Do the math. We eat three meals a day, 365 days of the year. Unless you employ a personal chef, that all adds up to a lot of time spent in the kitchen. It’s no wonder that most people count the kitchen as the nerve center of their home. We cook there, eat there, sort the mail and do homework there. It’s also where everyone seems to gather during parties and get-togethers. But, it’s also one of the most cluttered spots in the home. Whether your kitchen has a few junk drawers that need cleaning out or you haven’t seen the color of your counters in the last decade, chances are you could benefit from a clean sweep in this room. Clutter isn’t just unappealing – it also adds time to tasks. If you can’t find your salt and pepper because your spice cabinet is packed, it’s taking you longer to make dinner than you thought. Set aside 15-20 minutes to de-clutter and organize your kitchen. You’ll be surprised by how much time you save on daily tasks when you don’t have to yell out “have you seen the __!”
Living Like Tomorrow is an Open House
“We recently listed our home for sale and at the advice of the realtor, I’ve been tidying up to make the house look its best at the showings and open houses. She told me to clear off the kitchen counters and put away all of the small appliances and general clutter. I took the advice to heart, and have either packed it away or donated it. The juicer from my wedding that was never used but a long-time resident of the counter? It’s gone to a better home now and I don’t miss it in the least. I’ve also organized my spice rack, which saves me at least a minute every single day. Having my house on the market forced me to deal with it, but I wish I had de-cluttered years ago! If you had an open house tomorrow, what would you ditch? Start by getting rid of whatever is on that list.”
Being a Gadget Geek
“I’m the first to admit that I don’t really like to cook. I enjoy good food and love having dinner parties, but I tend to keep things on the low-maintenance side. I do find myself attracted to kitchen gadgets, though. I love anything that promises to help me spend less time in the kitchen. Mini-choppers are the best, since they let me incorporate fresh herbs and vegetables without all of the labor-intensive knife work. I have now built a great collection of kitchen gadgets that help me breeze through meal preparation. The trick is keeping them from taking over the drawers. Once a year, I go through them and weed out any unnecessary or unused items and donate them to the local soup kitchen.”
3 Ways to Zap Kitchen Clutter
1. Make Your Kitchen Work For You
Don’t follow a set of rules that guides how you organize your kitchen. It’s not kindergarten where you get graded on how you group items together, so don’t worry if you keep the salad tongs with the salad bowl instead of with other serving flatware. Do what works for you. Make a salad every night for dinner? Then keep the whole kit (salad spinner, salad bowl, serving pieces) together so you don’t have to spend time pulling it all from different cabinets and drawers every evening.
2. Make it Easy to See
Set aside some time to tackle the cabinets and pantry so you’ll be able to find things later. Go through everything, toss the old stuff, and then organize it so you can see what you have when you need it. Putting things on risers is a great way to keep things in sight. They’re inexpensive and are likely to help you save considerably on groceries over the year.
3. Do Not Shop Before you Browse Your Pantry
How many times have you returned from the grocery store with a package of shredded coconut or some other ingredient that you thought you needed, only to find that you had one lurking in the back of the pantry? Before you even step foot inside the grocery store, do yourself and your budget a favor by looking through your freezer, fridge, and pantry to see what you already have. Make recipes around what you have before you buy new items.