Organizing Your Kitchen … in Preparation for the Holidays!

It’s hard to imagine that summer is over and fall is falling upon us. Kids are back to school … as well as myself and the Holidays really will be here before you know it.20130908_122401

It’s really not too early to plan on getting your home ready for the Holidays and your out-of-state guests. Today I’d like to focus on the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home and the room where family and friends gather more than any other room in the home. It’s the place where you share a meal with your family; sit with a hurting friend over a cup of tea and work on schoolwork or projects. It’s an incredibly important room in the house.

So let’s get started and make this room “Holiday Ready!”

Do you enter the kitchen from the garage or the outside each day and has the counter or table become a dumping ground? Look over what gets dumped there and create a system for each item. Are you looking at backpacks, mail, and brief cases? Then a place needs to be created so that as each family enters your home, they know exactly where these items need to be placed.

Here are 11 steps to an organized kitchen!

  1. Go through your cabinets and counter tops and be rid of those items you do not use, never have used and have no intention of using. Many times we are handed down from our parents and grandparents kitchen items that are outdated or something we would never use. We feel compelled to keep it because it was from Grandma! I have three words for that … Get Over It! Find someone to either give it to or donate it. But definitely don’t hold onto it just for the sake of not offending your relative.
  2. Are there items that are broken and put aside with the intent that one day “I’ll fix it?” Unless you feel you will repair it or have it repaired in the next week or two, then throw it away. If you haven’t done it by now or won’t do in the next couple of weeks, the odds are it will still be there broken in six months.
  3. Are there items that clearly don’t belong in the kitchen, items such as school papers and bills? Unless you have a small desk that you process your bills at, then they belong in your home office or the place that you pay your bills. If your kitchen area is set up for schoolwork to be done in, then just be sure that school papers have a place.   That place should not be a pile on top of the counter or kitchen table. Perhaps utilizing a “Tickler File” will help sort through and organize these items. But go through the kitchen and remove all items that have nothing to do with cooking or eating.
  4. Many people like to buy in bulk and unless you have a gigantic kitchen with plenty of storage place or another area like a pantry or basement, then you probably should not be buying in bulk. Letting these bulk items just pile up on the counters or floor should not be a consideration.
  5. Do you have special china and crystal that only gets used for the Holidays? They should not be stored in your prime kitchen space. Sometimes kitchens have cabinets that go to the ceiling and the top shelf is hard to reach without a step stool. Then that’s a great place to store these items. But if you don’t have that type of space, considering boxing these pieces and storing in a secure place in the basement or in a hutch in the dining room.
  6. If you would like the aid of your children emptying the dishwasher, consider storing the dishes on lower shelves so they can easily reach to put them away.
  7. Do you have a corner shelf that is hard to get into? You could consider having a Lazy Susan installed. This gives you easier access to reaching items. Then storing your Tupperware there is a great idea. Or I place my flour, sugar, baking items, oils, etc. on my Lazy Susan. Works great for me.
  8. Only keep your favorite cookbook and recipes. Don’t have a library in your kitchen of books you never read nor have intention of using. Donate them to your local library. It’s a great way for them to make some money.
  9. Keep your lids on the pots to which they belong. If you don’t have enough room, then consider using a lid organizer or hanging them on the wall.
  10. Determine which areas in your kitchen are “high use” areas. Are you a cook or more of a baker? Do you use your microwave more than your stove? Be sure that area is highly efficient and not cluttered with items. Let’s say you love to bake and try your best to bake weekly. But you decided to store your pots and pans in the oven. This is totally in efficient. If you have to remove all the pots and pans every time you want to bake and leave them on the counter in your way, you will eventually get discouraged from doing something you really love.
  11. Is your coffee maker on the counter but no one in the household drinks coffee? Then consider placing it in a cabinet or another storage space only to be utilized when company comes.

So here some tips to get you started in being prepared and organized for the Holidays. Remember, if this task seems too overwhelming to you, don’t hesitate to call an Organizational Expert who is trained in getting you that efficient and effective kitchen.

Your Organizing Expert … Believing in You!

 

 

 

 

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