It has been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Besides the bathroom, the kitchen is more used than any other room. So it makes sense to start organizing your kitchen first. An organized and well-functioning kitchen makes cooking easier and more enjoyable.
Clear out cabinets
Starting with a top shelf, take everything out of each cabinet and sort through. Repair, recycle or throw away the broken items and donate those things that are not used or needed. Do this with each shelf and drawer, setting up separate categories for everything you use and need.
Categorize your things
After you empty all of the shelves, clean and disinfect with natural and non-toxic cleaners. Now it’s time to categorize the things you have and how to best store them. Easy access to things you need will make your cooking successful and enjoyable. Sort and store all your serving dishes above the sink, cooking pots and pans in lower cabinets near the stove.
How to store your items
Use clear plastic or glass containers. For ease of finding and for functionality, group similar items together, such as soups, packets of sauce mixes, gravy mixes and hot cereal packages, then put them into small plastic containers. This will keep your cabinets clean and functional. Label everything.
Use the vertical space
If you’re lacking in horizontal space then create vertical space. Use a pegboard with attractive hooks to store your cups, pots and pans, or anything you need and use. Or you can place hooks underneath cabinets to hold mugs above the countertop to free up large cabinet space.
Also, hang adhesive hooks on the inside of cabinet doors or pantry doors to hold tools such as measuring cups, oven mitts or other kitchen gadgets. Consider using wall space or a ceiling rack to hang pots and pans. All items mentioned above can be found in major retail stores.
Many uses of lazy susans
Lazy susans are very versatile and can be used in every room in your home. Have one in your cabinet to hold things such as oils, vinegar and other cooking ingredients, as well as spices, vitamins or medications. You can also use a couple of lazy susans in your refrigerator for small jars of pickles, olives or other food items.
Use drawer dividers
Drawer dividers are very useful and purposeful for storing your cooking utensils, small tools, batteries, keys, scissors or anything else to make your home/life more orderly.
Clear and clean out weekly
If you put your garbage out at the curb one night a week, use that time to clean out your refrigerator, pantry and closets. See what food needs to be discarded from your fridge or pantry and what items are broken and soiled that can be recycled or immediately discarded. Only keep items in working condition and those you need and love.
Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in Powell River and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to solutionsorganizing.com.