How to organize your kitchen and downsize

 How to organize

One of the hardest things about owning a home is keeping it organized - especially the frequently used kitchen. I mean, how many bowls do you have that you can't find the lids for or lids that have no bowl? Not to mention what happens to the pantry - as we shove stuff to the back of the shelves just to add to our assortment of items. (The worst part? These are usually forgotten and repurchased again because we did not even know we already had it. Yes, I'm guilty!)

Throughout the years, we collect more and more things we think we need until we really don't even know what we have anymore. This is when frustration sets in. Our kitchens are a mess and it's hard to function in the space. 

Well, today is the day I'm changing all that for you. I'm going over how to organize your kitchen so you can get the most out of your space. (This can be especially helpful if you are getting ready to downsize - you're about to have less space and all that STUFF to fit in it.) 

Step #1 How to organize - start early

If you're considering a new home or kitchen remodel in the future, get an early start on planning. Future kitchens should be designed with organization in mind. There are all kinds of new storage options for cabinets such as drawer dividers for flatware and appliance garages. Check with the kitchen designer or cabinets shop to see what options are available. Remember - spending a little extra on items that will help you organize will help you to be happier for years while using your new and improved kitchen more efficiently. 

Step #2 How to organize - consider what you don't use

Begin the clean out process by considering what you don't use or have not used for a long time. Let's be honest - there are things that accumulate and take up space that we just don't ever use. If you have items you don't use, it's time to get rid of them. I know I've even found items that had been given to me as gifts that were still in the plastic. I think I just kept them in case the one I was using broke - 20 years later, if it's still in the plastic, let it go! This might even come from things that you have inherited through the years. I've got an inherited punch bowl that I have literally never used. 

Step #3 How to organize - get rid of duplicates

Step 2 brings me to this problem - duplicates. I mean, how many spatulas do you need? How many deviled egg plates? Make sure you keep everything that you really do need, but when you're ready to declutter or downsize, every little bit of space matters. Clear out anything that you have duplicates of to ensure you have enough room for all the things you do need. Chances are if you need something, you might just go buy a new version of it anyway - because something new may have been invented that works better. 

Step #4 How to organize - think outside the box

Literally, think outside the box. There are many storage options that will make your pantry look AND function much better. Look for plastic storage containers that can house everything from spices to baking items like bags of sugar and flour. These storage options can usually be stacked to make better use of space. There are many printable labels that can add a bit of style to your organization. For those awkward rolls of tin foil or plastic wrap, try standing them on end inside a magazine or file holder. Voila - more shelf space!

Step #5 How to organize - get rid of things that are not functional

Remember those lids that I mentioned earlier that don't fit any of the bowls? If they don't fit a bowl, they're not functional and should be purged. Only keep bowls that have no lid if you are planning on using plastic wrap on it - I myself cannot stand the stuff as I can't seem to use it properly. Oh, and don't forget the lids that are warped and just will not go on the bowls properly. Do you really need a toaster and a toaster oven? How about all those coffee cups - do you use them all?

By downsizing and cleaning out, you'll find that you'll clean less and have more time for things you enjoy. A clutter-free kitchen is more inviting and easier to use. Make sure you share this with a friend that might need to hear this or pin it for a later date when you're ready to begin your own kitchen organization. 

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