7 Tips to an Organized Kitchen

Berries, vegetables, mushrooms and herbs, neatly placed in separate jars

7 Tips to an Organized Kitchen

Every year, it seems like back to school season comes around faster. While we are busy preparing our children for new routines, it may be a good time to consider revamping some of our own routines, particularly when it comes to the kitchen.

I don’t know about you, but my kitchen is the command center of my house. When my kitchen is messy and out of control, the rest of my house feels that way, too. Fortunately, over the years I’ve discovered some great, easy solutions for keeping my kitchen organized. Here are seven tips I follow that help my family’s lives run smoother, especially during the busy school year!

1. Clean out the refrigerator. A clean refrigerator is my happy place. Storing similar foods together makes it easier for everyone to find what they need. Also, using small, clear storage containers makes it easy to grab what you need versus digging behind other items in the refrigerator.

2. Organize the pantry. My pantry can get out of control quickly, which is why we re-organize it monthly. If you don’t keep it organized, it’s easy to buy things you don’t really need or already have on hand. We bought some small, sturdy bins for snack foods so that I can easily grab them and pick out a snack for my children. A Lazy Susan is also a quick way to organize and find what you need.

3. Label everything. I keep a roll of masking tape and lots of permanent markers in a drawer by my sink. Writing the name of each food item and the date opened or stored makes them easy to identify and ensure they are used properly.
 
4. Keep track of freezer foods. Hanging a small white erase board on your freezer can help you keep track of the foods. This is a great tool to ensure leftovers get used. It also makes menu planning a breeze when I can easily see what is in my freezer, versus having to open it every time and dig through everything.
 
5. Use wall space efficiently. Since the kitchen is the center of all activity in my house, I mounted a magnetic dry erase board/calendar to keep track of my family’s schedules, menu plans and other important notices from school so that everyone has access to the information.
 
6. Get rid of the clutter. It’s easy to let mail and other odds and ends build up on kitchen counters, and before you know it, you don’t have anywhere to prep food. I hung a vertical organizer on the back of a door in my kitchen so that loose papers go in there rather than on my counter. Once a week, I clear it out so things don’t get forgotten or pile up!
 
7. Keep up with menu planningMenu planning can be a real time and stress saver. If you need a system, refer to my SCALES process. Or if you would rather have someone else do it for you, check out My Menu Pal for healthy, simple menu plans.
 
With these tips in mind, you and your family are ready to start the school season with a few more organizational tricks up your sleeve.

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