Organizing Quick Tips: The Kitchen

Have you ever shopped for something simple like a spatula at Bed, Bath & Beyond? Were you overwhelmed by the spatula options? Metal. Plastic. Rubber. Wide. Narrow. With slits. With holes. With a hidden knife in the handle to use as a weapon in case a burglar sneaks in while you’re flipping pancakes. (So maybe I made up the last one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it really exists.) There is an unlimited supply of tools for our kitchen. If you allow your “tools” to become “clutter” they aren’t working for you but against you. Follow the basic decluttering steps to make sure your kitchen is a useable, functional, efficient space.

1. Purge – Be ruthless as you separate your kitchen items into piles for Keep, Sell/Donate, Trash. I’d bet there are items hidden in your cabinets that you received as a wedding gift and still haven’t used. That ice cream sandwich maker sounded like the coolest thing ever until you tried to use it and it was just the messiest thing ever. Rolling pin – does anyone still use a rolling pin? Maybe if you’re a legit cook but for the average I-buy-pull-apart-cookies chef, you probably don’t need one. If you haven’t used something in a year and don’t have plans to use it in the future, get it out of your house.

2. Sort – As you discover items that don’t belong in the kitchen (I’m talking to you, Kitchen Junk Drawer) move them to another place in your home. Separate all your kitchen items into Often Use and Seldom Use piles. Seldom Use items should be stored in the most inconvenient places to leave the conveniently reached places open for items you use more often. Consider boxing up seasonal items and storing them with your decorations rather than keeping them in your kitchen all year long.

3. Store – There are tons of great storage options for your kitchen – stepped shelving to make items in the back of your cabinets visible, drawer dividers, hanging baskets, vertical racks for pans or lids, the list goes on and on. I would suggest identifying areas that are a nuisance to you and then searching for a specific solution to those problems. Here’s what I use to organize my food pantry…

Plastic tubs can be pulled out to make reaching the back easy. I use labels for breakfast, lunch, baking, pasta/sides, produce, snacks, stockpile and a basket for ingredients to be used this week (you should use labels that correspond to the food your family eats). This way, I know exactly where everything is located and can find things quickly. Hint: make sure you measure your cabinet space and the full outer width/length of tubs before you buy them – you want them to fit snuggly so you maximize your space without wasting any.

Regardless of what tools you use to organize your kitchen, the important thing is that it is clutter-free, functional and efficient for you.

Question: What’s the weirdest thing you received as a wedding gift and still keep stashed somewhere in the depths of your kitchen cabinets?

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4 responses to “Organizing Quick Tips: The Kitchen

  1. Debbi G February 8, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    I actually DO use my rolling pin (it’s great for making quick work of a bread machine made pizza dough) … other things definitely not so useful!

    • Chrystal February 8, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      There are many words in that sentence that tell me you are much more of a chef than I will ever be. 🙂 Not only do you own and use a rolling pin but also a bread machine and you make your own pizza!! I’m in awe…

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you and your family are well. I love seeing all the grand-baby pictures on Facebook. They are all adorable.

  2. Donna February 8, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    The weirdest gift 30 1/2 years ago…… And yes I still have it. I even moved with it. It’s hanging in the utility room. Still has the same cover. I’ve used it 6 times. Maybe. What is it? Ironing board.

    • Chrystal February 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      That must be where I get my aversion to ironing. You should get rid of it if you’ve only used it 6 times in 30 years. I should get rid of mine too…I used it several times in college but only two or three times since.

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