Thursday, September 18, 2008

Organizing your kitchen

Ah, the kitchen….. It is always the place where we just don’t have enough storage. As with any kind of organizing, the first suggestion is to get rid of that which is not truly needed. Here are some questions to honestly ask yourself as you embark on this project:

• Do I really need a rice cooker, or can I make rice just as easily in a saucepan? Specialized kitchen appliances are rarely used and suck up a ton of space. Most things can be cooked/prepared with a basic set of pots and pans. Unless you seriously use it on a regular basis, consider whether the same job could be achieved with a more versatile item.
• How much Tupperware does one family honestly use? How many shapes and sizes do you really need? I realize that you may have a lovely coordinating set, but if you aren’t using all the pieces, consider keeping only that which you do use. And, have you considered collapsible pieces? They work just as well and collapse into thin pieces which take up very little space (more information on these on my blog).
• Do you really entertain 50 people at a time? And will the drink be less refreshing if it is served in a different shaped glass? If not, then do you really need all that glassware? I will admit that when I got married, I registered for all those cute glass sets – margarita, high ball, martini, etc. After 12 years of marriage, I am down to water glasses and margarita glasses because those can be used for all types of drinks (and really, the margarita glasses could go too, but I use them enough to justify the space). Also, I went from sets of 12 to sets of 8. Glass wear sucks up storage space like no other, yet most of it goes completely unused.

Here is a suggestion: Pick a cupboard or drawer to start with. Get a box and pull everything from that space. Keep it in the box unless you use it. If you do use it, then put it away after. If you don’t use it, it stays in the box. Give it a month. At the end of the month if you have not used it, you probably don’t really need it.

Another quick thought is to keep any holiday or special occasion kitchen items in storage with your holiday items. For example, if you have a special Thanksgiving platter, keep it with your fall/Thanksgiving décor instead of the kitchen. It not only frees up space in the kitchen, but reminds you that you have it (and should use it) when you get out the holiday items.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at

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