Why Organization in the Kitchen is an Asset to Your Daily Life

If your family is anything like mine, it probably resembles chaos at its finest. Trying to get organized let alone cook a meal at times can be a challenge. However, there are some ways to organize your kitchen that will save you time so you can finally stop searching for missing ingredients and pans!

The first step is to clean up the kitchen, deep clean the surfaces and everything in sight. You don’t want to put clean items away in a dirty kitchen. After all organizing comes second to cleanliness! I realize that the kitchen is a room that can be difficult to manage for some people. I know that when I recently undertook this endeavor to make my kitchen more user friendly it was a huge job. So instead of tackling the job without a plan, I broke the kitchen into smaller projects.

I started with one cabinet at a time, by sorting through the pile of mismatched containers and lids. It comes to a point when you have to start throwing things in the trash. I have a bad habit of hanging on to things beyond the point that I should. So I sorted through the containers and any that had cracks or excessive wear or missing lids were automatically thrown in the trash. The few remaining containers and lids that were salvageable; I placed the lids on the containers and stacked the closed containers neatly in the cabinet. Now when I do the dishes, they return to the cabinet the same way. It makes my life a cinch when I need to find a container to store leftovers. There is no more tearing up the whole cabinet to find a container and lid.

One of the biggest projects I came across was to clean the cabinets out one by one. As I removed the items from the cabinets I used Clorox wipes to sanitize the surfaces and give everything a nice fresh smell.

Next I began organizing the glasses and cups. I pulled everything out of the cabinet again, and wiped everything down. I sorted through the glasses and cups finding things that had been long forgotten about. I couldn’t believe the junk in the cabinets, there were broken water bottles, worn out cups. Once I discarded these items, I sorted out the glasses and cups by type and began to place them back according to type.

I used the above method on my dishes and bake ware. I had a great deal of items that I no longer used but for some reason I was holding on to. I found pans that had rust or irreparable damage and were ready for the trash. There is no reason why anyone should have a kitchen full of items when a portion of them are inadequate for the job.

The biggest job I encountered in my kitchen clean out project was the pantry. I started by removing everything, this was a huge ordeal. It’s amazing how many items I had in the pantry that had expired. I sanitized all of the surfaces before placing all of the food back into the pantry. While I had everything out, I decided to use my label maker and designate places for everything. I even made a shelf for the kids. I placed the shelf at a height that the kids could reach easily. On the kid’s shelf, I placed their snacks and items for them when preparing their lunches. This means no more tearing through the pantry trying to find that last fruit snack. I also suggest having a space in your refrigerator that the kids can easily access for drinks and fresh snacks

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Another good place to find items that may be expired is the freezer. We cleaned out both the freezers in our home. I keep all of the over sized items in the basement freezer and the smaller items upstairs. It is important to keep track of dates on meat and other frozen items. We usually cook in large portions and save the leftovers. To keep track of the items dates I keep a roll of masking tape and a sharpie on the fridge, this way I can write the date that I froze the item to ensure that we aren’t using spoiled items.

A few other suggestions for saving time in the kitchen are:

Invest in a label maker if you can, they make several entry level models that are very cost effective to use. You can also use the label maker to label your food with dates and label your shelves. The possibilities are endless with the uses for the label maker.

One of the best things we did in our kitchen was to completely eliminate the junk drawer from our house. The junk drawer is just that, junk and a buildup of bacteria and germs just waiting to get you sick. The best way to eliminate the junk drawer if you have one is to remove everything from the drawer and decide what trash is and what is worth saving. For the items worth saving, find a home for them. Place items in the drawer such as utensils to avoid laving random junk back into the drawer.

Purchase canisters for your counter top if you don’t already have a set. The best ones are the type that you can see through. This is a time saver being able to see exactly what you need whether its flour, sugar or other baking supplies.

Organize under the sink; this is often an area where we keep cleaning supplies, trash bags and soap. Make sure that you have no leaks under the sink or water damage of any type. You can also purchase caddies to place your cleaning items in so when it’s time to clean you have everything ready to go.

While you’re at it, don’t forget the spice rack or cabinet. Review the date on the spice, and you may be surprised how many are past the expiration date if you have not cleaned out the rack for awhile.

The final suggestion for keeping on top of an organized kitchen is to purchase a dry erase board. This way you can keep track of all the items you need as you realize that you need them. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with on the go family members.

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