Welcome to Mission #15 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.
When it comes to feeling clear-minded, calm and organized, surfaces are sacred.
Previous missions have guided you through transforming your wardobe and home office. (Get Organized Mission #9: Filing System Nirvana and Get Organized Mission #10: Clear Out Your Closet).
So in this mission we’re going to transform your kitchen into a haven of clarity for nourishing yourself and your household – simply by removing all those surface usurpers.
Remember: you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below.
If you’re new, you might like to start here: 52 Organizing Missions.
Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen Surfaces
Step 1: Decide what you use every day
For many people this is the kettle, toaster, coffee machine and bread board. Work out what gets a daily workout, and position these items neatly.
Everything else that takes up counter room is going to find a new home – off your surfaces!
Step 2: Gather up the surface usurpers
Gather together all the things on your countertops and kitchen surfaces that you don’t use every day – including appliances, recipe books, utensils, knife blocks, sundry exotic condiments, etc.
See how much room all those items take up? That’s how much space you’re going to clear in your cupboards.
Step 3: Clear cupboard space
Now open each cupboard one at a time, and get rid of:
- any item you haven’t used in the past 12 months
- doubles of appliances, utensils, storage containers, etc
- excess items (if you only need 4 drink bottles for the kids, get rid of the other 14).
If the item’s in great condition, put it in a donation pile; if not, pop it in the rubbish. Do this fast and don’t overthink it. (If you need an item again, you can buy it later. It will be worth the peace of mind you gain.)
Move quickly through your cupboards until you’ve made room for all your surface usurpers.
Step 4: Store the surface usurpers
Now that you’ve created space for all your former surface usurpers, you can put them away.
Here are 2 principles for deciding what goes where:
1. Keep things accessible according to their frequency of use
- Utensils and appliances you use often should be close at hand – these deserve a CBD location.
- Pots and pans you use sometimes should be conveniently accessible – these can live in the suburbs.
- The juicer and ice cream machine that come out rarely can afford to go in less convenient locations, like high shelves – these belong on the outskirts of your kitchen real estate.
2. Keep similar things together
- Keeping similar things together makes it easy to remember where things go and to retrieve them fast.
Integrate these 2 principles to store things optimally
For me the second principle is more important because I like a sense of order; a serious cook may ignore it entirely, and focus only on the most convenient location for frequently used things.
Decide what will work best for you, and store your former surface usurpers accordingly.
Now, step back and take a look at your newly-revealed surfaces. Doesn’t that feel amazing?
Dos & Don’ts
- Don’t feel that you have to organize your entire kitchen in 30 minutes. Simply clearing your kitchen surfaces will be a wonderful step toward a more organized life. You can always do more later – just do what you can do now.
- Do be ruthless in clearing your cupboards of stuff you don’t use, or have in re-seller quantities. You’ll feel much lighter with less.
Extended Organizing Mission Options
Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?
- Let the kids participate. Give each child a zone – like pots and pans, utensils, appliances – and let them help you to store your former surface usurpers. You’ll be teaching them the personal organization strategy of having a home for things they value.
- If you want to make this into a major mission, take everything out of your cupboards in step 3 and replace everything using the storage principles from step 4. I suggest having some great music on your iPod to keep you motivated and to add a little fun to the exercise.
Ready, Set, Go!
Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.
Before You Go – Please Check In
Once you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission please add a comment to let us know you’ve done your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment. To leave a comment: Scroll to the bottom of this post, where you’ll find a comment box waiting for you.
And see you back here next week!
Did You Know
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