One: Have a plan
All incomings need a plan! Mail, school papers, groceries .. What am I missing? Oh and EVERYTHING kids bring in the house! EVERYTHING! Have a plan; tell them the plan, OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER!
Paper ~ Bring it in, assess it all and act on it immediately. Shred or recycle the trash/junk mail, put the bills where they will be paid (office, by the computer). Same rules apply to school papers, assess immediately, don’t need it use it as scrap paper, and if action is required have a plan.
My front door is metal so I use that as my “Reminder Board”, a few heavy duty magnets and that is where we put the permission slips, the Scholastic News money, and the dry cleaning tickets. This is also where our “Landing Strip” is, keys, sunglasses, wallet, all there for coming and going. None of it lives in my kitchen.
Groceries ~ Unpack everything the second you get home and put it all on the counter. Give the fridge and pantry a once over, don’t place new food in a fridge with old food. Rotate your stock and load it.
Two: Clear the counters
Take it off, yes all off! Sort and assess; does it deserve counter space, is it counter worthy? If it is, well put it back, if it is not, then it’s decision making time ~ Keep, Trash (recycle!!!), Donate, or Maybe. Maybes should be stored away for 3 to 6 months and then reassessed.
Three: Say no to unitaskers!
As Alton Brown says “The only unitasker allowed in my kitchen is a fire extinguisher.” Learn to avoid kitchen gadgets! Take a look in your cabinets, are there unitaskers lurking in the back taking up precious space that could be put to better use?
Four: Have a hiding spot
Secrets are OK. That is what the junk drawer was invented for, but just don’t let it get out of hand! It is there to stash things, hide little boobs and bobs that really have no other place, however, it is not there as a catch all. Boxes and baskets are fine too, as long as you don’t end up with a counter covered in French vintage wire baskets full of paper. Make sorting through the hiding spots part of your decluttering routine, or at the very least when the drawers and baskets are full.
Make maintenance a priority! Have rules and stick to them, kids and partners too!
Clutter Free Kitchen Golden Rule ~ If you take it out, put it away.
It may be old fashioned but it works, no? At least once a day, I do it after dinner when the kids are doing baths and jammies with Dad, clean up, notice I did not say Clean your Kitchen. Load the dishwasher, wipe down the stove top and counters, put food away and get yourself ready for tomorrow.
Make rules and start systems that work for you, your family, and your lifestyle. But be flexible, change the rules if they stop working, add, subtract, adjust … go with it, just don’t give in to the clutter. Be an active participant in your clutter free existence!
Find more organizational ideas at SimplifybySara.com!