Everything in its place. From our January/February 2013 issue. Photo credit Nathan Schroder.

Freshen Up Fridays: Kitchen Cabinets and Countertops

5 tips for keeping your kitchen organized.

With the changing of seasons, the inevitable spring-cleaning bug tends to bite — sometimes hard. Here to help you organize those spaces in your home that need a little freshening up, Audrey Swanson is picking the minds of local professionals to share their tricks of the trade on home organization.

If you’re anything like me, things can get a little wild in your kitchen from time to time. Tupperware seems to tumble out of cabinets, I can never find the cinnamon when I need it, and my counters are usually a cluttered mess of odd utensils, junk mail, and disheveled dishtowels by the end of the week. So I’ve enlisted the help of Mandy Barnes, professional organizer and owner of Metroplex Home Organizer, who graciously shared some of her tricks for putting things in their place.

Here are her five suggestions on keeping your kitchen tidy:

1. Flaunt the goods. Counters should only be adorned with items that you use and that add to your kitchen aesthetic, like a pretty set of salt and pepper shakers. But don’t deck them out with too much; Barnes says to keep only 20% of items you use most often in a visible area 80% of the time.

2. Stack it up. Purchase stackable bowls, baking pans, storage containers and lids, so that things fit in a more uniform way into those cabinets.

3. Try vertical shelving. For cookie sheets, pot and pan lids, and even plates, sometimes it’s easier to grab what you need when vertical dividers separate everything rather than the standard horizontal shelves.

4. Remember its place. Everything in your kitchen should have a designated spot where it belongs, even down to the last cocktail carafe and casserole ramekin.

5. Purge the unnecessary. We often get gifts or pick up other odds-and-ends that we don’t need or didn’t realize we already have (hello, five potato peelers currently sitting in my utensil drawer). Go through it all every few months to make your space a little easier to navigate. After all, no one wants to go searching for the wine opener for 30 minutes.

Audrey Swanson is a D Home and D Weddings intern.