Saturday, December 27, 2008

Disorganization is NOT part of the Champagne Living lifestyle - the kitchen

As I went out to feed the birds today I sunk up to my knees in snow as I made my way to the bird feeder. And more snow is expected for the end of this week. I know this kind of weather makes some people have cabin fever. Do you get cabin fever?

I was working with a woman who said her therapist told her to get organizing. He told her even if you don't do any more than move one can to the other side of the shelf you have done something and that is a good thing.

In my jargon as a professional organizer of homes I would say doing this is taking baby steps. If you are having cabin fever and want to get outside but can't because of the weather and it is too early for Spring cleaning here are 8 tips on organizing your home.

Let's start with the kitchen:

Pantry or food shelves: Put like items together, soups in one place, and canned vegetables in another and canned fruits all together, pasta in one place—you get the idea. Everything has its place so when you need it you will save time and easily be able to see what you have. (It just might scream 'take out' pizza night.) If you haven't done this for awhile it is a good idea to make sure the cans or bottles are still good by checking expiration dates and check to see it is bulging. If it is, it is definitely spoiled and you need to get rid of it.

Snacks: Place them in a basket at a convenient level to grab and go. Or if you have family members that you don't want to get into them, hide them.

Lids: Do you have plastic or glass bowls used for storing left-overs? If the lids are always all over the place, put them in a basket by themselves which makes it easy to match to the bowl and eliminates hunting for the matches. If you keep the lids on the container that takes up a lot of space in your cupboard.

Dishes: Do you have enough room for all you have? Get metal stacking shelves that can double the amount of space in your cupboards. They come in many sizes and there are corner ones as well as straight ones that are adjustable. It is a good time to determine if you like or need all the dishes you have. If you see you never use some as you don't like them or you have too many for your needs or space; then donate to a charity.

Silverware drawer: Place the silverware in a container made for that purpose. Larger serving pieces can be placed next to it. Does your container slide back and forth as you open the drawer? A simple solution is to use sticky Velcro on the underside of the container—works great for bathroom drawers too where containers tend to want to slide about.

Pans: Place the ones you use most frequently toward the front of your shelf (if you hang them you have no problem with finding the right size when you need it). If you have pans with a finish that can be chipped or scratched paper plates between the pans prevents this from happening.

If you have medicines in the cupboards check their expiration dates and make sure little children can't get into them.

Have vases become squatters under your sink? If they belong in a different place, move them to their home.

Kitchens are often the hub of the home so a well organized one makes everyone happy. While you are waiting for Spring, or if you live where it is already Spring check out those cupboards, take an inventory and Get Organized now.

About The Author

Marilyn Bohn's Bio

Marilyn is a creative organizer who has been organizing for over 20 years. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and is working towards becoming a Certified Professional Organizer. Professionally she has been organizing homes and offices for over two years. She holds a bachelors degree in Social Work. She has reared five daughters and currently lives in Utah.

Go to her website where you can find free organizing tips, interesting blogs and more helpful articles on organizing.


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foamfan said...

Some great ideas! Seems like this time of year, there's lot of new stuff coming in (in the form of gifts and all), and it's a good time to get rid of the old, tired stuff.
For example, if someone gives you new slippers for around the house, it's a great feeling to toss the old, ratty ones!!
I feel bad for the people at Walmart or Target, who are buying those massive plastic boxes, to hold all the "stuff" they probably didn't want or need, anyway. Far better, to jump in and take some steps towards getting organized.

Zipporah said...

There's nothing I like better than to clean out and TOSS. My brother asked me why I don't have a house full of stuff. It's because every time I move (& we've moved fairly often since leaving New England - can't seem to find a place that I LOVE) I toss. PLUS, I just don't get attached to THINGS. People YES - Things - NO.

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