Monday, January 2, 2012

Organized Home Challenge - Week 1 prep

So I started this up last year and then completely dropped the ball and since it is something that I am passionate about accomplishing this year, I am going to really strive to make it happen this time.

This week's focus is: Kitchen Organization: Countertops & Sink.

Step 1: Think About the Functions of Your Kitchen.
  • Cooking (and food preparation)
  • Food storage (both cold storage and pantry)
That's actually about it. Our kitchen is off at one end of our home and therefore, we don't use it in the additional ways that a lot of other families use theirs. We have a separate dining room although we do have a bar in the kitchen that separates it from the living room.

Step 2: Create Usable Counter Space and Clear Your Kitchen Table (mostly).

Well, as I said, we don't have a table in here but we do have the bar, so I will use that to accomplish this part of the goal, as it does tend to pile up with miscellaneous things. I also do not have a lot of counter space and with our current configuration, I have even less than I could have. I have a few ideas that I plan to implement to use our space more efficiently.

Within this step, she recommends that we put away things that do not fit in with the intended purpose that we have for our kitchens. This part is really easy for me because I can quickly and easily see things that do not belong in here at all but for whatever reason landed here.

The next step within a step is that we put away things that actually do fit in with intended purpose of our kitchen. Yikes! This is the hard part for me because I also do not have a lot of cupboard space. This should be interesting.

She then recommends that we declutter gadgets and appliances. This is going to be crucial to be able to utilize the space that I actually have available. I can even think of a few appliances that I have in my cupboards that could maybe be switched out to longer-term storage or even get rid of it (like my bread maker since I generally make bread by hand, not by machine) and my blender (which I do use from time to time - which should stay in the kitchen area at least). The only things on my counters that are honestly used every day is the microwave, the dish drainer (although I really would love to change out the style of mine so that I can fold it and tuck it away when not in use) and my cooking utensils and knives and our spices, though I have some ideas for those things as well (thinking vertically here - wall storage space - spice rack, magnetic knife strip) but other than that, I don't use my toaster every day or my coffeemaker. And I actually have room to put both of those items in my dining room where they would be more likely to be used more frequently.

Step 3: Consider These Kitchen Storage Solutions To Help Clear Counter Space.

Heh, I already started this on the last step. (Can you tell that I didn't read ahead?) But some of the suggestions that she has that I plan to maybe implement are:

Magnetic knife storage for the wall (as mentioned above!)
Shelves for spices (as mentioned above!)

Then we are on to Step 4: Create The Habit Of Keeping Your Sink Clear Of Dishes At Least Two Times Per Day.

The idea behind this is to make sure that the sink is clear so that we don't clutter up the counters with other stuff since the kitchen already appears to be messy. I like this idea and plan to implement it for the morning after breakfast and in the evening after dinner. It would be even better if I were able to just unload the dishwasher in the morning and put all the dishes away and then as the dishes come in throughout the day (breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner) that I would be able to simply rinse them and put them in the dishwasher, which I could start at bedtime. Meh, maybe that is just what I'll work toward. I like that idea better anyway and I do believe that we have enough plates to get through the day just fine without running short (unless we are having company over)

That completes this week's challenge preparations. I will add in some before and after photos at the end of the week as well as some commentary to show you how I changed things to be able to gain back usable counters and also to keep the sink clear!