Monday, April 4, 2011

Organizing - 5 Low-cost Ways to Organize Your Kitchen Now

Please welcome our guest blogger Carmen Coker of she'll be telling us how to organize our kitchens today....

As the saying goes, the kitchen is the heart of the home. But your kitchen can also be the heap of the home if you let clutter pile up!

Here are 5 easy, low-cost ways to organize your kitchen now:

(1) Edit your counter space.

It's so easy to put most of your appliances on the counter top. It's totally understandable - you get quick access whenever you need something.

The problem? Most of us are true conformists to the 80/20 rule; 80% of what we keep, we never use. And that includes 80% of what's on your counter!

So look at what's on top of your counters and ask yourself...does this really need to be in my kitchen? If not, then it probably doesn't really need to be in your house at all.

(2) Out with the old to make room for the new.

You wouldn't really eat stale crackers, would you? Then why are they in your kitchen? Get them - and all other expired or outdated foods - out of your cabinets, pantries, fridges, and freezers.

Of course, food isn't the only thing that might have worn out its welcome. Donate any cookbooks or kitchen gadgets that haven't been used in 1-2 years or more. Scrutinize any freebies you've nabbed recently, like sports squeeze bottles and koozies. Truth be told, you didn't really need them in the first place, and you likely don't really need them now.

(3) Divide and conquer.

Think about how you use your kitchen when you're making dinner. Separate your kitchen into distinct quadrants based on your kitchen habits (i.e. cooking, preparing, cleaning, storing) and then organize utensils accordingly.

(4) Think outside-the-box...or in this case, outside the kitchen.

The kitchen is a high-traffic area, and often times, stuff will find its way into the vicinity. Designate a bin or basket for items that should not be in the kitchen. At the end of each day, have an assigned family member fill the container with the non-kitchen items and carry them back to the room where they belong.

In addition, bulk foods purchases and items like china - which are used sparingly or only a few times a year - can be stored elsewhere in your home to free up more space in the kitchen.

(5) Turn your paper piling into paper filing.

I don't know about you, but mail and other paperwork seem to multiply and take over my counter if I don't take care of it immediately! One solution: hang large envelopes and label one per family member. Use these containers to distribute papers, mail, messages, etc. Another idea? Store take-out menus in a file folder and tuck the folder away in a drawer near the phone or inside the phone book.

Carmen Coker is a professional organizer who helps individuals find the motivation and know-how to get organized and stay organized. To learn how to save money, create more space, and manage your time through organization, claim your "FREE Tip Kit: 10+ Pages of Tips and Tools to Help You Get Organized — Finally!" at