You walk into your kitchen and you don’t want to cook anything. So you settle for popping a Lean Cuisine in the microwave not only because it’s simple and easy, but also it keeps you from digging through your drawers to find stuff. Settling for that microwave dinner protects your head from food items falling from your jam-packed cabinets.
You won’t have to avoid your kitchen because it’s a mess anymore, if you follow my eight tips for an organized kitchen.
- Eliminate extra stuff in kitchen. For example, how many glasses or mugs are enough? Be realistic about items you use regularly. Suggestions on other items to edit:
- Icky, stained, miss-matched plastic containers
- Old spices (check out stilltasty.com)
- Excess cooking utensils
- Bowls and chipped dishes
- Place like items together. If you are a baker, gather measuring cups and spoons and store near like items. Other items to group:
- Pots and pans
- Mixing bowls
- Strainers and spinners
- Cutting boards
- Group food by type in pantry or cabinet.
- Baking supplies
- Oils & condiments
- Canned goods
- Maximize Space in drawers and cabinets by using these types of tools: Pull out drawers found at: containerstore.com , www.shelfgenie.com/columbus, www.upperglide, www.homedepot.com or www.lowes.com
- Lid racks
- Tiered shelving to store canned goods on a shelf for better viewing
- Helper shelves to add a level
- Drawer dividers to keep things corralled
- Turntables to keep things visible in the back of a cabinet
- Label items. Considering labeling the tops of your spices if you store them in a pull out drawer. Visible = usable. Consider labeling these items:
- Bins of snacks (“bars”)
- Containers of flour and sugar
- Pantry or cabinet edges
- Use reminder notes. Place post-it notes on the outside of the fridge to remind you when there are leftovers or perishable items to eat NOW! Aim to waste less.
- Make recycling and tossing garbage easy to do.
- Keep a waste can under sink or at the end of the counter
- Decorate a basket for paper recycling
- Line a large covered basket with a recycle bag for cans and glass
- Set up a recycling station in your garage
- Daily clean up. Commit to clearing your kitchen table/counter each night.
When you have less stuff and a home for everything, it is easier to maintain a space.
What will you gain by organizing your kitchen? Maybe more money in your bank account because you are dining out less and cooking more? Try one of those recipes that you have been meaning to make…for years! Be inspired and uplifted by your neat space.
Like organizing anything, create a system for your kitchen that is easy to maintain and beneficial for you in the long run. Or face the fact that without a system, things will remain messy or get messy quickly.
Lynne Poulton is a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®) serving Northeast Ohio. She is a Licensed Social Worker and prior to starting Wholly Organized!®LLC in 2012, she spent 14 years working for a non-profit social service agency. Lynne partners with people of all ages to address the physical and emotional clutter in their lives to make room for what matters most.