If you’re tired of clutter in your kitchen and bath, here are some ideas to help get you organized. Let’s get started with the kitchen. Let’s face it; the kitchen is the so called social “hub” of the house. Family, friends, and visitors tend to congregate in the kitchen. It’s an inviting place, especially when you’re visiting over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake with a friend. So let’s get it cleaned up so it will look even more inviting!
Clear off those countertops! Remove all items and replace only a couple of your most used appliances. Appliances like a coffee maker, microwave, paper towel holder, toaster oven can be left out on the counter. Anything your family uses every day. You get my point, less is more visually appealing. Also, always place something decorative on the counters or bar area, such as a beautiful bowl with colorful fruit (doubles as a healthy snack for the kids) or a glass vase filled with fresh fragrant flowers or herbs.
Use clear plastic containers to store sugar, flour, cookies, cereal, pasta or anything. I look for these at flea markets and yard sales. They stack easily in the cabinets and look much nicer than all the boxes and bags. Since they’re clear, the contents are clearly visible which is convenient when in a hurry.
Save those old CD cases to prop up your recipe while using it. Place your recipe in the inside cover of the empty CD case, and turn case so that it sits on the counter and props the cover so you can read the recipe easily.
Take an inventory of your pots and pans. If you have more than one of the same kinds, donate one to goodwill. Toss pots and pans with missing parts, broken parts etc… If you haven’t used a pot or pan in a long time, chances are you won’t, so donate to goodwill or throw out.
Store the pots and pans you use less often in the back of the cabinet and those you use everyday to the front. Always keep things you use all the time easily accessible. This reduces stress and utilizes your time in the kitchen more efficiently.
If you save grocery bags, stuff them in an empty tissue box for compact storage under the sink. While you’re under the sink, toss all old cleaning materials and cans that are corroded with rust. Place items you decide to keep in a basket, plastic container or one of those pull out organizers for under the sink. These can be found at Bed, Bath and Beyond, my favorite store for home purchases.
Keeping mail that always lies on your kitchen table, in an attractive simple napkin holder is a nice way to keep them together and looking more organized. Don’t keep it on the table though; place it on the counter near the door so that you see it when you first come in. That will reduce the temptation to just toss it anywhere. Also put up a decorative hook near the door to hang your keys on so you’ll always know where they are.
Create zones in your kitchen. For instance, put all items needed for cooking in cabinets near the stove and work surfaces. Place items used for eating near the sink, refrigerator, and dishwasher.
Find cheap baskets at yard sales and flea markets. Baskets are always good for storing table linens, placemats, or anything you want to keep together. Just keep them filled with whatever and stored in a cabinet out of sight. I like to store my nice napkins, tablecloths, placemats, napkin rings in baskets in the bottom of my china cabinet so they’re easily accessible when I need them.
An organized kitchen will allow you to cook, clean, and get out of the kitchen quicker so you can enjoy other things!
Now on to the bath! First let’s clean out the lotions and other bottles of stuff you have in the over the toilet cabinet. Anything you haven’t used in a year, toss it. Anything that smells funny or has brown crud all around the cap, toss it!! Medicines that have expired needs to be thrown away. They are not effective anymore anyway. When you get too many lotions and potions for Christmas or birthday presents, put them in a drawer and save until your next yard sale. I know from experience that they sell well if unused and unopened. Let’s face it we can only use so much lotion and fragrance in a year. Another idea for these unwanted items is to visit a nursing home and give them to elderly women who are not able to get out and buy lotions and such. It will make them feel really special to receive these items.
Next to the cluttered makeup drawer. You know it’s true, we women accumulate way too much makeup, lipsticks, mascaras, and anything we find on sale. These things don’t last forever. I know we’re sort of bonded too it and don’t ever want to throw it away, but look, old makeup and mascara are not good for your skin or eyes. Experts say that eye makeup is generally good for only six months, foundation a year, and lipsticks two. However if preservative free these items have a much shorter shelf life. Do an inventory and toss out all the old stuff. Less clutter is equal to less stress.
Show your disposables! I don’t know what you’re thinking but I’m talking about cotton balls, swabs, makeup brushes and other everyday essentials in clear containers so you can see when you need to stock up. Store makeup brushes upright in a tumbler as opposed to dusting up a drawer. Storing this way also makes them last longer since bristles are not getting bent. Group these on a pretty tray (from a flea market or yard sale), to keep them together and looking less cluttered. You can also move the tray easily for cleaning and don’t have to move each container.
Use baskets or pretty bins to store unused rolls of toilet paper. Your guests should never get stuck in your bathroom without extra toilet paper within easy reach. It’s called Southern Hospitality. I’ve also recently seen extra rolls stored in a tall, clear glass vase. You have to have one of those floor sized vases. I’ve seen them at Walmart, Target, Marshalls and stores like that. That is a pretty neat idea I thought! Again, look for baskets on sale! You should never have to pay full price for these items if you’ll spend a little time at flea markets and yard sales.
Three tiered expanding shelves are useful in the medicine or over the toilet cabinet. These provide bleacher-like seating for your small medicine bottles, or other bottles or containers. These shelves allow you to see each bottle and identify it easily.
A multi-level fruit basket is handy to suspend from the ceiling in the shower. In it you could store loofahs, back brushes, tub toys, or anything eslse you need to have readily available while in the tub or shower. The open rungs of this type of basket allows for easy drying of items, reducing mold and mildew and unpleasant odor caused when items don’t dry out.
Well, I hope that you can use some of the ideas I’ve mentioned to de-stress and de-clutter these two rooms in your house. I love to get organized, so look for other articles from me on this subject in the future.