With a new year, comes new intentions. And one of the most common intentions is to live a healthier lifestyle which in part, is connected to creating an optimally organized kitchen. If you love your kitchen, know what you have and can easily find everything, you are more likely to spend time in it cooking healthier meals and feeling less stressed. To help you achieve your best space yet, here is my “go-to” guide to create sustainable organizing solutions that you will be able to maintain while maximizing storage space in your kitchen.
Set the Intention to Optimize Your Space. Studies have shown there is a connection between mental and physical clutter. Whether you are tackling everyday clutter like creating an organizing system for your mail and keys at the front door or accumulated clutter in your kitchen drawers and cabinets. A new year offers a fresh start and a new beginning to creating your optimal spaces. We see first-hand that an organized space leads to an organized mind and you will feel so much better, happier and less stressed in your kitchen once you can see and easily access all of your items!
Declutter and Edit. Decluttering is the first step to creating an organized space. You need to know all of the different items and quantities of what you have before you can create a proper home for them.
1. Pull all items out that consist of one category (for example, all tupperware no matter where they are in your home). Being able to view your items in totality makes it much easier to go through and edit them.
2. Go through and make a decision on each item. First, pull out what are definitely keeps. Second, pull out what you definitely don’t want and put it in the donate pile. Lastly, go through the remaining items. If you get stuck on anything, put it to the side and then go back to it at the end of going through everything so you keep the momentum going.
3. For any items that you get stuck on, ask yourself:
• "Do I use this? If so, when was the last time?"
• "If I were shopping today, would I buy this?"
• Why is it hard for me to part with this item? At Let Laura, we believe in getting to the root of why an object is so important to someone. Sometimes we have an emotional attachment to objects that make no sense for our current space and lives. Our aim is to ensure you keep that wonderful emotional feeling while streamlining your physical space.
• "What’s the worst that will happen if I donate this?"
PRO TIP: If you are not outsourcing this job to a pro like Let Laura, start small and tackle one section at a time. By breaking larger projects into smaller projects you will avoid feeling overwhelmed. For example, try decluttering one drawer per day in your kitchen to keep the organizing process manageable instead of tackling everything at once. The goal is to set yourself up for success!
Categorize. After you review and edit the current items in your space, re-group them into like categories so you can put all your mixing bowls together in one place instead of having them in several different drawers or cabinets. Your mind will feel so much more organized and relaxed as you designate one home for all of the items you have.
PRO TIP: If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to recycle unmatched tupperware containers and water bottles!
Optimize your space with the proper product solutions to create sustainable systems. Every space is different and below are some of our favorite product solutions for creating a super organized kitchen. It is essential to measure before ordering as this will ensure that you are maximizing your space and only ordering once! If these specific solutions don't work, there are other variations and sizes on the market!
• Lazy Susan: We use this to corral oils, vinegars and honey or other sticky sweeteners (as well as many other things)! It is optimal because it creates easy accessibility and clean up when those items get messy (which they always do). Grouping like items together makes them extremely accessible while you are cooking. You can leave it on your counter or tuck it away inside a cabinet close to your stove. If wood isn’t your jam, they also make versions in stainless steel and plastic.
• Dividers: Tall and slender kitchen cabinets can waste a lot of valuable space. Our solution is using this item to sort cutting boards, platters and baking sheets. These dividers keep your items neat, visible and accessible.
• Pull Out Cabinet Organizer: If you have deep cabinets in your kitchen this product will be your new best friend. Most recently we installed one of these to create a dedicated kids section storing all their plates, bowls and cups. Kids and parents usually love this because it groups all like items in one area and offers your sous-chef independence!
• Drawer Organizers and Drawer Dividers: These are great for containing different categories of items. Use them to create a home for your kitchen utensils, bottle openers, chip clips, can openers and peelers. If you have a junk drawer in the kitchen, use these to define the categories of items so you know what you have and can easily find things.
• Knife Dock: If you are in need of counter space this is a game-changer. Utilize the space in your drawers efficiently and create room for your knives. Having fewer items on the counter achieves a cleaner and more organized look in your kitchen and extra kitchen prep space!
• Cabinet Shelf: If you are tight on cabinet space and still want to be able to see all of your items and easily access your most frequent ones, this product is for you. Being able to easily see and reach for what you need will make your kitchen time feel easier.
• Clear Pantry Bins or Water Hyacinth Storage Bins: If your pantry is a disaster, this is the solution you didn't know you needed. Group your different categories of food together for easy access (baking, pastas, grains, legumes, etc.). By being able to see everything, you will know exactly what you need to order for groceries (and don't) and we promise your future self will thank you!
Maintain. Labeling is essential to maintaining your organizational systems! We love this labeler because it is easy to use, budget-friendly (and so are the label tape refills which is an important factor that most people overlook) and does exactly what it’s supposed to - LABEL! Once the designated areas become full or too crowded, it's time to go through and declutter again! Enjoy the beautiful and organized space you have created!
Once you have a system in place, it will be easy to manage all the items that flow in and out of your kitchen without it ever becoming clutter. Enjoy the NEW normal you have created and all the time and money you will be saving by knowing exactly what you have!
Let Laura’s mission is to help create purposeful places for the important things in your life, opening up space and time to focus on living the life you love. Their clients want to make their lifestyle and physical spaces more efficient, less chaotic and overall better. The Company shares your desire to keep things practical and pretty. Their systems will help you create a life that is simple, stylish and sustainable.
Laura has been called fun, detailed, creative, genuine and optimistic. She has always believed the more positive your outlook, the more positive your outcome. When she is not solving space challenges or alleviating the stress of the moving process for clients, you can find her hanging out with her husband and daughter, traveling the world (she has been to forty-two countries and counting!), playing at the water’s edge or cooking up something delicious at home.
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