Containing clutter is a constant struggle. But the solutions don’t have to cost a lot. And the peace of mind that comes with an organized house? Priceless.
We present a series that shows you how to declutter your house, one room at a time, with budget in mind. The first space to target: your kitchen.
It’s the busiest room in your house, which means it’s often the most disorganized. But it should be a place where you and your family like to hang out. When your most-used ingredients and cooking utensils are at the ready, and less-used items are hidden away, it makes mealtime more enjoyable.
Here are some tips for reducing the mess — and stress — in your kitchen.
Batches in Baskets
After a trip to the grocery store, it’s easy to come home, stuff food in the fridge or pantry, and walk away. Instead, think about the foods your family grabs first or most often, and put those within reach.
Use inexpensive baskets to keep like foods together, so they’re as easy to put away as they are to take out. By turning the basket on its side, not only can you see what’s inside, but you can also keep bagged foods upright.
Organize foods by group:
- Rice and beans
- Snacks (chips, nuts, dried fruits)
- Fruits and vegetables that don’t need refrigerating (bananas, potatoes, onions)
- Baking items (put the ones you use most at eye level)
Before you put any foods back in the pantry, check their expiration dates. If they’re expired, toss them out.
Spiced Up Cabinets
We’re all guilty of tossing jars and bags of spices haphazardly into a cabinet. But it just takes a few steps to get all of your spices in order.
First, toss anything that’s expired. That’s an easy way to reduce clutter! Second, decide how you want to organize them: alphabetically or by what you use most.
Make more use of the surface space inside your cabinet with a plastic shelf, available at your local discount store. Plus, it’s easier to see what’s in the back if they’re elevated. If you want everything in similar containers, pour bagged spices into inexpensive or recycled jars and label.
Pegboard to the Rescue
A deep kitchen drawer is great for storing pots and pans. But it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for when everything gets dumped in there.
Problem solved with a pegboard, available at your local hardware store. Trim the pegboard to the size of your drawer, leaving a ¼-inch gap on all sides.
Put your pots, pans, and lids where you want them, then place wooden pegs to hold them in place, leaving a little wiggle room in between. Next time you cook, everything will be right where you pegged it.
Junk Drawer No More
You like to keep cooking utensils and gadgets handy. If a canister on the counter isn’t an option, then a drawer is the way to go. But how many times have you had to dig around in a drawer to find the can opener?
Separate cheese graters and zesters from wooden spoons and spatulas with a few plastic utensil trays, available in various sizes at your local discount store. They keep stuff contained while creating barriers between items. Find ones with rubber bottoms to prevent them from shifting around in the drawer.