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Starting the Year off on the Right Foot

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By the time the end of the holiday season rolls around, I'd venture to say that most of us have lost our organization in the kitchen. Hosting holiday get togethers is amazingly fun, but it does take a lot of work and when you are cooking and cleaning for a crowd, it's often easier to put the dishes away wherever and decide to deal with it later.

Well, later is here.

Now that the hustle and bustle of holiday prep work is over, and you've got some time, why not do a deep clean and organization of the room that has the most traffic - your kitchen? It is so much easier to work in a kitchen that is well organized, and one in which you use everything you've got, with no extraneous clutter.

  • Pull everything out - It's difficult to know what you have if it's all hidden in the back of a cupboard, so pull it all out of the dark recess and see what you have. I was astounded to learn that I had 39 coffee mugs. 39!! Now, I love me some coffee, but I don't need 49 of the things. It's interesting to see the fruits of your packratedness right in front of you - it's pretty hard to deny that you have a problem when you see a dozen mismatched plates right in front of you.
  • Get some empty boxes - When you see that you've got a couple of bowls that you never use, don't try to find a place for them - load them right into an empty box destined for the thrift store. You may not need five serving bowls, but there's a better than average chance that someone else could use that specific bowl. Don't put anything back in your cabinets that you haven't used in the last year. Just don't do it.
  • Look it over and match it up - Put those reusable containers on the counter and find the tops. If there's no match, out it goes. You won't find it, you won't use it - so don't keep it.
  • Clean the empty cabinets - Use a gentle, non abrasive cleaner and wipe the inside of the cabinets down - don't forget the doors. Line the shelves with shelf paper (parchment works well for this too!).
  • Put the (hopefully much reduced) kitchen gear away - Take the time, when you are putting things away, to organize them. Put the plates and bowls together, near the silverware, and put the cups near the refrigerator - we didn't do this until this year, despite living in this house for almost ten year. It made an AMAZING difference in streamlining the kitchen to move the glasses to the other side, so take a minute to really think about the layout of your kitchen.
  • Create work stations - I put all of the baking stuff together, and all of the food storage goes into another area. The wraps and baggies are in cabinet baskets that are attached to the inside of the pantry door. I try to make things are easy to use as possible, in hopes that other people will actually use them.
  • Finished? Stand back and admire your handiwork.

How do you organize your kitchen?

ŠiStockphoto.com/HeintjeLee

by on Dec. 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (51-60):
jynkx
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

thanks for the reminder tips!  i dread taking everything out and actually having to see it all.......lol.  but i think i should do it.  we always use the same few things yet the cabinets seem so full.  of what?  junk i guess.....smh

Sweet_Carol_126
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 8:07 PM

I really need to do this but we live in a mobile home so there isn't a lot of storage space.  I did remove a furnace and put in a storage cabinet from Lowe's and that was good.  Later I added another of them right next to what was a teensy cabinet for pantry which is now a broom closet.  I just ordered 2 holders for foils, saran wrap, boxes of plastic bags, etc. to put on each side of the broom closet to put those items there. The new pantry next to the broom closet has sliding drawers in it (a carpentry neighbor did the work).   I put a larger cabinet in the sunroom right next to the kitchen but down steps (like it was outside at ground level) to put appliances in as I love appliances (jam maker, Vitamix, mixer, rice maker, icecream maker, Cusinard stem blender, etc.  I need to redo the hall closet now which is where the former furnace was. Thinking of calling the neighbor to see if I can hire him to put in drawers there, too.  I need to put some dried foods and some sprouts and Aerogarden seed kits, etc. in there as well as miscellaneous stuff.  I bought a couple of racks for the bathroom medicine cabinet that will hold up the ointments, deodorants, etc.  Now if I can just get bathroom wallpaper up, we have a larger medicine cabinet to go over the sink as the other one is over the toilet.  We are lucky to have a little closet with drawers for towels, etc.  No linens in there.  I squished down some clothes in a vacuum bag which are other than the white ones we are using.  When family comes I buy a set of bath, hand towel and face cloth in a different color for each visitor so they can keep track of their towels, and can take them home when they go.  (I have a hanger for them to hang the towels on while here).  I have a book and paper clutter and am trying to reduce the paper.   I started to get my books on Kindle. Still working on it slowly but surely.  Done more in last few weeks than in the past year.  Now to reorganize the living room.  Problem is I still have bread, nuts, etc. all over my counters and I even bought 2 breadboxes to put them in.  I envy those with a walk in pantry and walk in closets.  Going to have to get a closet organizer for both our bedroom closets. We  used to have in our house before we moved. husband and I did those, but we have gotten older and more feeble. Harder to do those things.  But, if  I can find inexpensive ones, maybe I can hire the neighbor if he is healthy enough in our single mobile home resort.

copperswifey
by Silver Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Great tips! I try to clean out all the drawers and oranize them every couple of weeks :)

Jeckers
by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Does anyone have lock n lock's?  I don't know how to stack or store them!!  I love them and they are great for taking my lunch to work, but they do not store well.  :(  Any ideas?

Scottishbrat33
by Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 10:40 AM

You have a lot of ambition.I like the way you organize every thing. I like asking thoses questions whethere or not I need it.I'm doing that with all my cards for the passed year.I am trying to get motivated to start scrapbooking again. I have so many pictures I will use your ideas Thank Scottishbrat33way to go

funkycat
by Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I created a pantry from a coat closet to relieve the crock pot / bigger gadget clutter. I also put bulk purchases ther and divide portiond from them into smaller containers for within reach use. I'm in the process of creating a narrow storage wall of cabinets, 9"  deep for canned goods, ect... The rest of the clutter is my habbit of  not getting right on it. I'm working on that. I have begun to do the puting away when on the phone. 

monilopez
by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 2:35 AM

i need lots of help organizing

bbkimberly
by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 3:57 AM

The thing that will get me in the mood to do this - wine. 

k.stark
by New Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 8:13 PM

besides dressers and things of that nature.. my whole house has 3 yup I said 3 drawers!!! in the whole house!!! It is a nightmare!!! 

catwoman123456
by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:39 AM

   Organize the Kitchen?! Well, I've found that it is alot easier to concentrate when the kitchen isn't a mess but learning to function without having a meltdown over a bit of a mess ( as long as insects and fire hazards  aren't in the picture ) is an asset, too.cat 

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