. Choose from adjustable drawer dividers, expandable gadget trays, cutlery organizers, silverware trays, in-drawer knife mats, in-drawer spice organizers, flatware storage trays, acrylic knife organizers, drawer organizations bins, expandable drawer organizers, spice drawer inserts. Customizable drawer kits are major space and sanity savers.

Tip #8: Relocate the Junk Drawer
Of course, organizing your kitchen means you should make sure your junk drawer isn’t full of junk. Yes to a flashlight, spare keys, matches, and Wi-Fi info; no to stretched-out rubber bands and the goody bag your kid took home from the dentist. But you should also consider moving your junk drawer out of the kitchen entirely. There’s no reason all the aforementioned stuff can’t live in another room.

READ: The Junk Drawer: A Montecito Tradition?

Tip #9: Sort Papers
Get a magnetic sorter box to hang on the side of the refrigerator for coupons, takeout menus, a notepad and pen or other papers that tend to accumulate on the countertops. Each type of paper should have its own section in the sorter.

Tip #10: Clean Out the Refrigerator
See what food needs to be pitched and immediately throw it out, and take the trash out immediately. Your refrigerator should store only current items and will be less cluttered — and it only takes a few minutes. You can clean your fridge with diluted vinegar.

Child looking for a snack inside a refrigerator produce drawer

The good news when it comes to organizing your kitchen is today there are many choices when it comes to refrigerators. Take the new Beko French Door Refrigerator designed to meet the growing demand for kitchen appliances that promote healthy living. This environmentally friendly 36” French 3-Door refrigerator features the company’s remarkable EverFresh+® and Active Fresh Blue Light technology that manages the temperature and humidity control to keep fresh food fresher up to 30% longer than an average refrigerator – up to 30 days. Fruits and vegetables retain vitamins and nutrients with this amazing technology that simulates natural light conditions, extending the photosynthesis process.

Your personal work style will determine where you store and use the items in your kitchen, but the goal is to get that room and its contents to serve your needs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. If you invest the time and energy into decluttering and organizing your kitchen, it is an investment that will pay off in happiness for years to come.

If you are in need of organizing the sale or purchase of a home in Montecito or any of the surrounding communities, please give me a call at (805) 886.9378 or email me at With more than 25 years in the industry, consistently rated in the top nationwide, I have the experience, contacts and enthusiasm to help both sellers and buyers. Be sure to check out my website to see my profile and what’s on the market today.


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