Kitchen Ideas for Improving Layout, Storage and Efficiency

By Lyle Weischwill | Aug. 07, 2018 7:57 am PST

Illustration of cute kitchen with stainless steel appliances and tan cabinets

Looking for kitchen design, cleaning and organization tips? Our video playlist offers cleaning hacks, design ideas and safety advice.

Itching to up your kitchen’s game? It just takes a little insider know-how to get the kitchen of your dreams, whether that means a whole new design or just organizing (and, dare we say, cleaning) what you have.

We’ve got the tools to help you design your dream kitchen, keep the heart of your home neat as a pin and efficiently set up, and clean it with devilishly clever ideas.

Kitchen Design Layout Ideas: 3 Kitchen Design Solutions

Starting the process of creating the kitchen of your dreams? Awesome! Based on your priorities, here are three design solutions that will make the heart of your home efficient and user-friendly.

Goal: Keep food together.

Solution: Place the pantry next to the fridge.

Goal:Maximize storage.

Solution: Extend cabinets up to the ceiling.

Goal: Increase counter space.

Solution: Add an island.

Kitchen Work Zones Explained: Kitchen Design Tips From Sears Home Improvement

When people used to talk about kitchen design, it was all about the triangle. Well, it’s time to forget that! The modern trend is work zones. They’re designated spaces to perform a certain task. Here are the big three, and what they should contain.

Cooking Zone

· Oven

· Stove

· Utensils

· Cutting board

· Outlets

Cleaning Zone

· Sink

· Cleaning supplies

· Pullout cabinet for garbage

Prep Zone

· Island

· Counter space

· Light

Kitchen Cabinet Organization Tips

Are your cabinets a mish-mash of glasses, plates and serving dishes? Can’t find the cumin you used yesterday? Here are some tips to tidy up your kitchen cabinets.

  1. Keep less-used items on higher shelves.

  2. Put dry goods in clear containers.

  3. Store spices away from heat sources.

  4. Use a lazy Susan to see what you have with a quick spin.

  5. Hang utensils to save drawer space.

  6. Use bins and baskets to organize smaller items.

  7. Organize pots and pans in pullout shelves.

  8. Use adjustable cookware organizers to keep pans and cookie sheets neat.

Kitchen Safety Tips: 4 Ways to Help Prevent Fires

Let’s face it, in the kitchen, we’re literally playing with fire. But it doesn’t take a lot to help keep you and your family safe. These tips will help make sure the only thing you burn is the crème brûlée.

  1. Keep flammable objects away from the stove.

  2. Clean the stovetop regularly.

  3. Unplug small appliances when not in use.

  4. Regularly check appliance cords for fraying.

Sears Home Hacks: 3 Countertop Cleaning Hacks — TESTED!

Nail polish remover, steel wool and vodka? That’s right! No matter what kind of countertop you have, we’ve got a hack for you. See which ones actually work!

Hack: Use nail polish remover to get rid of stains on laminate countertops.

Tested! Put nail polish remover with acetone on a cotton ball and rub the stain.

Hack: Steel wool cleans hard water stains and rings off your quartz countertop.

Tested! Look for #0000 steel wool. Buff out the stain.

Hack: Try vodka to clean and disinfect granite countertops.

Tested! Whip up a mixture of:

•¼ cup vodka

•3 drops dish soap

•2 cups water

•Essential oils

Spray and wipe.

How to Organize Your Fridge the RIGHT Way

Do you stick fruit and lettuce in the same bin? What about the common mistake of keeping eggs on the door? Organizing your fridge the right way will help your food — and your fridge — last longer. Here’s how.

Top shelf: Leftovers, yogurt, dips and beverages

Lower shelves: Raw meat, eggs and dairy

Meat drawer: Deli meat and cheese

Low-humidity crisper drawer: Produce with a skin, such as apples, pears, berries and tomatoes

High-humidity crisper drawer: Leafy greens and fresh herbs

Door: Condiments and salad dressing

Food Storage Guidelines: How Long Does Food Last in the Fridge?

They say the rule is the same for fish and houseguests: After three days, they start to stink. Here’s the nitty-gritty on how long you should be able to safely keep certain foods in your fridge.

Leftovers: 3-4 days


Opened milk: 3-5 days

Opened cheese: 2-3 weeks

Fresh eggs: 2-5 weeks

Meat, Poultry and Fish

Steaks, chops and roasts: 3-5 days

Ground meat: 1-2 days

Raw fish and shellfish: 1-2 days

Deli Meat

Unopened: 2 weeks

Opened: 3-5 days


Beans, cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce and peppers: 1 week

Beets, celery, corn on the cob and carrots: 2 weeks


Berries: 2-3 days

Avocados: 7-10 days

Citrus: 3 weeks

How to Remove Wine Stains From Granite

If that glass of red wine you spilled during a heated discussion is still bedeviling your granite countertop, don’t worry. Here’s a life hack to remove it.

•2 tablespoons baking soda

•1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide

Mix it into a paste and slather it on the stain. Pat it on good.

Cover with plastic wrap and wait 24 hours.

Scrub off the paste with soapy water.

Wipe dry. Voilà!

Note: Sears Home Services does not guarantee the effectiveness of these tips or that the results will be the same at home. Remember to consult your owner’s manual first for information on how to properly care for your specific appliance.

Get a free in-home consultation

You May Also Like