This is the seventh in an eight part series on how I reorganized my kitchen to function more efficiently.
The cabinets are clean, purged and organized. I wont lie - its a good feeling. I spend so much of my day in this room. Cooking from scratch is as much about the process as the end result for me and having an organized space clears my head so my hands can work. I think I am secretly a minimalist, but living with three other people makes creating that aesthetic almost impossible. The kitchen, however, is my space. Here I can attempt a little restraint and find my culinary inspiration in the empty spaces. Less noise - I chose the title of this blog well!
Here are some tips from my reorganizing experience that I hope will be helpful if you ever decide to tackle your own kitchen.
1. Think about how you use your kitchen. Where do you do certain tasks and what are the tasks that are most often performed? Come up with a plan that supports how you are already using the space.
2.Take everything out of the cabinet and wipe down the surfaces before putting anything back. As you take the items out, group them by type.
3. Separate each group into don't use, seldom use and use all the time piles. Go through the seldom use pile and pull out duplicates. The don't use pile does not go back into the cabinet. If you are tight on space, the seldom used items are put in another storage space. If there is room, keep both groups separate and place the use all the time items at eye level in easy to reach containers.
4. For items that are seldom used, find a spot in a not so convenient space. This could be in a cupboard across the room, or on a shelf in the basement. Yes, it means retrieving these items when you do want them, but for the rest of the time, your cabinets are clear and the items you do use are easy to find and kept organized.
5. Chose storage containers that meet your needs rather than just look attractive. If the system creates work for you, you need to decide if you like it enough to commit to it. You do not need to spend a lot of money to be organized.
6.Protect your glass dishes and non-stick pans. Stacking can cause breakage and scratching.
7. The key to staying organized is for every item to have a home. This makes emptying the dishwasher easy, especially if there is more than one person in your house doing the job. When a new item is added to your kitchen, think about where it will live and remove a less frequently used item to make room for it, if need be.
8. Periodically reassess your kitchen's functionality. Have your routines changed? If so, you may need to makes some organizational changes to stay efficient.
The seldom used items that I removed from my cabinets all needed to go somewhere. Luckily, I had space in the pine hutch at the other end of the room so they remained accessible, but not in the way. I also have a shelving unit in the basement where I keep items I only use once or twice a year.
Here are the before photos of the hutch cabinets:
This is the pile of tupperware before I purged.
I like to store containers with their lids on. I know they take up more space this way, but I truly believe the reason we all struggle with storing plastic is we try to save space by keeping the lids separate. Like many of you, I am phasing out my plastic containers for more environmentally sound options and what I have left is mostly BPA free.
In the other cupboard are all the items I use, but not all the time.
On Tuesday, I'll show you the papers I use to keep my family activities and food management organized.
Here are the other posts in this series.
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