The Holidays are over, but the clutter is here to stay. The family is busy with school and work, but they still find plenty of time to leave disorder in their wake. If you don’t organize now, you’ll be watching the kids playing in the pool while you daydream about getting the the house organized when school starts again.
Where should you begin? Well, the most used room in every home is the kitchen. It’s the gathering place for friends, family, and messes, and that’s what makes it the best place to begin your organizing project.
Start By Leasing a Self Storage Unit
Before you get started, consider renting a self storage unit for the items that you don’t use regularly or that you may be replacing but don’t want to discard. It will be a relief to know that you don’t have to decide how to deal with duplicates and seldom used items right away. Stash them in self storage, and wait until you have time to think. For more information on renting the best unit for your needs, check How to Choose the Right Self Storage Facility for Your Needs.
Declutter Your Kitchen
Empty Cabinets and Drawers
Empty every cabinet and drawer in your kitchen, including the pantry. Place everything in front of you on tables, counters or any other space so that you can get a good view of your items. You may find a few surprises that belong in self storage (or the trash).
Discard the Junk
You’ll be surprised at how many broken or incomplete items are lurking in the back of a drawer or cabinet. You might find containers without lids, a broken hand mixer, or pans without handles. It’s time to dump that stuff and clear up some space.
Group Items into Categories
For example, group cake pans, cookie sheets and pie dishes into a “baking” category. Use separate categories for pots and pans, casseroles, serving dishes, and many other items that you keep in your kitchen. You should have a category for large serving trays, beverage dispensers, and other items that you use only when hosting a party. These items can be easily packed and placed in your self storage unit for easy access when you need them.
Say “No” to the Junk Drawer
It’s frustrating to open a drawer and find everything but the citrus zester that you’re looking for. It’s not easy to zest lemons with a screwdriver. Organize the flatware, small implements and linens with drawer separators and small divided baskets. Tools belong in a toolbox – not the kitchen.
Group Duplicates to Donate or Store
Duplicate items can really clutter up a kitchen. You might discover that you have 2 crock pots or 2 large roasting pans. You can give your duplicates to family and friends, or you can put them in self storage, where you’ll have backups for worn or broken items.
Don’t Forget the Pantry
Categorize in the pantry the same way you did for the rest of the kitchen. Separate baking ingredients; canned food; snacks; drink mixes, soft drinks, coffee, and tea; spices, and cleaning supplies. You can find appropriate sized baskets and bins on Amazon or at Target. And don’t forget The Container Store for tons of great pantry organizers.
It goes without saying that before you refill your cabinets and drawers, they should be thoroughly cleaned and lined with fresh shelving paper. Some of your items may need washing before you put them back in drawers and closets.
Use Countertop Decor That Will Make You Happy
The kitchen is known as the heart of the home, but it can also give you a heart attack if you are constantly cooking and cleaning in a disorganized mess. Give your counter top a facelift that gives you a positive vibe. Use attractive containers to hold cooking utensils, trays to hold frequently used items and green plants. Whether it’s farmhouse, minimalist or traditional, give yourself a happy visual experience.
You’ll Be So Glad to Have that Self Storage Unit
Now it’s time to take that trip to your self storage unit. You’ve worked hard; you can delay decisions about what to do with duplicates, small appliances, and serving platters that you use once a year. And leave some room in that unit for the stuff from your next cleaning project now that you’re an organizational rock star. Look out Marie Kondo!