The kitchen is usually the focus point of the home. It is a place where everyone gathers for conversations, meals, homework and family and friend get-togethers. The kitchen is also the first room to gather clutter on a daily basis. Everyone deposits their backpacks, purses, keys, wallets, etc in the kitchen and they stay there until they are eventually put away in their proper homes. Like the basement, the kitchen is usually a room that gets avoided in a reorganization project. But, if the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is very important to keep it organized.
Kitchens become the “collect-alls” of the home. It is a place where appliance and kitchen accessories sit on shelves or countertops and gather dust. Family members pass down pots, pans, jello molds, cake pans, storage containers and utensils which end up being placed in the back of cabinets or drawers never to be used. Everyone has a collection of storage containers without matching lids and utensils that you had to have in order to make one dinner 10 years ago, but haven’t used since. There are quite a lot of “amateur chefs” that require every kitchen gadget, but don’t end up using half of them. It is time to clean through all of that clutter and reorganize your kitchen. There are many great kitchen storage solutions that you can find at any organization or home store. Using just a few of these tools will bring a sense of calm to a cluttered kitchen.
Below are 10 steps that can teach you how to organize your kitchen and keep it clutter free:
1. As with any reorganization project, it is important to start with a plan. Separate your kitchen into categories such as junk drawer, pantry, cabinets, countertops and drawers. Work on reorganizing one category at a time. Once one project is completed, move on to the next category.
2. The next thing to do is clean out the excess items in each section. Throw away expired food, broken plates, glasses, and mismatched storage containers. This is the time to ask yourself if you will use the orange juice maker that you used one time 10 years ago or if you plan on eating grapefruit with the set of grapefruit spoons that you received from a family member. If the utensils, appliance and storage containers are still in good condition, think about selling or donating them.
3. Only keep the most essential items in the kitchen on your counters. Have the items that you use the most within easy reach.
4. Thoroughly clean the empty cabinets or drawers and change the shelving paper before putting items back inside. Also, wash the items before putting them back in the cabinets. Place like items together and stack items (such as bowls or pans) within one another to save space.
5. When you are putting items back in the cabinets, categorize them into smaller groups such as baking items, special occasion dishes or everyday items. There are many kitchen storage solutions that are available at home improvement stores such as Home Depot. Set aside a drawer for plastic bags, aluminum foil and other wrapping together in a drawer near the refrigerator.
6. Make it a daily habit to clean off the counter where bags, keys, and purses get thrown every day. Place a decorative bowl on the counter to put keys and other small objects, so you know where they are, but after a week, clean through the bowl to throw away items or put them in their proper homes.
7. Utilize all of the cabinet and vertical space in the kitchen. Put special occasion dishes and serving items higher up in the cabinet, since they are only used a few times a year. Have a step stool handy to reach the items that are on the higher shelves.
8. There are many kitchen storage solutions on the market. They can be found at any organization store, including Bed, Bath, and Beyond or the Container Store. Use kitchen drawer organizers for your spoons, knives and forks. For decorative ideas, put spatulas and large spoons in a vase on your countertop. Use decorative storage containers, such as mason jars, to store dry ingredients on the countertop.
9. Remember to clean as you go. Don’t leave dishes sitting in the sink after a meal. Wash and put the pans and dishes away after each use.
10. In your pantry, categorize the food on your shelves. For example, keep all of your baking items together on one self. Use organization baskets to make it easy for children to grab a snack. There is also over the door hanging storage for spices and even cleaning supplies.