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The final session of my Organize Your Kitchen online video workshop for 2012 started yesterday (and there's still plenty of time to join). In anticipation, we’ve been talking about kitchen organizing on our Facebook page for the past couple of weeks. We asked our Facebook friends what they needed in order to have the organized kitchen of their dreams. While a few friends said they needed a miracle or an extreme home makeover, most of the responses revolved around the issues of time, money and space. While those can be real obstacles, they can also be myths that keep us from reaching our organizing goals.
If you want to get more organized—whether in the kitchen or elsewhere—and feel that time, money or lack of space is preventing you from reaching your goals, following are myth-busting ideas to help you.
Worth the Investment
Think of organizing in terms of investing. Yes, it takes time, effort, and sometimes even money up front, but once you’ve created an organizing system that works for you, that investment keeps paying you back time and again. This is especially true in the kitchen. Have you ever opted for take-out or costly convenience foods because you don’t enjoy being in your kitchen? Or, maybe you went out for dinner because you weren’t sure what was in the refrigerator and pantry, making it too cumbersome to pull a meal together. A disorganized kitchen makes it harder to do everything. And there really is a fine line between what’s simple enough to do that we do it consistently, and what feels just a notch too hard (so we opt for something easier.)
But consider this. A simple storage solution like a Lazy Susan can make it easier to keep track of the food in your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator. The 18" Lazy Susan's I use in my pantry (shown below) are currently $14.99 which is less than the price of Chinese take-out for my family of four. The take-out is gone in less than 20 minutes...but the Lazy Susan will keep making life easier for years and years to come. Bottom line: when your kitchen is organized you can save money week after week because you’re more inclined to eat in and there’s less chance of food going bad in the back of the pantry, cabinets or refrigerator.
I am no stranger to small kitchens, so I fully understand that small spaces can be challenging. Sometimes it feels as if the only solution would be a bigger space. But through organizing my own kitchen, as well as helping countless clients, I have discovered you don’t always need more space to organize any area in your home—even the kitchen. You can make things better, just by rearranging where things go and by evaluating what things you need and use, and which things are just taking up precious space. If you have items in your kitchen that you use just once a year, these could be stored in another area of your home, freeing up valuable real-estate in your kitchen for things you use everyday. Plus, by utilizing simple storage solutions, you can maximize the space you have. Finally, small kitchens can be ultra-efficient when they’re organized to support how you use the space (another great time saver!)
Motivation + Time
Getting motivated, staying motivated or coming up with enough time, energy or willpower was another kitchen organizing obstacle our friends shared on Facebook. It can be hard to muster up the time and energy to organize your entire kitchen in a single day, but if you tackle it one drawer, cabinet or shelf at a time—it’s very doable. With a bite sized approach, you can fit the project into even the busiest of schedules. In my online workshops I emphasize the idea of creating organized habits by making progress on your organizing projects for as little as fifteen minutes a day. This approach is effective because it is much easier to find fifteen minutes of time (and motivation!) to work on a project than it is hours or even days. Often, once you get started, organizing and decluttering feels so good you want to keep going! Often we wait for motivation to take action. But what if we try switching this around: Take action and the motivation will follow.
What are your obstacles to organizing your kitchen? Do the ones listed here resonate with you or is it something else altogether? Thanks for sharing!