How to maximise your space in the kitchen and bathroom
A disorganised kitchen can be a chaotic nightmare – hidden pantry food left to expire, missing container lids, not enough prep space – it’s enough to turn even the most enthusiastic chef off cooking! Our team at Mint Kitchen Group are here to share their expert design knowledge on how to transform your kitchen into a functional and organised area.
If you are building or redesigning a brand new kitchen, deciding what kitchen layout will best work for you will be the foundation of creating your organised kitchen. There are many shapes of kitchen layouts – Gallery, One Wall, U-Shaped, L Shaped, Island and Peninsula/G Shaped and your kitchen designer will be able to recommend the best layout to suit your existing space and the way you live and entertain.
In general, the Kitchen Work Triangle is a concept that determines efficient, aesthetic and functional kitchen layouts. By drawing three imaginary lines and creating a triangle between the three primary tasks – the cooktop, the sink and the refrigerator, the kitchen will be optimised and cut down on wasted steps. For this method to be fully effective, no leg of the triangle should be less than 1.2-metres or more than 2.7-metres, the sum of all three sides should be between 4-metres and 7.9-metres, and cabinets or other obstacles should not intersect any leg of the triangle by more than 30cm.
Another technique our designers use to create organisation in the kitchen is the Five Kitchen Zones (the number can differ but the idea is the same). By planning your kitchen into zones: Consumables, Non-consumables, Cleaning, Preparation and Cooking, it will minimise the amount of walking back and forth in the kitchen and allow items needed for tasks to be nearby and within reach, creating a better work flow and saving time and energy.
Whether you are building a kitchen from scratch or renovating your existing kitchen, it’s a good idea to start going through and purging your existing kitchen items such as outdated containers, utensils and cookware (these items can quickly add up and take up a lot of unnecessary space) and also by making a list of what items are stored in which zones.
Now is also the time to decide whether you prefer cupboards or drawers in your kitchen space. Cupboard shelves are ideal for tall items and stacking items whereas drawers are more useful for everyday items and utensils. Both cupboards and drawers can hold pots, pans, cups, plates, bowls, and more. Cupboard shelving may allow you to stack and line these items and minimise movement while the benefit of drawers is that they can be more space compact.
Cupboards and Cabinets
- Look for opportunities. The more space you have to give items a home, the more organised your kitchen will be. Space alongside the range hood? Why not install wine racks or spice jars. Space next to the fridge? A roll out pantry can store all of the items you don’t want to put in the fridge such as sauces and canned goods.
- Pull out/roll out drawers and baskets: No more digging to find items hidden at the back or tossing items in the cupboards because you can’t reach an item’s home. These shelves will allow you to easily see the entire contents of the pantry and are great for corner or super deep cupboards or pantries.
- Tension rods: Installing tension rods are a great way to neatly store items such as paper towel and spray bottles.
- Glass front cupboards: Why not turn your cupboards into an appealing display. Instead of hiding prized crockery or crystal glassware behind doors, placing them in glass front cupboards allows their beauty to always be on display.
The pantry can fast become one of the most disorganised cupboards in the house. When meals and snack preferences change over time and dishes requiring many ingredients are cooked, the inside of the pantry can quickly become a mess.
- Adjustable shelving: By installing adjustable shelving, your pantry can grow and move with the items its storing inside.
- Don’t forget the niches: Installing shelving in otherwise empty spots such as the back of the door or corners are great places to store spices together and other small items
- Small high shelves: Installing smaller shelves that are not as deep, similar to a shelf riser, will not only give you extra storage space in your pantry, but will ensure those smaller items such as spices don’t get lost. If possible, make the shelf adjustable so it works with your items as things may change over time.
Under Bench Drawers
Drawers can easily become a pool of clutter but not with these great organisational tips.
- Dividers: Opt for drawer dividers as opposed to a tray as these provide the greatest flexibility.
- Shallow drawers: Choosing shallow drawers will ensure they don’t turn into seemingly bottomless pits of collective items and it will also allow more drawers to be stacked on top of each other, giving more opportunity to categorise items into separate homes.
- Hide what you can: Hide away and pop up shelving and power points are very popular right now and for good reason – they can clear away a cluttered benchtop in seconds but are there in the right spot when you need them.
- Hang utensils: If you like your kitchen utensils close by and find yourself throwing them in a pot on the bench (which then quickly turns into everything getting thrown in the same pot), consider installing some hanging hooks. That way, you will only have a limited number for the utensils you really need, and it clears up the space on the bench.
No matter what system you decide for your kitchen organisation, it has to be sustainable and work for you. If you need help with your kitchen organisation, our team at Mint Kitchen Group has more than 30 years’ renovation experience under our belts. We can work with you every single step of the way – from figuring out how you best want to organise and utilise your kitchen, to sourcing the very best materials and finally, to presenting you a fully organised kitchen that you will be pleased to prepare meals in. So, let’s chat…tell us about your dream kitchen.