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25 Kitchen Organizing Mistakes That Are Costing You Money

Avoid these common kitchen organizing mistakes!

For many folks, their kitchen is the heart of their home. But that often means it has the most stuff in it. Our kitchens are busy places, and there are endless flatware, cookbooks, and cooking ingredients. So, it pays to keep things organized.

With all the kitchen organizing tips, tricks, and hacks, people are bound to make some kitchen organizing mistakes, right? At best, some of these mistakes lead to an organizational system you don’t use.

At worst, they can create more food waste and require you to spend more time navigating your kitchen. So, what do you do when you realize your kitchen organizing system isn’t cutting it?

You consult the experts at Wipe And Organize, of course! Here are 25 common kitchen organizing mistakes that are costing you money!

Kitchen Organizing Mistake
Photo by The Image Party at Shutterstock

Kitchen organizing mistake: Wasting space on spice racks

According to pros, one of the biggest kitchen organizing mistakes you can make is using up valuable counter and cabinet space with a spice rack. Even worse, experts say that keeping your spices out typically isn’t great for quality control.

Spices often dull faster from sun exposure. So, instead, we suggest dedicating a drawer to the job. They’re best for laying spice jars flat and close together so you can alphabetize and see all your options when you’re cooking.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Indulging a food-delivery addiction

We all love to support our local restaurants. But ordering in all the time adds up. According to an analysis by Forbes, takeout could cost you 5 times as much as cooking the same meal at home. And that’s not including tips.

Even those delivery kits that supply ingredients for you to make into a meal are about 3 times as costly as shopping and cooking yourself.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Not removing packaging

Decanting pantry items is not only aesthetically pleasing, it has a functional purpose, as well. Taking food items out of the packaging makes it easier for you to see what you have, so you don’t end up overbuying.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Not having designated areas for kitchen items

If you continuously put your appliances, pots, pans, and other kitchen tools in different places, it’s time to nail down a designated home for all these items. It feels more comfortable in the moment to just place a serving spoon in a random cabinet or drawer.

But when doing this, you’re running the risk of forgetting where you put it the next time you need it, says an organizing expert.

When we take the time to decide where we want our items to live and consistently return those items to their designated place, cooking in the kitchen runs more smoothly and with ease.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Overstuffing the area below the sink

While it might be easy to let the cabinet beneath your sink get extra full, it’s probably best to keep what’s under there to a minimum.

You should store daily and weekly cleaning essentials below your sink and find somewhere else to put your occasional supplies. Pull-out drawers are a fantastic way to maximize the height of this area.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Keeping duplicates

If you have multiple versions of the same kitchen tools, consider eliminating your duplicates to make more room in your kitchen.

While you can still keep a sentimental casserole dish or your special occasion fine China, you can free up some serious drawer space if you only keep one or two versions of the same item. If you use two cheese graters, one for lasagna and one for potatoes, then keep both.

But if you find four of the same thing and three of them have never been used, it makes sense to donate them if they’re still in working order.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Decanting without saving instructions

Decanting your food into a clear canister is a popular organizing hack. And this method has plenty of perks, but it might require some trial and error. When you can see your food, you’re more likely to be inspired to cook with it.

Instead of ditching this method altogether, consider why you’re not crazy about decanting.

If it comes down to needing the instructions, that’s an easy fix, and we’ve got the perfect tip. If you’re unsure how to cook a specific food, cut the instructions off the box and tape it on the canister as a reminder.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Not creating zones

A well-organized kitchen should have plenty of different zones that create a functional flow. Keeping similar items together, like pots and pans, is vital to creating ease when using the space.

Professional organizers suggest doing some area planning first because not planning usually leads to people throwing things in random places. If you’re not optimizing your kitchen space, it’ll make cooking a stressful and unenjoyable experience.

Knives, cutting boards, and waste should ideally be closer to make the meal-prepping process smoother. The same can be said about the refrigerator, glasses, and mugs near your coffee station.

Kitchen Organizing Mistake
Photo by Artazum at Shutterstock

Kitchen organizing mistake: Organizing based on aesthetics

As one of your home’s most often used rooms, it’s expected to want your kitchen to look nice. But don’t sacrifice functionality for aesthetics. You need your kitchen space to work for you.

Ask yourself the following questions to understand how the area needs to serve you: What do I do most in this space? Cook? What are the things that I use most that require easy access? What items do I rarely that I should get rid of?

Once you answer those questions, you’ll have a better idea of organizing your kitchen in a way that works for you.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Using a corner unit

Interior designers have seen their fair share of poorly designed kitchens that are a recipe for lousy organization. If you’re designing or redesigning your kitchen with organizing in mind, they suggest avoiding a corner unit whenever possible.

This will make organizing kitchen cabinets much easier in the long run. Turntables or cloud pullouts can offer some options to fill that space, but we think the cabinetry can be designed in a better, more functional way without using corner pieces.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Throwing things out after using them just once

Don’t just throw out plastic cups and forks after one meal or toss reusable plastic bags after a simple sandwich is stored in them. It’s as bad for the environment as it is for your wallet. Instead, you can wash or rinse and reuse most plastic items.

You can even repurpose the liners from cereal boxes for kitchen storage. And since paper towels must be thrown away after one wipe-down, choose fabric or microfiber cloths instead. It’s better all around.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Not using labels

If you’re tired of family members putting kitchen items in places they don’t belong, why not try out a label system?

If you want everyone to return items to the right place in the kitchen, consider adding labels to the inside of drawers and shelving identifying precisely what goes where.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Storing miscellaneous household items in your kitchen

Your kitchen can quickly become a destination for miscellaneous household items, whether or not they actually relate to your kitchen. And while a junk drawer is wonderful, regular editing will keep it from getting out of control.

If there’s one random drawer where the rubber bands, scotch tape, and takeout menus live, there’s no problem with that. The issue comes when the junk drawer becomes a catch-all for things that belong somewhere else, and you lose visibility into what you do have and need.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Stacking everything until it’s unreachable

Many pro organizers will tell you to make the most of vertical space, and it can be precious advice…but only if done correctly. Pros warn against doing this with stacking organizers. Anytime you stack to save some extra space, you limit access to articles on the bottom.

Avoid stacking by adding additional shelves whenever possible. You can typically source standard cabinet shelves from your local hardware store or even buy them online.

Instead, we recommend adjusting your kitchen shelving. Take advantage of adjustable shelving to accommodate taller items or lower shelves that are out of reach whenever possible. This will allow you to maximize space and make better use of your cabinets.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Wasting water

You aren’t alone if you think hand-washing your dishes is the more economical to go, but it’s actually a very common misconception. Energy Star–rated appliances are made so efficiently that they can slash your utility bills by over $100 annually.

So we recommend increasing your savings by running a full load, and yes, there is a right way to load a dishwasher and shutting off the heat-drying part of the cycle to let your dishes air-dry instead.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Letting rarely used accessories take up space

If you love to entertain, you will likely own more than your fair share of kitchen articles. Regardless, only some things merit a prime storage spot. There are better places than the kitchen to store bulky seasonal appliances, large serving trays, or holiday-specific dishware.

We suggest moving things that are rarely used to a storage closet or some other easily accessible area outside of the kitchen. Consider what you use every week as items deserving top priority in the kitchen.

Kitchen Organizing Mistake
Photo by Kostikova Natalia at Shutterstock

Kitchen organizing mistake: Buying organizers without planning

Pros will tell you that one of the most common kitchen organizing mistakes people make is buying a collection of organizers only to decide later how to utilize them.

The cost of this mistake can look like the wasted space of a large container for a small item or the chaos of overflowing containers. When the size of your drawer organizers perfectly matches the things you put in them, it gives the entire drawer a custom, high-quality aesthetic.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Purchasing organizers without measuring

Many people will invest in the best kitchen organizers without assessing their space first. Stop purchasing products without evaluating your needs and measuring the area first.

There’s nothing worse than having to return organizers and start over, or worse, utilizing products that don’t fit your drawers or shelves.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Storing produce incorrectly

Most people don’t know how to properly store their food, and it goes bad fairly quickly. When it comes to what you consume, moisture is your enemy.

So, to keep moisture at bay, wrap your fragile veggies like herbs and lettuce in a paper towel and put them inside a resealable bag to extend their shelf life.

You can also use items specifically designed to make fresh produce last much longer in your crisper drawer, and dry fresh herbs so they last longer.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Owning Too Many Utensils and Gadgets

The more cooking supplies, the merrier, right? Not exactly. A professional organizer says that drawers can quickly become overfilled with cheese graters, spatulas, spoons, potato mashers, garlic presses, measuring spoons, and other handheld tools thrown into a drawer with little to no thought.

The best thing to do is to first getting a handle on your collection by installing dividers in your drawers. They can help you avoid waddling through your collection of cooking supplies but also allow you to see just how many supplies you have and how many you need.

The same goes for smaller appliances. Many kitchens weren’t designed with enough storage space in mind for all the convenience appliances that we have today.

And having too many specialty items can cause crowding in drawers, cabinets, and pantries and ultimately spill out onto your countertops, taking up valuable food prep space.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Misusing Vertical Space

Give your cabinets a whole new life by using the vertical space in your kitchen rather than just laying everything flat. Adding some additional levels to each shelf to fill any extra space is the key to utilizing vertical space.

There are so many products to accomplish this, from additional shelves to hanging racks for the undersides of your cabinets. It’s essential to pick the best one for you based on measurements and specific utility.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Following trends rather than thinking about your needs

Now, let’s be honest… most of our kitchen organizing mishaps come from the same source: someone on social media said you should do it. Pros are firmly against this.

While it’s wonderful for inspiration, don’t be disappointed to find that someone else’s strategy doesn’t work for you! People should stop caring about what’s the trendiest or most Insta-worthy organizational tip. Do whatever works best for you and your family!

Kitchen organizing mistake: Buying in Bulk

Even though it might be tempting to stock up on consumables to save some extra money, this isn’t always the best way to go. Bulk consumables take up a lot of space and are also more likely to expire before you can truly use them.

Kitchen organizing mistake: Putting Reusable Containers on a High Shelf

If you have an abundance of food storage containers, you know how tough it can be to keep them all organized, especially because matching lids always seem to get lost, and takeout containers are automatically added to your collection.

Make it easier on yourself to organize these containers by keeping them on a lower shelf. If you have an island or kitchen cart, move reusable containers down to a lower cabinet or in a bin. This ensures you can see what you have and everything is easily accessible.

Kitchen Organizing Mistake
Photo by New Africa at Shutterstock

Kitchen organizing mistake: Ignoring your freezer

A well-stocked freezer is any chef’s BFF. Not only is it ideal for storing bulk buys, but it’s also a fantastic way to preserve produce or other foods that are on the verge of going bad. Most things can be frozen if you know how to store them the right way.

For instance, bread, soup, leftover pasta sauce, and fruit for smoothies are just some of the delicious foods that freeze well. This vacuum sealer set from Amazon can get you started.

Besides having a food storage container glass, it comes with a vacuum pump and 4 reusable plastic bags, providing vacuum-sealed storage that will keep your food fresh longer and protected from that nasty freezer burn.

Can you think of any other organizing mistakes for the kitchen we might have missed? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!

And don’t go away just yet! Wipe And Organize is here for all your organizational needs. For instance, we highly recommend also reading: 9 Best Shoe Storage Tricks to Stop the Hallway Clutter

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