“Inner kitchen”
How to competently combine functionality, beauty, and comfort in the most popular place of the apartment
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The difficulty of organizing a kitchen is that you have to store numerous things. Even if you are not a “kitchen Plushkin” and don’t get rid of unnecessary things in time, you have to use plenty of small helpers when cooking and serving. Dishes, appliances, textiles, accessories… It all needs to be called to order and somehow tamed. Today, let's talk about how to make your kitchen functional and add a dash of charm to it.
Clea-style kitchen
For me, the kitchen is the heart of the house, it's the warmest, most aromatic room that gathers the whole family (especially when you're cooking something delicious!)

I don't like kitchens where no one cooks or even eats, they look sad and abandoned. I'm not encouraging you to become a Michelin chef or learn how to bake pies if you don't want to, but I highly recommend turning your kitchen into your own “gingerbread house” where you can cozy up with your family or sit alone with a cup of aromatic coffee.

A Clea-style kitchen is where functionality doesn't give way to coziness. That's why I strongly suggest using natural materials for dishes, decor, and textiles whenever possible. You have no idea how natural wood, cotton, and linen can transform the atmosphere!
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Prepare to put things in order
I assure you that a well-organized space will help keep things tidy, even if you have a large family and cook often.

Before you start “debriefing” in the kitchen, do the following:

Think through your strategy.
Write down how many cabinets and other storage spaces you have in your kitchen. What you like and what you don't like, think about what could be organized differently, what areas of the kitchen you use for what tasks, what appliances you use and whether they are conveniently located.

Make a plan.
It's a good idea to have a written plan that lists all the things you want to do, prepare, or buy. That way you won't forget anything.

Take an inventory and get rid of everything you don't need.
My article “Kitchen Inventory” will help you with this.
Only after reading that do you take action.
Zoning is the basis of the system
Conventionally, any kitchen can be divided into four main zones:

Zone 1. Cooking.
It is usually located near the stove and oven, deep bowls, knives, spices, oils, cutting boards, and other kitchen utensils should be placed in this area.

Pay attention! This area should have a sufficient area of empty surface so that nothing disturbs you during cooking.
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Zone 2. Cleaning.
This is an area that is usually located near the sink, all items related to cleanliness — cleaning supplies, sponges, paper towels, wipes, and rags for cleaning, garbage bags, dishwasher supplies, and a trash can should be stored here.
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Zone 3. Storage.
An area where kitchen utensils, dishes, containers, and appliances that are not constantly used are stored. This can be kitchen cabinets, shelving, or individual shelves.
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Zone 4. Groceries and preserves.
I'm not just referring to the refrigerator where you store “quick fix” foods, but also the drawers where you store bulk foods. If you don't have a separate pantry in your house for storing baked goods and canned goods, it's worth organizing a separate cabinet for them in the kitchen so that everything is stored logically and in one place.
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Principles of storage in the kitchen
To make your kitchen neat and functional, you need to use all available space wisely.

Use walls.
Rails are a wonderful invention of humanity, properly positioned rails save a lot of space in the kitchen. Use S-hooks to hang pans, mugs, spoons, and ladles on it. Plus, almost every home improvement store offers many modules, hooks, spice racks, and more. It's not only functional, but it looks beautiful too.
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Divide and conquer.
Dividers can help keep your drawers in perfect order and keep the scattered cutlery and ladles at bay. If you can't match size-to-size with your drawers, try combining different-sized dividers or containers with low rims.

The main principle of drawer order is to separate all small kitchen utensils into categories and store them separately. Spoons with spoons, spatulas with spatulas, and so on.

Think like an engineer.
Think about what else you can use for storage. Hooks and fixtures on cabinet doors, containers and mini bars — every inch can be put to good use not only to increase storage space but also to have easy access to the items you need.

For example, you can attach a lid holder or a container for small items to the inside of the cabinet door and in the area under the sink, organize additional sections to keep cleaning supplies and accessories organized.

Think bold.
Functional things can be completely unexpected and also look stylish.

  • A magnetic board attached to the wall can be used to store knives or metal spice jars.
  • A tray with high rims can be a space limiter if you need to store small kitchen utensils on the table.
  • Cotton cases hanging from a rail or door can hold onions, garlic, or accessories.
  • Cutlery doesn't have to be stored in drawers. You can adapt stylish jars or minimalist vases and store them “standing up”.
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Connect your inner stylist.
While organizing your space, think not only about comfort, but also about what things make you happy. Why should we hide beautiful dishes when they can “kill two birds with one stone”?
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Think about shelves of different sizes.
You don't have to have a large kitchen set or hang wide shelves. Small shelves can work for some purposes. They are sometimes called “picture shelves” in stores. These are ideal for storing condiments and oils. To avoid creating visual noise and to give the shelf a decorative effect, buy the same containers for spices and seasonings. For example, jars and bottles of the same size.

If you're lucky enough to find a vintage chest of drawers at a flea market, look no further! It can make a great spice cabinet.
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Increase the useful area
To make shelves in the kitchen more spacious, choose baskets or boxes that fit perfectly into the niche, this way you can store a lot more things.
Not just a kitchen: a little bit about storing preserves
It's great if you have a separate pantry where canned goods, pickles, and long-term storage products live, but if you don't have a huge family, an extra area in the kitchen can handle this role quite well. It can be equipped with an extra cabinet, shelving unit, or series of shelves.

Here are a couple of tips on how to organize it:

1. Label.
To easily control expiration dates and not forget exactly what's in a particular jar — sign everything! I'm a big fan of labeling, if it were up to me, I'd put labels on every jar or container in the house so that the pantry area is a paradise for systematization fans like me.

You can use special labels that are sold in stores or write directly on the jar with a special marker, you could even hang the paper labels by hooking them with twine. It looks really stylish!
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2. Check regularly.
Preserves last a long time, but even if they have an expiration date, don't forget to revise this area periodically at least once a month and discard anything that is questionable. If you've pre-signed your homemade preserves, it won't be hard to tell whether they're usable or not anymore.

That's it! I hope my tips help you transform your kitchen and love spending time in it with joy.
Your Clea.
Your personal clean-up coach
Clea N.