If you’re just now joining us, welcome! So glad to have you! This post is step three of The Kitchen Overhaul series. You can catch up by starting with 3 Simple Steps to An Organized Kitchen.
For the rest of you, this is the moment you’ll thank yourself for thinking ahead. You’ve made a detailed plan, sorted, purged, and categorized your kitchen inventory, and cleaned your cabinets. This next step will be a breeze. Go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back.
Okay, now back to work. The fruits of your labor are on the horizon. Just one more step. Can’t you just feel the excitement in the air? Or is it just me? Maybe I’ve just been inhaling too much Clorox…
Regardless, enough chitchat. Let’s get right to it.
Step 3: Place your items.
It’s time to consult that handy-dandy floorplan you created in step one. Start on one side of the kitchen, and work your way around. When refilling your cabinets, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
-You don’t have to use every nook and cranny. It’s good to have extra space. (Just don’t let it become an excuse to buy more stuff.) I have several empty shelves in certain cabinets, and some of my drawers are totally unused. I realize this may sound weird, but it’s my security blanket of sorts. I find comfort in knowing the space is there, even if I don’t need it at the moment. Kind of like an emergency fund. Am I crazy? Probably. But it works for me.
-Place heavier items on the lower shelves of your cabinet. Don’t set yourself up for a back spasm by storing your KitchenAid mixer in your kitchen’s nosebleed seats.
-Maximize your cabinets’ space by stacking certain items and storing baking sheets, cutting boards, and muffin tins on their sides.
So, now you have a beautifully organized kitchen. It wasn’t too painful, right? But I bet you’re wondering how in the world you’ll maintain this. Hmm…I should invent a kitchen alarm that sounds when family members don’t return things to their proper places. But until I get that patent, here are some other ideas:
–Make things pretty. Your heart should do a little happy dance every time you open that cabinet door. The lovelier the setup, the more motivation you’ll find to maintain it. Instead of my favorite, white contact paper, consider lining your drawers with a fun pattern.
–Use Scripture. Fill your heart and mind with verses that encourage you in this journey. Here are a few to get you started:
- “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men,” -Colossians 3:23, NIV
- “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27, ESV
- “Do all things without grumbling or questioning,” Philippians 2:14, ESV
- “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13, NIV
–Create labels. Make it easy for everyone. I label everything. I even labeled a clear container of cotton balls, you know, just in case. For some creative label ideas, check out Hometalk’s “Tag You’re It.”
–Find an accountability partner. Recruit an organizing buddy. Swap ideas and work together on your respective kitchens (or whatever else you might want to tackle). Commit to regularly sending each other pictures of the spaces you want to maintain. If you have to report to someone else, you’re more likely to keep the area tidy.
–Set aside time to fluff your stuff. Make a habit of taking a few minutes at the end of each week to re-straighten your cabinets and drawers before the mess gets out of hand.
And finally, don’t beat yourself up if this doesn’t come easily. The goal of organization is to make life easier. It does take some work, but it shouldn’t add to your stress. That totally defeats the purpose.
If you find a system incredibly difficult to maintain, rethink your methods. Look for ways to simplify. Brainstorm new ideas. Where one approach fails, countless other techniques are just waiting to be tested. It’s a process of trial and error.
And that’s the fun of organization–it’s like a puzzle. When all the pieces finally fit, it creates a beautiful, satisfying picture. (Who knew organization could be so poetic?)
Or maybe you’ve found the right system, but you’re striving for an impossible standard. Lower your expectations. (Believe me, this has been a hard lesson for this recovering perfectionist to learn.) Perhaps you’re at a season in life when young children make it nearly impossible to maintain perfect order. Or maybe you have a demanding job that doesn’t allow much spare time. Accept that, for now, you might have to settle for less than your ideal. And that’s okay. There’s more to life than organization. Yes, I know that’s tough to believe.
Anyway, here’s the final part of The Kitchen Overhaul:
- Head to your freshly organized coffee supplies.
- Marvel at the beauty of your stacked Keurigs and newly purged mug collection.
- Make a cup of coffee.
- Relax at your kitchen table and revel in your reclaimed space.
- Return all supplies to their proper places. 🙂