How to whip your kitchen into shape

All of us want to keep our kitchen neat and tidy. We feel proud when some one praises our neatly kept kitchen. We do take every step to maintain an organized kitchen but as the days go, slowly and steadily unwanted things start accumulating and cry for our immediate attention. It is better to de-clutter our kitchen before it becomes unmanageable.

  1. De cluttering takes our time, energy, so a clear planning is always helpful. First of all, clear one shelf or kitchen counter. Keep hot soapy water ready in a dishpan. You need four or five cartons to hold items that may be used in future, and plastic garbage bags of various sizes to discard all unwanted items. In every kitchen the counters are most vulnerable to keep unwanted items. Provide enough wire baskets on them to avoid future clutter. Name the boxes as: to be kept (kitchen), to be kept (other areas of the house), Give away, sell / storage. The items to be donated go to Give away box and items to be sold go to Sell box and items to be kept make their journey to Storage box. Likewise, the items to be kept in the kitchen, and to be kept in other areas also find their respective places.
  2. De clutter one place at a time. Start with a shelf, cupboard or drawer at a time. Keep every item in its respective place and dump the unwanted items in the garbage bags.
  3. Focusing on one place and step-by-step cleaning make the job easy. You can break down the de cluttering job into small portions.
  4. You need to take an on the spot decision on every item. When you find it difficult to take a decision, ask the question that when did you last use that item? If your answer is ‘yesterday, last week, last month’ then they come under the label ‘to be kept’. Decide the place where they should be. Clean them before you put them away.
  5. When your answer is ‘never’, ‘last year’ or ‘don’t remember’ a tough decision to move them away from the kitchen is the only solution. Items like cookie presses etc., which you use rarely, during holidays, to make your children happy, can be kept in a box labeled separately and moved away from the active kitchen space.
  6. Make place in the kitchen for the items that are used daily. Other things can go to pantry or basement. Many new utensils are frequently introduced in the market, so be tough on items to be dumped.
  7. Throw away the spices that have expired. Give away the utensils that are no longer used, to some one who needs them. These items go into the box labeled sell. When you don’t use an item for more than 2 years, it means you can manage your daily chore without this. So, donate them to a school. There may be some dishes which you don’t like, or saucepan with some tough grease that can be donated too. Some kitchen tools which you thought might help you speed up your cooking , but turned out to be not so easy to clean can be kept away from the kitchen and given away later.
  8. As you de clutter, do the deep cleaning also simultaneously.
  9. While decluttering, you can re model your kitchen as well. In big restaurants cooking platforms are so designed that they minimize the movement in the kitchen while cooking. You can follow the same thing in your kitchen also. Items that are used together, for example, knives and cutting boards or coffee mugs and coffee maker can be kept in one place. This minimizes your movement throughout the kitchen.
  10. Now, the real decluttering starts. Begin with your top most shelf. Be firm in your decision to save them or dump them. If you think you can’t part away with some items though you don’t use them in a daily basis arrange them in a box marked ‘later use’. You can take a final decision later. Moving them away will help you use the space available in your kitchen. This can include dinner plates that are used only when you have guests.
  11. Slowly and steadily do the de cluttering from the top shelf to the lower one, into the cupboards and around the kitchen. Separate the items according to their usage in the boxes that are marked and kept ready.
  12. Finally, make decluttering a joyful one. If your kitchen is in a worst shape, declutter it bit by bit so that you won’t get exhausted. You shouldn’t feel lost just to make your kitchen organized and well maintained.

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