Expert advice: Discover the magic of a well-organized kitchen

A recipe for order

In the heart of every home lies the kitchen, a magical place where families gather, meals are prepared, and memories are made. However, the joy of cooking and socializing in the kitchen can sometimes feel like navigating a culinary obstacle course, with pots, pans and mysterious Tupperware avalanches lurking in every corner. To shed light on our culinary quest for order in 2024, we summoned Cassandra Schultz, the woman behind Cassandra’s Kitchen Store in Bluffton. From her sanctuary of Ina Garten-inspired kitchenware and home goods, she dispenses wisdom not only about the perfect tools for every dish but also on how to maintain a kitchen that’s as organized as it is welcoming.

1. Sorted serveware – Store similar serving pieces together — cake plates with cake plates. White dishes with white dishes and so on. This will help when looking for a piece in a hurry and when unloading the dishwasher.  Everyone knows where each item goes and won’t leave you with an unorganized kitchen. 

2. Recipe safekeeping – Use a recipe file with plastic sleeves to store printed-off recipes. We all know the kitchen can get a little messy — especially when cooking for holidays. The personal recipe file not only helps to organize your most-cherished recipes — it also helps keep them clean and out of harm’s way.

3. Transparent tidiness – Use clear plastic containers to store absolutely anything in the refrigerator, freezer or pantry. You’re able to easily see what’s in them — they’re easy to stack and can be used over and over again. A lot of people use them for dry goods in the pantry (think lentils and other dry goods), in the freezer (that gumbo you made recently or leftover chicken stock), and the refrigerator (for those leftovers you’re eating tomorrow). These have replaced all other containers for us.

4. Label and locate – Use a label maker to label your containers to help keep them organized. I have a family of five, so our label maker ensures that we know exactly where something is right when we need it — instead of digging through our pantry, making a mess. They’re also great for linen closets to organize sheets and bedding. 

5. Countertop caddy – No one likes to dig for their utensils when they’re in a hurry. Use a crock to keep kitchen tools at reach. You can even divide by material (wood vs. metal) to keep things extra organized. If you grab the right crock, it also looks gorgeous displayed on your counter top. Opt for a neutral crock if you don’t like colorful kitchens — otherwise have fun with it. 

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