The kitchen is the heart of the home; it’s where life happens. Company comes over, the kids do their homework, and the holidays bring everyone together in this space. Decluttering and organizing your kitchen makes sure you can keep up with all of these demands! Make your kitchen both functional and intuitive by following an easy 4 step system:
1. Declutter and sort
Take it one space at a time, and start small. Declutter and sort one cabinet or one drawer at a time and go from there. Take everyone out, and sort the items into 4 categories: keep, donate, recycle, or trash. Take the time to wipe everything down with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust or crumbs, and ensure to donate any canned goods to a local food bank. Make sure to check the expiration dates on all perishables and discard anything past its date.
2. Create a zone
Once you’re done sorting, look at the “keep” pile and start grouping like-items together. When creating zones, think about who, what, where, when, why, and how people in your family use this item. This will ensure every item is in a space that works! The kitchen will most likely have many zones because it’s a large, multi-purpose space, but here are some common ones to get you started:
Pots and pans
Under the sink
Food storage and zip-lock bags
Cups, mugs, and stemware
3. Label and contain
Next, put the items away in their designated zones and use labels and containers to stay organized. That being said, organization has nothing to do with extra products, and everything to do with the systems in your life. Grouping like-products together already goes a long way, since everything is set in one place. You can create homemade labels or makeshift containers out of cardboard boxes. If you want to purchase extra storage, check out OXO Pop containers or Interdesign clear containers.
4. Teach and maintain
Teach your whole family the new system in order to maintain your newly organized kitchen. If everyone is on the same page about where everything goes (labels help a lot with this too!), it will be a thousand times easier to keep your space organized. Make sure every time an item is used, it’s put back in the correct zone.
Here are a few extra pro tips to ensure your kitchen is easy to declutter and stays organized!
Because paper seems to pile up in the kitchen, keep one spot for your mail and bills. Once a week make sure to sort through the pile and throw away, shred, or file what you need to.
If you’re using the top of your refrigerator for storage, try to relocate those items somewhere else. You’ll notice the visual improvement right away!
Keep all your cleaning products inside a cleaning bucket under the sink, and consolidate or dispose of what you don’t need. When you need to clean, you can easily just grab the whole bucket and go instead of searching for the right products.
Try to limit yourself to three magnets on the fridge, as too many papers or notes can be visually overwhelming. You can use a magnetized fridge file organizer and limit papers to what fits inside!
Use twist ties to keep rubber bands organized and easy to grab.
Install hooks inside cabinet drawers to hang measuring cups, spoons, as well as pots and pans.
Use a recycled cleaning wipe container to store plastic bags, and keep it near the door so you’ll remember to grab a few when taking the dog out for a walk.
A cluttered, unorganized kitchen can be frustrating for the whole family and make it harder to find the motivation to cook, study, or clean. Creating the right organizational systems will take time and patience, but will be beneficial for the whole family in the long run!