Rooms are used for different purposes—often at the same time. In order to decide what should stay and where, you need to identify the different activities that take place within each room and divide them into zones. Once you begin organizing, these zones become the center for specific items related to the designated activity. Then, it becomes immediately clear where things belong, where to find things and where to return them.
Sample Zones for Kitchens
Quick Tips for Your Kitchen
Keep flat surfaces clear. Consider flat surfaces your preparation area—not your storage area! This will keep them clean and accessible.
Work around the "magic triangle." Establish a "magic triangle" in your kitchen between the stove, your refrigerator and your sink. Anything you use most often, keep it in the triangle. Anything you use less often, outside the triangle.
Try the cardboard box test. See what utensils you're really using. Take all the utensils out of your drawers and put them in a cardboard box. For the next month, whenever you use one of these utensils, put it back in the drawer. If after four weeks it's still in the box, you don't need it.
Claim your cupboards. Make use of what you have. Use a lazy Susan, mini step shelves, even back-of-the-door shelving systems to hold extra items.
Check food expiration dates. Every six months, check the contents of your cupboards. Every three months, discard old food or perishables. Also, check your freezer to ensure you aren't keeping food beyond its use-by date.
Never have a junk drawer.
Establish a pantry with a purpose. Pantries are harder to manage than refrigerators. Why? Our pantries are usually chock full of foods we buy because they look good, because they seem like good foods to have on hand or because they're on sale. They're sort of like clothes closets—full of impulse purchases and sales mistakes. Get the golden rules of pantry organization.
Identify clutter foods. Like the boxes full of who-knows-what filling your basement or garage, clutter foods are foods you think you should have in your house but don't really eat. Zero in on the main culprits.
Establish the Magic Triangle
Weed Out Useless Utensils
Maximize Your Kitchen Storage Space
Control Your Cookbooks