Mar 9, 2010
Five Steps to Perfect Kitchen Organization
I’m a busy person, and I expect you are too. When I get home, it’s hard to get excited about making dinner for the family if the kitchen is in shambles and all my goods and gear aren’t organized, even though I really do love to cook.
I finally feel like I have it down, though, with a five-step plan I’m excited to share with you. I hope you’ll give it a try, and let me know what you think!
- It all starts with a plan.
Before you begin organizing your kitchen, take some time to think about how you use this room. How does it work now? Do you have the accessories that you need for everyday cooking close to hand? Do you have to walk around the kitchen table to the other side of the room to pull out the pan lid that you want? How about your kitchen cabinets? Are the foods that you use most often within easy reach? Do you have to dig through all the cans on the shelf to find the condensed milk? Think about how to make your workspace more efficient.
- Go shopping.
You may have to pick up some additional items to help the organizational process. Before you start pulling your cabinets apart, you need the supplies to put them back together neatly. Make a list of the kinds of tools that would you’re your life easier: Plate and cup racks to organize and expand your space? Two tier shelves that can double the space you have available for storage? Or maybe a lazy Susan for your herbs and spices?
- Organize your food cabinets next.
Give yourself a bunch of extra room to work, and arm yourself with a “Donate” box and a trash bag. Now, start emptying. As you take foods out of your cabinet, make a quick decision to keep, donate, or throw away each item. The foods that you are likely to use should be replaced in the cabinet after you have cleaned them out. Nothing goes back into the cabinets until you have emptied the whole cabinet, washed down the shelves and put up any organizers you’ve picked up. When you do replace the items in your food cabinets, take care to place those foods that you use the most up at the front of your shelves.
- Rearrange your dishes, pots, and pans.
Now, pull out all your dishware and cookery. Yes, ALL of it – including all those mismatched plastic food storage containers, which go RIGHT into the trash!After you clean the shelves, start putting the dishes away, filling the cabinets next to your dishwasher first. The dishes that are washed every day should be in the cabinets closest to the dishwasher to cut down on the amount of traveling you do between dishwasher and pantry.
- Finally, clear off the countertops and get rid of unused appliances.
Make the most of your counter space by clearing away the clutter. The only appliances that should be on display are those you use at least a week, and perhaps a cookbook or two that are your go-to guides. In our family, that means a coffee maker, a coffee grinder, a toaster and a well-worn copy of “How to Cook Everything.” Tuck your “once-a-month” appliances in an under counter cabinet, and your “couple-times-a-year” appliances into deeper storage. Take serious stock of any appliance that is used less than once a year, and anything that is a “uni-tasker” whose job is replaceable (in my kitchen, that meant saying goodbye to my blender).
Once your kitchen is organized, you’ll work more easily, and you’ll probably be more inclined to let your family lend a hand with the evening’s meal, which is a win-win for everyone!