Have you noticed the trend in designing homes is to have open space between the living, dining and kitchen areas? In some homes, the main floor is just one large space with the different zones denoted through furniture placement and appliances.
The reason is clear to me. The kitchen is the heart of the home and as such needs to be open to the rest of the house. I know when I give a party people tend to congregate in my kitchen! They say they want to help but really they want to hang out and chat. This is fine with me. As I am a professional organizer and I practice what I preach my kitchen stays relatively clutter free and well organized.
The kitchen can be a place where clutter collects. Simply because, as I already said, the kitchen is the heart of the home. So much happens in the kitchen. It can be a dumping ground for the mail, children’s backpacks, and groceries. It is the place where you start the day with breakfast and end the day with dinner. Conversations happen while preparing snacks and meals, doing dishes, and doing homework.
Keeping your kitchen decluttered and organized is easier when you have a place for everything.
I have a designated basket on my kitchen counter in which to put my mail when I bring it in the house. Any junk mail is recycled right away in my garage and never even makes it to the basket! This way mail does not have a chance to accumulate on my kitchen counter. I go through the basket every couple of days and determine my next steps with the mail. Then I bring it to my office to follow through.
My pantry is organized by zone. I keep baking supplies (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder etc) in one section so that when I want to do some baking I don’t have to hunt around for these ingredients. The same is true for my canned goods. Keep breakfast foods together and the grains together too.
Organizing your pantry shelves in this manner helpful. You know where to look if you need a particular ingredient. You also know where to look when you’re planning meals and creating a grocery list. This saves you time, you won’t be hunting around for things you think you may have. You also save money because you won’t be buying ingredients you already have in your pantry.
If your pantry is large enough (mine is) you can designate a shelf or area for the small appliances that you only use now and then. This is another way to keep your kitchen counters clear of clutter.
What about the kitchen cabinets, cupboards, and drawers? The best way to keep them organized is to make them as user friendly as possible. Put the things you use most often in easy to reach spots. Make emptying the dishwasher easy by keeping most frequently used dishes and glasses in the cabinet near the dishwasher.
Here is a wonderful checklist to use when decluttering your kitchen cabinets.
Courtesy of Tri-Star Cabinet & Top Co., Inc.
Declutter your kitchen to keep it looking great and to make cooking and socializing in your kitchen even easier!
Ah yes, I love a zone! One of my rules is, “the kitchen is my zone. Don’t put your stuff here.” My husband has an office in the house, and even though my business is based out of my home, I don’t have one. The trade off is that I can take all things that are his and put them in his office and close the door. Everybody in my family has learned that getting their stuff to their own zones helps create a happy Mom:)
You’re so right that the kitchen is usually the hub and center of activity of the home. It’s the cooking and gathering place. We recently had a tag sale, so one of the areas I went though to look for things to release was my kitchen. Even though it was already organized, it really helped to remove things that I just don’t use. That freed up some space and breathing room for the things that we do use. It helps to periodically go through kitchen and drawers to make another assessment and let go of the extraneaous or gadgets, bowls or dishes that aren’t being used. It’s worth going through the pantry also to make sure that food hasn’t expired.
In the kitchen, I’m a big fan of storing things at their point of use. I used to keep my dish towels in a drawer next to my stove as that’s where I put them when I unpacked, but later I had a “duh” moment and moved them near the sink! 😉