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8 Kitchen Organizing Mistakes You’re Probably Making (and How to Fix Them)

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Even the simplest storage mistakes can get in the way of a tidy, efficient food prep space. Here, some of the most common mistakes people make organizing their kitchens — and how to fix them.

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Choosing organizers without decluttering

Though you likely have the best intentions when buying organizers, pause to purge first. Why? It’s difficult to establish a meaningful solution if you don’t know exactly what you have.

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Storing items that don’t belong in the kitchen

Seasonal (especially holiday-related) items are better stored elsewhere (like in labeled bins in your basement or storage area, or in harder-to-reach cabinets).

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Styling before organizing

When you move into a new space, you want it to look good. But starting with decor could backfire. It’s counterproductive to style your kitchen before (or instead of) organizing it.

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Organizing based on size

Give priority to an item's location, not just where it physically fits bests.  Your cutting board might slide right into the cabinet next to your oven, but that’s not efficient if you’ll actually use it on the opposite counter.

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Using food storage containers that take up too much space

Decanting adds a cohesive look and cuts down on the appearance of clutter, but those jars and food storage containers may not be doing you any space-saving favors. 

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Keeping a junk drawer

If you’re short on kitchen storage, consider whether your junk drawer is really the best place for your checkbook, pens, and receipts. The answer: Probably not.

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Hanging on to reusable containers and bags

Plastic food containers from the Chinese restaurant, glass bottles, Trader Joe’s bags… These items certainly play their part in an eco-friendly kitchen, but not always an organized one. 

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Not adjusting your shelves

 Pro organizer Michelle Vig almost always finds items that aren’t ideally placed: “For example, I might find an outlying small appliance shoved into the Tupperware cabinet or a tall glass pitcher turned on its side near the others,” she explains.