Thursday, October 8, 2015

Organizing Your Kitchen - The Zone Plan

I use a Zone Plan to organize my home. Each month I focus on one area. During the month of October I focus on my kitchen. The holidays are coming up fast and my kitchen will become very active. This is also the time of year that food drives kick into high gear, so it only makes sense to clear out the pantry now.

I like my kitchen to look uncluttered yet warm. I want my countertops ready for action. I want to feel that I can work on food preparation without clearing a space first. I want my stored food and spices organized so that I can easily put my hand on what I want to use. I want to feel happy working in this warm space.

I make a brainstorm list of all I need to do to make this vision come true.

Some items on the list might include:
  • Remove any items that are not daily used or that are beginning to annoy you - for me that is getting rid of a toaster that isn't working well and a second coffee maker
  • Purge the cabinets - are we really using all those pots and pans? Do all of the food storage containers have matching lids?
  • Organize for convenience - put rarely used items to the back and often used items to the front of shelves that are easy to reach
  • Set up zones within the kitchen - designate a food preparation zone, cooking zone, dish zone, storage zone, and serving zone
Now that the plan is made, it is time to work the plan. I divide the tasks into four weeks and work one set of tasks each week. I schedule a time on my calendar to achieve this.

Week 1 - Cooking Zone
Tasks might include: clean the oven, stove, and microwave and organize and purge pots, pans, cooking utensils, and bake ware. If you have special cookware that is only used for a specific holiday, store that ware with the holiday decorations.

Week 2 - Food Preparation Zone
Tasks might include: clean the refrigerator/freezer and organize and purge cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls, spices, mixers, blenders, and measuring cups and spoons. Toss spices that are beyond their expiration date.

Week 3 - Dish Zone
Tasks might include: clean your sink area and dishwasher and organize and purge your dishware, mugs, glasses, and flatware. Toss chipped, cracked, broken items as well as excess dishware.

Week 4 - Food Serving and Storage Zone
Tasks might include: organizing and purging placemats, napkins, trivets, large serving pieces, and going through your pantry and organizing and discarding food that has expired. Excess food that has not expired but that you don't expect to use soon can be donated. When you replace the food in the pantry, group the foods by type - all soups together, all pasta, fruit, etc.

By the end of the month, you will love working in your kitchen. You are ready for anything the holidays throw at you.



Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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