The kitchen! That place in the home where everyone gravitates to for food and gatherings. I guess it’s food and not money that makes the world go round! But it’s also the room where decluttering and organization can seem like a major battle to take on. Tackling the spring cleaning for the kitchen is probably the toughest room in the house. Simply because it’s used so much and it can accumulate so much stuff! Which is why the kitchen organization needs to be the first room you take of!
Unlike the bedroom the kitchen is the room where the big things can’t be just moved around. So it’s about making the most of the space you do have to it’s full extent. Organizing the kitchen is more of a rolled up sleeves job cleaning inside and outside appliances and storage space. A longer process but once done its well worth it. Here’s some tips to help get your kitchen organization on a roll….
A sort out of the fridge from top to bottom. Starting with what’s on top of the fridge. If your fridge isn’t in a built in cabinet you’ll probably end up using the space on top of the fridge as a hoarding area. Which isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s organized. Have a look at see what might have been forgotten up top and way at the back. If you still decide you need to extra space for storage use some basket and boxes to keep it a little prettier and organized.
For inside the fridge, the quickest way to start organizing is to pull out all the expired products and get rid of it. Take out and clean the shelves one by one and put back. And if you have the space, organize each shelf and drawer according to food item. Dairy, fruit, leftovers etc. At least there’s some kind of system in place for when storing food. Meat should be stored at the bottom to prevent leaks and contamination with other foods.
Try using clear containers so you can see what is what without having to go through every container. This way you can stack them up as well. You can keep sauces and condiments in the side door of the fridge. This is where the temperature fluctuates the most with opening and closing of the fridge door. So these products will be perfectly fine here.
The freezer needs to be checked on a regular basis! We tend to think because it’s freezer food it can last forever. Freezer food still has a expiration date. Go through your freezer and anything unknown throw it away.
Any food that is in big packaging, see if you can downsize and save room by splitting the food up and putting it into smaller bags or containers. If you do end up doing that make sure the food is labelled and dated. This way you know what is what and ideally when you need to be using it up by. A zoning system for the freezer like the fridge would work well. Always keep the meat at the bottom.
If you can it would be a good idea to cook dinner the day before you clean the oven. Or get in a takeaway. Most ovens have a self cleaning mode that has a cleaning process for a couple of hours or more. Even if your oven does have a self cleaning mode it’s still going to require some elbow grease. At least when the oven is cleaned, you can bask in the glory of it being almost brand new for a day or so because dinner will be sorted for a couple of days.
Remove the racks from the oven and soak them in soapy hot water. You can buy an oven cleaner will do a good job but they tend to have high fumes from the chemicals. A natural home DIY method is to use 1/2 a cup of baking soda with water and to mix in a paste. Use the paste to cover the oven and let it sit overnight. After the solution has been left to sit, scrub and wipe out with a damp cloth. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spray the inside of the oven to get rid of any dirt that might be left. Give the oven a final wipe over with a damp cloth to make sure it’s clean. Place back the racks for the oven.
There are also local services that you can look up that provide oven cleaning if you’d rather get it done professionally.
It’s amazing what right at the very back of our cupboards! We might have two tomato ketchups, and 3 bottles of olive oils. Sometimes is good to have back ups. But other times the back ups expire and it ends up being a waste of money. Whether you categorize your cupboards by frequency, labels or jars. It’s good to zone and have a system for kitchen organization. What ever works best for you!
Take everything out of your cupboards and decide what’s going to be kept donated or thrown away. Depending on the location and what you use frequently, organize your cupboards accordingly. You might have all your tinned goods in one place and dinnerware in another cupboard. Group and stack tinned goods with similar items and turn labels front facing. The closest to it’s expiry date should be nearest the front.
Heavier items like pots, pans and ovenware are best stored in the lower cabinets. When organizing try and keep in mind where it would be easiest for you to have access to them. You might have the spices close by the stove for easy access. The spices could be up top in a cupboard. Or you might find it best to have them stored in drawer depending on your kitchen organization.
For the kitchen counters, remove everything from the surfaces.
See how many of the items you use on frequent basis. Anything that isn’t used often can go in the appropriate drawer or be donated. Broken and faulty utensils can get binned too. What things can be used to put on display? Your favourite mugs? Your go to spices? A fruit bowl? The essential appliances like the kettle and toaster. This is where you can show off your “pretty” things or can make things look pretty like putting out labeled jars.
Remember not overcrowd your kitchen countertops as you still want it to look tidy and organized. It will give you the space needed for when the food prep without having to reconfigure the counter tops each time.
I hope the kitchen checklist helps! If you need a step by step guide you can my 7 Step Declutter Ebook. Which part of your kitchen organization are you going to tackle first? Let me know in the comments!
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