Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at Clean, Smart, Simple Style about 3 Simple Steps to Create a Slow Home. And I’m excited to welcome Kacey Bess from The Well-Rounded Home to Slow Your Home:}
Hi y’all! (Yes, we Texans really do say y’all.) I’m so excited to be participating in the Life Your Way Ultimate Blog Swap and hanging out with all you cool people here at Slow Your Home. I just love Brooke’s slow living philosophy. I’m a recovering multitasking busyholic, and I can tell you that the lifestyle changes I’m now making to slow my home are feeling great.
As Brooke will probably attest to, one of the ways you can live life more simply is by getting–and staying–organized. Whether you’re already an organizing pro or organization is totally not your thing, that’s ok because I’m here with a few tips to help turn us all into organizing ninjas. To get you started, here are 10 Steps to an Organized Kitchen.
Aside from the bathroom, your kitchen is probably the most visited room in your house–especially if you have kids. So, since you spend so much time there, it’s only right that you give it a little organizing love.
1. Get a game plan. What are you using your kitchen for? Is it just for cooking, or is it also the homework/home office/eating spot too? Once you know how you’re using it, you can start thinking through the most efficient ways to place everything. As you’re thinking this through, just remember the next step.
2. It’s ok to start from scratch. No, I’m not talking about gutting your kitchen. However, sometimes it’s easier to organize a room when you take everything out first and forget about how you’ve always had it. I didn’t get satisfied with how my pantry was laid out until I finally took everything out and started over. It was a pain, but it’s so much easier to get to our food now.
3. Use what you have. Instead of putting off organizing your kitchen until you have the perfect set of whatever—containers, folders, labels, etc., go “shopping” at home. It’s probably loaded with things you could use. Here are just a few examples:
Unused office supplies can be used to corral your kitchen utensils
Mismatched food storage containers can be used to hold seasonings or baby bottle parts.
4. Go label crazy. Labels are an organizers best friend. They let you know right off, what’s stored where. Right now, I’m totally into vinyl chalkboard labels. You can cut them into any shape you wan; plus, they’re reusable and removable.
Here’s another great labeling idea courtesy of Martha Stewart for those of you that freeze a lot of leftovers are other foods (download the template). I’m just trying to figure out why I never thought of this.
5. Say no to the junk drawer. I may lose some of you on this one, but I say the junk drawer is completely unnecessary. There’s a saying that goes, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” If you take a few minutes to find a real home for all those random items, you just might be able to find them when you need them.
6. Purge. It’s so much easier to stay organized when you don’t have so much stuff. Our kitchen was full of unused kitchen gadgets that we’d received for our wedding and food items that no one wanted to eat. Instead of keeping things for the sake of keeping them, go through and figure out what you really use, then let go of the rest. You could put them on eBay, donate to a charitable organization or pass them on to friends and family.
7. Hang a bulletin board. Bulletin board area a great way to organize important information in a central location–especially if the kitchen ends up being the command center of your home. Use them to post your family’s calendar, the weekly dinner schedule, grocery lists, class homework, etc.
8. Break out the baskets – Not only are baskets functional, but they’ll help make your kitchen look more streamlined and pretty. You can often find good deals on baskets at local thrift or crafting stores. I have them all over our home.
9. Don’t forget the refrigerator/freezer. Before you go grocery shopping take a few minutes to go through your refrigerator and freezer to throw out any old food or expired items. Cleaning out all the unusable items will make it easier to take inventory of what you need to buy. Don’t forget tip #4–label those freezer bags.
10. Do a little bit at a time. A lot of us suffer from overloaded schedules as it is, so if you can’t imagine adding one more thing to your plate, I say doing a little organization is better than nothing. I’m a big fan of the 15-minute clock. The idea is that you set aside 15 minutes each day to work on organizing your kitchen. You’ll be surprised at just how much you can accomplish when you’re focused on working for a set amount of time.
I hope you find these tips useful and hope you flood Brooke with all kinds of kitchen before-and-afters. While I focused on the kitchen, these tips would work for just about everyone room in your home. Happy organizing!