Kitchen clean-up


Watch video: How to organise a drawer with utensils

There’s always one drawer in the kitchen that’s a no-go zone; a jumble of mismatched utensils and loose batteries, all mysteriously bound together by string. Since lockdown (and the thought of winter comfort bakes) has us spending more time in the kitchen than usual, perhaps it’s time to get organised! Especially seeing, with a little help from experts like Candice Prins of The Labb, it shouldn’t take too much effort to bring order to your space.

Where to start?

Many people put off decluttering and organising because they simply don’t know where to start, Prins points out. Her advice? Get the entire family involved – if everyone is invested, they’ll be more likely to make the new layout stick. You may also consider involving a professional organiser to help. Prins suggests starting with the cleaning zone before you tackle the greater kitchen area. This includes that murky cupboard underneath your sink, as well as the broom cupboard. Work on one area before moving onto the next, as your sense of achievement will keep spurring you on. Begin by taking everything out of the cupboard, then:

  • Place duplicates in a bulk area (to be stored, gifted or donated).
  • Make sure that the items you use daily are placed towards the front of the cupboard, where they are visible and within easy reach.
  • Store similar items – such as detergents, bathroom cleaners, kitchen cleaners and cleaning implements – together, separated by containers. It’s worth checking out equipment that may help with this job; for example, Prins recommends the Tidy & Clean set, available in different sizes, which is slim enough to fit on a shelf yet can store several bottles of detergent and also stores neatly hung cleaning cloths. It’s also fitted with handles so that you can tote these around the house on cleaning days.

The main event

“The kitchen is an area where convenience and accessibility are key, so even before you begin actually sorting through cupboards, think about who uses the room most. Their habits should take precedence,” says Prins. “Now, consider their daily routine: for example, if you make coffee before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to put everything you need for that first cup – from the kettle to the cups, spoons and plunger – close together and within easy reach, so that you can access them without trying to think things through on a pre-caffeinated brain.”

Try to arrange all crockery and cutlery so that there’s no need to walk around the room, rummaging through cupboards in search of, say, the tin opener. This is where the division of utensils into separate drawers becomes all important, Prins insists: Keep tools for preparation (like graters, peelers and knives) in one drawer, for example, while cooking utensils go in another or into a separate section of a drawer, and so on.

“A handy tip: only buy dividers and containers once you have identified all the utensils you need to store and have a good idea of the type and quantity you need, rather than before you begin decluttering,” says Prins. “Remember to place an anti-slip drawer liner in the drawer before you place the divider inside, as this stops items from slipping around inside and preserves the wood in the drawer.”

The same applies to items like electrical appliances and mixing bowls – always group similar items together, says Prins.

Avoiding common mistakes

Instead of storing Tupperware with lids on, it’s best to stack containers and lids separately. This not only prevents the containers from turning into breeding grounds for bacteria, but also creates more space in your cupboards.

Another common mistake is using cupboards instead of drawers for storing often used items, which makes it much harder to find what you’re looking for. If you’re ever thinking of renovating your kitchen or building a new one, keep this in mind.

Finally, says Prins, avoid stacking plates in cupboards or on shelves above your head, which presents a challenge for your back every time you reach to grab a pile. Plus, if you’re doing this to preserve your heirloom pieces, you’re bound to forget about them – after all, out of sight, out of mind.


The Labb is giving away an amazing prize, valued at R3 900, to one lucky reader. The prize includes:

A virtual consult, including:

  • One-hour virtual appointment with Candice Prins
  • Full needs assessment
  • LIVE Pro organisation tips and personalised advice
  • Fully specified and tailored organisation action plan for the winner’s kitchen (Covers up to 10 cabinets)

For more information about these and other products and services offered by The Labb, visit the website.

  • Competition closes 15 August 2020. The winner will be notified via email.

Enter now

What is your biggest kitchen organising challenge?

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