3 Clutter Clearing Tips to Get Your Kitchen Organized

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This time of year I see lots of homes in transition from combining households for upcoming weddings to moving for a new job.  The clutter in these homes comes from lots of good living and not alot of time spent on maintaining order. This is especially true in the kitchen, dining and pantry areas. Here are three tips you can follow to clear your kitchen clutter.

1. Clean out the junk drawer (s).
Yes sometimes there are more than one.  Set a timer for 30 minutes and sort out the contents.  Throw away trash including scraps of paper, old twisties and broken items.

You can even let the kids do the sorting.  Tell them it’s a treasure hunt in which they have to match the different kinds of items and then let them keep any change they find.

Before you add items back into the drawer, add in a dividing tray to keep items from sliding around and provide a visible limit on contents.

2. Accumulate paper goods, plasticware, pots/pans then purge
Remember that once in a lifetime party last year with the awesome theme… why do you still have 200 napkins stashed away? What about the pan that’s lost its non- stick coating? Own 6 saucepans but only ever cook for 1? Have plastic tops with no containers and vice versa? Let it go. Some items may be recyclable and others may be donateable.

Think about what is used on a regular basis to guide your decision of how many is right for your lifestyle.

3. Regift/ donate small appliances you don’t like
Remember that blender that just didn’t fix your smoothies the way you like them?  It’s still in the cabinet.  Have 2 crockpots, coffee machines or toasters?  If you have a small appliance that doesn’t work like you need it too you’ve likely already forgotten about it or replaced it. Somebody else would love to have it so why not give it to them. 

If it’s still new and in the box, that makes an easier package to gift it to a friend.  You don’t have to wait for a special occassion either, just think of who might provide it a good useful home and give it away.

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home.  Clear out the clutter and fill your kitchen useful tools and lots of love this year.

Happy Organizing!

tt

Systems and Routines Support Success: Maintain Order in Your Space

This weekend I met a lady on the tarmack in Miami.  The calm peaceful smile on her face got me curious about her travel experience that day as mine had been quite interesting.  We struck up a conversation and it turns out she was heading home from 2 weeks in London celebrating a birthday with friends.  The trip had been adventurous yet she smiled because she was on her way home and just loved her new life.  She’d recently sold her 20+ year business in real estate and vacation property management.  Starting with just a fixer her husband bought as a gift, she took some construction courses and renovated into a bed and breakfast.  She later added more vacation rentals and a property management group that expanded the venture into an 80 property business! 

I was amazed she with a small team of 5 could keep up with all of these properties. She said that keeping a handle on time was the most important thing she tried to instill in her crew.  I asked what most played a role in her successful use of time while maintaining the properties.
The answer: Systems and routines.  When she’d been a housekeeper and later a nurse having a routine and sticking to it helped maintain the rooms quickly.  She worked top to bottom left to right in a sequence of steps that got everything done efficiently.
Of course this got me geeked as an organizer because so often I hear folks say I don’t know how or have the time to keep it up.  We all get the same amount of time in our day.  We can stretch the list of what gets done in the time available by implementing systems and routines, especially for rooms we often use and tasks we regularly perform.

Next time you go into a space that needs extra attention to stay organized follow these steps:

1. Be mindful about how you are using the space and the homes for items there. 
2. When you are done using the space write out a list of steps for how you put it back in order.
3. Try to repeat these steps a few times after you use the room. 
– IF it helps you to get the room consistently neater faster than you would in the past, congrats you have a new maintenance system. Continue using it.
– IF it doesn’t go so well fell free to make a few tweaks and try again.  Remember this has to work for you in your space and you are allowed to make changes to get it right.
4. Now choose how often you will go in to maintain your space.  Will it be right after you use it or on a scheduled basis?  Either way will work.

You can keep your space organized and appealing by investing the time to plan your maintenance routine and completing it regularly.

Happy Organizing!
tt