Crush Your Organization Resolution

At the very least you’ll end up with an organized kitchen and you can check off one of your resolutions.

Dried foods in kitchen cupboard


Dried foods in kitchen cupboard

Photo by: Brett Stevens/iStock

Brett Stevens/iStock

Getting started on a big, broad resolution can be hard. “Get more organized” sounds so simple until you start thinking about how you’re going to organize. Your shoe collection? The medicine cabinet? Try starting in the kitchen.

You use your kitchen every day – even if it’s just to find the silverware to eat your takeout – so you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of having a tidied space every time you go in there.  It may even help you crush some other resolutions, but let’s take things one step at a time. (But seriously, go through that medicine cabinet, too. No one needs cough drops from the 90s.)

Photo by: EasyBuy4U / iStock

EasyBuy4U / iStock

Let’s start with the spice rack/cabinet/drawer. While herbs and spices don’t necessarily go bad, they can lose their potency over time. Give your spices a sniff or a taste to check their potency. Think first before you start a list of what to replace: if you haven’t used it in years or you have 3 other bottles of dried parsley because you forget that you have it every time you go to the grocery store, there’s no need to replace. Then organize either alphabetically or by how often you use the ingredients and set them up in a way where you can see all of the labels at a glance (this will help you avoid the re-purchasing of ingredients, mentioned above). In-cabinet steps are a great way to organize and be able to what’s going on three rows deep.

Jar of museli in kitchen cupboard

Jar of museli in kitchen cupboard

Jar of museli in kitchen cupboard

Photo by: Joern Rynio ©Joern Rynio

Joern Rynio, Joern Rynio

Pantry area comes next. Whether you have a designated pantry or a few cabinets in the kitchen, my guess is it’s been a while since your last cleanout. Sell by (and expiration, best by, etc.) dates are confusing and can lead to excess food waste. That food is probably still good. Give yourself a challenge to use whatever has been forgotten at the back of the pantry throughout the month of January. Need some inspiration? Check out a few ways we like to use up pantry items (don't forget about pantry side dishes). Resolutions to be green, cost-conscious and organized? Check, check, check. Just do the sniff test before you dive in. The previously-mentioned in-cabinet steps also are magic for canned goods so you can see the three cans of cream of mushroom soup in the way back.

various kitchen utensils on wooden table

kitchen utensil

various kitchen utensils on wooden table

Photo by: Magone / iStock

Magone / iStock

Remember all of those treats you made over the holidays? Yum. Remember how the rolling pin, cookie cutters and cupcake liners are all tangled into one disastrous drawer that can’t shut all the way? Eek. First, untangle and make sure everything is clean before you put anything away. Grab some storage bins (reusable food storage containers that have lost their lids work well here) and put everything away. Guess what? The drawer can probably close now, too.

Did you get all the fancy kitchen gadgets on your holiday wish list? Us too. If you’re the proud new owner of a certain multi-cooker, you may have some overlap in gadgetry. If you have the storage room to keep the dupes, then do. Slow cookers are great to have on hand as food warmers for parties. Otherwise, save space and donate the used stuff.

Now, for the organizational piece de resistance. The miscellaneous drawer(s). Open it up, and be realistic with yourself. Are you ever going to use that combo bottle opener/citrus knife? How about the oven rack puller with the googly eyes? What about those 27 and-a-half pairs of takeout chopsticks? If you haven’t used the item in question ever, it’s probably safe to donate or toss depending on the state it’s in. Office butterfly clips are great for keeping track of twist-ties and rubber bands and a desk organizer or cutlery drawer organizer will work wonders for the chopsticks, scissors and anything else in there.

Now, doesn’t that feel good? You should feel proud of yourself. Keep it going with more ways to organize your kitchen, and more specifically, your fridge here.

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