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Monday, January 04, 2016

Organization and de-cluttering--- it is what is happening in 2016

I joined a group that gives specific items to organize each week, I have condensed the list and articles to a more manageable level.
Join =
Week #1 Organized Home Challenge
Kitchen Organization: Countertops & Sink

This week's challenge is all about kitchen organization, both overall and with specific emphasis on keeping your countertops and sink clear and clean. The reason I chose this challenge as the first of the year is because keeping your kitchen organized (and functional) is so important to keeping our whole house running smoothly, and can have such a positive impact in our lives.
Step 1: Think About The Functions Of Your Kitchen  Before we dive in to action for the kitchen organization challenge, let's make sure we're headed in the right direction to best suit the needs of our home and family as we organize. That means we need to consider how we currently use our kitchen, either intentionally or unintentionally, and how we want to use it in the future.
Common Functions In Kitchens  There are both obvious functions of a kitchen, and the sometimes unintended functions of a kitchen, because of its central location as a hub of family life. Here are some of the most common uses and functions. See which ones you use yours for: Cooking (also including food preparation)     Food storage (both cold storage and pantry) Recipe and cookbook storage     Home recycling center  Place we drop stuff as it comes in the house, from paper clutter, such as bills, homework, school papers, etc. to keys, and whatever else we have in our hands as we walk in the door

Step 2: Create Useable Counter Space And Clear Your Kitchen Table (Mostly)
Once you've decided how you want to use your kitchen you can begin taking action to meet those goals, and to take control of the space.  This week in the kitchen organization challenge we'll focus on counter space and keeping your sink clear, and focus on other areas later in the challenge. (If you're interested check at the bottom of the page for a sneak peek for the upcoming weeks' challenges related to the kitchen).

Why Clear Counters Are So Important
There are two main reasons why keeping your counters (mainly) clear is so important to home organization.  The first is that you need clear counter space to do many different cooking activities. Since this is the primary function of a kitchen you need space to do these tasks. The second is more of a mental reason. Seeing clear space, instead of cluttered space, is just much more calming and can keep you from feeling so stressed when you enter the room.

Declutter Or Put Away Stuff On Your Counters That Does Not Fit Your Kitchen's Functions
Once you've decided what the functions of your kitchen and its counters you can remove any items that don't fit those functions.

Harder Task: Decluttering And Putting Away Items On Your Counter That Do Fit Your Kitchen's Functions
These are the types of items where you need to start really thinking about how often you use them, to know if they deserve a spot on the counter or not. Definitely, if you have room, keep out appliances that you use daily, like a coffee maker or toaster (if you truly use them daily). Depending on the size of your kitchen, you may even decide you have enough room to keep out appliances you use on a weekly basis.

However, anything you don't use at least weekly should not be on your counter top. Instead, it should be put away somewhere else, perhaps in a cabinet in your kitchen, or in a storage area if you only use it once a year.
The rule to remember for kitchen organization, or really any organization for that matter, is that the more frequently you use something the easier it should be to get to. The converse is also true, so if you use it infrequently, don't let it take up prime real estate in your storage areas.

Declutter The Following Types Of Gadgets And Appliances
Some kitchen gadgets and small appliances shouldn't be stored at all, but instead should just be decluttered all together. Here's some simple guidelines to follow, to know when to just throw it away (or donate it to charity).

Too old    Broken  You have duplicates  You know you'll just never use it again (or haven't used it in the last year, at least)
Make It A Habit To Declutter & Clear Your Kitchen Table Daily

The solution: daily take a few minutes and clear your kitchen table of previous activities so it is ready for the next meal, the next family board game night, to tackle the math homework, or whatever else.
Step 3: Consider These Kitchen Storage Solutions To Help Clear Counter Space

Sometimes it is helpful, as a part of your kitchen organization project, to have some items out of drawers or cabinets, such as frequently used pots and pans, or kitchen utensils, but you don't want them to take up too much counter space. Here are some kitchen storage solutions and ideas to consider to keep your counters free of clutter, and still have access to frequently used items:
Rails, racks and hooks to hang pots and pans (such as from the ceiling) or utensils (from the wall)

Knife block or magnetic knife storage for the wall  Decorative utensil crock or holder to hold utensils close to stove
Step 4: Create The Habit Of Keeping Your Sink Clear Of Dishes At Least Two Times Per Day

The other part of this kitchen organization challenge that goes along with clearing your countertops, is to begin or stick with the habit of keeping your sink clear of dirty dishes, at least most of the time.
*****My notes - keeping the sink area clean is a major focus this year and not leaving dirty dishes in the sink each night that way going into the kitchen to cook isn't so hard because I don't have to clean before I cook.
Items to put away because they are not used daily even weekly - mixer, blender, spice rack, steamer
Spice rack is now gone and the spices are all cleaned out and ready for a new year.
Steamer has a new home. I know where I want to out the mixer and the blender however I have to clean those cupboards first.

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