It’s the most important room in the house; one that brings everyone together and keeps the family going. It’s also one room that we all struggle with to maintain order. With such frequent, often messy use, the kitchen just can’t seem to stay clean and organized. A few simple strategies, however, can help you reclaim control over your most important space.
Clean the slate.
In order to tackle this job, mentally and otherwise, you’ll need to begin with a general cleaning of the kitchen. Get everything off the counters and scrub down surfaces, stove, and sink. Vacuum crumbs and dust out of utensil drawers. Start organizing piles of kitchen items you can ultimately keep, store, or donate. This process will help clear your mind and make the subsequent steps more manageable.
Terminate with extreme prejudice.
Go through your pantry and refrigerator and throw out all expired food. Continue to set aside appliances and gadgets you don’t use to be donated. Keep on the counter only the appliances and accessories you use daily. The rest can be put in a lower cabinet. Once you’ve cleared some much needed space, put up a small chalkboard or dry erase board and start making weekly menus. This will help keep you on track for your grocery purchases and knowing your inventory.
Stick ‘em up.
A good first step is to clear off the counters. Amassing appliances, utensils, and decorative elements reduces precious prep space and gives the kitchen a perpetually messy look. Buy a few magnetic strips for the walls; these can hold knives, spices, and even metal holders for living herbs. Consider investing in an over-the-range microwave—it’s worth it. It clears lots of counter space and looks way more stylish than its stand-alone equivalent. Another problem item for kitchen clutter is produce. Instead of a large fruit bowl that gets in the way, try a hanging tiered basket for fruit and vegetables that don’t need to be refrigerated.
Isolate the annual items.
A tricky part of kitchen organization is figuring out what to do with those once-a-year items. Where do you keep the china for Thanksgiving, the special cake plate for the kids’ birthdays, or the cookware you use to make that one special dish for the summer barbecue? Unless you have ample unused space, the answer is ‘out of the kitchen’. Pack them carefully away in a clearly labeled box in the basement, closet, laundry room, or storage unit. Keep them together so you don’t lose track of any one item.
It’s time to conquer the kitchen and take back what’s yours! So, clear a day this weekend, get out the gloves, and create that amazing, inviting space you’ve always wanted.