The people who need a quick kitchen upgrade the most are often the ones who have the least available time to do it.
But trust us, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Here are three simple yet effective ways to make your kitchen more practical, without compromising everything else you love about your space.
1. Easy Open & Close
When you’re preparing a hearty, immunity-boosting meal in the morning, you want to be able to dart through the kitchen quickly—prepping, chopping, refilling, and cooking all at one time.
But you only have two hands (gasp!).
How do you maintain the same efficiency when those two hands always seem to be full?
- Push-to-open compost bin – You’ve got eggshells in each hand and only a few seconds before you need to be back at the frying pan. What do you do? No, this isn’t the start of some silly riddle. It’s a very real scenario where you’d benefit from an easy-to-open compost bin. If you don’t compost already, now’s a great time to start!
- Soft-close cabinet hinges – No one loves the sound of a cabinet door slamming shut. But when we’re in a rush and our hands are full, we usually either let it happen or frustratedly do a strange maneuver to try and ease it closed. With soft-close cabinet hinges, you can carry on your merry way without all the slamming.
- Foot pedal garbage can – This is another lifesaver when your hands are full (or, worse yet, covered in some unidentifiable cooking goo). A foot pedal garbage can will make your daily kitchen routine easier and quicker—step on it!
2. Game-Changing Pantry Organization
It’s almost shocking how many miscellaneous kitchen items can be found in any one household—and how infrequently you use most of them in your day to day life. But they will come in handy eventually, so what do you do with them?
Relegate them to the pantry, of course!
Just make sure to optimize your pantry shelf space for when that fateful day comes and you finally do need your stainless steel, easy-to-use vegetable spiralizer:
- Flip jars and spices for easy identification – When your baking ingredients, spices, and whatever else you keep tucked away in your pantry—is that baby powder?—are sitting five-deep, one in front of the other, it’s nearly impossible to find the pumpkin pie filling or Indian spices stashed all the way in the back. By using an organizer that slots jars in sideways rather than upright, you’ll easily be able to see the top of each container and utilize every inch of vertical space your pantry has to offer. Slap a label on the lid with your handy-dandy DYMO label maker and you’re good to go.
- Stack ‘em – When they go low, we go high. Is that about politics or pantry organization? We’ll let you decide. Either way, convenient, stackable storage will free up valuable counter space for more important things. Find OXO containers in sets of ten, eight, three, and more for a completely customizable pantry layout.
- Prioritize frequently used items – Carve out one section of your pantry for the everyday must-haves, whether it’s your favorite to-go containers, most-used healthy ingredients, or can’t-live-without spices. No matter what happens with the rest of your pantry, you’ll always have what you need in reach.
You may not use everything in your pantry all the time, but when you do, you’ll be glad you organized the space for an easy-to-navigate cooking experience and in the process will make your kitchen more practical.
3. Useful Technology
There’s nothing wrong with kickin’ it old school, but there are also a few innovative gadgets that can improve your kitchen’s practicality rating across more than one metric:
- Robot Vacuum Cleaner – For inevitable spills and messes, you’ll want a quick fix. Roomba robot vacuums take care of the cleaning so you can carry on with what’s really important—making breakfast, getting the kids ready for school, prepping for your work presentation, and about a million other things.
- Smart Home Device – On-the-go Smart devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Nest make daily tasks infinitely easier. You just used the last of the cream? Alexa, add cream to my grocery list. Did you forget to turn on your favorite morning radio show before you stuck your hands fourinches deep in a ball of dough? Hey, turn on 105.9, please. It may even be compatible with your robot vacuum cleaner. Clean up in aisle five! Start the Roomba!
Practicality Without Sacrificing Style
A practical kitchen doesn’t have to be an ugly one. Quite the opposite, actually.
These tips allow you to keep your current design intact while enhancing the functionality—and who says you can’t have it all?