By Real Simple
Updated January 24, 2013
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Dishes“Mismatched pieces wreak havoc. Unless you won the lotto while drinking from that old mug, don’t let sentimentality make you keep it. Any sort of ‘off’ dishware causes visual chaos, and every time you open the cupboard, something in the back of your brain is saying, ‘My life is a mess.’ There’s calm and comfort in an organized set.” Hierarchy (orlowerarchy): The bottom shelf should hold everyday items. (If you have kids, they’ll be able to reach and help set the table.) Stash infrequently used serving pieces, like pitchers and large bowls, on high shelves.Shelves within shelves: Use metal risers to separate plates from bowls so you don’t have to lift a stack to get to items underneath. Chrome dinner plate shelf, $10,containerstore.com.Floating cups: A row of cups looks cozy—as if you’re living in your own little bed-and-breakfast—and allows for storage below. Crown Bolt three-pound brass-plated cup hooks, $5 for 25,homedepot.com.Small Appliances“Be honest with yourself about the items you really need to leave out and those that are more about wishful cooking.”Coffeemaker, toaster, microwave: These can stay on the counter, but consider mounting the microwave under a cabinet to free up work space.Stand mixer: Put it away in a low cupboard unless you use it more than once a month.Blender, hand mixer: Outfit a deep cabinet with a pullout metal shelf. It will allow you to keep bulky items like these in back but still get to them easily. Lynk roll-out stainless-steel cabinet drawer, $60,target.com.
| Credit: Jonny Valiant