Resolution Action: Kitchen, The Kick-Start

When I start working with a client, we most often start in the kitchen. I like to start here because we spend so much time IN our kitchens that we rarely spend time ON our kitchens. However, an organized kitchen makes life so much easier. You don't have to think about where things are to make your morning coffee - which is good because you're probably not "all there" yet anyway. Meal planning is easier when you can see what you already have. Knowing if you should keep a new recipe to test out is a second-long decision when you know what equipment you have.  So this week, we're focusing on your kitchen. First and foremost - as with every single room in your house - set the goal and purpose for the room. What will you be doing in here? How do you want to feel as you enter and work in the room? These goals will guide all of the further decisions you make with your things to make sure you reach those goals. If an item doesn't further those goals, then it goes into another room or out the door.

The next step will sound familiar if you joined us on the first step of home offices last week - remove EVERYTHING and pair like with like.  So put all your cooking appliances in one place. Food storage. Day to day serving ware. Entertaining platters. Whatever ya got. 

This includes the junk drawer/s.  Five bucks most of the "junk" in there isn't junk, it just belongs somewhere else.

(You don't have to worry about food just yet. We'll hit that Wednesday.)

Next comes the purge. Remember - if you don't need and use it or absolutely loooooove it, it finds a new home elsewhere.

Things to think about when deciding if you need something or not:

Appliances -

  • when is the last time you honest to goodness used something? If it has been a long time, is it because it's seasonal (soup pot, used often in fall/winter, less in spring/summer) or because  you hated some aspect of it (was a pain in the tush to clean.) If it's seasonal, you can keep. Hate it? It goes.  Don't over think it - if you hated it, you won't use it. If you forget why you hated it, you'll use it again and remember that it was a pain in the ass. Don't let your appliances piss you off and take up valuable real estate.
  • Every appliance (or other "cute" item) MUST have multiple uses! I once had a client with a banana slicer. I have a banana slicer, too - it's called a knife. And you know what? She always used a knife too because she forgot she had that stupid banana slicer. As she pulled it out of the drawer, she showed it to me and said, "This should go, shouldn't it?" It sure should. And it did. Next time you're at the store, just ignore the aisle with all the "cute," single-purpose kitchen equipment. Unless it's something you'd use daily (i.e. coffee pot - which also makes tea so not totally single-use) then it's a waste of your time, money and kitchen real estate.

Food storage containers -

  • Match up all containers with lids. If they don't have its mate, it goes. When you're storing your containers, store WITH the lids. A dedicated lid drawer sounds delightful in theory, but in execution all it does is make you waste time looking for a lid when you need it.
  • When purchasing, go square. Square maximizes space whether it's in your fridge, freezer or cabinet.  
  • Don't keep take-out containers for re-use. They weren't developed for multiple usage and may leach chemicals into your food.  (And don't think I'm making it up either - if you read it on this blog, it's because I know first hand that someone is doing it or has done it.)

Serving ware and anything else glass

  • If it's chipped or otherwise cracked or broken, it goes. No excuses here. It's weakened and easy to continually break - perhaps in your food and nobody wants that.

If you have a large kitchen, it is perfectly ok to break this down into parts. (It's ok if you have a small kitchen too.) For many of my clients, we work in two stages - food items and everything else. That's why I'm bringing it to you in two stages. Sometimes we think that we have to do everything at once, but that's how you get yourself overwhelmed. If you've got a giant hot mess of a kitchen then take it in small bites. One day, pull out all of the food storage items, put them in one place and remove what isn't working for you anymore. The next day, do the same with all of your small cooking appliances. So on and so forth. This isn't a race and no matter how long it takes, the winner is still you in the end - with a beautifully organized kitchen!

Tomorrow, we'll discuss what's lurking under your sink.