A few specific notes on mail; a problem for everyone! Really let go of all things you will never need (via trash, recycle, shred). Decide on coupons, where you will need them and how to get them there. Reduce the incoming paper as much as possible by returning their slip saying remove me, call them, opt for electronic statements, etc. Less paper coming in equals less you have to physically deal with. Invest in esthetically pleasing bins – if it looks pretty, you will maintain it more! Lastly, to truly organize all, everything has to be taken out and touched so you can not only see it all, decide if you want it or not, but also where it should go based on how you use it. Be rigorous with your decisions because if cabinets are overflowing, you will not go in them at all. Some of the least used kitchen items? Fondue pot, bread-making machine, crepe maker, ice cream machine, juicer, waffle iron, propane torch, banana-ripening rack; you get the idea! IF you have a few appliances and/or gadgets you use less than once a month, it is best to move them to an overflow closet or a dedicated buffet in the space or a shelving unit in the basement for kitchen overflow. This goes for extra pantry items too. Don’t clog the kitchen with infrequently used items. Because food is a major part of the kitchen, here are a few guidelines. Go through your entire pantry 1-2x per year. You have to. Things get lost, expire, go stale, leak – go through to purge out those items and reestablish your zones. Yes, by zones again I mean areas for like things – pasta, snacks, soup, breakfast and so on. Some items work best being taken out of its packaging and put in containers. Invest in ones for these items and use them. Some handy “tools” I always use in the pantry – stacking shelves, lazy susans for spices or sauces, clear shoe organizers with the pockets mounted on doors to house snacks, small seasoning packets and the like, baskets/rectangular bins for items that you take out of boxes (I always take out bars and individually packaged items), and binder clips as chip clips keep things really sealed and fresh. Lastly, the habits. Daily try to put everything back in its zone. Weekly process the mail and bills; waiting much longer leads to a large pile and missed payments. And make sure those items that sneak in make their way out of the kitchen to where they belong. Kick out the clutter so you can really utilize your kitchen to its fullest!
FALL 2014 | Si mply Saratoga | 145