Question: Everytime I start cooking dinner, I realize I can't find anything in my
small kitchen. Help!
Answer: Small kitchens are almost as bad as the lack of drawer space in the
normal sized kitchen- contractors often don't allow enough storage space for
all the items we need to feed our starving masses. The average mom only
uses 20% of the total items in her kitchen 80% of the time, so consider this
your permission slip to purge some of the unnecessary and unused items in
your junk drawer. Here are a few tips to help you reclaim some of that
precious cabinet space in your own kitchen.
Stack plastic or wicker IN baskets and go vertical to utilize that valuable
counterspace. Don't spread, stack! Buy wire shelves for pantries and
cabinets at your discount store. These double the space for dishes, pots,
and pans. Get lid organizers and baking tray racks to store your stackable
(and noisy) pots and pans.
Use over-the-door hangers or door-mounted holders for pantry items to keep
them displayed. Not only can you create your own pantry, but you don't have
to rummage through deep cabinets to find a small box of baking soda.
Holders for seasoning envelopes, spice boxes, and plastic wraps consolidate
these elusive items once and for all. You can even buy under the shelf
organizers for paper plates, napkins, and coffee filters.
Some folks think it's against the laws of the great organizing guru to have
a junk drawer, but perhaps they don't live with kids! Just use any type of
plastic basket or cutlery organizer for your junk drawer, and clean it out
the first day of each month. In fact, put those little sorters and counters
in your home to work with a fun math game and let them clean out your junk
Since counter space is premium in your homes, don't display all your
pretties on the countertop - hang pictures rather than resting them on the
easels. Consolidate those frig photos with a magnetic mat, or just adhere a
magnetic sheet to each picture for your own photo magnets. No more falling
on the floor each time the refrigerator door is slammed! Store tall items
in a crock or your favorite pitcher (wooden spoons, spatula, etc.). This is
making double duty out of your favorite things, and saving space in those
drawers that we never have enough of.
Since families spend almost as much time in the kitchen as they do in the
family room, this is one area of the home that experiences constant change.
Find a system of paper management and organizing that you think you'll
really use, try it for 6-8 weeks, and if it doesn't work, go to Plan B. Do
give it a few weeks to see if you can change your ways. And don't be afraid
to try another system, rather than giving up on yourself entirely. What
works in one period of your life may not work in the next one, and you have
the added challenge of finding a system that works for the entire family.
Be open to change, and to suggestions from other family members, even the
smallest of ones have wonderfully creative ideas.
Also see: Ask Debbie your questions
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