When we first looked at the house we bought five years ago, the realtor joked that a woman must have designed it, because the bedroom closet is almost as big as the kitchen. In fact, our little kitchen serves this couple of empty-nesters quite well, but it did require getting rid of some things and carefully organizing what was left.
No matter what size your kitchen, there is a limited amount of space in which to put things. The kitchen is a room most of us use several times a day. It should be a place that welcomes, not frustrates you.
My interest in living a simple, clutter-free, well-organized life, has led me to read countless books and articles. Some of my ideas come from these experts, and some are my own as I worked to make our kitchen as tidy and efficient as possible. Keep in mind that your storage problems/solutions will be unique to your home, family, and lifestyle.
Steps To A Simple Kitchen~
- Pull out everything you have stored in your kitchen ~ yep, everything.
- Put ‘like with like’ ~ cooking utensils, cereal, mixing bowls, crackers, cookbooks
- Remove things that don’t belong in the kitchen ~ Barbies, socks, tax receipts, golf balls.
- Quickly purge ~ duplicates, things you don’t like, things that don’t work, things you don’t use. Get them out of the way immediately, and donate as soon as possible.
- Now purge again with these thoughts in mind:
- In our culture of excess, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really necessary. Remember the purpose of a kitchen is simply to store, prepare, and eat our food.
- Before you scream, “I need more space!” Calmly remind yourself, “No, I need less stuff.”
- Set logical limits. If you have two young children, you don’t need more than four sippy cups. Donate the other seventeen. Could you live with two mixing bowls, two cookie sheets, and two aprons?
- Your kitchen isn’t a restaurant. Do you need the pasta maker, the cookie press, the waffle iron, and the wok? Could you borrow if you ever really needed one?
- When you donate things you no longer use/need/want, you help someone else.
- Thoroughly clean your available space ~ every shelf, drawer, cabinet.
- Assign a clear and logical purpose for each space ~ plates, cake pans, glasses, spoons, flour, and foil.
- It is helpful to think in terms of zones ~ baking, cooking, serving, snacks, breakfasts, coffee service.
- Keep on your countertops only appliances you use daily.
- If you still have more stuff than space, go through the purging process again.
- If absolutely necessary, dedicate another space in your house to seldom used items. I have a shelf in my storage closet with an electric griddle, a punch bowl, cookie cutters, a lifetime supply of birthday candles, a cake carrier, a glass beverage dispenser, and an insulated dish carrier. Note to self ~ if you gave these things away, you’d never miss them.
- Finally, put everything in its assigned spot. Give your things breathing room.
- Buy organization tools only after you’ve gone through the entire process. Here are a few things that work in our kitchen ~
- a stacking skillet rack
- a horizontal rack for bake ware
- small turn-tables for spices, etc.
- baskets for our pantry storage
- a pocketed shoe bag for our pantry door
- I like to label everything to help my husband and visiting family members know where things go. Okay, the truth is I just really love my label-maker!
Our home should be the most peaceful place in the world, and that starts with simplifying our spaces. Only then can we really relax and appreciate what we have.
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius
Think On These Things ~ Alicia