One of the hardest parts about integrating into a new kitchen is learning how to maximize the storage space. The litany of pots, pans, cutting boards and cooking utensils come in all shapes sizes and finding the right cabinet or drawer to put them in requires a lot of planning.

If you are undergoing a kitchen reorganization here are a few expert tips that will get you thinking about differently about your kitchen storage.

1. Split Your Kitchen into Zones

The best way to best utilize your kitchen space is to create zones for each kitchen task. You should have a prepping zone, a cooking zone and a cleaning zone.

Kitchen items should be stored in closed proximity to the zone they would be most used in. This means pots in the cooking zone, food processors and knives in the prep zone and dish towels and soaps near the cleaning zone.

I have worked with a number of clients who place their kitchen tools far away from the area they would be used in and it makes cooking in your kitchen very inefficient.

2. Find the Right Cabinets and Storage Materials.

When it comes to kitchen storage all cabinets are not created equal. If you have a say in the way your kitchen is designed, then you should do your homework on what types of storage space you need in your kitchen. There are a variety of kitchen cabinets and tools that are specifically designed to maximize your storage space.

For example, you could install a cabinet pull out in your kitchen specifically designed to store your baking trays or cleaning supplies. If you are not designing your own kitchen, purchasing simple tools such as a pot and pan organizer or knife rack can save you valuable kitchen space without the expense of a remodel. I have seen a lot of homeowners get creative with kitchen storage, even creating a designated cabinet exclusively for K-Cup Pods.

One recommendation I make to homeowners building a kitchen in a small space is to purchase materials that can do multiple jobs. Many companies make Oven/Microwave combos that can save a lot of space due to the fact you don’t have to buy two separate appliances.

3. Be Honest About What You Use

The reality of kitchen space is that most people just have more appliances in their kitchen than they really need.

Take a really close look at the things you have in your kitchen and write down the things you use consistently. Try to avoid redundancies, if you have two pots that serve the same purpose think about getting rid of one.

Getting rid of things in your kitchen can be difficult, but it is important to be honest about what you use so you can have optimal storage space in your kitchen. Even things like food storage containers can go if it is keeping you from storing more important appliances.

Kitchen storage space is a regular discussion I have with homeowners every day and properly utilizing your storage space can be a difficult task depending on the type of kitchen you have. However, thinking about these three steps will go along way in helping you maximize the storage space in your kitchen.

Amber Carfield is the Design Director at Kitchens by Good Guys, a kitchen remodel company in Scottsdale Arizona. Carfield has worked in the kitchen remodeling industry since 2000 and is an expert on all aspects of a kitchen remodel.

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Amber Carfield