Since the heart of the home is considered to be the kitchen it only seems right that the series on “Home Organization” begins here. Being organized will not only bring most people a feeling of peace but can also help you save money. When you have to know what is in your cabinets you are less likely to end up with twelve boxes of spaghetti and only two jars of sauce. ( For some reason I had to buy pasta when ever it went on sale…I seriously could never remember if I already had a box and we had so much we could have done a spaghetti fundraiser dinner on our own!)
So, here are some tips I have learned. Some you may already know but I hope if nothing else you will feel inspired to jump into the kitchen and create a living space that you and your family will enjoy! Let’s begin this lighthearted journey together and create something beautiful!
Step 1: Know what you have! Know what you need!
Do you shield your face when you open a certain cabinet door because you know something is going to decide to escape the second the door is released? Everyone has a “junk” drawer where pens, tacks, batteries and bread twist ties end up. This drawer is usually only cleared out upon the owners need to move or their death. Put an end to the booby traps of your kitchen and get ready to walk freely among the spices!
Grab a trash bag and let’s begin:
Begin on the first four-foot section of your kitchen. Your choice: the left or the right side.
Place yourself so you are facing the counter.
Open the cabinet directly in front of you.
Starting at the top of the cabinet, begin taking items out.
Decide if this is an item that you need or has it expired?
Example: Do you have twenty plastic kid cups that have lost their shape, design or purpose? Keep about four or five and either discard or recycle the rest.
Repeat this action for all remaining shelves
Look at your countertop
Are there items that need to be relocated to a better area?
Repeat the cleansing action that you did with the cabinets now with the drawer in front of you
Continue with these steps until all cabinets and drawers have been uncluttered. You may want to take this time to wipe out the cabinets and drawers as you go along. Always good to get a jump start on “spring cleaning”!
Now that you know what you have in your kitchen and you have thrown away all the plastic containers that do not have lids, what are some “must have” items for your kitchen?
#1 – A “Lazy Susan”. These can be found anywhere, but the cheapest steel looking one I found was on eBay. Lazy Susans are great in a cabinet for spices or other baking items. Also, can be used in your refrigerator to display condiments.
#2 – Glass Containers – A cheap place to find these would be your Goodwill or Salvation Army stores. It is hard to find glass containers that match when you are hunting for them, so if that matters to you, I also found them on Amazon.
#3 – Slide out Spice rack – This one from Amazon holds 40 spice containers and is super handy and really nice for a good price.
#4 Plastic Storage containers and lid storage – These are not as “tough” as the Rubbermaid brand and I haven’t tried to see if they would fit. This is great for keeping track of all the containers and lids and frees up drawer/cabinet space as well.
#5 Cookie Sheet/Large Dish Organizer – This really helps keep all those larger cookie sheets, pizza, and muffin pans.
#6 Drawer organizers – The one shown is from Amazon and is really nice though a little pricey. It is wood however and since I have wood drawers this works for me. You can also find some plastic and metal options at WalMart, Target, or other retail stores. I have bought contact paper and covered Velveeta boxes to use a drawer dividers.
#7 Lid & Pan Organizer – I get so tired of searching for lids to my pots and pans! The one pictured is from IKEA and looks like it will hold up through my kids putting away the dishes, but I can probably do a quick fix using a board and dowels or nails, but the cost and time of doing that are about the same as a ready-made item.
#8 Fancy Chalkboard Labels – MY FAVORITE!!! I have only been able to find this online. It is a super cute way to mark your containers whether they are on the counter or in a cabinet. Not only are they nice to look at, but they also can be changed whenever the contents changed. (unless you use liquid chalk and that is a little harder to clean!)
#9 Baskets – There are so many options of baskets. You can go super modern or farm fancy. Again, for cheap baskets check out Goodwill or thrift stores.
* TIP: If you are like me – and you don’t want to spend a lot, but you like to have things match – buy different size baskets and spray paint them all one color.
#10 Pan Organizer– This is my second favorite on the list. There are others out there, but I found this one from Amazon works the best for me.