For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and if it doesn’t function well or is covered in clutter, it can affect the whole house. Besides the typical things you’d expect to do in a kitchen, like cooking, baking, and food storage, these hardworking rooms do so much more. Kitchens become everything from makeshift home offices to homework stations to gathering places for friends and family. There’s no denying that organizing an entire kitchen can seem pretty overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can even be quite therapeutic in many ways. Instead of jumping in headfirst and taking on the whole enchilada (no pun intended), break up your organizing adventure into small mini-goals that can keep you focused and motivated.
Start Organizing Your Kitchen
If you know me, I will always start with a list. It helps me make a game plan on how to attack the area that needs work. Today, we will discuss the kitchen. Here are a few quick kitchen organizing tips to get you started!
1) Start with a Section
Don’t think you need to do your entire kitchen in one day. Instead, break it up into zones. For example, kitchen cabinets and drawers, the pantry, the china cabinet, etc. Then, you can implement the following steps in each section. * Bonus Tip: As you’re working, set a timer to keep yourself from getting burnt out; maybe you work for 20 or 30 minutes, then take a 2-minute water break, and so on. Choose a time that works for you.
2) Take It All Out
No matter what section you’re working on, take everything out. This means if you’re organizing kitchen cabinets and drawers, take everything out of every cabinet and drawer. Everything.
3) Sort It Out
As you take things out, or once you have everything out in the open, place like items together. Don’t get too hung up on individual pieces at this point; that will just slow you down. Simply put the spoons by the spoons, the pots and pans together, and all of the miscellaneous unopened small appliances that are still in boxes can go in one stack (you know you’ve got them).
Now comes the challenging part for many people, the purge. To achieve the organized, functioning, beautiful kitchen of your dreams, it’s very likely that you need to let go of some stuff. Start with the obvious: broken items, duplicates (how many cheese graters do you really need?), and then move on to the things you don’t use, or you just hate (even if your mother-in-law did give it to you).
It’s not the most glamorous step, but when all of your cabinets and drawers are empty, it’s the perfect time to give them a good wipe down. If you are into safer cleaning supplies like I am, check out Grove Collaborative as an option for all your safe cleaning supplies.
Now that you know what you will keep (give it one more go through) and decide how you will organize it in your space. Measure shelves and drawers so you can get the right-sized bins and boxes — no point buying beautiful organizing supplies if they don’t fit. I even added more shelves in my garage to hold household items and canned goods. This way I have what I need in the house and a backup in the garage. * Bonus Tip: Resist the urge to run to the nearest store and buy up all the amazing organizational supplies at the beginning of the process. If you do this step first, you don’t even know what you need yet, wasting valuable time, energy, and money.
Now put it all back. Once you have your supplies, place them where you want them to go and put away all of the items you’ve decided to keep. Remember to keep like items together. For example, in your pantry, have soup with soup, pasta with pasta. And think about organizing by meals. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. As for cabinets, put everyday items within reach. For holiday items, place them in cabinets that are rarely used. And make sure to get plenty of good storage for left overs. I recommend getting the same brand that lasts. The cheap plastic kind tends to stain and typically is not PBA free. Food storage containers with drip control are best. Here are a few more kitchen organizing ideas: Pantry Organization – Airtight Containers Keep Cool – Table Top Fan Send the rest to either the garage stockpile, trash pile, donate pile, or whatever other piles you come up with that gets the stuff out of your house fast.
8) Outsource the Work
If you feel overwhelmed or your time does not allow for cleaning and organizing your kitchen, have someone else do it. Sites like Handy are great to find someone who can come help you clean and organize your kitchen space. I’ve often used a helping hand throughout our moves. When my kids were too young, and my husband was off to work, having another pair of hands to help me tackle my organizing plan was well worth the spend.
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These are some helpful tips to get you started, and the best part is you can apply these steps to organizing your pantry, kitchen island, and any other space you want to make more efficient and amazing.
The more organized your kitchen is, the better it can function, making you and your home a lot happier. So, now all that’s left to do is figure out where you want to start first? What’s your biggest organizing challenge in the kitchen? Let us know in the comments!
Here are a few more ideas for your kitchen.
Julie is the founder of Organizemama. Her passion for organizing comes from her Lean Six Sigma Project Management training. She also holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Management.
She believes in the saying “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
If Julie is not organizing something, she is enjoying the outdoors with her two girls and her husband.