Is that pile of dishes growing faster than you can clean it up? Have you searched high and low for the melon baller and just can’t find it? Have you grabbed something out of the fridge only to find it expired a long time ago? It’s time to stop feeling frustrated and get organized.
Set up an empty table right next to the pantry and take everything out. It’s important to get a good cleaning in before you start getting organized. You’d be surprised how many stray bits of pet food, onion skins and stale heels of bread you’ll find.
Once it is all out, give all the shelves and floor a thorough cleaning. Place plastic storage tubs on the floor. If you have larger items, like 50 pound bags of pet food or 100-roll packs of toilet paper from the warehouse club, this would be a great solution for hiding them out of the way.
Put larger appliances that you do not use on a regular basis up on the top shelf. The stand mixer, bread machine and automatic ice cream maker all fit neatly out of the way up there.
Put items that tend to get messy in plastic, zipper bags or in clear containers. Flour, sugar and dried pasta are great candidates to include here.
Sort your cans into like items and line them up neatly, label side out. Group other like items as well, such as rice, pastas and extra condiments. You can even use baskets for things like baking items, so they can be easily accessed at once by simply removing the entire basket.
Refrigerator and Freezer
Remove all the food from your refrigerator. Check the dates and throw out any expired items. Remove all the shelves, trays and drawers and wash according to your manufacturer’s instructions and then clean the inside as well.
Replace the food and condiments in an organized fashion. Try to group like items, salad dressings on one shelf, breakfast items like jam and syrup on another.
Repeat the process of removing everything, cleaning and then re-organizing with the freezer. If any items have been in your freezer longer than 6-12 months, now would be a good time to toss them.
This is also a good time to replace or re-order the filter for your in-fridge water system.
Now, take off all that stuff stuck to the outside of your fridge. Scrub down the exterior and replace just one or two pictures with magnets. You would be surprised how cluttered all that stuff makes your kitchen appear. Try to go for a minimal look.
Cupboards and Drawers
Empty out each of your cupboards and wipe them down, inside and out. Before replacing the cooking paraphernalia, make sure it is not cracked, broken, never used or missing pieces. Toss or donate it. Be strong.
A larger plastic tub for food storage containers and their matching lids is a great way to keep them organized. Also, many kitchen stores sell special organizers just for pot lids that may help in your kitchen as well.
The silverware drawers can be super messy. Remove everything, clean the tray and replace. Toss or donate any kitchen gadgets that you once thought were amazing but really never use.
Unless you use an item daily, like the coffee pot, get it off your counter. An array of small appliances lining your counters is just more clutter. Find a place to put them.
Sort through your spices as most usually only last a year or so. If you haven’t used it in ages, smell it. If it’s old and doesn’t smell strongly anymore, throw it out.
You can purchase a container that attaches to the door of the sink cabinet to stuff all the plastic grocery bags in and a basket or plastic tub can hold all the soaps, sponges and scrubbies.
Most Important Step
If all this getting organized seems daunting, don’t sweat it. The key to any project like this is getting started and attacking it a little at a time. You can do it!