The kitchen is usually the command-central of the home, and can get disorganized in a flash… particularly when there are toys, pacifiers, and kids’ dishes everywhere. In order to make more food at home, establish good routines and create order in your space, it helps to have this room set up well.
Evaluate your family’s needs and go from there. You may need a drawer for pets, or a bill-paying station. You may buy in bulk, requiring storage jars. Is there a family calendar here? A clock? Where is that grocery list?
Have some fun! Sit down as a family over dinner one night and make a wish list. (We bet it’ll make you closer, too. Who knew that Molly wanted a drawer full of rainbow erasers?)
Here are the UrbanMommies Top 20 Kitchen Organization tips:
1. Make sure you have child safety latches on the cabinet with dish detergent. This is the most common form of poisoning.
2. A mini first aid kit in a kitchen is a great thing.
3. Invest in a label maker with washable labels. You’ll be an organizational diva!
4. If you can’t afford drawer inserts and baskets like the ones at the ContainerStore, use shoe boxes, old teacups, or garage-sale bowls.
5. This is easy, but we rarely do it… think about what kind of a cook you are. Put the most useful things (whether it be spices, wooden spoons, grater, bread machine) in easy-to access places.
6. Have a sterilizing basket, and put all baby things in it until you have a chance to sterilize all at once to save time. Running them through the dishwasher will do the trick!
7. Make a special area for things that nurture you. Start a tea drawer (with gorgeous containers for loose leaves, tea balls and honey dippers) or install a reading corner.
8. Get kids to help set the table. We have a chart for this!
9. Keep knives sharp to avoid injury from slipping while chopping.
10. Plants help to clean the air and provide softness.
11. Make a charging station. Cords, power bars and messes everywhere will delay you every time you leave the house, and you’ll end up with a dead cell phone (and a flat tire on that day). Oh, and unplug the chargers when not in use. This is a huge energy drain.
12. Figure out a grocery list system. This could be on paper, on the iPhone or on our family meal planning chart. Just pick one.
13. Ditto for calendars.
14. Keep some extra cash and change in your kitchen for emergencies or bus fare.
15. Get a fire extinguisher. Or two of them. Do a run through with the kids about how to use it.
16. Put a mat in front of the stove (or other “kid danger zones”) and teach your kids that they can never step on these areas for safety reasons.
17. Evaluate the surfaces that are touched or eaten off of most frequently and use natural cleaners on those surfaces. We have some natural cleaning product recipes here.
18. Get the kids to sweep the floor every day.
19. Make sure all of your Tupperware and sippy cups have lids. If they don’t, use them for drawer organizers instead.
20. Figure out a system for the fridge. Right crisper for fruit, left for veggies, and leftovers.. well – either make them into something more appetizing, or cook in adequate portions. We like to do ‘tapas days’ where we serve all of the leftovers on trays, and everyone sits around picking their favourites.
Decide what you want your kitchen space to be and work towards creating it – does it make you smile to have photographs around? Get a digital frame. Do you never get to see the news? Invest in a small TV so that you can catch up while cooking dinner. The better you know yourself and habits, the more organized you’ll become.
– Jill Amery would very much like to be more organized. We will keep you posted.