“You are greeted by junk mail, art creations, dirty dishes and other items that cover the counter and to crown it all the in-laws are coming for supper…”
The kitchen is the first room the family enters when they come into the house, in search of something to eat or drink, inevitably leaving whatever it is they have had in their hands on the counter and causing the clutter you are now faced with. There is no quick fix but it takes time to get into the habit to have an uncluttered space and to know where everything is kept.
Organise your kitchen into distinct zones:
1. Preparation: Choose the longest uninterrupted counter space. Keep the utensils, chopping boards, mixers bowls etc. close at hand. Extend preparation area by placing customized chopping boards over a sink.
2. Storage: Fridge, pantry or grocery cupboards
3. Cleaning: The sink and or dishwasher. Place a cleaning caddy under your sink with all your cleaning liquids – this gives easy access and makes it easy to grab general cleaning items in one go. Allocate place for dishes, glassware for quick access and storage.
4. Cooking: A surface next to the oven/stove top. Place pots and pans, cooking utensils, herbs, spices and oven gloves within easy reach.
5. Serving: A place for plates, serviettes, place mats, and condiments. These should be positioned close to where the family usually eats.
Clear the counters, empty the dishwasher and bring your kitchen to an acceptable state before you begin.
Edit the surfaces and cupboards (starting from the top), removing the stuff that shouldn’t be there and sorting through the stuff that should. Give away the items you no longer need or want. Give your kitchen a deep clean at the same time. Keep surfaces clutter free.
Display cookbooks, serving bowls, baskets and glassware on open shelving.
Store glasses of different heights in different rows. It is easier to reach what you want.
Keep lids separate from your pots and containers. This makes stacking easy and gives you more space.
If you have two utensils that serve the same purpose – keep the newer / better one. Use drawer dividers to make utensils more accessible.
Place a small tray or decorative box on your counter for keys and cell phones.
Install pigeon holes for each member of the family for storing things like school bags, lunch boxes, handbags, post, etc close to the door.
For more storage space – go lateral, look for areas of wall that have not been used. Place hooks under shelves to hang mugs or cups. Use metal grids with “S” hooks or install magnetic strips close to cooking area to hang utensils and knives. Use the insides of cupboards between shelves to hang wire racks for extra storage.
Install a notice board for a calendar, art work/ school notices (hang a box of pins on the board) or paint the back of a door with magnetic paint. Let your children replace art daily or weekly. Remove old notices.
Keep one drawer or a container for art & craft materials for your little ones to keep them entertained while you cook.
Butcher’s blocks on castors provide extra work surface.
Do you have a problem of letting go?
Place the items in a sealed and dated box and move it to the garage. If you had no use for it within a year, it is time to get rid of it. Without opening the box take it to your favourite charity or phone them immediately to collect.
Reward yourself for a job well done. Hubby can cook tonight or take you out for dinner … you deserve it!
Copyright © 2006 Cloud 9 organised