Thursday, April 26, 2012

Small Ways to Organize in the Kitchen

Today, I thought I might post a few simple hints about being organized. I also want to point out the benefits for the small "extra" steps you have to do.

Silverware in the Dishwasher:
   Notice how each compartment is dedicated to one type of silverware. I personally put in a separate basket adult spoons pointing up, adult forks pointing up, knives pointing down, kid spoons pointing down and then kid forks pointing down. The adult pieces face up to get clean better and the kid pieces face down because they slip through the basket holes if they face up.
The best part about this craziness is PUTTING the silverware away! Grab the contents of one basket and put them into that particular silverware drawer section.  Fast, easy and worth it. I truly dislike emptying the dishwasher [my hubby can attest to that], so this organizing "trick" helps a lot. It also helps that the family is on board putting the utensils in the dishwasher by categories. I am now working on our visitors.
Below is our kid drawer and our adult drawer.
Placemats in a Drawer:
   I found a junk drawer that would be better used to store placemats. I wanted a way my kiddos could help set and clean up the table. After a meal, they take the placemats to the kitchen, I wipe them down and one of them returns them to the drawer. Awesome! They love to help, but making it easy really helps.
Baskets in the pantry:
   This idea does take a little time, but it is sooo worth it. BEFORE you go grocery shopping, empty your pantry. Just lay everything on the floor or counters. Start putting items like with like. [cereals together, baking stuff, snacks, spaghetti dinner ingredients, etc.] Everyone's categories will vary because not everyone has spaghetti every week.
If you already have plastic drawers, baskets, empty shoe boxes, etc. start filling them up with like items and put them in your pantry. I love that I now use my Christmas wrapping paper box for dog food. I flipped the top over and it holds my puppy's food scooper. [Some of my Christmas rolls never fit in there anyway!] If you do not have containers yet, put stuff away in categories anyway, so you can SEE what type of containers would work for your needs. Remember to give yourself room to grow since this was BEFORE you went shopping.
Each shelf has different containers, but still organized by categories I came up with to suit our family. I don't believe organization HAS to be pretty. If you can, GREAT, but if you can't, please do not dismiss making life easier for you. Some of my labels are MASKING TAPE!

To add more space, we temporarily installed this over the door shelf unit. We move a lot, so temporary is great. We also use a plastic S hook type hook to hang our aprons.
I found this great spice rack at my local thrift store and installed it in the pantry. I used to have spices on the door rack, but they fell one too many times. Extra spices go in a basket with my cooking oil, etc. If you have keen eyes, you can see my bag of rice that was recently purchased, but not put into its rice container on the shelf above it. Can you say distracted?

It really DOES make grocery list making easier and especially helps with putting groceries away.

There are so many ways to organize your life, but if you need small steps, that is okay. Pick one idea from above or find a different one. It does take practice, and maybe today can be your first day.


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