Monday, February 4, 2013

Organizing Your Kitchen...

I fully believe that the kitchen is the most important room in the house to keep organized and orderly. It is a room that you are in every single day and when it's unorganized things can get ugly really quickly! There are so many things that you can do to create an organized, efficient kitchen- but here are a few things that I've done or have seen and LOVE!

1. Go through EVERY SINGLE FOOD ITEM. I'm serious. Pull out every frozen dinner, soup can, and granola bar. Read all the labels and get rid of what is expired. You won't believe the number of items in your fridge, freezer and pantry that are expired. When I sorted through my parents pantry I found items that had been expired for years and just shoved in the back. Also, combine items that can be combined. I found tons of half empty boxes of pasta and combined them together to take up less space. For items that don't have an expiration date written on them like spices you can find out their expiration date by typing in a code from the label online. McCormick offers this on their website which is really neat and helpful!


2. Once you have checked all of the labels and thrown away expired items, it's time to put everything back- NEATLY. I love pantries that look organized and have everything in order. you better believe that someday I will have a pantry like that too! Simply placing like items on the same shelf can give you a level of organization as well. If all your cereals are lined up, all your canned goods on the same shelf, and your spices corralled in a cupboard- you've got a pretty good system going! Keeping like items together not only is visually appealing but it allows you to see what you have and what you need. If you have eight boxes of cereal lined up and you live by yourself- you should probably make your way through a few boxes before you buy a ton at the next sale. You will also be able to pull together meals much easier if you know what you have and where it's located. No more searching for gravy or looking for that mix you know you have but can't find- everything is at your fingertips!


3. One of my favorite ways to organize it with all food placed in clear containers and labeled. When everything gets dumped into clear container there's no more guesswork when you open your cupboard. You don't have to worry that the box you are reaching for contains just crumbs. Also, no more stale chips or crackers- everything is located in an airtight container! My favorite part about this system? The labels. You can get chalkboard labels or otherwise- they all look adorable and work great in any pantry!


4. An area that drives me crazy when it is unorganized is the tupperware cupboard. I love to use tupperware to store leftovers and constantly have trouble locating a lid. Recently I went through our tupperware cupboard and found some containers that didn't even have lids that fit them! I don't know how that happened- but if it did here I'm sure some of you have tupperware cupboards that have lids or bottoms without matches inside. It's time to go through and match those babies up!

5. Put things where they make sense. There's no reason to store pots and pans on the other side of the kitchen when you only use them on the stove. Put items in designated areas- and if it doesn't work for you- switch things up! Mugs and tea cups near the coffee maker and cookie trays near the oven- if it is close to where you'll be working with it, you'll be more likely to not get annoyed during the process and more likely to love your kitchen!

6. Declutter, declutter, declutter! I'm talking everything non-food related here. Do you really need 100 cups? What about the beer mugs you've accumulated from pint night at the local bar? How about a mug for every Disney character ever created? No, I didn't think so either. Keep only what you really need and use. If you're not a great cook- you might never use some of those fancy chef tools- and that's okay! Stick with what is necessary. Purge what you don't need- someone else will love to get it, and your kitchen cabinets and drawers will love to breathe a little. 

7. Keep those countertops tidy! Don't let the mail or receipts or other items pile up on those pretty countertops. There's no reason to cover that space and it will only make you feel overwhelmed. The best way to handle this is to not leave piles just hanging around. Even if you're exhausted from work bringing in the mail- you should plan on sorting through it. Put those receipts away when you finish emptying your grocery bags. When you bring in things you bought or picked up away from the house, bring them into the room they belong- don't leave them hanging around the kitchen. 


8. If you store your medicine in the kitchen like we do- make sure you frequently sort through it and make sure that nothing has expired. There's nothing worse then catching a cold and heading to the cupboard to get some medicine and discovering that it is all expired. I like to organize our medicine by what it is used for. Allergy medicine is grouped together on the bottom shelf, vitamins are grouped together and any medicine for the dog is placed on a separate shelf. The reason we store medicine in the kitchen is because it is a centrally located room and it is a well protected area- no extreme heat or cold in that part of the kitchen. It's also a high up location so any children in the house would be unable to get into the cupboard. 

kitchen cabinet at a thoughtful place
I hope that this post has inspired you to head into your kitchen and get everything organized! There are tons of ways to get and stay organized- just find out what works best for you and stick with it!

Happy Monday everyone, have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Great post!
    I VERY seriously need to do number. Also need to do that with medicine cabinet! Thanks for the reminder!