A simple guide to de-cluttering your kitchen

A chaotic kitchen is no joke. Not only is messy, unattractive and asking for vermin and rodents, it prevents effective use of our limited space. Not only that, but studies have shown that a messy, cluttered kitchen can lead to a more chaotic diet that will make us gain weight! So if you don’t want to be infested with vermin OR get fat, here’s some tips to maximize your kitchen’s potential!

Start with your drawers
Organize the cabinets and drawers into zones: baking, food prep, storage, food, etc. “To divide large categories into smaller groupings, use bins and baskets within the cabinets and drawers. For example, use a bin on a cabinet shelf that contains all your rices and grains, another for pastas and a third for nuts and seeds,” says Amy Trager, CPO, an organizational specialist. An organizational system like the Tupperware Pasta Set can be a huge help in this regard.

Next clean up your pantry
Start by clearing all the food out of the pantry to get a visual inventory of the items you have already. “Don’t be surprised if you find duplicates, that’s the hazard of an unorganized pantry. The trick to keeping your pantry organized is to make it easy for your family to keep the items they eat on a regular basis accessible without having to move everything else around,” says Storing & Organizing Expert, Emma Gordon, of Clutter.com. Keep your meal staples like pasta, rice, black beans, quinoa in clear containers so you can quickly and easily see when it’s time to add them to your shopping list. 

 Use it or lose it
“My one tip for kitchen counters is if you use it daily, it can stay,” says Leslie Jacobs, a personal organizer. Organize in sections. Is there a cabinet over the coffee pot? Then that cabinet can house mugs, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cups-glasses for tea, anything to make the beverage easy. Sugar, creamers, etc. all in the cabinet.
Use canning jars to store your pantry items
“They are cheap, durable (made to stand boiling water) and since they are made of glass you don’t need to worry about plastic toxins leeching into your food, or making room on the top rack of your dishwasher. Canning jars come in a variety of sizes from tiny half-pints to half-gallon glass jars,” says Gordon. The lids are airtight, washable, and come in two standard sizes that fit all jars regardless of whether you found them at a yard sale or picked them up at Target. 
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Fridge and freezer
 Every week when it’s garbage day, clean out your fridge. “Toss out old and rotting food. Put post it notes on food with a short life, so you can use it before the expiration date.  Put all frozen food veggies together, breakfast foods together and foods used to make smoothie. So you can see what you have when you open the door,” says Jacobs. If it’s been in your freezer for longer than six months, use it this week or toss it out. 
Doors can also be shelves in their own way
“Make use of the inside of kitchen cabinets by hanging spice racks, cork boards, or over-the door cabinet baskets on the interior cabinet door,” says Nancy Haworth, Professional Organizer with On Task Organizing, LLC. In the pantry, use an over the door shoe organizer or door rack to create space for snacks and other small packages of food.

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