If there is one room in the home that needs to be organized, then it has to be the kitchen. With a properly organized kitchen you will find your self able to do a lot of things more easily. For example you will be able to find the ingredients you need quicker, or you will know exactly what you have on hand at a moment's notice. You will also find that you are able to clean your kitchen easier. Even better, with a properly organized kitchen, you will be able to go and find that late night snack more quickly, without anyone being the wiser! Use these guidelines to help you when it comes time to organize your kitchen.
- Start in one location. When organizing your kitchen, it is best to start in one location and then work your way throughout the room. This will not only keep the clutter down to a minimum, but it will also help minimize the confusion.
- Lay it all out. Before you begin organizing a particular part of your kitchen, let alone your entire kitchen, you will need to lay everything out. For example, when you are organizing your fridge or freezer pull everything out and lay it on the table. This will allow you to look at the available space, and have a better idea of what you are working with. In addition, this will also allow you to see if that particular area needs to be cleaned before any further work is done.
- Categorize. After laying everything out, you need to sort through all your items. Try to categorize everything as well. For example, place your sauces together, your pastas together, and your dairy products together (milk, eggs, butter, etc.). As you are going through and categorizing your food items, look at the expiration dates. If you come across anything that is past its due date, toss it out.
- Freezer. Place any large flat packages of food (like TV dinners or larger Tupperware containers) at the bottom of any freezer shelves. This provides a more stable base for you to build off of and makes it easier to organize. If you find yourself using multiple items of smaller things (like vegetables or one-pound increments of ground beef), place them into larger sized freezer bags. Whenever you place anything into the freezer, mark the date and its contents to allow you an easier time of identifying how long that item has been in the freezer, and whether it is still any good.
- Refrigerator. As with the freezer, try to store similar items with each other. This organizes the refrigerator in a manner similar to grocery stores. That being said, you should have separate dairy, vegetable, sauces, and other sections. Since similar items are typically packed in similar manners, this will allow easier access and identification of what is in the refrigerator.
- Shelves. To create more space in shelves, use an organizational system to help store everything. Lazy Susans are a great way to not only stack items, but to gain access to anything that might be placed towards the back. Use see-through, air-tight plastic containers to help store rice, beans, pasta, and sugar so that you can not only see what you have in side but also how much you have, and whether it is any good or not. For numerous smaller food items, place them together in shallow boxes to allow easy access and location.
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