A common mistake people make when starting any type of project is to run out and buy the stuff they think that they need to accomplish the work. The container industry is very aware of this. They fill ads with bright colorful containers in January and in August. January is the most popular month for getting organized and August is when school starts.
You must first do the analysis and the sorting before you know what tools or containers are right for you. You will use organizing principles, containers and other organizing items to organize your kitchen.
The photos below show some of some of the containers and tools that I use when organizing kitchens and pantries. I love both the single and double turntables in upper kitchen cabinets. Use them for spices, baking items and medications. The larger ones are good in pantries and refrigerators. Use them for cans or bottled condiments. The baskets are great for grouping like items on shelves. The helper shelves give you more storage when you have shelves that are not adjustable.
My Favorite Kitchen Organizing Products
This picture is the after shot of a pantry that I organized for HGTV.com. It illustrates the container principle and some of the other tools I described earlier.
I love the Elfa door system for pantry doors. It is very solid and requires no special tools to install. The baskets come in an assortment of depths. Small ones are great for spices and baby food and the largest ones will handle large juice bottles or two-liter soft drinks. The lower basket on the door in the picture is ready and waiting for juice bottles. Elfa is available from the Container Store.
A pantry that is organized like this one allows you to quickly see what you have on hand when planning a shopping trip and it allows quick access to items when preparing a meal.
Notice that there are some clear containers with dry food in them. I call these permanent food containers and I use them for flour, meal, sugar, oatmeal and other staples that are used regularly. The benefit to using these rather than keeping the product in the original packaging is you can see at a glance when you are low on an item. They are also vacuum sealed which keeps the product fresher and bugs out. There are several brands available at Bed Bath and Beyond. Oxo Good Grips is a favorite brand. We actually used the Snap Ware brand for this pantry makeover because of budget._
Maintaining Your Success
Strategy 4 is Maintain your Success. Maintenance is essential to your success. The secret to maintaining your success is the understanding of this simple concept. Maintenance is a list of recurring tasks.
They recur daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or once or twice a year. When you understand this concept and identify your recurring tasks and their frequency you will win the game of organizing. There is power in recurring tasks._________________________________________________________________
What are your recurring Kitchen tasks?
You need to make a list of them. The list below will give you some ideas for determining yours.
- Daily Tasks: Clean as you go | Clear countertops | Run dishwasher every evening | Unload dishwasher every morning
- Weekly Tasks : Remove Spoilage from the refrigerator | Plan menus | Grocery Shop
- Monthly Tasks: Wash out refrigerator | Detail cleaning of countertop appliances
- Twice a Year: Straighten cabinets and drawers | Wash down fronts of cabinets
When you know what needs to get done you can more easily deligate the tasks too. You don’t have to do it all yourself, you just need to make sure that it gets done