Let’s have a frank discussion about your kitchen.
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.
“Tell me, why do you think it feels so cluttered,” I ask.
“I have too much stuff,” you wail.
“I do not have time to deal with this stuff,” you cry.
“I do not have the right kind of storage,” you might say, adding “You have not seen MY kitchen!”
True, I have not seen your kitchen but I bet I have seen a lot of kitchens like your kitchen. They are the busy hub of the family and reflect your hectic schedule. Even so, if you muttered one of the three excuses above, you need to know that those excuses do not often hold up.
Too much stuff? That excuse is like the old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Are you disorganized because you have too much stuff or has too much stuff made you disorganized? Either way, too much stuff means you must get organized.
No time? The average person spends an hour a day looking for things. How much time have you wasted hunting for things or buying ingredients you already had? How much money have you wasted discarding out-of-date ingredients you forgot you had? Getting organized actually gives you peace of mind and more time to enjoy the life you want.
No storage? Most kitchens have adequate storage for the size of the home. The bigger the house means the bigger the family and usually means a bigger kitchen. Our problem lies not in having the “right” storage but in making the best use of the storage we do have.
The first step to getting organized is to pitch out those excuses along with the clutter.
In this “before” picture of a food storage cabinet, you can see that the owner could apply all three excuses. It certainly appears that they have too much stuff and that the storage area does not work for them. No one seems to have time to deal with it.
The “after” picture is evidence that none of those excuses rang true. The same food appears in the same cabinets. Since it is now sorted by type, and a few organizing products were added, the quantity of food is not overwhelming and probably just right for this two-person household. Clearly the storage space was adequate. Now it is easy to see where items are, especially that basket of open snacks.
Is your kitchen really too small or is it just full of excuses?