©2009 Professional Organizer -
Lea Schneider is the author of
A Mom to Mom Guide available at
one-on-one organizing advice via phone and email through Organize Online
division at her company website,
Organize Right Now.
Her advice is featured
here at What's Cooking America in a monthly column. You may have read her
expert organizing ideas in Woman’s Day, Natural Health, College News, and
Better Homes and Gardens Kids’ Rooms magazines and newspapers. She is a member of the National Association of Professional
Organizers and the Association of Food Journalists.
Organize Right Now LLC
Member National Association of Professional Organizers
Organize Right Now
Check out all of Lea
Schneider's helpful home and kitchen columns at
Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.
Organizing on a Dime -
Creating Order in Your Kitchen is Priceless
To tell the truth, the
phrase “on a dime’ probably dates me. What can you do on a dime
these days? I guess the true title is “Organizing on a Dollar.” Push
me in the general direction of an everything-in-here-costs-a-dollar
type store and I’m happy.
Sometimes, cost becomes an
excuse for the disorganization, especially in the kitchen. You
visualize fancy pull-out shelving or new, polished cabinets. Then
you sigh and shove the contents of the pantry back in.
It really is possible to
get organized without spending dollars and dollars on fancy new
cabinets or organizing products. I shared that recently with
someone. They wrote to me and shared this situation.
My friend’s kitchen pantry
is very deep. I suggested we put in the sliding shelves for her. She
said she can’t afford to spend any money. She told me she also hates
Lazy Susans, which are another cabinet option. Finally, she doesn’t
use her bottom cabinets much as health issues make it hard to bend
over. Do you have any ideas for me?
In her pantry, repurpose
boxes, even shoe boxes without lids. These become organizing
containers to hold similar items. Take some printer paper and cover
the end of the box with a big piece of white paper to make it
visually appealing. Then you can label it pastas, rice, granola bars,
and so forth. That way, she can slide out a box to find a pasta or
item and things are less likely to get lost way in the back. If you
label the lip of the shelf too, the box will get back into the right
As for the bottom cabinets,
perhaps they can be used for the items she refuses to part with but
uses seldom - like a punch bowl or wok. If the cabinet edges were
labeled, then she wouldn't have to bend and hunt much. I bet she
doesn’t like to dig through them. Also, if she doesn't want to
install sliders, I've used rimmed baking sheets or trays in lower
cabinets and stacked stuff on those. That way she can slide it out
and find things.
While you can make use of
free boxes, you can also head to the dollar-type store. For a
dollar, you can find drawer organizers as well as other plastic
containers to hold this and that. Small $1 basket are great for
napkins, taco seasoning packets and more. Larger baskets can hold
similar items. Clips will help you keep open packages closed.
Don’t let the mighty dollar keep you from getting
organized. You can indeed organize on a dime.