The kitchen is the most travelled and used room in the house. We prepare meals there, eat there and have some of our most interesting conversations in the kitchen. In order to make the most of your meals and conversation it’s important to have an organized kitchen. Here are seven rules I use to organize almost any kitchen.
I’m a stickler for horizontal surfaces being clear. It’s too easy to lie something down and “get around” to putting it away later. Before you know it you have a lot of other stuff that has been added to the pile and you now have a kitchen counter full of items that do not belong in the kitchen.
If you must keep small appliances on the counter keep it to the ones that you use every day like the toaster, coffee maker, and maybe your smoothie machine. Appliances that are seldom used should be stored elsewhere. You’ll be amazed at just how neat and organized your kitchen will look with a clutter free horizontal surface.
Now that your surface is clear it will be easier to keep the counter clean. Get in the habit of cleaning the counter once a day at a certain time. I give mine a wipe when I come down in the morning, after my son has made his breakfast and left traces of said breakfast for me to clean! A clear and clean counter looks great!
Organize your kitchen so that the items you need are easily within reach of the task you are performing. If you are cooking make sure your pots and pans are close by. Are you right or left handed? Take this into consideration. Try to have your glasses stored next to the fridge. Your dishes close to the dishwasher for easy return. Keep only your essential kitchen cleaning supplies under the sink. The rest of those cleaning supplies can be stored neatly in your laundry space. This will save you steps and time and will reduce the traffic chaos in your kitchen.
I’ll admit that I don’t have a junk drawer in my kitchen but I do have a much needed drawer for pens, a pad of paper, mini stapler, eye glass cleaning cloth and a few other items such as bag clips and twist ties. It is still an organized space. But I have seen a lot of junk drawers that are full of just that – junk. A place you judiciously slide things into because you don’t know where to put it. Try not to use the junk drawer for a convenient way of hiding items that do not belong in the kitchen like tools and batteries. Just how many elastic bands do you really need anyway? If you cannot easily locate what you are looking for it kind of defeats the purpose of having a “miscellaneous” drawer. Let’s keep it organized with everything contained.
Take a piece of paper and tape it inside a cupboard next to the fridge. When you run out of an item, jot it down on the piece of paper – both food and cleaning supplies.
Take this list with you when you go shopping and stick to it. It’s kind of like going shopping when you are hungry. Without a list you are going to forget some items that you need and most likely pick up items you don’t need thus spending money needlessly and adding clutter to your kitchen in the process.
Make a habit of going through your fridge and cupboards once a month to get rid of items that have spoiled or have gone too far past the expiration date. When you do please remember that a best before date is just that – best before. You don’t have to toss items right at the best before date. But no need to keep that green stuff in your fridge any longer either!
Like all other items in the house toss out anything that is not working like old can openers or small appliances that you just may one day get around to trying to fix. Chances are that they are small enough and cheap enough to replace and let’s face it, you’re probably not going to get around to fixing it anyway.