Intro to Organization: How to Get Started, Even if You’re Not a ‘Neat Freak’

There’s a little bit of ‘neat’ in all of us... some just seem to have the bug more than others. My husband actually jokes that I am ‘diseased’– that’s how extreme I’ve got it. But to me, it's very therapeutic to clear out unused and unnecessary kitchen clutter and have a fresh, open, airy space to work and live in. Getting started on the road to  systemized, organized kitchen bliss may seem daunting – I get that! – but just give it a try. You may be surprised!

Here are 5 simple steps to get you started on the journey to the kitchen of your dreams:

Let Go

 An organized kitchen is a happy kitchen.

An organized kitchen is a happy kitchen.

The first step that I share with all my clients is to look through all that you have and take an overall mental inventory. It really is amazing how much ‘stuff’ we tend to gather over time, with much of it often getting crammed into a kitchen cabinet or drawer  and kept “just in case” we may have a use for it one day. The rule of thumb I apply in this case is: If you haven’t reached for it, you probably never will. Some things, such as heirlooms, of course are worth holding on to, but most of the things we accumulate and forget about or just never use are not worth keeping. So, take a good look at what you have, decide what you must keep, and get rid of the rest.

 
 
 "Family-style" storage.

"Family-style" storage.

Store Like Items Together

Now that you have cleared out the unnecessary, take some more time (even on another day or another week – it doesn’t have to be all at once!) to move things around so that they are stored with like items, or in ‘families’, as I like to say. For example, try storing baking prep stuff together,  electronics in another area, etc. This way, you will have a general idea of where to look when you want to start cooking, baking or prepping just about anything!

 

Clear Out the Cookbook Stash

Cookbooks are another good thing to clear out. Collecting them is one thing, but keeping the oldies (but not goodies) just takes up too much space. Over time, we all gravitate towards favorites and leave some behind. Either donate the “left behind” books or store them out of the kitchen in a bin.

 In the case of kitchen utensils, less is more.

In the case of kitchen utensils, less is more.

Minimize Multiples

Reducing your kitchen tool arsenal down to the absolute necessities is one of the most effective ways to get organized quickly. Investing in and finding utensils and appliances that kill multiple birds with one stone is key. Read my note on My Favorite Dual-Purpose Kitchen Tools to see what I mean!

 

Set an Intention

This may sound vague or strange when talking about kitchen organization tips, but I believe that visualizing the space you would like to have, helps you transform the space you currently have with a more clear purpose and distinct direction. Doing this ahead of time can keep you motivated and moving toward the kitchen of your dreams.   

 

Happy organizing!