Click here to start shopping at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kitchen Organization

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. If it’s true then I’m in desperate need of a quadruple bypass!

My husband’s reminder sticky notes cover the walls. The kids’ school work, phone lists, and permission slips are taking over the counters. Hopelessly mixed up with junk mail, there is no chance our bills will be paid on time. We’re drowning in paperwork to the point that take-out menus, coupons, and newsletters have replaced coasters in our house. If you could bring back the trees killed for all this paper we would have our very own forest.

In my previous home I had a much better handle on kitchen office organization. I had custom designed my small kitchen and what it lacked in square footage it made up for in organization; careful planning and well-placed cabinets. A small area near the phone was my command central.

Never has my REGROUP method been so needed. I previously had control of this area in my life, but major life changes have been at play, a new baby and a cross-country move could send even the most organized of people into utter chaos. It’s time to REGROUP, what worked in the past isn’t working now. I need a new system.

Here’s what I did.

1 Assigned my husband a notebook. Rather than having notes posted all over the kitchen he has one place for lists and notes. If I find a loose note when straightening up the kitchen I simply staple it inside his notebook. Pick something attractive that you won’t mind sitting out on the counter.

2 Downsized the cook book collection and created a recipe binder. All you need is a few paper pockets, dividers, a binder, and sheet protectors. Magazine pages and even recipe cards will fit easily into the sheet protectors. If you have a few cook books that you only use 1 or 2 recipes from then photocopy those recipes and put them in your recipe binder. If you want to really go crazy include a section for meal planning, a place for grocery lists and weekly menus.

3 Traded my letter trays and complicated menu binder for magazine files. They don’t take up a lot of space and they are easy to access. I use one for kids stuff, one for menus and local events, and one for office. The office magazine file has financial stuff like bank statements, bills and receipts. When my husband sits down to pay bills he empties out the file and puts everything where it goes in the office.

4 Created a binder to store phone lists, the school year calendar, frequent shopper cards, schedules, emergency contact information and even a list of repair persons, like the plumber.

5 Used drawer organizers to keep the “junk drawer” neat and tidy. It can be tempting to hide clutter in drawers. Using labeled drawer organizers to create dedicated spaces will make your family think twice about stuffing random junk in kitchen drawers. What do I keep in my kitchen office drawer? A stapler, tape, scissors, clips, rubber bands, sticky notes, permanent markers, pencils, a sharpener, pens, super glue, lip balm, hand crème, and an eye glass repair case. I also noticed that we had collected a lot of loose change in the drawer so I labeled a bin for that, no sense in fighting the inevitable.

6 Got a Whomi Family Wall Calendar for quick reference and attached a pencil to it. School holidays, kids’ appointments, business trips all go on the family calendar.