organizing your kitchen

5 Simple Steps to Organize Your Kitchen Effectively

The kitchen is a room that gets a lot of use. Rather than avoiding using it because of the clutter, use these tips to organize your kitchen cabinets and shelves better than before, so you look forward to making dinner for the family.

Step 1 – Use Storage Containers

To organize your kitchen effectively, group similar items to help them look tidier, as well as making them easier to find when you’re cooking. Baskets and bins without lids are great for snacks as the kids can quickly reach inside to get what they need when hungry after school.

Look for ones that match or are identical to create a uniform look, especially on open shelving where there’s no hiding away the clutter. Also, collect loose items like tea bags into clear canisters so you can see when they’re running low and refill them.

organize your kitchen

Step 2 – Utilize Open Spaces

Look at awkward spaces around the fridge or elsewhere that you can use for additional storage when looking to organize your kitchen. For instance, there might be a gap between the fridge and the wall where you can add a shelf for extra cups and bowls.

Also, consider hanging items from the wall rather than putting them in cupboards where they would take up precious space. Hang pots and pans by attaching a metal railing to the wall and adding hooks; select hooks that allow the cookware to hang flat against the wall.

Step 3 – Downsize the Kitchen

Before you start moving things around, decide if you really need everything currently in the kitchen. For example, do you both sets of measuring cups? The chances are good that if you donate one of the sets, you will not miss it.

Go through each cupboard and drawer to find duplicates to donate or sell. At the same time, look for unused items that are taking up space. Each one you part with will free up room in the kitchen.

Step 4 – Adjust Shelves

Have you adjusted your kitchen cabinets’ shelves lately? If not, then you could be missing out on better organizing the cabinets.

Create more vertical storage space by moving shelves so that they are only slightly higher than objects. If you have room for another shelf, the local hardware store can cut a new piece of plywood quickly and easily to fit.

organizing your kitchen

Step 5 – Group Glassware and Dinnerware

If you see a chaotic array of mugs, glasses, and dishes when you open the cabinet, it’s time to rethink how you’ve put them on the shelves. Devote lower shelves to the glasses and mugs you use every day and put frequently-used bowls and plates within easy reach too.

Special occasion items can go higher up, as they used less often. Also, store glasses with the rims up to protect them from damage.

Final Words on Organizing the Kitchen

At the end of each day, look at the countertop and remove any items that don’t belong there, such as the kids’ schoolwork or random items unpacked from the dishwasher. A clean countertop makes a kitchen look instantly more attractive.

Reduce clutter and boost storage by using the tips above, as well as reaching out to our professional organizers for more ways to improve your kitchen’s functionality. There are many ways to reduce clutter without having to do a major kitchen renovation.

Ingenious Ways To Declutter And Organize Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is the most used space in your home. We know it and we hear it a lot but it is often an area that is the most disorganized. There is a lot of activity taking place in your kitchen so it is hard to keep it organized. I have seen a lot of clever ideas to organize kitchens over the years. If you need some help, here are a few tips to help you with that task.

Double duty magazine rack

Pot lids and plastic container lids are a common nuisance for us all. Sometimes you just don’t have the space to store the pot lids with the pots and how many extra plastic containers lids do you have or are missing? A magazine rack mounted inside a closet door can help keep all of these in one place.

Label your fridge

This may sound a bit over the top but if you have a large family and they are all putting items back wherever they can cram them in, you have a fridge that is hard to find and retrieve anything in. Label each shelf or drawer with whatever descriptions work for you.

All members of the family will quickly get the hang of it and voila(!), you have an organized fridge.

Always use clear containers

This is my golden rule for any type of storage but especially in the kitchen when you need something for a recipe or a snack. Being able to see what is inside will save time and prevent your family from taking everything out to find what they need and then tossing items back in in disarray.

Hanging baskets

In smaller kitchens hanging baskets can be mounted under the cupboards to store fruits or cleaning supplies or anything else you need close at hand. There are so many different types to compliment your décor.

See what you have

When you open your cupboard to retrieve a spice for cooking or a can of soup to heat up you need to see what you have. I use the stepped shelf for cans and spices and I keep all packaged spices in a container I can slide in and out of the cupboard.

With the stepped shelf I can easily identify what I have (and don’t have ) and with the container everything is kept in one small compact bin rather than tossed inside the cupboard in a jumbled mess.

Take advantage of space

Some kitchens may be a lot smaller in new homes so you have to get creative to ensure you have a spot for everything you need. Tension bars under the sink will hold your cleaning supplies, a decorative basket or wooden box will store cutting boards or cookbooks on top of the fridge, floating shelves on a wall can increase your space dramatically. Your imagination and creativity are your only boundaries.

Kitchens can be challenging but there are a lot of ways and tools to help keep your kitchen organized no matter the size. Contact us here if you need help with your kitchen project.

Under Sink Home Organizing – Found Space

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There is a lot of space available for storage under sinks in a bathroom or kitchen if you just have the right tools. We all keep cleaners, rags, makeup, hair dryers and a lot more under our kitchen and bathroom sinks. These are challenging spaces with pipes and corners and bends but with a little creativity, you can take advantage of this space.

Clear bins

I use clear bins for all my projects but especially in these hard to reach and see places. Clear bins allow you to easily see and retrieve what you need. Label them as well so when you open the door you can see what is located where. Clear bins with lids allow you to stack them and use even more of the vertical space.

Shelves and caddies

Wire shelves and risers can almost double your space in these crowded spots. They are available in a variety of sizes at most department and organizing stores. They are easy to install and help to take advantage of height under the sink.

Tension rods

Tension rods, like the ones holding your shower curtain up, comes in all sizes. Measure the space under your sink and install a tension rod to hold cleansers, brushes and the like on the rod freeing up the bottom space for larger items.

Turntables

Instead of pulling everything out from under the sink try putting in a turntable (lazy Susan) to bring what you need to the front. These are normally used in the kitchen but they also work well under the sink.

Storage on the door

Don’t forget the inside of the door if space allows. Kitchen cleansers and sponges can be stored there or hair dryers and make up in the bathroom.

under-sink-storage-on-door

There are many organizing products that can be mounted on the inside of your cabinet door either with screws or heavy duty Velcro.

Gliding trash bins

If your home is like mine you may have your garbage bin, recycle bin and compost bin all under the kitchen sink. That’s a lot of bins all jammed together.

under-sink-garbage

Consider putting in gliding trays to pull them out when making a deposit to avoid a mess under the sink. It will also be easier to take out the trash with a gliding shelf.

Under sink storage can be a real challenge but with some planning and a few affordable organizing items you can make it much more manageable.  Good luck! I know you can do it!

Fight Procrastination And Stay On Top Of Clutter

now-later

Fight Procrastination Day came up earlier this month and it got me thinking about how procrastination really is one of the root causes of clutter, beyond those with a hoarding tendency. There are so many comical quotes about procrastination but it really is a serious issue for a lot of people.

“Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off.” ― Ellen DeGeneres

When your to-do list is a mile long or the house looks like a tornado touched down, it is so much easier to put de-cluttering and organizing off. But you have to get to it at some point. Here are a few tips to help you avoid procrastinating and staying on top of your clutter.

The two-minute rule

If what needs to get done can be done in under 2 minutes, do it now! I know you’re really busy but in the scheme of things what is two minutes compared to the results you will see? This one simple rule alone will have a life changing effect on your home. We tend to put off the smaller, simpler tasks, which ultimately build up, so applying this rule will eliminate a lot of clutter. For example, when you get home with bags from the store, empty and put items away immediately rather than leaving them lying around.

A done list instead of to-do

If you feel overwhelmed with the volume and scope of work that needs to be done around the house, try starting a “done” list and mark down each task you have completed that day. You will see that although it may look like you will never get through everything, in fact, you did complete more than you thought.

Break it down

Does your room look like a wrecking crew came through? Don’t know where to start in the kitchen? Break the job down into smaller tasks to see your accomplishments as you go.

where-do-i-start

Tackle just one corner of a room or one drawer and don’t stop until you complete the task.

Know when you are at your best

We all don’t function our best at the same time. Try getting me to perform at my peak level early in the morning. It isn’t going to happen. Know your best time of the day when you are at your peak energy level and get started then. You can focus better and be more productive.

No drop zones

Do not allow any surface in your home to be designated as a drop zone. This is going to be tough to enforce with the kids and your spouse but do not let them come home and drop things on the hall table or kitchen counter to be put away later.

clear-counters-in-ktichen

Remember the two-minute rule? It applies to them as well. They can put things away when they get home in less than 2 minutes.

The cost of procrastination

The obvious costs are late payment charges for late bill payment and failing grades for school assignments not handed in on time. More serious is your credit rating being down graded and not being able to enjoy a social life for fear of embarrassment or you need to stay home to get things done.

Have you ever bought a last minute gift for someone that you regretted?

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” ― Rita Mae Brown

Procrastination is not a trait; it is something that is learned. I even know people who take vacation time from work to get things done at home that they have been putting off. That is no way to spend your well-deserved vacation time. A partially completed task weighs heavily on the mind. Get it done and take the weight off.

Let us know if ClutterBGone can assist you with any project that you have put off to get you back on track. Just contact us here.

Kitchen Organization – Decluttering and Organizing This Busy Space!

Kitchen-Counter-Decor

Out of all the inquiries I get to assist people with their organizing needs, the kitchen is definitely the most challenging project that we work on. This room is used many times throughout the day by every person in the household so it’s easy for things to get out of hand and disorganized.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep things neat and organized in your kitchen. Of course, the rest of the family is going to have to buy into this but I will leave that up to you!

Store it by how often it’s used

I see a lot of people struggling to find items in the kitchen that they use every day. When organizing your kitchen keep the things that you use every day within easy reach like your plates and cups. Utensils should be in the drawer that is closest to your plates, as they are obviously used with them. If you bake a lot, try to keep your tins and pans close to the stove. You may need to create a “kitchen overstock” area in your basement storage for those rarely used kitchenware items and appliances that come out only a few times a year.

Keep a clean, clutter free counter

I love to see a clutter free flat surface no matter what room it’s in but especially in the kitchen. If you don’t have the space to cook you’re going to get frustrated and start eating poorly or start grabbing whatever is within reach.

Kitche counter neat

Cooking and preparing meals can be a fun time for the whole family so organize your kitchen accordingly. How often do you really use that bread maker you received as a gift? If you aren’t using the small appliances on your counter frequently, store them. My rule of thumb is only one appliance per counter top up to a maximum of 3.

Organize according to the season

This may sound a bit strange but think about it. A crock-pot is used mainly in the colder months. Move it to the back for the summer months and bring the blender to the forefront in the summer for those cool drinks.

The dreaded junk drawer

Even I have given in and accepted the fact that we all need a “junk” drawer in the kitchen. The kitchen is visited so many times throughout the day that it becomes a drop off point for a lot of things. But that doesn’t mean that your junk drawer can’t have a distinct space within it to categorize your “junk”.   And don’t forget to clear this out on a regular basis or you will lose control of this drawer and never find what you are looking for. Make a point to go through this drawer monthly to move things out that don’t really belong there.

Kitchen-junk-drawer-with-baskets

Food saving containers – a real challenge (like lost socks)

People differ on how they store their food savers but eventually we all end up with extra lids or containers without a lid. Kind of like those socks that disappear in the dryer. I store my food containers with the lids on. It may take up a bit more space but I lose less lids. If you are challenged for space, store your containers in a plastic bin under the counter, stacking the containers and store the lids vertically within the bin. The bin gives you easy pull-out access and allows you to see it all in one space.

Save space – shelf organizers and turntables

There is an infinite number of space saving items available to maximize space in your kitchen. Shelf dividers will almost double your space and a turntable (they come in various sizes) makes it easy for those hard to reach corner cupboards. Drawer dividers and organizers too will make your kitchen better organized and easier to retrieve utensils.

Clear containers in the pantry

Don’t forget to store like food items in clear containers so they can be easily seen, stored and retrieved. I preach clear containers for most storage but especially in the kitchen. Gravy packets can all go in one clear container, snack bars in another, all for easy access and retrieval.

At ClutterBGone not only do we help you organize and de-clutter your kitchen but we also leave you with a system that is easy to maintain taking into account how you work and function in the space and even take into consideration whether you are left or right handed. When you need assistance in kitchen organization, contact us here to start the discussion.