No matter what decluttering method you are using, organizing your kitchen doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We will take it step by step, area by area, and you’ll be finished before you know it. Before you start organizing your kitchen, follow these tips for decluttering your kitchen.
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A kitchen is often the heart of a home. It’s where families share meals, plan outings, and create memories with their loved ones. If you are part of a busy family, you probably know it can be hard to find time for everything – especially if you’re juggling work or school in addition to managing a household. Maintaining an organized kitchen will actually save you time.
The Importance of Organizing Your Kitchen
This is why it is so essential to maintain an organized home. An organized home is a peaceful home. Decluttering and organizing room by room is a therapeutic way to cleanse your space. Since most families spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it is essential to organize this space. Not only does a clean and organized kitchen save your sanity, but it saves time and money, too! If you know exactly where everything is, you spend less time searching for it. And if you know precisely what you have in your pantry and fridge, you spend less money on last-minute grocery trips for dinner. If you aren’t currently planning meals in advance, this article on meal planning will convince you to start.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with organizing your kitchen, take a step back. Think about what’s important to you when it comes to having a peaceful kitchen. Then, enlist the help of family or friends. Even if your kitchen is a total disaster, I promise your best friend won’t judge! Reaching out for help when you need it is not a sign of weakness but strength. Knowing when to call in reinforcements is a valuable skill to have. Read this for extra help on how to get started when you are feeling overwhelmed.
You can also give kids specific age-appropriate chores that they are responsible for. Give them a chore chart to keep track of their progress for extra motivation. You can get some age-appropriate chore ideas and a free printable chore chart here.
Choosing Where You Will Start
Shining your kitchen sink, a la FlyLady, can be highly motivating, so I like to start there. If you have dishes piled up, load them into the dishwasher so they can wash while you work on the rest of the sink area.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, make up a sink of hot, soapy water and add the dirtiest dishes to it so they can soak. While the dishes are soaking, start working on your next task in the kitchen.
Try not to get distracted by multitasking in other rooms. Don’t start a load of laundry or start putting clothes away. Focus on one thing at a time. Right now, we are focusing on the kitchen.
Take Everything Out
If you’re doing a deep clean, pull everything out of the cabinets. While this may feel like extra work and will take a bit longer, you’ll be much happier with the results! You can either save the junk drawer for later or tackle it first. I find that completing the junk drawer first gives me a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue.
If you prefer, you may want to map out a plan of attack before starting. If this is the case, divide your kitchen into zones or areas and tackle them one by one. Perhaps you don’t have a lot of time to clean or declutter each day. That’s fine! Tackling one “zone” at a time ensures you won’t spend all day in the kitchen. You will definitely want to make sure you clear the clutter first before organizing. Read this to get motivated to clear the clutter.
Organizing Your Kitchen Utensils
Countertop utensil racks are convenient, and they save space. While you’re cooking, you don’t have to go digging through the drawer to find a spatula – you grab it from the hanging rack on the counter. Easy peasy!
On a budget? Make your utensil holders out of mason jars. Mason jars are very inexpensive, especially if you purchase them at your local thrift store.
Organizing The Pantry
Ah, the pantry. You’re either going to love organizing your pantry, or you’re going to hate it. There usually isn’t much gray area here. Before you start, you will want to go to your favorite dollar store and buy enough clear plastic (or glass) containers to hold all of your non-perishable items.
Amazon has can holders that can more than triple the space available in your pantry. You can also use small containers from the dollar store to organize seasoning packets, small bags of dried fruits and nuts, etc.
Organizing Your Spices
There are many ways to organize your spices, and if you search Pinterest for even just a few moments, you’ll find tons of them! The simplest way to organize spices is to base it on the amount of space you have, along with how many spices you use regularly.
Organizing spices alphabetically in magnetic containers attached to a backsplash is popular and affordable. If you only use a few spices regularly, have those at the front of your spice cabinet, and the rest of the spices can hang out in the back. I love the idea of organizing them alphabetically, though, so you save time searching when it’s time to use them.
Organizing Your Junk Drawer
If you didn’t tackle your junk drawer first, now is the time to do so. This is where you’ll want to get serious about getting rid of items you don’t use frequently. You may even find some “junk” that has another home somewhere else in the house.
If your junk drawer is more like a junk cabinet, use wire racks to give yourself extra space to organize everything. Wire racks create an additional level (or two) and can easily double your storage space. You may also find you don’t need eight cast iron skillets, and you’re ready to downsize. If that’s the case, get a box ready for Goodwill and add to it as you clean your kitchen.
Keeping Everything Organized
Do you need more space? If you’re low on space, keep vertical storage in mind. You can easily install a pull-out shelf next to the refrigerator if there is enough room. This is where you can store extra canned goods, but you can store anything that fits!
Hanging racks are space-savers, too. They’re perfect for hanging over an island or large countertop. Be sure to hang it high enough, so nobody bumps their head.
Moving forward, check on your kitchen once a week. Is it clean, neat, and organized? If not, what do you need to work on? We all have those problem areas, such as hot spots where paper gathers. Keeping an eye on these areas specifically can help you keep your kitchen in order.
It can seem like keeping the kitchen clean is a never-ending battle, and some days you will lose. However, if you check in on your kitchen (yes, even the pantry and refrigerator) regularly, you’ll notice it’s much easier to maintain.
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