At The Happy Gal, we believe that life is just a little bit easier when you are organized. Organization in the kitchen? That’s a big part of healthy eating. After all, if it’s too hard to find what you need, when you need it – and your drawers are jamming every time you look for a whisk or a spatula – it’s going to be pretty easy to just throw in the towel and grab a pizza. So today on a local television lifestyle show, I taught Kitchen Organizing 101. I shared tips and some of my favorite products. Check it out!
But the help doesn’t stop there. If healthy eating is one of your goals, be sure to click HERE for a free 7-Day Healthy Meal Plan. You’ll get recipes for seven healthy dinners (that turn into a fresh, healthy lunch the next day.) This is just one more way that The Happy Gal is helping you have a happier, healthier, more organized life.
Here is a sneak peak of what I shared on the show:
Organize Your Kitchen: 4 Easy Ways to Get Organized
Use these drawer dividers by Lifestyle Systems, and you’ll never be searching for a spatula or a whisk again. I love the way these can be customized to fit any drawer. They install easily and can accommodate any odd shape. And don’t stop with the cooking utensils – these babies work for junk drawers, bathrooms, craft supplies – you name it. Click HERE for easy ordering.
A couple of great options here. If you have a drawer you can dedicate to your spices, this is going to be the easiest way to see what you have and find what you need. (Click HERE to order drawer inserts.) However, often drawer space is limited, and cabinets are the only option. Turn tables or baskets might contain the spices, but it doesn’t do much for helping you locate the one you’re looking for.
So if your spices are a jumbled mess on a shelf, this product is the solution. The YouCopia Spice Drawer even comes with pre-printed labels, and blank labels you can print yourself. You won’t be able to resist cooking once all of those spices are at your fingertips! Click HERE to order.
One of the most important concepts in organizing is what I call “zoning.” This means that you designate certain areas of your house for certain things. Some areas are worth more than others. For example, the shelf at eye level in your pantry has high value, whereas the bottom shelf in your basement storage room is not as useful. Therefore, you want to be sure that items you are placing in areas that are what I call “prime real estate” have similar value.
Take inventory of your large kitchen appliances. Make two piles: one for appliances you use at least once a week, and one for appliances that are used less. The appliances that are used each week deserve a spot in the prime real estate of your kitchen – a convenient shelf or cabinet. But the others? You can’t afford to allow them to occupy your prime real estate. This is how clutter is born, and it will hinder you when you are cooking in the kitchen. No one likes moving large, heavy appliances out of the way to get what they need.
And here is a favorite product to make this part more fun. Whether you use them a lot or a little, all appliances come with cords. I love wrapping them with these Velcro cord wraps to keep my cabinets from being a jumbled mess. You can find them HERE.
Because they are large, pantries present all sorts of organizational challenges. Food volume fluctuates, you have lots of people digging through it, and any organizing you do might seem to come undone quickly.
Here are a few quick tips:
Contain everything you can
Containers give boundaries to bags and packets and boxes that like to roam. I love using canisters for pasta, rice, beans, flour, sugar, etc. But if your budget can’t accommodate these canisters, another option is to find a large, clear container to hold bags of pasta, sauce packets, and especially snacks for children.
Empty individual snacks from their boxes into the snack bin. This is a great habit to get into when you are unloading groceries and stocking the pantry. This will make it easy for kids to see all of the options. Plus it eliminates those empty boxes that hang around in the pantry when someone takes the last snack. That drives me crazy!
One of the greatest pantry challenges I find is the damage hungry children can do. They roam each shelf, hoping to discover a stash of candy or a bag of chips. Create zones in your pantry – from baking to dinner ingredients to snacks – and then educate your family. They will know where to look for what they want, and can be trained to stay away from ingredients you might be saving for a recipe later in the week.
Label, label, label!
Label the bin, label the shelf it goes on, label the canister. This might seem overkill, but the intention is for everyone to know where to find everything, and to know exactly where to put it back. I’ve found that labels are the best insurance to keep your organizational efforts in tact. I love this labeler by Brother. Click HERE for easy ordering information.
Image by Sandrine Hudgens at creoleartphotography.com