New Year, New Kitchen Organization
New Year, New Kitchen Organization Your kitchen is the hub of your home! As we go into the new year, why not begin by making sure it is cleaned and organized in a way that serves you and makes your life a little easier? From cabinets to freezers, here are our best tips to clean out and organize.UNDER THE SINK
Most cabinets under the kitchen sink are used to store cleaning supplies and quickly become junky and covered with goo from chemicals. Clear everything out from this cabinet and thoroughly wipe it down using a damp microfiber cloth. After you’ve removed the goo, allow it to dry and place a shelf liner in the bottom. This will make future clean-ups a breeze!
Now it’s time to whittle down your cleaning supply. Toss out those almost-empty bottles or bottles that are covered in dried, caked-on chemicals. Sort the remaining supplies by their use and place them in dedicated plastic bins.
You may want to consider placing a tension rod at the top of this cabinet to hang spray bottles and damp cleaning cloths as they dry.
DRAWERS Most people use their kitchen drawers for two things – utensils and junk! Both of these can cause drawers to overflow with unnecessary and unused items over time. • Junk Drawer – Every home needs a junk drawer (or two) that helps the home function. When these drawers get out of control, chaos tends to ensue. Begin organizing your drawer by removing everything. Throw away empty pens, random pieces of paper, and any other useless item. Purchase small boxes that fit your drawer and the things you are keeping. • Utensils – How many times have you reached for a spatula only to get tangled up in a whisk or potato masher? You might have a hard time deciding what you need to keep or toss from this drawer – especially if you are a cooking pro! Try this trick: put a piece of washi tape on each utensil. As you use items in this drawer, remove the tape. Revisit this drawer in 6 months and toss the utensils that still have tape on them, indicating you never used them.
FOOD STORAGE • Containers – Repeat after us, “I will throw away my lids that do not have a matching container!” All jokes aside, toss any item that no longer has its match. Throw away any plastic storage that has been damaged by heat over time. Organize your items by size and nest them together for more efficient storage. • Refrigerator – Now is the perfect time to clean your fridge before you organize. Begin by – you guessed it – removing all of your refrigerator’s contents. Wipe down shelves with a safe cleaning agent. Remove drawers and wash them in soapy water. Don’t forget the door shelves. Now, toss old leftovers and anything that is expired. Group the remaining items in a way that makes sense: fruits/veggies, canned and bottled drinks, sauces, meats and cheese, and place them back into your refrigerator in zones. • Freezer – Oh, the depths of food in our freezers! No one needs the frozen vegetable soup from 2005! Begin here by tossing expired foods – and those items that can’t even be identified. Make a resolution to use a permanent marker that indicates what items you are freezing and the date you added them to the freezer. You will thank yourself in December! • Pantry – We are often surprised at what may be lurking in our pantry. Why did we keep two muffin liners or one random hot dog bun? Pull out everything from your pantry and clean shelving. Sweep up food debris from the floor and give it a good mopping. Next, toss expired boxed and canned goods. (Don’t overlook your spice collection. Toss out-of-date spices and make a list of those discarded so you can replace them on your next grocery visit.)
It’s time to put everything back with a purpose! In case you can’t tell, we love organizing by zones – canned goods (sort by tomatoes, veggies, and fruit), boxed food (cereals, pasta, crackers, etc.), baking supplies, and a snack zone. The floor of your pantry is perfect for storing things like extra canned drinks, paper towels, and other back stock you may have.
LINENS Kitchen towels break down over time, becoming musty, stained, and less absorbent. You can move these to your cleaning supply for outdoor use (cleaning grills, outdoor furniture, windows, etc.) Replace them with crisp, new towels.
And just like that, you have a completely organized kitchen ready to serve your family for a while new year. It’s important to remember that the way you keep your kitchen organized is to regularly work the process. Use your grocery shopping days as an opportunity to complete mini-organizing sessions to keep things tidy!