Like the office, your kitchen needs to be organized. If you’ve never organized a kitchen, it can seem like an overwhelming process. In such chaos, knowing where to start may seem even impossible. Fortunately, there are some simple procedures you can follow to keep your kitchen clean, neat, and well organized.

The first thing you can do to tame chaos in your kitchen is to identify zones within the space. A kitchen zone is an area where you perform the same task over and over again, such as preparing food before cooking, baking, serving, storing, or cleaning it. Once you’ve designated these zones, it’s easy to optimize that part of the kitchen for your most frequent activities.

When embarking on a major organizing project, be sure to plan ahead. Don’t take everything out of drawers and cabinets unless you know you have a block of time to devote to the project. Spend time deciding which appliances and supplies will end up in which location. If you have a plan for your kitchen ahead of time, you won’t be as likely to feel lost in the middle of your reorganization project. Consider your habits, the flow of traffic through your kitchen, and the appliances you use most frequently when planning your new kitchen. Then systematically remove everything from the kitchen and classify all items into categories.

You can then go through each category and choose which items you want to keep and which you want to discard. Items that you don’t use often should be stored toward the back of the cabinet, or on top, to allow easy access to those you use most often. If you have a hard time remembering what you keep in your drawers and cabinets, consider posting an inventory list on the inside of the doors. Another helpful tip is to keep a shopping list on the inside of a cabinet door or on the refrigerator, where you can easily add it when thinking of something to buy.

If you are having trouble with forgotten items clustered in the back of your cabinet, try installing a Lazy Susan. These turntables will help you easily display items on the back of the cabinet. Special organizing tools are available, such as paper bag storage, spice racks with turntable, and shelves to hold plastic wrap and aluminum foil. These can help save space and alleviate clutter, but many of them or those bought without anticipation will contribute to clutter. Planning and careful consideration are of the utmost importance when organizing your kitchen. Additionally, routine kitchen maintenance will reduce the need for major reorganizations. Keeping the amount of kitchen clutter low will make your job easier in the long run.