In our organizing videos this month, we broke down the kitchen into 4 separate categories to organize: Countertops, Pantry, Cabinets & Drawers (the biggie), and the Fridge/Freezer. We've made lots of product suggestions, ideas for steps to get organized, and hopefully offered up some good motivation.
I find that the kitchen is great place to start if you are new to organizing. The reason is that letting go of items is a tough lesson to learn. Organizing does not always mean getting rid of things - it can simply be moving items to a more appropriate location - but people tend to equate clearing the clutter with selling and donating stuff. So why is the kitchen a great place to start your organizational journey? Well... expired food is about the easiest item in your home to throw away without guilt. Why keep something that might actually make you sick?
So brush up on our steps to organizing your kitchen:
Throw out your expired food
Sort everything into categories
Containerize it all
Keep these in mind as you tackle the area of your kitchen one at a time. Go slowly through your spaces and don't pull out everything all at once or it'll get too crazy. If you find that you do have some things to donate (be it food to a food pantry, or baking items that you can donate or sell) put them into a clearly labeled box, all ready to go. Keep asking yourself the 5 W's: Who, What, Where, When & Why. Who uses this item? What purpose does it have? Where should it be stored? When was it last used? Why am I keeping this?
If you are one of those people that thinks they will regret getting rid of items, then put your box in a closet (as long as the food is not perishable) and schedule a reminder on your calendar to "find" it again in a few weeks. If you haven't missed anything during that time, then it can be safely sent on to a new home.
Don't forget to think about what you use on a daily basis and put those items front and center in easily accessed areas. If you only use a big roasting pan for the holidays, then now's the time to assign it a new home on that awkward shelf that you normally don't use. Make sure the coffee pot is near the coffee mugs. Decide if you want the kids to be able to get access to snacks and move them either where they can reach them, or really, really out of reach, like where you hid the leftover Valentine's candy all for yourself.
Last tip - don't forget to clean as you are organizing. Plus, now is a great time to put in new shelf paper, tighten up loose cabinet knobs, and move the big appliances so you can clean under everything. Get going and good luck!