Organize Your Kitchen The Easy Way
After completely renovating our kitchen 10 years ago, we faced a dilemma. We had no idea where to put anything! The cabinets, drawers and countertops were nothing like the old ones, and everything, including the appliances, had changed places. The renovation work had been overwhelming enough, and now we were faced with the prospect of having to put away all our kitchen stuff in a way that made sense. Everyone who has ever moved or undergone a renovation project has been through the same thing.
A relative, who had previously updated his kitchen, gave us a valuable piece of advice. He suggested that we spend 3 months in our new kitchen before deciding where anything should go. So, without putting much thought into it, we got everything out of boxes and into the kitchen, and went back to cleaning up the plaster dust that had buried our house.
Wait 3 Months And...
3 months later, we moved everything in the kitchen around and put it away again, this time taking into account what we had learned about the new space and how we were actually using it. Brilliant!
What Happened Next
Being a normal family, we spent the next 10 years messing everything up again, randomly cramming newly acquired stuff into whatever place first came to mind. The task of going through all the drawers, cabinets and shelves became so overwhelming that we never got around to doing it again.
Divide And Conquer
Recently, I got so frustrated going through a drawer trying to find a particular measuring spoon, I decided to just dump the whole drawer out on the counter. I found the measuring spoon, and noticed that I barely recognized at least half of the rest of the stuff lying in front of me on the counter! It took less than 15 minutes to divide everything up into three piles:
- Duplicate items or items that we never use.
- Specialty items or items that we rarely use.
- Commonly used items.
I dumped everything in pile #1 into a box which I dropped off at the local thrift shop.
I placed everything in pile #2 into a box that we keep in a pantry just outside our main kitchen. While these items are accessible, they no longer take up space in a primary location in the kitchen.
I put everything in pile #3 back into the drawer, which now looks beautiful!
That's So Much Better!
As soon as this was done, the sense of dread I always felt when opening that drawer left me. I couldn’t wait until the next time I would need something that is kept in there. I also didn’t feel like doing any more organizing. So, I stopped. I realized that since the idea of reorganizing the entire kitchen was so daunting, I was reluctant to touch any part of it.
The secret for us, as it often is, turns out to be breaking the task into smaller pieces. At some point soon, I actually look forward to dumping out the next drawer 🙂