Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen

Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your KitchenWelcome 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

For example:

  • 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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by Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly is into writing, books, simplicity, love, TV, productivity, and staying thin in a world of chocolate.

I didn’t think I had much in the kitchen on the bench. I did though, all the household knick knacks, a chisel, car paint chip spray, sauce bottles and all sorts. This has made a lovely difference. Thank you, our motivator. I even rang the neighbours and have given her a kitchen bench clear and he is out in the shed doing the 5 min thing. I will head over for a cuppa and see how they have gone. They are expecting me to check. I think I will take some flowers for the bench.

Marla says:

I did make an exception for my KitchenAid mixer. I use itself least once a week, and it’s very heavy to lift, so it’s staying on the counter :). Any suggestion for storing odd-sized plastic food containers?

Bethany says:

Mission organize your kitchen check

Bethany says:

Mission organize your kitchen done

Jessica says:

I just finished this mission, the kitchen seems so much more open and less cluttered i love it and it was so quick and easy. hope my roommates dont mess it back up

Emily says:

All done

Theresa says:

Organized and Clean !

Sheila says:

my mission is complete — donation day is coming up too. thanks for your help.

Lauren says:

This one is finally done!

Joey says:

Well. I was out of town so I could not do this until I got back. I am on two missions this week. Did this one yesterday. :) Done!

Silvia says:

I´ve changed many things in my kitchen when I´ve decided which are the most useful items for me. It´s the first time that everything is in the right place!

Get organised in your kitchen. Can highly recommend Mission #15 from Michele Connolly's 52 Organising Missions

@fineinteriors ~ Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen

RT @fineinteriors Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen – Thank you I need all the help for decluttering.

Ashala Garen says:

Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen

Ashala Garen says:

Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen

RT @InspiredCoach: RT @fineinteriors Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen

Wow Belinda – that’s fantastic!

You took the *double extended option* – and I bet it feels great.

Thanks for sharing – you might inspire others.

Have a fab weekend,
Michele :-)

Belinda says:

This was a long mission. I went through everything from the cupboards to the fridge/freezer and cleaned out everything (including cleaning the oven). Having organised my recipes into a folder, I re-organised my pantry and fridge to suite my new needs. I also used the lable idea on my shelves.
With the hot weather coming up it was time to put the slow-cooker away and clean up the bbq as well.
Thanks for the motivation.

HI Melissa,

One thing you could try is to put labels on the shelves.

It makes it easy for anyone who uses your kitchen to ‘help out’ with putting stuff away as well.

I hope you enjoy that drink – totally deserved!

Michele :-)

Melissa says:

Loved this one!! I discovered a bottle of rum in one of the cabinets. A great reward for completing this mission! Now I just hope hubby leaves things the way I arranged them.

Adalia John says:

Your instructions are clear and concise, a five year old could implement these easily. Great communication

RT @MicheleConnolly: Get Organized Blog | Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen: When it comes to feel..