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Seven things you should do to have a truly organized kitchen

If you find you're always struggling to keep your kitchen organized and free of clutter, you're not alone. For some reason, the kitchen seems to be where everything congregates and ultimately ends up in a mass of papers and other items that remain unsorted. If you're looking to fix this problem once and for all, Lisa Canning is sharing her seven tips for a truly organized space. And as a mom of seven kids, she's mastered the art of keeping everyone's 'stuff' neat and orderly. From ensuring everything is labeled (you can grab her handy printable freezer bag label here), to making sure you're using every inch of space in the most productive way, Lisa definitely knows what she's talking about!

GIVE EVERY FAMILY MEMBER A “SPOT”

What I have found in over ten years working with interior design clients is that every home has a “dumping ground” spot, where random things like sunglasses, library books, school forms, and the like go to DIE. Worst of all, mom is expected to keep track of it all (MOM! WHERE’S MY PERMISSION FORM?!?!?!)

So if your kitchen is where all the things get dumped, give each family member a spot to “intentionally” dump. Whether it be a small bin, a drawer, or a shelf, give each family member a spot. In my home, every child has a file folder where forms, treasured pictures, and other misc things can be corralled until they can find a permanent home.

STICK TO ONE BRAND OF TUPPERWARE 

The dreaded Tupperware drawer can be an overwhelming spot- and no fun when you are in a rush to pack lunches, or put leftovers away and get on to the next activity. Commit to one brand- I find when you do this lids can often interchange, and you’re not searching for one that fits. Plus, if you lose a part of one, you probably have a matching pair that will fit. Commit to donating or recycling ones that get gifted to you or find their way into your home.

IF YOU DON’T SEE IT, YOU WON’T USE IT

Pantries can become a place where boxed goods go to expire! To avoid this, ensure that you can visibly see everything- to do this, use vertical storage as much as possible by way of shelves within a large cabinet, or vertical stacking organizers. (Leanne I have example of this in my home in my pantries and my pot and pan drawers)

KEEP LIKE ITEMS TOGETHER

In your pantry, or elsewhere, keep like items together. In a bin with a label, corral teas together, spices or baking items together, cookie cutters and cake decorating items, etc. This keeps things simple when you are baking, or doing a special activity- everything is in one spot. 

COMMIT TO PURGING

Ultimately an organized kitchen comes down to behaviour- and you’ve got to commit. Once a week, commit to tidying anything that has deviated from your system. Once a month, assess if you are really using all your appliances, look for expired products, etc. And commit to purging!

NO MORE THAN 1/3 OF YOUR COUNTER SHOULD BE COVERED 

Clutter can also be visual - so it is a big rule of mine that no more a third of my counter have things on it like small appliances, cutting boards, or decorative items. It is just so much easier on the eyes when you can walk into a space not cluttered with junk!

LEAVE ROOM FOR A JUNK DRAWER

This might seem like a strange one, but I actually think it is strategic for you to actually have a drawer dedicated to junk! Why this is strategic is because in a rush, you’re able to throw stuff you’re not sure you have a home for- and during your once a week maintenance time you can tackle finding a more permanent home.