Do You Need A Kitchen Tutor?
Monday, March 11, 2013 • 12:48pm
Real Simple Magazine has a fantastic article this month on kitchen organizing. How does your kitchen compare to their model? How many of their ideas do you already use? As a kitchen organizer I felt pretty good after reading this, thinking that my kitchen was a fairly close resemblance to the model photos they showed on their pages. I thought about a grading system where presumably I would get an A and my potential clients would get Cs and Ds and demand my services immediately. Not so much.
I graded myself on each of the 24 ideas using a 3-point grading system. For each idea, I would give myself a 3, 2 or 1. I used a 3 for always; 2 for sometimes, 1 for never. I scored a 79%
Am I only a C+ Kitchen Organizer? I know there are those straight A organizers whose mudrooms and kitchens are always perfect looking. And I certainly know a few people who deserve a big F. But really, a C+ in my own kitchen? Maybe we don’t deserve to be graded on our organization. Why should my performance in the kitchen suffer just because I don’t have a retractable bookstand or 50 red pots to display together? I didn’t even know I should have these.
When it comes to my house being judged for its organization and cleanliness, I am by far the harshest critic. It’s never good enough. But who says life is like a class to be graded? Really now - it’s just a kitchen! After just a month of deciding to go pro and sell organizing products with Clever Container, I am already inspired. My kitchen is absolutely less cluttered and looks more ordered and welcoming. I started by cleaning up each of my shelves and drawers and now I am on an organizational roll around my house. There’s hope to raising my GPA yet.
How organized is your kitchen? Forget about grades and numbers. When you look at these 24 ideas, how many of them do you wish you could implement? That is where I can help you, as a kitchen organizer. Going through this article can help you identify where your problems exist. Maybe you just need some baskets or see through cubes to throw your stuff in, or to chuck out your unmatched Tupperware and replace it with some new Pyrex.
Sometimes just getting started, determining where you need some help and putting some simple systems in place is all you need. Once your kitchen and home start to get more organized, you will love the sense of calm and order that will permeate your space. Even if it’s one shelf at a time.
Here’s a look at some of the ideas that I currently use, and where I need the most help, in my own kitchen.
I Aced These Tests
Give Cookbooks Space - putting them together on a shelf makes them easier to find when you are hunting down a recipe. A collection of cookbooks is colorful, attractive and decorative.
Stow Tools Efficiently –The whisks, spoons and spatulas that get heavy use on the stove are in a container right next to the stove for easy access.
File Plastic Containers - I have no use for a container that is missing a lid. Or vice versa. I put my intact collection of glass and plastic containers in a drawer and nest them for easy storage. It’s part of my after dinner routine – to store leftovers for future use. I pull that drawer out and the options seem limitless. I like to run empty marinara and jam jars through the dishwasher and reuse them when I make my own sauces and stocks. I love this drawer.
Categorize Food – Pastas go next to sauces. Oatmeal goes next to dried fruit and nuts. My kitchen is like a food buffet waiting to spring to life.
Consider See-Through Storage – out of sight, out of mind is not a good approach to storing food. If I can see it, I remember to use it before it spoils. I hate finding a covered up bowl of something that was from two weeks ago in the back of my fridge. The refrigerator cubes rock and I use them all around the kitchen. I wish I had more.
I Need a Tutor
Contain Lids – I have no specific storage system for lids. I should.
Introduce Baskets – I love baskets. See through ones are good when you want to see how many yogurts you have left. Colorful or opaque baskets are better when you want to hide what’s inside. I need more of these.
Stash Items Over the Door – Why not use the back of a door to create more storage space? The pockets in this bag collect piles of things and keep it looking super neat.
Try a Retractable Book Stand – This is such a good idea. I hate when food or smudgy fingerprints get on my cookbooks.
Putting this list together allows me to clearly see where I need to focus in my kitchen. Some of these items can be found at Clever Container. I’m off to go shopping for over the door hanging bags and a lid organizer.
What’s on your list?
Lauren Weiss is a food writer and business owner of The Organized Kitchen. She is a consultant with Clever Container where she writes a blog on kitchens and sells cool organizational products to help her clients find storage solutions for their clutter. Her A Foodie State column was one of the first at The Alternative Press and she is a two-time winner of their Columnist of the Month award. Prior to moving to Boston’s North Shore last summer, she was Regional Editor at Jersey Bites and editor of Westfield Foodie, a popular local food blog. Lauren was a corporate event planner and public relations executive with Bear Stearns, Impact Productions, JCC of Central NJ and a psych major at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She lives in Marblehead, MA with her husband, two daughters and a floppy Cavechon.