Kitchen Organization Q&A With NEAT Method
2020 has officially begun, and whether or not you are one for making resolutions, it’s always good to have an excuse to re-evaluate and look ahead.
This January, we’re focusing on detoxing our homes by organizing every space for a fresh start.
Today, we’re starting with the kitchen. We partnered with professional organizing company NEAT Method to talk about all things kitchen organization. They covered the best ways to organize your pantry, keep your kitchen counter clear, and more.
Organizing a kitchen can be intimidating due to how much naturally accumulates there. Where do you typically start in this process?
If this is the first space you’re organizing in your home, start small. We always suggest starting with the one area that’s most frustrating to you. Is it getting breakfast for everyone during the week? Is it prepping lunches at nighttime? By tackling that small spot first, you will quickly see results and feel motivated to move to other areas in your kitchen.
When it comes to the pantry, how to you tackle storing packaged items or snacks in a way that’s both visually pleasing and functional?
As much as possible, ditch the product packaging. Doing this helps cut down on visual clutter and overbuying. If you can see what you are running low on, then you know what you need to buy on your next grocery run. Even small cabinet pantries can do this. Without the ample space of a walk-in pantry, you just need to be more strategic. Only decant the items you access every day. For example, if you have kids and pack school lunches, decant their snacks.
What’s your favorite way to store produce you don’t want to refrigerate?
If it’s produce you want to encourage your family to eat, we always suggest putting it in a pretty bowl and setting it somewhere everyone can reach. If it’s produce for meals to be made throughout the week, place it in a woven basket, for air circulation, and add it to your pantry. We frequently create “Dinner Prep” baskets for client pantries. All the shelf-stable ingredients for the week’s dinners go directly from the grocery bag to that basket.
How do you decide what to leave out on the counter when it comes to appliances, canisters, etc.?
We prefer empty counters. By keeping them clear, you’re discouraging others from leaving additional items out. If you need to leave something out because of a lack of storage, only leave out the everyday items. For example, if you make smoothies every morning, leave out your blender.
What is the best way to organize baking supplies like flour, sugar, and spices?
If you have the space for decanting and you frequently bake, buy pretty canisters for them. If you aren’t a frequent baker, we suggest creating a “Baking” basket and placing it on a higher shelf. Place all shelf-stable baking items together that way when you’re ready to bake, you just have to pull out the basket.
How do you organize cleaning supplies? Do you store them under the sink or outside the kitchen?
This depends on whether you have small children in your home and how much space you have under your sink. We suggest keeping one all-purpose cleaner under the sink, then the rest in another area. You can create a bin with your cleaners in it that can be pulled out when it’s time to clean. For many clients with small children, the bin can be placed on a higher shelf in the kitchen so they stay out of reach. We also find that clients have more cleaners than they need. Editing cleaners is a great way to create space. Consider purchasing multi-use products. Anything you decide you don’t need can be taken to a local recycling center for proper disposal.
What are your tips for keeping loose papers, letters, or homework off the counter?
If you create a home for items, they will always have a place to go. One strategy is to place a small bin in your typical “drop zone” that can house all the daily paperwork like mail, homework, etc. Then once a week, sit down with the bin and sort the paperwork. This will corral the paperwork during the rush of the week, minimizing the mess and make it less daunting to tackle. If everyone knows the paperwork is collected there during the week, there will probably also be fewer lost permission slips.