Are you moving into a new home and wondering how to set up your kitchen? As a part of a military family with more than 20 moves, I’m often asked “How should I organize my kitchen after moving?” Every house is different and the way each family uses their kitchen is different, but there are some tips I’ve gained from 20+ moves myself and my experience as a professional organizer that will help you set up your kitchen so that it works well for your family.
When I move into a new house, I always unpack the kitchen first. My goal is to be able to have breakfast in my home the next morning. I want to be able to use real dishes, silverware and glasses by the second day in my home. I may not do much cooking for a few days, but we can eat cereal and sandwiches and start feeling “settled” right away.
Having set up 16 kitchens myself and helped many clients and friends rearrange their kitchens, I’ve got the kitchen set up strategy down. When clients ask me, “What’s the best way to organize your kitchen, ” I answer that it’s much easier if I can see the space and the “stuff” you have, but there are general principles that apply to every kitchen set up.
Use the Setting Up Your New Kitchen Checklist to help you plan your kitchen layout.
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Moving Into A New Home – How to Set Up Your Kitchen
I’m always asked how to best set up a kitchen in a new home or to better set up an existing kitchen layout.
I tackle the kitchen set up in three phases.
1. I start by placing glasses in the cabinet nearest the refrigerator. Since you will most often take a glass from the cabinet and the drink from the fridge, it makes sense to have the glasses located near the fridge. If you have young children, consider putting their cups in a lower cabinet near the fridge so they can get their own cups. The same strategy works for where to place coffee cups: place them near where you will locate your coffee maker, as well as the coffee, filters, creamer and sugar.
2. Ideally, I locate my plates and bowls in a cabinet between the dish washer/sink and the kitchen table. If that’s not possible, decide which cabinet better fits your dishes, one near the dish washer or one near the table. Again, use the same strategy of using a lower cabinet for young children’s plates and bowls.
This placement of dishes saves time for you either when you’re getting the dishes out to eat because the cabinet is closer to the table or when you’re putting them away because it’s closer to the dish washer. If I have a choice, I prefer having the dishes closer to the table so that when the children are helping me set the table for a meal, they are not in my way in the main part of the kitchen.
3. The next item to be placed is the silverware. There is usually one drawer large enough to hold the silverware tray. If you’re fortunate enough to have more than one large silverware-type drawer, pick the one nearest your dining table or your dishwasher/sink. Again, I personally try to pick one nearest the table to minimize how much the kids are in my way as I prepare dinner and they set the table.
Those first 3 are the first tier “biggies”. By locating the cups, dishes and silverware first, I’m set up for my family to be able to eat in our new home. If that’s all I get done on the first move-in day, that’s okay because we’re functional for meals. Getting these first 3 categories located in the kitchen helps me determine where the second tier of items will be located.
- Expandable Bamboo Silverware Tray
- Expandable Plastic Silverware Tray
- Customizeable Drawer Organizer
- Utensil Drawer Organizer
Click the button below to see how to set up your kitchen phase two and phase three.