You group by item, not by need
You might keep your masher and grater by the stove with other long-handled items, but that’s not the most convenient setup. “There are three things that happen in the kitchen: prep, cook and serve,” says Laura Cattano, professional organiser and founder of Organisational Design. “The best thing is to zone out your kitchen by those categories.” You might keep your spatulas by the stove, but your potato masher belongs near your benchtop and big bowls. Take it a step further by asking exactly when you use each item. For instance, there’s no reason your mugs need to be by your water glasses, but putting them next to the coffee maker will save you from running all over your kitchen in the morning, says Cattano.
You think only the benchtop is convenient
To keep from digging through stuffed cabinets, you might leave items like sugar and oils on the benchtop. But as long as your cupboards are clear, it doesn’t take much effort to open the door – and you’ll see the payoffs in how clear your benchtop looks. “It doesn’t have to be on the benchtop to be easily reachable,” says Jodie Watson, founder and president of Supreme Organisation. “If you purge out the cabinets in your kitchen, you can keep sugar in the cabinet. You open the door and there it is.”
You leave big appliances out
Feel free to leave appliances you use daily, like a coffee maker or toaster, on the benchtop. But anything you aren’t using every day should be stored in a cabinet to make more room on the benchtop. “Nobody likes to have to put the appliance away, but balance that against the precious benchtop space,” says Maeve Richmond, founder and coach of organising company Maeve’s Method. “There’s the convenience of having it out, but it’s more convenient to be able to chop more vegetables or have a cleaner space.”