Kitchen Organizing 101: A Recipe For Organizational Success
Contributed by: Martha Matthews of Christian-Homemaking.com
There is no doubt that these days the hub of the home is the
kitchen. It is the place we gather to spend time with family and
friends. Many of us do our main entertaining in an open floor plan
that has a kitchen/family-room combination. As a result, the
kitchen has become the most difficult room in the house to keep
clean. 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 recipe for organizational success.
1. Know Your Objectives
Start by creating an organizational plan. Establish stations 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 area.
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 finished.
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 units.
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. Make a vow to not bring in any
more small appliances, gadgets or knick knacks. 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. Replace tattered
dishtowels. Replace torn or worn shelf paper. Clean 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
holders. 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. Efficiency in 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
About the Author:
Martha Matthews is the Editor of Christian-Homemaking.com, a web
site with resources dedicated to Christian homemaking. She also has
a popular free monthly newsletter for Christian wives called The
Wives of Excellence Newsletter. To subscribe send a blank email to
Or visit http://www.christian-homemaking.com