This week we are organizing our kitchen cabinets and drawers. This one really wasn't that hard for me, for two reasons. First, I don't have a lot of cabinet space in my small kitchen, which means I haven't got a lot of space to collect unused items. Second, I just sorted through stuff in the kitchen before Christmas, so there wasn't a whole lot to go through.
Step 1: Recall the Function of your Kitchen from Last Week
So last week, I decided my kitchen is for food prep/cooking only. This means that the only things that should take up residence in my kitchen cabinets are items relating to this function.
Step 2: Declutter Your Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers
This was a two-part step. Easiest was to declutter things that didn't belong in the kitchen and should be put away where they belong. There was a screwdriver that needed to find it's way back to the garage, and (I hate to admit it) some "snakes" from the 4th of July that had gotten put in the cabinet above the sink with the paper plates. Otherwise, things were pretty much good.
The other part of this step was to get rid of (trash or donate) things that were broken, duplicates, excess, or unused. I did this when I cleaned out the cabinets back in December, but I was still able to find a few things that I really didn't need sitting around. Several vases that I never used, a salt/pepper grinder set (how many do we need?), a BUNCH of water bottles. I also found several mugs that were "sentimental". We never drink out of them, and they were taking up valuable real estate, so they have moved to the basement to be dealt with when the time comes to address storage.
Step 3: Sort what is left according to how often you use it.
OK. This was actually easy for me. I'm short. So, if I ever want to reach anything above the second shelf in my cabinets, I have to haul out the stool. If I use it very often, it's already on a shelf I can reach. So my cabinets were pretty well sorted already. I guess being short does have some advantages!
Step 4: Strategically place everything in your kitchen cabinets and drawers according to their zones.
This was where my major cleanup came in. I do most of my prep work on the counter next to the window. The cabinets here held my good dishes and fancy serving pieces. The mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, bakeware, etc. were all in the cabinets next to the stove. So I did a big switcheroo and reversed them. It makes a lot of sense, actually. Especially since I have one of those annoying kitchen cabinets that goes back into a corner and you can't reach anything in it unless you empty the entire cabinet. (In fact, as I was emptying the cabinet, on the top shelf way in the corner, I found a Betty Crocker hand mixer that must have been left here by the previous owners - at least 7 years ago.) Now that is where my seldom used cut glass serving pieces are. And I discovered I have way more cut glass serving dishes than I knew!
Step 5: Consider kitchen storage solutions for your drawers and cabinets to maximize use of your available space.
I have one drawer I'm thinking I may have to do something about. It's that infamous "utensil drawer"? The one with the measuring cups, rolling pins, whisks, ladles, etc. Still going to think about how to handle that one!
So here are my before/after pictures. Not as dramatic as last week, but the pantry is up next, and I guarantee there need to be some changes there! :)