Tips for Organizing a Styled Kitchen

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I'm one of those people who craves organization. I feel at ease and calm when things are in their appropriate place. I also hate clutter- especially on the countertops. It's sort of difficult to find balance between a functional, yet aesthetically pleasing kitchen that isn't too minimal, yet not overwhelming. Therefore, I thought it might be helpful to share tips for organizing a styled kitchen.

Ditch the knife block // It's easy to buy a set of knives and leave them sitting in the big, bulky block they were shipped in. While it's totally functional- think about the real estate a chunky knife block takes up. Swap your block for a magnetic knife strip. Not only does it save a ton of space, I actually prefer the look of knives against a pretty backsplash.

Invest in drawer inserts // Odds are, if you don't have a custom kitchen, your drawers are one big open container. I hate when kitchen tools and silverware float freely in a drawer... it just seems chaotic! One of the best investments I've made towards getting organized is kitchen drawer inserts. This bamboo organizer adjusts to fit different drawer sizes, plus it can also be reconfigured and compartmentalized in a variety of ways. I like that it looks custom and built into the drawer, rather than appearing cheap- like a plastic organizer or contact paper.

Embrace the fact that some things should be left out // It's ok to leave things you frequently use on the counter. I promise! Olive oil makes it's way into most of my meals. It's a nuisance to open the cabinet three or four times each day just to grab the olive oil. The key to leaving food, appliances, or kitchen items on the counter is to make sure they are visually appealing. Most olive oil packages aren't pretty, but it's easy to transfer the liquid from its original packaging into a clear glass dispenser. The same goes for appliances- I always ask myself... "how often will I use this coffee maker?" or "will it permanently live on the countertop?". If the answer to this question is yes, then it's super important to consider the design and look of the appliance.

This exact same principle applies to food. There are some foods I leave on the counter because if they are out of sight, you better believe they are out of mind! I've been trying to eat healthier and leaving fruit and veggies within eyesight makes adapting a healthy lifestyle so much easier. I found a couple large wood bowls that give the food an organized place to stay.

Go for bright and cohesive dishes // You already know I'm picky about my dishes (remember this post?!). I prefer white dishes because they look clean and consistent. I believe it keeps the interior of my cabinets organized looking- even if that isn't necessarily the case 100% of the time. Having a monochromatic color palette gives your serve ware a thread of consistency.

Keep your dishes clean // Now it's only fitting to continue the dishes conversation... keep those babies clean! You can find my all time favorite dish soap here. It's easier to maintain an organized and calm kitchen if you clean as you go. Rather than allowing the dishes to pile up in the sink for days on end, keep them in check before the situation turns into a real headache you dread tackling.

Style it like a pro // Often times people wonder why their kitchen falls short of looking like it came from a magazine. It's tidy, clean and beautiful, but something is missing... styling! Much like you would do to any other room in your home, strategically style your kitchen for aesthetic reasons (in addition to functionality). Pull *a few* items you use on a semi-regular basis and leave them out. Cutting boards make beautiful backdrops for canisters! Don't be afraid to bring in your favorite cookbook or add small succulents or floral arrangements. These little details will pull the space together while making you smile.

Tidy a little at a time // Last but not least (you knew it was coming), keep your kitchen tidy. I find it easiest to clean little by little, so it's not a huge, daunting task every few weeks. Wipe the countertops and appliances, mop the floor, clean the appliances, or do whatever you do to sanitize the space. Kitchens really can be uber gross. Plus, you'll feel better once you have a clean and organized space!

What steps do you take to keep your kitchen organized? Do you prefer to leave items on your countertop, or are you a minimalist? I think I'm a little bit of both.

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Sarah Gibson is a full-time designer located in the Midwest. With an emphasis on both graphic and interior design, her projects are varied. Sarah's areas of expertise range from rebranding, website & blog design, print and social media marketing, to creative direction, such as styling and photoshoots. As an interior designer, Sarah also specializes in full-service interior design, custom projects, styling, and renovations. Aside from her day job, she spends evenings and weekends creating content for her lifestyle blog, Room for Tuesday, which features content in design, interiors, travel, fashion, and creative inspiration. She enjoys balancing both trendy and eclectic pieces with classic elements, for a curated aesthetic.