Have you ever thought about organizing your kitchen for the holidays? Your kitchen is the heart of your home. But its also one of the areas that gets disorganized the quickest, especially around the holidays. So why not organize your kitchen before the holiday rush consumes you?
Try designating a day where you can tackle your whole kitchen at once. Or, if devoting a whole day to kitchen cleanup is not an option, set aside some time on a few different days this month to focus on specific areas. However you decide to approach your kitchen organization, taking on this task will not only save you a lot of time and money over the holidays, but it will also relieve some of that inevitable holiday stress.
Because the kitchen is one of those rooms that is in an almost constant state of use, and because it is loaded with so many varied items, the thought of organizing it can be overwhelming. I get it. But there are ways to make this enormous task more manageable. I recommend breaking it into 3 main areas: Food, Kitchenware & Everything Else. This method has worked well for many of my clients, as well as in my own kitchen.
The first area to focus on when organizing your kitchen is your food items. Your fridge and freezer. The pantry. Your spices and oils. The baking and snack cupboards. Anywhere you store food. Start by pulling everything out of these spaces. Toss out old or expired products; donate unopened, unlikely-to-be-consumed items; and take inventory of what’s missing, and needs to be restocked. This is also a good time to get out your favorite holiday recipes and make a list of ingredients and spices you need.
You are now ready to organize your fridge, pantry, spice rack and remaining food storage areas. As you do this, be sure to group like items together, and place the things you use most often in easily accessible spots. Use containers in your fridge and pantry to further organize your food items as needed. Even if you only get this one area organized, you’ll reap many benefits such as being able to easily find the foods you need when you need them, and not wasting time and money repurchasing those hidden, forgotten foods you already have on hand.
After you’ve gone through all your food items, move on to your kitchenware. Sort through your dinnerware, your pots and pans, your kitchen gadgets, your tupperware and the like. This may seem pointless to you since these items are used so often and frequently return to a state of disarray soon after being organized, but by pulling everything out, identifying what you really need versus what might just be taking up space, and then donating or discarding the latter, you will make it a lot easier to navigate your kitchen cupboards, and keep them in order. As with the food items, it will also stop you from accidentally buying duplicates of things you already own.
When you reorganize your kitchenware be sure to use trays, dividers, bins and baskets to corral and contain similar items. Even if you are already using some of these, see if there are areas where the organization can be improved by adding new or different storage products. Sometimes simply shifting things around, and giving some thought to where and how you store your items, is the key to being able to maintain your kitchen organization.
Last to be tackled is the catch all category, Everything Else. This would include any items that do not fall under the food or kitchenware categories. Some common examples include kitchen cleaning supplies (often stored under the sink), those small appliances not kept on your kitchen counters (blenders, mixers, crock pots, etc.), and things like napkins, foil, baggies, potholders, and so on. If any of these items are stored in the same areas as your food or kitchenware, you may have already addressed them as you organized those categories. If not, or if they are located in parts of the kitchen yet to be gone through, you’ll need to pull these items out, sort through them, purge where appropriate, and then reorganize them (just as you did with your food items and kitchenware).
This final category is usually the quickest and easiest to get through due to the smaller volume of items involved. So, if you’ve gotten this far, don’t stop now. Move forward with the Everything Else category so that you can have a completely organized kitchen going into the holidays.
If it’s never occurred to you to organize your kitchen during this time of year, give it a try. You’ll see that it’s definitely worth the effort. You will find yourself more relaxed, more on top of things, and better able to enjoy your holiday festivities. Get started today … and you can thank me in the new year!
For some additional inspiration, check out the gallery below where I share some of my own kitchen organizing solutions. Or, if you feel you could use a set of helping hands with your kitchen organization, contact me for a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation.
Some of my kitchen cabinets
Click on pictures to enlarge