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Tips For Organizing Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of any home — but does your home have heart disease? Are cooking and cleaning more of a chore than they need to be — because your cabinets and pantry are jumbled and disorganized? Try these tips for clearing the clutter and setting up an efficient and functional kitchen.

Creating Your Five Centers

Checkmark-Iconset up a “station” for each of the five basic kitchen activities

Xmark-Iconkeep your equipment nearest the appropriate center

Checkmark-Iconmaking it easier for you to perform kitchen duties

Xmark-Iconcleaning — sink, dishwasher, trashcan, soap, rags, sponges, etc.

Checkmark-Iconcooking — stove, pots, pans, microwave, toaster, etc.

Xmark-Iconfood prep — countertop, mixing bowls, blender, measuring cups, etc.

Checkmark-Iconfood storage — refrigerator, Tupperware, canned foods, etc.

Xmark-Iconserving — dishes, linens, candles, flatware, glasses, etc.

Following The Triangle Theory

Checkmark-Iconpay attention to your movement from one center to the next

Xmark-Iconyou should be able to reach major appliances in only a few steps

Checkmark-Iconset up your kitchen as a triangle

Xmark-Iconmoving from stove to sink to refrigerator

Checkmark-Iconkeep these paths clear of obstacles — trash cans, dog dish, etc.

Honey, Is This Good?

Xmark-Iconremember that even non-perishable foods go bad

Checkmark-Icongo through your cabinets and clean out

Xmark-Iconget rid of anything rancid, old, stale, or hairy

Checkmark-Iconfollow some basic guidelines about how long food stays edible

Xmark-Iconcanned foods — 2-5 years

Checkmark-Iconcereal — 6 months

Xmark-Iconpasta — 1 year

Checkmark-Iconspices — 6-12 months

Xmark-Iconflours — 3-6 months

Checkmark-Icongrains and legumes — 1 year

Xmark-Icondried herbs — 6 months

Checkmark-Iconcondiments — 1 year

Kitchen Design Questions

Xmark-Icondo you buy in bulk?

Checkmark-Iconwhat do you normally buy more of — boxed, frozen, or fresh foods?

Xmark-Icondo you eat in the kitchen or in the dining room?

Checkmark-Iconis the kitchen a social and family center?

Xmark-Icondo you have need of a computer in the kitchen?

Checkmark-Icondo you want a TV or CD player in the kitchen?

Xmark-Iconhow many meals a day do you cook? how many people do you cook for?

Checkmark-Icondo you do much large-scale entertaining?

Xmark-Icondo you prepare many elaborate or complicated meals?

Checkmark-Icondo you want a “pass-through” to the dining room?

Xmark-Iconwhat items do you use most frequently in your kitchen?

Checkmark-Iconhow many recipe books do you have? how often do you use them?

Xmark-Icondo you have any physical limitations?

Checkmark-Iconare you tall or short — requiring more high or low storage?

Organizing Your Cabinets And Pantry

Xmark-Iconlimit yourself to one category of paraphernalia per area — glasses on one shelf, dishes on another, etc.

Checkmark-Iconavoid storing food and cookware together in the same cabinet

Xmark-Icongroup foods in categories for easy access — canned vegetables, baking goods, breakfast foods, etc.

Checkmark-Iconalphabetize spices in a rack to make them easier to locate

Xmark-Iconkeep small packets of gravy, Jell-O, and sauces together in a basket

Transform Your Existing Storage Space

Checkmark-Iconstorage tools can do wonders with your current spaces

Xmark-Iconstepped shelving makes use of the back space in a deep cabinet

Checkmark-Icondrawer dividers keep utensils under control

Xmark-Iconrectangular storage containers take less space than round ones

Checkmark-Iconchoose containers that stack

Xmark-Iconline up pot lids and flat cookware in a vertical rack

Checkmark-Iconuse overhead bins, cup hooks, and racks for hanging storage

Xmark-Iconuse pullout racks and stacking bins to make use of dead space

Checkmark-Iconsave your counters for items you use daily

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Copyright 2010 RamonaCreel.com

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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