Let’s face it: Kitchens are really hard to organize. For one thing, there’s hardly ever more than a few minutes when the kitchen isn’t in use so just finding the opportunity to do the organizing is a problem. And then there’s the fact that the kitchen is not just the place where you cook dinner, often it’s also the place where everyone dumps their mail and keys and purses and backpacks and dog leashes and anything else they bring in. So not only do you have to organize everything that belongs in the kitchen, you have to take care of all that other stuff that ends up there.
So where should you start?
Start with Baby Steps
Start with a small area, an area that drives you crazy. If it’s the table where everything gets dropped, start there. If it’s the sink that’s always full of dirty dishes, start there. Clear it off: Once it’s been cleared, clean it. Put everything that you cleared off, where it really belongs. And – and this is really important – keep this area clean and organized when you move on to the next area.
Remember: It’s not just about getting an area organized once, it’s about keeping it that way. It doesn’t make any sense to put your efforts into organizing something if the next day it’s back the way it was. You’ve wasted a lot of time you could have spent napping. So be sure you’ve established organization in an area – keep it that way a week or so – before you move on.
Do You Need It or Love It?
Remember those three boxes –Toss, Donate, and Keep? You can use them for this project. While you’re clearing, consider every item. Do you need this? Have you used it recently? Have you used it ever? Do you even remember what it’s used for? Look at every single thing in your kitchen, and if it’s not something you use regularly, get rid of it. (Okay, okay, you can keep the Christmas napkins and those other seasonal items – if you really love them.)
And speaking of things you need to get rid of, take a look at your food: canned goods, packaged foods, herbs and spices, and all that stuff in the refrigerator. If it’s expired, there’s no question of what to do with it: Throw it out. But what about things you don’t really like or use? Sure they may be perfectly good, but in your case, the only thing they’re good for is taking up space. Give them to a local food shelf or throw them away.
Wide Open Spaces
If you want your kitchen to look as clean and organized as you’re making it, clear the surfaces. Your counters aren’t cupboards. Appliances you don’t use on a daily basis and foods – especially too-tempting snacks – don’t belong on them. And take a look at the top of your refrigerator; sometimes things sneak up there so they can lurk unnoticed.
By organizing your kitchen, you free up your space and your time – no more chip bags on the counters, no more shuffling papers to one side of the table, no more dusting knickknacks – and make your everyday work easier and more pleasant. Organization is all about making your life better; put a little effort into organizing your kitchen and see if it doesn’t.