Alright.. how are we doing when it comes to the organization challenge? Keeping up? Getting behind? Never started? Ha. That’s ok! Take a minute and print off your checklist and join us this week! We are organizing our kitchens – woot woot! My kitchen was mostly organized for years and then when Covid hit and my kids’ activities stopped last spring I finally organized the lingering messy spots and shared the entire space on my blog. Whew! That was a workout. ;) It was so much organization to share that I had to break my kitchen down into 3 posts. I’m going to share a lot of the same pictures today with some kitchen organization tips, but if you haven’t seen those posts they do a better job of sharing EVERYTHING including where things are located. Lots of tips for organization but also some ideas if you are building/renovating/remodeling a kitchen this year. I hope my posts are helpful!
These kitchen decor pics are from last Spring and I’ve tweaked a few things this year but I’ll share that later in a kitchen decor post. For today we are focusing on all things organization! Sidenote – really, truly, if you are behind with this challenge that’s ok! I am too! Ha. I’m still finishing up my main floor laundry room but my kitchen is organized so I can work on my laundry room this week. If you need to finish laundry or bathroom stuff do that and circle back to kitchens at the end of the challenge or during another week (if the room for that week is already organized or doesn’t take as long). Just whatever you do don’t give up and stop! Progress is progress no matter how small it is!
Tackle kitchen cupboards and drawers just like we did in our bathrooms. Open the messy cupboard and gasp.
Pull every single item out. Vacuum/wash out the cupboard/drawer. Toss/donate as much as you possibly can!
Then put the items you really love/use often back in an organized way. Then we pause and listen for the singing angels. ;)
It’s a good feeling to have your kitchen looking clean when the cupboards/drawers are closed.
It’s an even better feeling to have the kitchen really clean when the cupboards/drawers are open.
I have a lot more space in this kitchen than I did in previous kitchens but honestly that makes it harder for me to keep it organized! The way to truly be organized is to have less stuff. I’ve found that more cupboards just get filled with more clutter that we don’t really need.
Be ruthless about what you keep! If you haven’t used it in the past 6 months to a year say good-bye.
Let go of dishes that collect dust and never get used.
Say good-bye to the 100 cups everywhere. (I keep kids’ every day plastic cups in a different cupboard.)
If your drawers are already mostly organized take some time to vacuum the crumbs out quick and check if there is anything you can say good-bye to that you haven’t been using.
Toss toss toss. Edit edit edit.
Silverware drawers always end up with dust/crumbs. Why that is I’ll never understand but take some time to vacuum/wash those drawers out too! (Or is it just at my house!? Sometimes I wonder if my kids just stand over this drawer with a box of crackers! ha.)
Now is the time to toss any old dish cloths that are worn out or smell even after you wash them. Some of my favorites are on sale! I’m ordering a new set for spring. :)
If you have a drawer/cupboard that you’ve organized but it just isn’t staying that way, re-think how you’re organizing it. I kept cleaning this drawer out and weeks later it would be messy again. I finally separated the lids from the Tupperware with a drawer divider and now it’s so easy to keep organized! Looks just like this still today. Figure out what isn’t working. Your spaces have to be organized in a way you can easily maintain them or you’ll be back to square one in no time. The goal is to organize everything once and then just maintain and forget about it!
Go through your spices this week and toss anything that has expired or that you’re not using!
I wish I could toss all of my spices and just stop cooking. (sigh) ;)
Even if you love to cook you don’t need 30 post and pans. Go through them and only keep what you’re really using often. Clean out the space they are in and put only favorites back!
I am able to keep my pullout pot/pan drawers organized because I finally moved the lids to a new location. So nice because I don’t even use the lids when I cook most of the time! Separate lids if that would help you too. (Lots of kitchen organizers I love/recommend are at the end of this post.)
Really clean. :)
Wipe out under the kitchen sink and only keep/put back items you use often.
Find a good spot for those pesky water bottles. Also get rid of half of them! (Ideas for how to store water bottles are in my collage at the end of this post if you don’t have a drawer for them.)
Keep most used items near the places you use them daily.
If you keep cleaning supplies in your kitchen go through those too and toss what you aren’t using anymore.
Do the same thing with medication if you keep it in your kitchen like I do. Again, think about where you use items. I could keep medication, bandaids, etc. in a linen closet, but where do we all hang out the most? The kitchen. It’s nice to have easy access to things like this that we use often.
If your pantry is really messy you might want to spend this whole week working on your pantry when you have time. That’s ok! Pantries take time to really organize well in a way that you can maintain them.
I organized my pantry like this years ago (as many of you know!) and haven’t had to re-organize it once since then. Every single time I get groceries (every few days around here) I empty containers and put things back where they go and do a quick tidy. My kids know where things go and are pretty good to put things back in the right spot. I vacuum crumbs out of the baskets and drawers every few weeks. It’s easy to maintain spaces when they are organized in a way that make sense.
If you have kids I recommend setting up a set place for snacks that’s easy for the kids to access. Use a bin or basket if you don’t have drawers.
This was my pantry in my previous house. Much smaller and to be honest.. easier for me to keep clean! I was ruthless about what I kept.
This is my sister’s pantry! She just organized it a few weeks ago so I’m adding it to this post to give you a few more ideas. She was texting me pics while she was working on it and I was so happy for her. Best feeling getting the pantry organized! They eat a variety of cereal so it’s easier for her to just keep cereal in original boxes. We eat the same 4 cereals over and over and humidity can be an issue here so I like to use these cereal containers. Do whatever works best for you and your family! Pantries come in all shapes and sizes and some of us don’t even have one. Just work with the space you have. If you have a smaller space you are going to have to keep even less and maybe set up a shelf for overflow in the garage, but it can still be organized and set up in a functional, easy to use way!
A couple more before/afters to get us all motivated this week! Most kitchens have a dreaded junk drawer.
I prefer mine to be not so junky. :)
Sometimes kitchens become catch alls for other random things because we all hang out in our kitchens so much. Our cord drawer looked like the above picture for years until I finally did something about it!
Remember to gelt rid of what you don’t need first and then seen what organizers would help keep your space organized.
I’m happy to say that this drawer (and the rest of my kitchen!) still looks like these pictures I shared with you today. I say that not for a pat on the back (although I’ll give myself one because sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that we’re making progress!) but to show you that it really is possible to organize a space and then keep it that way. I promise! After this challenge we’ll talk a lot more about routines and habits that have helped me keep things organized, but first we have to organize everything! One room each week. We’ve got this. :)
Below are some of my favorites for kitchen organization! May the force be with you!