#4: Common Kitchen Problem Areas {Organizing Boot Camp}

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Just joining the Organizing Boot Camp? Here is what you missed:

Assignment #1: Reset & Living Standards
Assignment #2: The Junk Drawer
Assignment #3: Hall Closets

And you’ll want to make sure you read How To Organize for a reminder in the process.

Your assignment this weekend is to single out some common kitchen problem areas and organize them. We will focus on the areas you use most frequently.

Assignment #4: Organize the plates, cups, silverware, and food prep/leftover containers.

Step 1: Declutter

Target the areas in your kitchen where you keep the plates, cups, silverware, and food prep/leftover containers. Take out everything in those cabinets and drawers, decluttering until you are only left with what you want to keep.

Consider how much of these items you’d need if you washed your dishes daily. If “what if” scenarios haven’t happened in the last 6 months, let the excuses and the items go.

Time saving tip: As you touch each item while pulling it out, immediately put it in your relocate, donate, trash, recycle, or keep pile. Don’t let the process drag out painfully. Practice making quick decisions. Do you really need this thing? Did you stick it in the closet because you don’t know what to do with it and you are postponing getting rid of it? 

Reminder: Read How To Declutter here for a refresher.

Step 2: Sort like with like

Are your dishes scattered all over the kitchen and cups here and there. Get all of these items sorted.

Time saving tip: To continue with the time saving tip from Step 1, go ahead and sort like with like as you place things in the keep pile. Don’t get stuck on minute details. Keep up a good pace!

Step 3: Put the stuff back

Put the stuff back in!

Organizing Rule of thumb: Put the things you use more frequently in the easiest to access places. Lesser used items can go in the harder to reach places.

Step 4: Utilize containers or organizing tools

Does your organizer for your silverware drawers doing a good job for you? As you consider containers and tools you use to organize, don’t be afraid to change what isn’t working.

Don’t forget to measure your spaces before you go shopping!

Step 5: Make your kitchen look nice

Honestly, the best way to make these areas in your kitchen look nice is to declutter them well! Seriously, if you don’t like how it looks at this step: declutter more!

Step 6: Make a plan to maintain

To maintain these commonly used kitchen areas, maintain the one in, one out rule. If you get a new mug, choose your least favorite to go.

Otherwise, sprucing it up during the annual 91 Day Declutter should suffice.

So that is Assignment #4! 

Your next assignment will come early next week.

Get to it, soldier! Report back and let me know when you finish.

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Summer Organizing Boot Camp 2015

7 thoughts on “#4: Common Kitchen Problem Areas {Organizing Boot Camp}

  1. you say to utilize the proper containers and tools. This is my problem. I have so many utensils that I need! I have 2 large crocks on the counter and 3 drawers full and it still looks messy. I don’t have a walk in pantry so food is all over the cabinets. I also have lots of odd size leftover containers that are hard to store neatly. Finally I have 2 high deep cabinets that are hard to reach.

    1. It sounds like the real problem is there is still some decluttering left to do. Do you really need all of those odd-sized leftover containers? Do you use 2 crockpots frequently? Could you dedicate one cabinet as the food cabinet instead of having it spread all over? Do you have room for a shelf in/near your kitchen or eating area for more storage?

    1. Ha! Well, that makes much more sense. :) Maybe try sticking all of those utensils in a box and over the next month, only pull out something when you really need it and then you can put it away in the kitchen. This might show you what you’re really using and not using.

  2. For those deep cabinets, measure and find pull out drawers. They are a life saver! (And backs, too!) if you don’t think you/someone can install these, find baskets that you can pull out like a drawer. You will have to watch weight of items, and be careful not to pull out too far before it falls out, but it makes reaching items you want much easier. I love mine!

    1. I agree. Converting deep cabinets to pull out drawers is ideal! Some of my clients have taken that recommendation and it made a big difference!!!

  3. I’ve reorganized the contents in my kitchen cabinets multiple times over the years. After hubby retired mostly. He just wasn’t able to put the stuff back where I did. Need I mention that I can telescope multiple items in the same space. Would love to do the pull out drawers but finances prohibit. However I have a suggestion for Cheryl (I did this for a church kitchen that had multiple donations of kitchen serving spoons)-1.) determine sizes and types of servers you use most [slotted, small holes, solid serving spoons; pie servers, spatulas, knives, etc.] because if you are like the church kitchen– you have an extensive collection of various utensils acquired over the years. 2.) Remove any that are unsafe. 3.) Count and list them. 4.) Get ready to get rid of them after you go shopping. Really! 5.) Go to a commercial kitchen supply place such as Chef Smart in Winston Salem, NC or you can order online at places such as Instaware
    and purchase replacements that stack together neatly. I purchased about 3 dozen and replaced them: now all the serving pieces now fit neatly in one drawer–Like with like.

    Note that you can retrofit your serving and prep dishes with commercial ones that are space saving and stack together neatly. I have 8 prep bowls that take up only the space of one large crock type prep bowl or mixing bowl. I have 16 multiple serving spoons that stack into the space of only 2 large serving spoons. I bought a knife block at Goodwill and filled it with knives I use and gifted the rest away with the exception of my chef set that is in a proper carrier away from small children. Now I don’t use all these things everyday, however I use them when I prep and cook for 50 on the holidays. The catering pans are outside in a storage shed on shelves where I can easily access them. I’m working on claiming a chrome set of shelves in the adjacent dining/computer room for the larger pots that I use on a monthly basis.

    For those pesky deep cabinets– I once visited a house where the home had the blind corner on the outside of the island next to the dining area. An access door had been added. I’ve been looking at my setup here at home and think that might be viable in the near future. It won’t work for my sink/stove corner but will work for the other. I’m think of extending full shelves on the bottom and adding doors on the other sides. Should work. Time will tell.

Leave a comment! I love to hear what you think!