In mentioned in an earlier post that in the last little while I've helped some girlfriends organize their kitchens. It was a lot of fun for me. Hopefully for them too. I love the feel of an organized and uncluttered space. It makes me feel peaceful. I haven't always been that way and there are still spots in my home that need organizing, but I'm working on it.
I have found there are two things that contribute to clutter. First, we have way too much "stuff" or multiples of everything. And second, we try to store all the excess in a space that's too small.
Because we use the kitchen more than any other room in the house, it's always a great place to start de-cluttering. And my girlfriends each said it was the area they struggle with most. So here are a few tips that have worked for me:
1. I consider my kitchen a "working" space, not a storage space. That means I only have in my cupboards (or my main cupboards) those things I use every day or week. Everything else is stored either in my downstairs storage room or in low or high cupboards that are awkward to get into.
2. I keep items closest to where I will use them. My friends were amazed at how a little rearranging could save so much time. For example, the oven pads and mitts ago in a drawer next to the oven. The silverware drawer and plates, cups and bowls are in the cupboards nearest the dishwasher so it can unload quickly.
3. I set up a baking center so I can stand in one spot and have access to all my baking supplies, tools and ingredients.
This corner of the kitchen is my baking center.
It makes sense to have it near the stove, oven and microwave and to keep my Kitchen Aid mixer on the counter. That's one appliance I wouldn't want to do without. I love it and use it a lot.
In the cupboards above the counter I have my baking ingredients. The first basket contains basics like baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, etc. I just set it out on the counter when I'm making cookies or muffins and then stick everything right back in when I'm done. The second basket holds a variety of nuts. The third basket is molasses and Karo syrup. Come to think of it, I haven't used those items in forever, so I'm going to get rid of them. The half full container on the top shelf is the last of the honey my sister-in-law shared with me years ago. Her dad, Virg Marshall, used to keep bees when they lived in California and it is the best honey. I save it for the good stuff. I love these cupboard stands because it really bugs me to have things stacked so I have to lift one thing to get to another. I was just thinking those stands might work great for my studio cupboards too.
In the drawer below the counter are my baking tools. I usually have my mini spatulas in there too, but they're in the dishwasher right now.
Below the drawer is my slotted cupboard with my cookie sheets, jelly pans, muffin tins, etc. My casserole dishes, bread pans and bundt pan are in the drawer underneath the stove.
Behind me on the pantry door are all my spices. The rack is an old video holder. I don't think they even make them anymore. I saw something similar at Walmart in the kitchen section, but it doesn't have as many shelves so there are huge spaces between the bottom two.
Almost forgot. My flour and sugar are in glass jars in my pantry. Not super convenient, but I'd rather not have them on the counter.