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In the past few weeks several people have asked me for organizational advice. My super-organized mother instilled it in my upbringing, making it almost second nature to me. But one of my friends complained that she hadn’t been trained as I had, and needed to know how I did it, step by step. Over the next few weeks (or possibly longer), I will lay out how I organize various areas in my house to be effective and efficient.
This week I’m tackling the kitchen food, because this tends to be an area that is disorganized and inconvenient.
Step 1: Know What You Have
You are going to need some space for this. Clear off counters, tables, floors, whatever it takes. Pull out all your food items. Look through them.
Step 2: Purge
Chances are you are going to find expired, non-used or other non-usable items. I found that most of my spices were long overdue for replacing, and I had a jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and a can of salmon lurking in the recesses (neither of which I use normally)
Step 3: Sort It All Out
Put like items together. Spices should go together, and if necessary, consolidated. Grains, pasta, rices, all should be placed together. You might find you have duplicates, like the two bottles of molasses I found lurking together. And while most of my spices were ready for replacing, I found two new jars of peppercorns!
Step 4: Clean Your Spaces
Take a soapy rag and/or a vacuum cleaner to get your spaces clean. This is important, as food crumbs can attract insects.
Step 5: Plan Your Space
Figure out how you use your food. For example, breakfast foods should be stored together. Things for drinks (cocoa, coffee, creamer, tea) as well. Baking supplies are another grouping, as are pastas, sauces and cooking condiments (vinegars, wines and such).
Step 6: Put It Back
Put your food back, moving it as close to where it can be used as possible. I have a cupboard dedicated to baking supplies, which is near the measuring cups, mixing bowls and baking pans. Our drinks are stored in the cupboard below the coffee maker.
By following these steps, you should have an organized kitchen. The best part: once organized, you can keep it that way with very little effort. Put things away when you are done and regularly purge.
Photo by Incase Designs