Welcome to the great purge of 2018! This year one of my personal goals is to get our home organized. We moved into this house about 18 months ago and for various reasons, I have failed to really find “homes” for everything. What it comes down to is that we once again, have too much stuff!
Back in early 2016, we were doing a final relocation and we downsized our belongings significantly. Somehow since then, we have accumulated quite a bit of stuff. Our home also lacks closet and cabinet space making it really difficult to store things out of sight. I feel like I am visually assaulted every time I walk into our home.
Related Article: Downsizing When You Have Kids
I really love a clean, open space and lately, our home has been anything but that. Lately, I have noticed that when I am cleaning I am doing a lot of “stuff shuffling” you know, moving a pile of junk from one spot to another. In my opinion, that is an indication that we have way too much stuff in here!
So I am embarking on a year-long mission to really organize our home. Each month I am focusing on a different area in the house. Why a month for one area? Because I am SOOOO busy! Trying to do this any quicker would leave me doing things half-heartedly.
This month I am focusing on the kitchen because that is where I spend a lot of time and it is also the room that needs the most help. It is really driving me crazy to have things falling out of cabinets when the doors are opened. (Tupperware avalanche anyone? I can’t be the ONLY one out there that has this problem! 🙂 )
When I do stuff like this I plan it out so I can maximize the time I have to organize each day. I am trying to stick to 30-minute daily tasks. Although there will be days that I simply can’t get any organizing or decluttering done. Another thing I wanted to point out is that I am decluttering and organizing as I go.
Enough musing…On to the good stuff…
How to Organize the Kitchen
Areas to Organize
Under the Sink
Things You Will Need to Organize the Kitchen
Sorting Bins these can be plastic bags, cardboard boxes, garbage cans, plastic containers…just use 3 of whatever you have on hand.
Helpful Organizational Tools things like baskets or drawer organizers, new contact paper, label maker may be helpful but not totally necessary.
Time never pull out more than you can sort and put away in a reasonable amount of time. My time limit is 30 minutes. Choose what is comfortable for you.
How to Organize the Kitchen: Cabinets and Drawers
- Identify any “problems” you may have in your cabinets and drawers. My biggest issue is that things get mixed up in my cabinets and drawers. To remedy this I am labeling my cabinets (inside of course) and putting separators in my drawers.
- Pull everything out of the cabinet or drawer you are organizing.
- Get rid of duplicate items. I do realize that it is very convenient to have more than one of some items. Personally, I like to have 3 spatulas, 3 mixing spoons and 2 whisks. Decide what you really need to keep and donate the rest.
- Clean the area before you put stuff back.
- When putting stuff away consider storing similar items together or near where they are used. Look at this like creating “centers” in the kitchen (ie: a baking area, coffee area). Although, in a really small kitchen like mine, this is less of a necessity. The idea here is to be able to find stuff easily.
- Put the less used items in the top of your cabinets
How to Organize the Kitchen: Countertops
Flat surfaces are my nemesis! There are a few ways to help keep the counter clutter at bay.
- Take inventory of what is actually cluttering up your counter. Is it things that are useful, like utensils or small appliances? Or is it paper, dishes or cereal boxes being left out?
- If it is useful stuff ask yourself if you have a better place to store it.
- Get rid of paper clutter as soon as it comes in.
- Remember this: If you don’t use it every day put it away!
- Make your countertops a “no dumping zone.”
How to Organize the Kitchen: Refridgerator
This is best done right before you go grocery shopping so the fridge is sort of doesn’t have a ton of things to pull out.
- Empty the fridge. Get rid of the “science projects” and the ancient condiments.
- Give the now empty fridge a thorough scrubbing starting from the top and work down. Don’t forget the door!
- Store like items together.
- Wipe things off before you put them back in.
How to Organize the Kitchen: Pantry
This is better done after a “clean out the pantry week” style of cooking.
- Empty the pantry. (If you are lucky enough to have a large pantry full of food do this a shelf at a time starting from the top.)
- Toss outdated items and donate those that are still in date but you know your family isn’t going to eat.
- Clean walls, shelves and floors starting at the top and working your way down.
- Group like items together and wipe things down as you are putting them away.
How to Organize the Kitchen: Under the Sink
I know this is a cabinet, however, it is a task all its own so I am giving it its own category.
- Empty everything out.
- Get rid of old cleaners. You may have to take them to a disposal center depending on the chemical.
- Toss weird random things…maybe I am the only one with strange things under there…
- Clean the cabinet out well and maybe get a drip tray to put under there.
- Declutter as you go.
- Work in one small space at a time.
- Work from the top down.
- Store like items together.
- Take advantage of vertical space.
- Make the countertops a no dumping zone.
I think that pretty much covers it. So far this has been working out really well for me. I hope you found this helpful as well. What are your organizational goals for the year? Drop me a line or two in the comments!