I have a confession to make: I'm a neat freak. There. I said it. I can look the other way when it comes to the bedrooms in our house. But rooms that should be extra clean for germy reasons — the kitchen, bathrooms — I just can't let things get messy. Like a lot of people, I'm on a budget and working with limited space, so there are certain kitchen hacks I use that keep myself organized. I've learned so many cool tips and tricks over the years to save space, declutter messes, and keep things sparkling clean. I started using these hacks in my teeny apartment in college, then when I shared a one-bedroom apartment with my mom, all the way through the three-bedroom house my boyfriend and I now own. And they've made my life so much easier.
You can accomplish these hacks pretty cheaply, if not for free, depending on what you've got laying around the house. And there's even more good news: Each of these has plenty of variations, giving you room to be creative and put your own spin on it. I always check out Pinterest and YouTube to get ideas; but here are 14 hacks to at least get you started.
Keep Plastic Wrap Tidy
Store it in the fridge! Chilling the wrap makes it easier to handle.
Take Advantage Of Unused Space
Use the inside of cupboard doors for hanging utensils, storing spices, etc.
Make The Inside Of Your Microwave Sparkle
They're so annoying to clean! Put a wet sponge in the microwave for about 15 seconds. (You might have to eyeball it.) This will loosen up any gunk in the microwave so you can easily wipe it away, and it helps sanitize the sponge.
Use An Over-The-Sink Cutting Board
This saves space without sacrificing functionality. Try this one.
Keep Things Clean Under The Sink
Squeeze a tension rod in this cabinet to hang cleaning products from.
Keep Animal Food In A Cereal Container
Bags of pet food are big, clunky, and tricky to store away neatly. Cereal containers are so much more practical.
Use An Over-The-Door Shoe Rack For Extra Storage
This can be used for food, spices, tools, you name it.
Don't Throw Out Old Hangers
Instead, snap off the clip part of it, if it has one. You can never have too many baggie clips in your kitchen.
Organize Pot Lids Much More Neatly
Storing them in a cabinet is loud, messy, and can lead to damage. Install towel rack in your kitchen and tuck the lids away there.
Take Control Of Reusable Bags
Do you keep your plastic grocery bags to reuse later, like me? Stuff them in an old canister (like one that was used for disinfecting wipes) or even an empty tissue box for easy access.
Buy A Cheap Magazine Holder
But not for magazines! Save valuable drawer space and put your plastic wrap, foil, etc. in the magazine holder instead. This is also good for storing cutting boards.
Take Advantage Of Your Refrigerator
Magnets are pretty strong. You can buy adhesive magnetic strips, place them on small plastic containers, and use the containers for easy storage on the fridge.
Use Legos To Stack Cookie Sheets
This is genius. If I'm baking a ton of cookies, I always run out of place to put all of them. Stack cookies sheets out of the oven (after they've cooled!) by using a couple Legos to separate them.
Look To Your Cabinets
Above and below them, to be specific. You'll possibly find a lot of unused space on tops of cabinets, and you can hang things below them too. Prime real estate!