Wondering how to organize a kitchen that works for your active family?
Learning how to organize a kitchen to fit the flow of daily life can be difficult. If there were a simple, one-size-fits-all kitchen, the task would be easy. But, your family situation and lifestyle is unique to you.
No matter what your goals may be, whether you need an improved healthy atmosphere to nourish your family or more space for faster meal prep, you can accomplish them by following these steps.
Step 1: VISION~
First, contemplate and visualize the ways you'd like your kitchen to run more efficiently. How to organize a kitchen begins with your mindset.
You can't start if you don't know how you'd like to end. A journal or notebook is excellent for writing down your goals and getting a plan.
Think about things like: Would you enjoy a leisurely central coffee bar to wake up to, or do you need quick breakfast items to grab on your way out the door?
Do large family dinners become your nemesis because your cooking items are in disarray? Are you a baker but deterred because you can't access your ingredients quickly?
Ask yourself: What is your priority when organizing your ideal kitchen? What needs to improve to fit your lifestyle? These answers will best dictate how to organize a kitchen.
In today's world, we can't do it all. Most of us don't have the space to fit in everything materially or mentally. Focus on your top kitchen priorities and move on from there.
Step 2: CounterTops~
Begin with your ideal end-goal in mind and work backward.
Clear your counters. If you need to use a table to make this happen- do it! Warning- it's going to look worse before it gets better~ the mess is an essential part when learning how to organize your kitchen!
With a clean slate, now is the time to shine all the nooks and crannies and the backsplash.
Next~reallllly think about what deserves to return to your countertop.
What is inspirational to you and your overall food health? Do empty counters with fresh flowers and a bowl of fruit inspire you to make better food choices? Would a central coffee corner with your favorite mug in plain sight bring smiles each morning? Do you use a juicer or blender every day?
There isn't a right or wrong answer, but ask yourself if what you've had sitting out is serving your primary purpose for functionality or instead creating a feeling of clutter?
If you use something every day, then that item deserves a prominent place in plain sight. If not, it's time to find another home. Return the things of importance to your counter and pat yourself on the back- you've accomplished something!
It's time to move on to your cabinets, cupboards, and drawers to free space and put away what didn't make the countertop cut.
Step 3: Sort and Clear Out~
Here is where we often become overwhelmed.
Our kitchen dilemmas occur because of a simple root problem~ We have Too. Much. Stuff.
There is no way to sugar-coat our over-indulgences with the material world. If items are falling out of your cupboards and you can't open your drawers, it's time to rethink your daily habits.
Daily, what do you REALLY need? What do you ACTUALLY use? Let's take it one thought further- if you remodeled your kitchen and had to pack a box of your essential kitchen items, what would you pick?
Begin with ONE cupboard, ONE cabinet, or ONE drawer at a time. Take out the contents and give thought to each item. Do you love it or use it? Or, do you use it once a year and need to find another storage place?
How about that pineapple corer... when was the last time you bought a fresh pineapple? Bread machine... had fresh bread lately... ? I'm sure the list could go on...
Before returning any items, clean the space you're working with, and consider adding bright shelving paper. If you have dark cabinets, light-colored shelving paper will help breathe new life into your storage places, and make items easier to see.
If you uncover things you've forgotten you had, it's probably time to bless someone else with them. Removing unused items frees not only your material space but, more importantly, your mind. Remember, you'll need to save room for the things you've cleared from your countertop.
Seasonal items Sidenote:
If you love your spring set of Easter Bunny dishes that you use for 2 hours out of the year, but they fill two entire cabinets- ask yourself if they indeed are worth it?
Retail stores have an uncanny knack to make us CERTAIN we NEED new specialty dishes and accessories to redecorate for every season. If you can't say no, avoid the stores! We become brainwashed into thinking what we have isn't good enough. We are led to believe our Holidays would be soooo much happier with those specialty items, but what do they truly cost you? If you have the space for all of the trinkets and dish sets used once or twice a year, and it's your thing- awesome! The bunny plates stay!
HOWEVER- If your kitchen functionality is not where it needs to be, the price you pay to hold on to these items may not be worth it. Is your lack of space and functionality for the remaining 355 days of the year worth the cost of storage and mind time? And no, sorry to say that your children will more than likely not want those things passed down from you some day.
The truth is, our children and family look to the happy memories we share. Fond memories aren't less significant if we don't have the perfect dish set. What your family will remember is your stressed state of mind when your home isn't functioning as it should. Simplify your material world if it costs you peace of mind and efficient flow to your home.
Step 4: Return~
Moving on with your how to organize a kitchen skills, it's time to return the items you love and use to their new home!
Some things to keep in mind~
• If you can't see it, you probably won't use it. Maximize your space with drawer dividers and cabinet risers when needed.
• Minimize your steps! Place items that are used together in the same place. You don't want your coffee bar on one side of the kitchen, but your mugs half-way across the room.
• Dishes and silverware are best placed near the dishwasher to minimize the time it takes to return clean items.
• Keep your baking goods grouped with your mixing bowls. The less time it takes to find things, the less mind time you waste.
• Items used to prep your meals are best stored together near your sink for quick cleaning.
Step 5: Adjust~
Remember- learning how to organize a kitchen is a lifelong process. Circumstances change. Family size can decrease or increase, and your kitchen's needs will always be changing. Don't be afraid to adjust your home organization style to fit your needs. A cabinet that functions perfectly for you now may not work the following year.
Adjust along the way, and have fun!
Thinking about how to organize your kitchen can be overwhelming for sure!
If you still aren't quite sure where to begin, I'd love to help you!
If you're in North Texas, I'd love to serve you as your personal Grapevine Professional Organizer Consultant!
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