Often called the heart of the home, the kitchen is one of the most high-traffic spaces. Get it together and organize your ohana’s culinary nook with these tips

Last week when my fiance Scott and I moved into our new place, we wasted no time getting settled. We’ve moved several times together and have now established a routine. Scott is in charge of handling everything that goes with actually moving the stuff from one place to the next, and I’m in charge of unpacking once it gets there.


The kitchen is always the most difficult to organize, but for me, this time it was the most fun. Our new kitchen is twice the size of our old one, so I was amazed that I no longer needed to stack dishes to make them fit. Everything could finally have a place of its own with room to spare.


The problem was that with all the extra room, I spent more time than usual figuring out what should go where for optimal efficiency. I’ve rearranged some things a couple of times, but I think I’ve finally got it down. If you are moving or just in need of a rearrangement, consider some of these tricks for getting the most out of the space you have.

• Place items according to their point of use. Put your spices, oils and cooking spray near the stove and keep oven mitts near. Make a coffee station by placing mugs, creamer and sugar within reach of the coffee maker. In our house we also have a wine station and a smoothie station. Keep occasional-use items on shelves up high or way low.


• Use freezer baskets. Group similar products together, such as meats or microwave-ready items. This will not only tidy up your freezer, but can also save you time and energy. You can put a list on the outside of each bin identifying its contents or you can pull out the bin and close the door while you search for the item you want.

• Keep food-storage containers and lids in a cabinet that’s low enough for you to see and reach. A Lazy Susan works particularly well.

• Arrange similar items together. While placing items where they’ll be used most is ideal, sometimes there isn’t enough room next to the stove or oven to place everything you want there. Instead, group similar items together so that you’ll at least know where to head when you are baking, chopping or cleaning.


Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.