The kitchen should be the first room to be unpacked because it's the one area of the home where most things happen, including meal preparation and a family get-together. With that in mind, the space needs to be functional, organized and comfortable. This can be difficult for small kitchen spaces or for larger areas that have little counter space or few storage areas.
Major Areas in Your Kitchen
These include the stove, the sink, the fridge and the main counter where you'll do most of your food preparation. Now recheck your item stock list to assess which things you'll be working with the most. Usually, these items include pots, cutting boards, knives, silverware, dishes, dish towels, spices, etc. These are also the items you should unpack first.
Gather Your Boxes
If you've carefully labeled the box to reflect its contents, then you should have a pretty good idea of what is contained in each box. If you're unsure, sort through each one, unwrap larger items and take stock of what you have to sort and organize. It's important to do this first to ensure that when you place an item in a cupboard or in a drawer that you won't have to move it again.
Since the sink is the area that is used the most, and the stove being second, assess the cupboard and drawer space surrounding the sink. Note the amount of storage areas that are closest and most accessible to these areas, that is, at a height where you need to do little reaching. Start unpacking the most essential items, those you use everyday, and place them in the accessible spaces in descending order. For instance, cutlery will be accessed daily, so place the cutlery in the drawer immediately to the right of the sink (if you're right-handed), then place the dishtowels and cloths in the next drawer down, then perhaps your recipe books in the drawer below the one containing the towels.
Arrange Your Stuff
The sorting method described previously also applies to cupboard space. Plates, cups, glasses, and cereal bowls that will be used every day should be placed on shelves that are at eye level or lower. Since glasses are used more than plates, they can be placed in a cupboard closer to the sink at eye level for ease of use. Items that you use less often, but still often, can be placed behind more often used items or on a shelf higher up.
Pots and pans should be stored close to the stove, along with their lids. You can also use the drawer below the stove for larger items that you may not use every day, such as baking sheets, roasting pans, or casserole dishes.
Store items that aren't used daily in cupboards above the fridge or stove. Heavier items should be stored on shelves near the floor. They'll be easier to access, and you won't need to worry about them falling.
Keep toxic substances in hard-to-reach areas. If you have young children, keep all cleaning supplies in cupboards that are high up, out of their reach. Otherwise, soaps, detergents, and cleaning agents can be kept below the sink.
Put Away Special Stuff
Good dishes, china and other special occasion items can be stored in a china cabinet, buffet table or in cupboards that you won't be accessing daily. Keeping them in an out of the way area will ensure that they're kept safe.
Organize Your Pantry
Store canned goods and dry food stock separate from dishes. Spices can be kept close to the stove. I prefer a drawer space for spices; labeling tops of jars allows me to quickly scan for the spice I need. Other options are spice carts that sit on the counter or racks that hang over the stove. Just remember that spices need to be kept in a dry, cool place to maintain freshness.
Keep a List
For cupboards that contain multiple items, you may want to keep a list of contents on the inside of cupboard doors. After our last move, I did this so that I didn't spend a lot of time hunting for items. Once I felt more familiar in my new space, I took the lists down.