Friday, May 22, 2015

Areas That Are Most Encouraging to De Clutter and Organize, Part 3

In most homes the kitchen is the area with the most need for organizing.  If this area is un organized, then a habit of not wanting to cook meals can easily sneak into our spirits.  I know if I leave dishes in the sink I have little desire to cook because it means more dishes.  Keep the sink empty?  Too easy of a solution.  Use the dishwasher?  Not frugal friendly for a one person household.  To beat this lazy habit I have decided if washing a dish takes less than 30 seconds, I will do  it right then.  (Make no mistake, I can be lazy in the this area.)

Space - or real estate - is costly and precious to most of us.  Using it in it's most productive way is imperative for a pleasant experience in the kitchen.  Here are a few ways to maximize and organize kitchen spaces.

The utensil drawer:  If you empty out this drawer and take stock of what's in there, you will most likely find items that 1. you seldom use and 2. items that are doubles or can perform the same function.   How many slotted spoons reside in that drawer?  Are there more than three wooden spoons?  Are the other wood utensils that came with the wooden spoon ever used?  One way of making more room in the drawer is to use a utensil holder near the stove.  Items that are used most often can reside in the holder.  If you don't have one on hand, using any tall container, such as a water pitcher or canning jar, will serve .the need.

The famous linens drawer.  Mine recently got revamped.  The linen napkins were placed in the closet with the table cloths and I rolled the kitchen towels to allow for a more organized drawer.  Next to the rolled towels there is room for the wraps I use the most for storing foods in the refrigerator or covering when cooking.  This includes plastic wrap, foil, parchment paper.  (I use a cloth washcloth when needed while I eat.)

You may recall that I have a penchant for kitchen linens.  I now rotate them placing the ones I have for decoration in the one dedicated drawer in the bedroom for my 'pretties'.

To add to this, I use three sets of towels in the kitchen.  One to look nice as a decoration hanging from the oven door, one for drying hands that hangs on the refrigerator door handle, and one for drying dishes which is usually covering the draining dishes,   They are kept in separate areas and have different patterns so they don't get mixed up.  Why bother to wash dishes by hand in hot soapy water then dry them with a germy dish towel?

Do you have a junk drawer in the kitchen?  How many pairs of scissor are in there?  Or rubber bands?  Or tape dispensers, pens, pads of note paper?  Emptying it to go through the items will be worth the time invested.  Perhaps enough room could be found to put other items such as cells in there. 

When the project is complete I think you'll discover more space to use for the items that are actually utilized for cooking.  I have only five drawers.  Here's a breakdown of what's in them.

Junk drawer:  Note paper, tape, pens, pencil, tacks (in a small container),  Just those little things we use but can't really be categorized.

The junk drawer.  It's not a study in perfection, but at this time it
serves my needs.  Yours, too, should be personalized to serve
your family's needs.

Silverware drawer:  This is a small one and can only hold the silverware we use to set the table with.

Utensil drawer:  This one is the least pleasing to me, but contains items I use often like scissors, can opener, bench scraper, tea ball, etc.

Knife drawer:  This holds the kitchen scale, knives, and pot holders

Towel drawer:  Towels, dish cloths, and wraps are stored in this one.

Towels are fold in half the short way, then folded again.  The ends are brought
 in to meet each other, then folded again.  I found this saved enough room to put
the wraps in the drawer where they are easily accessed.

All drawers, with exception of the junk drawer, are utilized for items that pertain to cooking.  The junk drawer is for ease of use.  I may rethink this one at a future date.

Let's move on to the glass and mug cupboard.  Most homes have an over abundance of these mis - matched items.  Old plastic water bottles, cracked plastic cups, souvenir cups from a ball game, to name a few.  Going through these items and pitching the ones that no longer are reached for can  free up quite a bit of space.  If you find you're having an emotional attachment to the cup you received at an event, keep in mind you will always remember the event in your spirit.  The smile comes from a memory, not the item saved.  The new found space can be used for serving bowls or something that you use most often.

Food storage containers can also be an area that needs organization.  This is where I'm at, at  the moment. I've been trying to figure out what my needs are.  I know that left overs, in my case, are small.  I also know whatever I choose, the shape needs to be consistent for stacking in the refrigerator.  Currently the plastic containers that soup comes in from a restaurant are the choice.  I like the size and shape so I may stick with them - but not too many.

If all of this talk about organizing the kitchen is overwhelming, look at just one of the areas at a time.  It took me a few months to organize and down size.  The time passes anyway, might as well use it to benefit you and your family.

Stay safe.


  1. Your wise and clever thoughts about household organisation show me that you have a lot of experience . Thanks for the time
    you spent for writing this! I have a little bit to add: I am so fond of my magnetic strip fixed at the wall in my kitchen. All knives
    for the daily use are put there and also my household scissors. So very practical ! And it protects the blades.
    That was one one my best buys for the kitchen many years ago. And a good sharpener is important too. ( In a drawer of course)

  2. You're right that there has been many years of experience- with many failures. I know young families don't have much time in today's environment. Hopefully this series will help at least one family live a more simple life with a less stressful environment.

    That magnetic strip sounds like a life saver. (And blade saver)