Great kitchen organisation ideas that make life easy, simple and joyful.
Indian kitchens are one of a kind, different in use and design. Our tryst with masalas and spices, cutlery and vessels of different materials and elaborate foods we prepare makes kitchens undergo a daily onslaught of work. Kitchen organisation in our homes is therefore a tough chore, made even more complex with the variety of cuisines we prepare. Storing utensils and food ingredients is one of the biggest peeves for most women in Indian kitchens. Despite storing intelligently and even buying less, one always finds things spilling over to the countertop, dining table and even the sink.
Organisation is the key to keep ourselves sane, yet churn out wonderful dishes day in and day out for our friends and families. Great organisation isn’t as hard as it looks. It is more than just putting everything out of sight and reach. It means finding things when you need them, separating essentials from occasional use, and prioritising important tasks. All this so good food doesn’t have to be cooked at the cost of slogging in the kitchen for hours on end.
While kitchen design isn’t tough in itself, here are 10 few design ideas and tips to come up with great kitchen organisation for Indian homes.
Declutter Your Kitchen Counters
Kitchen counters are where all the hard work actually gets done. It’s the battleground where food is cut, sliced, diced, mixed, fried and cooked. As such kitchen counters have to be free and spacious for work to actually begin. Seeing them neat and efficient is ideal but what also happens is that it invites unnecessary stuff to be stored on them, often indefinitely.
Kitchen counters become cluttered with things all the time. If it isn’t dishes with cooked food then utensils, oftentimes spice bottles and unused cutlery find their way there. If you want an empty countertop to work on, or simply to make you feel happy about the space, try kitchen railings which can hold your baskets, spice bottles and other cutlery.
Rack Up Your Cups And Plate
It is easier to wash and dry utensils that are properly segregated according to their function. Plate and cup racks, spoon holders, frying pan hangers and magnetic knife boards are some organisation ideas for the counters. These ensure that cooking supplies and all essentials are situated right next to where you cook and convenient to manage.
Bottle Up All Your Condiments
Bottles are now available in a variety of different sizes and for different purposes. Cooking oils and ghee, frying oils and liquid items are best managed when stored in long bottles at convenient places throughout the kitchen. Bottle pull-outs are great organisation accessories and using them decreases spillage and leaks keeping your counter clutter-free.
Increase Pantry Storage Space
Pantry storage just doesn’t suffice. There was a time earlier where a separate room next to your kitchen was used for vegetables and storage of food grains. With the advent of refrigerators, pantry sizes began to shrink and food began to increasingly clog kitchen counter. The trick to increasing pantry storage in small kitchens of today is the intelligent use of space.
Shelf And Drawer Storage
Most old household pantries are created with large and tall shelves, that are inconvenient and a waste of space. Big vessels and cutlery cannot fit into them, and sometimes space is more than required. Additional space in pantries can be created while maintaining them contemporary and chic, with special pull-out shelves of different heights and storage baskets of varied sizes. This keeps your stuff organised, creating the right kind of spaces. Pull-out shelves can also be tailored with single-height and double-height shelves as per your design and requirements.
Vertical Niche Storage
Modular kitchens have lower shelves that are a variation of drawers and stand-alone spaces. Placing things horizontally – utensils, cutlery and bottles – is more space occupying. The area that can take up several little items, must make do with just one when things are placed horizontally. Small vertical storage can be created under kitchen counters, next to storage bins and wherever small niches can be found. These when used to store daily use bottles of oil, vinegar, ghee are convenient and easy to access.
Storage Tricks That Stick
Corkboards, magnetic strips and rubber mats provide convenient storage for spoons, forks, cups and other small items and cutlery. Placing them around the kitchen forces you to keep things in their place and reduces clutter around the main kitchen area.
Maximise Usage Of Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen cabinets are usually designed based on the layout and available space, but there’s no reason why they can’t be used for more than just storage of utensils and cutlery. The space on and around cabinets can also be optimised to ensure they are useful.
Kitchen Cabinets For Better Organisation
Cabinets have an outer area that can be designed aesthetically to store away other accessories – washcloths, hangers, plastics. With clever addition of handles, racks and bars for aprons and clothes, converting smaller nooks into bottle storage, installing specially designed bottle pullouts and maximising every inch of kitchens, cabinets can be optimised for space.
Magic Corners Are Clever Kitchen Organisation Hacks
Small or large modular kitchens have many areas that are unused or lie waste. While it didn’t matter in older kitchens, today because of the paucity of space every inch is important. Magic corners are a boon. In modern modular kitchens they utilise the dead space in corners of lower cabinets. Magic corners help in accessing the space at the back of cabinets. They come in a variety of shapes and accessories that make this possible. The rotating corner trays or kitchen carousels are centrally fixed but can be rotated to get items closer. The Le Mans magic corner is a kidney shaped tray that unfolds itself out of the corner cabinet when pulled. Similarly, pull-outs are metal baskets designed in a different manner to maximise storage. These kitchen organisation tools make it easy to save more, in a less space.
Buy Less, Store Less
One thing many of us in Indian households love to do is to buy more stuff. We imagine that more utensils and cutlery, more plastic storage and appliances will make our lives easier or organisation better. The opposite is true. Better organisation comes with owning less, using storage intelligently and keeping only what is needed. Collecting plastic containers for storage is an obsession you must actively stop. There’s no end to it and it will end up clogging all spaces of your kitchen. Any container that is stained, cracked or doesn’t seal must be sent for recycling. They are not useful and are certainly not good for health. Try and replace all your plastic items with steel or glass. Or reuse plastic as planters and for storage of stationery and other items.
Purge the Pantry And Organise By Use
Rather than buying unwanted groceries or storing unused cutlery and food, remove them regularly. Detox your kitchen as regularly as you detox yourself. This keeps you in better health, keeps the kitchen clean and sanitised and everyone in the family healthy.
Kitchen organisation isn’t just about moving things around and creating space for convenience. It also means going deeper to understand how it can be made longterm and self-sustaining. Depending on what works for you, use all of the above organisation tips or just a few and stick to them regularly.