Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Well-Managed Home: The Kitchen

You're reading Day 16 of my 31 Days of Home Economics series! I've touched on a few topics already and currently we're on the topic of a well-managed home. The past two days we talked about time management in general and then started on some of the busiest and/or messiest rooms of the house - The Laundry Room and now the Kitchen. I hope that by going through some of the rooms in our house we can learn better ways to manage our homes and find helpful tips along the way. I hope you'll join in the comments and share your tips with us, too!
The Kitchen
Is this the busiest place in your house? It's pretty much Grand Central in my house. Everything gets dumped in the kitchen for some reason. It also has the most traffic of any room in the house and has to be cleaned more often than any other room in the house. I guess you could say it's high maintenance. I have organized and reorganized my kitchen many times over and I am starting to feel the urge to do it again.
Here's my thought process for my kitchen organization. I'm sure this is one area we are all very different and could benefit from each other's ideas.
  • Have a place for all the 'stuff' the family brings in and dumps. I don't have a mudroom in my house so I've had to improvise. Several years ago, I found a great idea of a shelf being hung at counter height in an entry and I saved it in my idea file. Then, about 7 years later, we moved into our current house and I found the perfect place for it. Only the idea evolved to meet even more of a need.
We found this entry shelf at an outlet on clearance. It is clearly suppose to be hung in an entry about head height, but we decided to hang it at counter height. This gave us an extra counter space + baskets to hold all the 'stuff' we bring in and dump in the kitchen + hooks for hanging backpacks, purses, small jackets, etc. It works so well for us on a wall in our kitchen. I think it's my favorite DIY in the kitchen.
You can read about my chalkboard here. Another favorite in my kitchen.
  • Think through your kitchen layout and see if you're wasting steps. Are your coffee mugs near your coffee & coffee maker, as well as, all the supplies for your coffee? {filters, sugar, coffee, grinder} What about pots/pans? Are they close to your stove/oven? Where do you stand to do your mixing and food prep? Are your utensils and cutting boards in that area?
  • If not, then, you might consider reorganizing your kitchen so that it saves you steps. You don't need to be running circles around the kitchen while preparing meals, etc. That's a waste of energy and a waste of time. Keep like things together. I can think of a couple things in my kitchen right now that need to be moved. {My husband will be so confused again!} There is always room for improvement no matter how many times you've rearranged.
{excuse the Christmas decorations - I took this pic last year!}
This is our butler's pantry that my husband built for us so that we could have a little more counter space. This butler's pantry houses the coffee maker, electric kettle, mugs, tea bags, coffee & all the necessary items to make hot drinks. The upper section displays pieces we don't use every day. It's good storage, but also a nice way to display and dress up the area.
A few more tips:
  • Keep the plastic containers for leftovers near the area you're going to load them up. Mine are in two drawers next to my refrigerator.
  • Keep mixing bowls/baking pans/pie plates/measuring cups in the same general area.
  • Utensils used most often while cooking on the stovetop should be kept right beside the stove in the top drawer. Also, keep hot mitts near this area.
  • My refrigerator has the water/ice in the door, so I keep all glasses and cups in the cabinet next to the fridge. One step further - keep kid friendly cups on the first shelf so that the kids can get their own cup without knocking down glass ones in the process.
  • Dinner plates/bowls/salad plates are all kept in the cabinet above my dishwasher. I like this because it's quick and easy to put them away when unloading the dishwasher. I don't have to move from my spot in order to put those away.
Do you organize your kitchen in this way? What time-saving and step-saving tips can you give us? I'm always looking to improve on this area. In fact, now I can't wait to get busy reorganizing my kitchen!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm sharing this with a few of these friends.
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  1. A few years ago we built a coffee bar in the breakfast room. It definitely helps with the traffic flow in the morning :)

    1. I love ours, too! Really helps with traffic flow!


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