Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Steps to Re-Organizing Your Pantry - Part One

My spring cleaning has gotten off to a big start - I mean a really big start. I've been evaluating and researching my food pantry and have decided that there would be some huge benefits for me to create a year long working pantry.

So, the past month, I've been charting, shopping, couponing, stocking, researching, re-organizing and re-thinking how I do food from my Simple Home Kitchen. I'll post more details about my Simple Home Pantry changes in future posts, but for now, I want to share how important my kitchen is to me.

My kitchen is the heart of my home and it's always been my starting place for spring cleaning and organization. I believe the kitchen is the focal point and that life flows into and out of the kitchen.

My kitchen is my main working station. Everything I need to manage my home and be a good steward as a home maker is centered in my kitchen area.

I know that organizing the kitchen can be a bit overwhelming so here are my Simple Home Living steps to Organizing your kitchen.

Step One

Get out a notebook (used or new) and mark it: Kitchen! Next,take a look around your kitchen. Look at your counter top, refrigerator top, open drawers, cupboards, and look under the sink.

What do you see? Ask yourself:
1. What needs tossed? Old plastics, tefelon pans that are peeling, broken equipment, etc? Well used wooden spoons (which need to be replaced every three months)? Cutting boards - don't use a cutting board that you've cut chicken or other meat on with one you use for salad. You're cross contaminating.
2. What needs cleaned?
3. What needs to be removed - because it isn't necessary or doesn't belong there or because you have too many of them?
4. What needs re-organized? (the knife drawer, cups, plastics)
5. What needs to be in a better spot? Is your counter top cluttered? Is everything on your counter or just what you use on a regular basis? Is your counter top space used effectively? Do you need cabinet organizers or shelves to make better use of space? Does your spice rack need attention?

Step Two
Write it down and start SIMPLE. If you feel overwhelmed, ask a girlfriend to help you out. A few years ago, my daughter Candace came over and re-organized all my cupboards. She had eyes to see things that I couldn't. That boost helped me to continue to make further changes.

In the past, my counter tops were pretty cluttered. My daughter, Jenni, helped me de-clutter the counter tops. In time I enjoyed and realized I worked more efficiency with a simple counter top.

I keep only what I use on a daily basis: French Press coffee press & bean grinder, a red pitcher that holds tools such as spatulas and spoons, and a two tiered Crate n' Barrel wired basket that holds my onions, tomatoes, garlic and other vegges or fruit.

Don't be afraid to make changes.
Do re-structure or re-organize your working station, your cupboards and drawers for the purpose of being productive, making good use of space, and having an efficiently working kitchen. You don't want to waste time looking for something. Remember, your kitchen is the hub of your home.

Start small but start
Maybe you need to begin with a small project like Lindsay's? Or you might need to take an hour or two and overhaul the kitchen cabinets like Laura did.

I did a fifteen minute project to organize all my spices in alphabetical order. That was huge a help for me and time saver.

Think about your different tasks: mixing, cutting and rolling and organize around those tasks. I also created specialized work areas storing my tools near those places that I thought would be most practical. For example, I put all my sharp knives and a cutting board within reach of the area nearest my stove/oven. It made sense for me to chop onions, carrots, celery, kale, potatoes, garlic, etc. to the right of my stove, because most of the time they're headed into a big pot that is on the stove.

The whole idea with kitchen organization is to get to the place where you create sanctuary and have a peaceful Simple Home and not a chaotic one.

I'll post the next set of steps on Wednesday. For now, go seize the moment and do the following:

1. Clean your sink - great principle from FlyLady

2. Make your bed - it's a must to start the day off right.

3. Read your bible - just one section - Proverbs 31:11-12

4. Hug your little ones and read them a little book.

5. Get started back in your kitchen with the above steps.

Related Posts
1. Steps to Create Sanctuary
2. Get Organized for 2008
3. The Simple Home Planner
4. What is The Simple Home
5. Step Two to Reorganize Your Pantry

What I strive for my kitchen to look like.

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Sandra said...

Lylah, once when I was into a well organized kitchen I checked out some books from the library on how to organize your kitchen - probably could find same info on Internet now. I got 2 great ideas that worked for me. Store cooking pots under the sink. Most of the time pots need to have water so you can take care of those 2 steps quick and easy. Put cleaning supplies that are usually under the sink on the lower shelf next to the sink above the counter. This makes it more difficult for little ones to reach stuff that would harm them. Blessings Sandy

Lylah said...

Sandra I LOVE that idea! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Denise said...

OOOO, what great ideas! i really need to go through and organize my kitchen.

Liz@Violet Posy said...

You're supposed to replace wooden spoons every 3 months?!!? Ooookay I need to clear out my kitchen, I think I've had mine for 10 years! Thanks for the tips, that's now my Friday goal :)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

love your series, lylah!

blessings and hugs to you