Our usual organizational
challenges of overflowing cabinets and exploding junk drawers
are compounded by mail, toys, clothes and all sorts of clutter.
If your kitchen could use some help getting organized, try
this plan for organizational success in the home.
1. Know Your Objectives
Start by creating an organizational plan for your kitchen.
within your kitchen just like a restaurant does: prep area,
cooking, baking and cleaning. Organize your kitchen into these
four quadrants by keeping related items together in the same
Break the job down into sections. Try to finish one section
per day. Don't let the size of the job overwhelm you. Take
it one small step at a time. Before you know it you will have
As the saying goes, "How do you eat an elephant?
You eat it one bite at a time."
2. Inexpensive Storage Solutions
Your storage solutions don't have to be expensive. Check
the dollar stores for plastic bins, baskets and containers.
Check stores that carry overstocks, closeouts and slightly
dented items for great deals on storage racks and freestanding
Find creative ways to reuse items you already own. Try this
inexpensive storage solution for spice bottles: cover the
bottom half of a shoebox with the same contact paper you used
on your shelves. Fill the box with your spices and set it
inside your cabinet for easy "pull-out retrieval".
If you are short on cabinet space but have plenty of wall
space, try using an old bureau to store canned goods, towels
or extra dishes and cookware.
Don't forget to "nest" items inside one another.
For example pots of graduating sizes can sometimes be fit
one inside the other.
3. Toss out the Clutter
Get rid of what is old or that you don't use. Toss expired
herbs, yeast and baking powder.
If you can't remember the
last time you used some of your cooking gadgets, why not send
them off to a new home where they will be appreciated.
a vow to not bring in any more small appliances, gadgets or
Clear off the counters and decide what really
needs to be out.
If an item has no use in the kitchen it needs
to be put somewhere else. Bag or box the items to be dumped,
donated or given to a friend.
4. Clean It
Clean out one cabinet at a time. Wipe down the shelves. Clear
and wipe down countertops. If you have tile, now is a good
time to clean the grout with a degreasing solution.
tattered dish towels. Replace torn or worn shelf paper.
out the inside and outside of the refrigerator. Clean the
oven. Don't forget to clean the top of the range and the knobs.
Dust the ceiling fan. Dust the top of your cabinets and refrigerator.
5. Home Sweet Home
Every item needs its own home. When items have a designated
place they tend to get put away. If they don't have a home
then they tend to get lost.
- Utilize bins and baskets wherever possible to keep "like
things" together and at easily accessible.
- Go vertical. The important concept here is that any time
you use vertical space it will free up horizontal space.
- Utilize the empty vertical wall space in a nearby closet
by installing shelves that can be used to store canned goods.
- Install hanging broom and mop organizers.
- Employ hooks, pegboards, and Lazy Susans.
If your counter space is at a premium, see if you can mount
some of your small appliances under a cabinet.
6. Efficient Design
Organize your kitchen for maximum efficiency. Place items
near each other if they will be used together. For example:
if your coffee maker sits on the counter, store the coffee
cups, cream and sugar in the cabinet above it.
7. Never Let Clutter Back In
Once you have spent all that time organizing your kitchen,
you'll want to make sure that the clutter stays out. Set some
time aside once a month to check for clutter buildup. Also
spend a few minutes each night putting away anything that
doesn't belong in the
kitchen. Nip that clutter in the bud before it takes root.
If you hadn't already noticed, the first letter of each rule
spells out the word kitchen. It's a handy little way for you
to remember each rule.