Kitchen Organization: Zone Defense

This year we are on Zone Defense, tackling one are of home and life at a time, until we’ve beaten back clutter and disorder. We are going to regain our lost ground.

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. In case you hadn’t guessed, I was rather strategic in choosing it as our second zone to tackle this year. We started with you.

We tackled our person space last month. Hopefully, you’re feeling better about how you look, sleeping better, and feeling more energized.

Now we tackle the food arena. Because after Mama’s well being is taken care, folks gotta eat! So, let’s step into the kitchen and get a little more organized.

My own children are seemingly hungry all the time. I’m not sure what’s going on. But, among the six of them, someone is asking me for snacks on an hourly basis. Besides this family-wide growth spurt though, I know that if my kitchen is not organized or tidied, I will spend more time than I need to on food prep.

I’ve lived in six homes, but only four kitchens do I really feel were “mine.” That is because we lived there longer than a year and I made efforts to claim that territory to suit our family’s needs as best as possible. So, that is what we are going to tackle this month: the kitchen and making it fit you and the people you feed.

This week we’re going to talk about problems, though. I know, problems? What for?

Kitchen Problems

Well, it’s kind of that “eat the frog” theory. If we identify problems, and brainstorm solutions, then we address the big issues first. Anything else is just fine tuning. In the following weeks, we’ll address Food Storage, Kitchen Equipment, Tableware, and Deep Cleaning.

But this week, let’s look at our problems. Consider the following that could be potential stumbling blocks in your kitchen:

  • Do you have a meal plan for each day?
  • Do you follow your meal plan?
  • If not, why not?
  • Do you ever struggle with frozen foods not thawing in time for dinner?
  • Can you find recipe ingredients when you need them?
  • How do you feel when you open the refrigerator? Why is that?
  • Do you have a method for storing leftovers?
  • If so, does it work well for you or do you have multiple science experiments going on at one time?
  • Do you have a daily kitchen cleaning routine?
  • Do you have a regular deep cleaning routine for the kitchen?
  • Do you have adequate storage for the items you currently own?
  • Do you use all the kitchen items you own on a regular basis?
  • Off the top of your head, are there gadgets and appliances that are just taking up space in your kitchen?
  • Does clutter pile up on your counters? How come?
  • What is the one thing that stands between you and a clean, organized kitchen?
You can download these questions here for a quick and dirty inventory of your kitchen organizing habits. Or use the Room Organizer Worksheet if you prefer.

Making a plan to deal with the problems.

This week you get to make a customized plan to deal with the frog in your kitchen. What is the biggest thing, the one that you’ve been avoiding, that needs attention?

Your kitchen is different than mine, so I can’t really tell you what your biggest problem is. But the thing that nags on you the most could be the most beneficial first step you could take.

For our kitchen, I think our biggest problem is too much equipment.

As much as I hate to say it, the cupboards are packed. The dishes, pots, pans, bakeware and appliances fit in the cupboards in such a specific way that it is complicated and difficult for my children to help me. So, this next week, I’m going to be hauling everything out and figuring out what we could live without out. It may be that I simply need to store some things in different places. It may be that I need to teach certain helpers to try a little harder.

Either way, my crowded equipment cupboards are my frog to eat this week.

What’s yours?

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Comments

  1. I keep a storage tub of baking hardware that isn’t every day stuff. Keeps clutter down.

  2. DawnJoy says:

    I’m looking at moving some of my less used appliances to a shelf in the garage. It will be easy to access, yet out of the way for everyday.
    I will be paring down our plastic food storage to just a few sizes and the rest will go. I’ve invested in glass containers to store leftovers.
    I seem to always have too many plastic drinkware. Some of those can go too.
    I’m looking forward to the food storage plans too.

  3. Within the last year we updated our kitchen. I have a tiny 60′s galley kitchen and I really paired back all kitchen equipment when I “moved back in.” So I feel that is currently under control…BUT I also have a kitchen in my basement (was converted into a MIL apt) so I will be tackling that beast (A.K.A. the overflow kitchen where everything I don’t know what to do with ends up!) Excited to get that one done!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I love the kitchen in the basement! My gramma had one. That was where she did all her baking and preserving. Fun memories!

  4. No menu plans around here. The kids cook a lot, and I want them to be able to make up their own minds about what they cook.

    We have cleaning under control, left overs under some control (usually), and recipes way out of control. So that is where I need to get to work, I guess. My poor daughter wants to make haystacks and can’t find the recipe. Sigh!

  5. About a year ago we were blessed to have a BIG kitchen remodel, so we are good on space, the problem is the kitchen table/island is also home to most of my homeschool needs, books, etc….Today my husband bought me my very own homeschool desk….so I pray once that comes and I organize we should be in good shape….also meal plans…I really need to work on that

  6. I love this post Jessica! I spent A LOT of time in my kitchen and try to keep it orderly and organized but it seems that as soon as I clean it is messy again.

    I reorganized my containers, equipment, and dishes a few months ago in a way that is more functional. That has helped a lot. I think it might just take a few times to find a system that works.

    Great list! I am going to share this post on my FB page in the morning.

    Have a nice night ~ Tammy

  7. My problem is too much equimpent also. Plus the fact that a single man designed my kitchen .

    We use everything that is in my kitchen. I have an “overflow” closet in the basement for those extra serving dishes and crockpots. There are six pieces of equipment that I cannot live without: stand mixer, food processor, blender, bread machine (used four or five times a week), toaster and coffee pot.

    I just “need” a bigger kitchen. :-)

  8. Vanessa says:

    I need to get rid of the clutter.

  9. One of the best organizational tips I heard was from my husband’s aunt: Put what you use the most in the most convenient spot. Duh. So, my pots are in an upper cabinet like hers were and I absolutely love not bending over to get them.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I’d heard the put it where you use it thing, but never the pots in the top cupboard. Interesting!

  10. I decided I did not want to read this post until I was done with all I wanted to to with last month’s zone! The timing is perfect now though. I am in a freezer meal frenzy preparing for a new baby and organizing the fridge freezer and extra supplies I bought to do the meals are taking over. I would say time management in the kitchen is my biggest down fall at the moment and I think organization is playing a big part in that. Can’t wait to tame the beast!

  11. I think we have the same frog…. This should be interesting!

  12. We inherited an Old house. You know the kind no storage at all no closets, etc. So we have been remodeling for the past three years. We are doing this out of pocket so that we can stay out of debt as much as possible. Even with 3 small cabinets and one cabinet with the sink I have a terrible time trying to stay clean and organized, and my kids are all grown.
    But I found that stealng my husbands metal shelves helps with storing the appliances that I don’t want to get rid of and the attic with storge bins for holidays trays, dishes and table clothes really help. Organaztion in the kitchen well there isn’t much so I will be working with the rest of you to get more organiztion in my diseaster of a kitchen. So…..let’s all get to work!

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