Clearing the kitchen of unnecessary clutter
BY NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Monday, September 24, 2012
9/24/12 at 4:11 AM
Kitchens are always one of the busiest rooms of the house. That is the reason they are also one of the most cluttered.
On top of being used for cooking, many families spend much of their time just hanging out in the kitchen, and so it often becomes a "catch-all for mail, kids' toys and homework," said Faith Earls, a professional Tulsa organizer who owns the company Completely Organized.
Monika MacIntyre is the owner of Checkmark Concierge, a company that offers personal assistants to help people with numerous tasks, including organizing. She said the biggest causes of an unorganized kitchen are "too much stuff, not enough storage or not putting things back where they belong."
Earls and MacIntyre offer several tips to help you keep your kitchen organized.
Be a minimalist
To keep your kitchen neat yet functional, MacIntyre emphasizes simplicity and minimization.
"Less is more," she said. "Adding too much clutter will make your kitchen look messy, feel smaller and not be functional when cooking."
MacIntyre advises eliminating duplicates.
"Do you really need three blenders and 15 wooden spoons? Really?"
Earls agrees that the minimalist mentality is important.
"One does not need 30 Tupperware containers," she said.
A home for everything
Earls said when considering how to start organizing your kitchen, remember that "everything needs a home."
"Organize the pantry by categories of food," she said. "For example, keep canned goods together."
For cabinets, consider a Lazy Susan to keep items like spices, vitamins or dishes accessible," she said.
When it comes to your kitchen tools, organize them by use.
"For example, keep spatulas together in one drawer and dish towels together in one drawer," she said.
MacIntyre said it's also important to place things where it makes sense to put them. Think about where you will be when you need them.
"Put pots and pans near the stove, towels near the sink, appliances you use on a daily or weekly basis on the counter," she said.
Eliminate the unnecessary
"This goes for organizing any space: If you haven't used it in the past year, you probably don't need it," MacIntyre said. "Donate it, consign it or have a garage sale. If it's broken, throw it out."
Earls also advises getting rid of any Tupperware container that does not have a matching lid.
Finally, items that do not belong in the kitchen need to be moved out of the kitchen, she said.
For small kitchens
"For people with small kitchens, make sure and utilize every drawer and cabinet," Earls said.
She also suggests using an air-tight container to store appliances that are only used a few times a year and placing them in the garage or attic.
MacIntyre said those with small kitchens should also utilize vertical space.
"Think about adding shelves up high in your pantry to keep season items or items you don't use often," she said.
Earls offers this tip to help you maintain the organization of your kitchen: "Every night, spend 15 minutes clearing any clutter that has been added that day."
Take steps to clean out your cabinets, drawers and pantry.
1. Pull everything out.
2. Wipe shelves or bottoms of drawers, then line them with contact paper.
3. Group like items together.
4. Get rid of duplicates or unused items.
5. Use organizing tools like silverware dividers and pot lid holders.
Original Print Headline: Clearing the kitchen of clutter
Nour Habib 918-581-8369
Simplicity and minimization are key in the kitchen, says Monika MacIntyre, owner of Checkmark Concierge. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World