Welcome to the first week of our 6 Bags for 6 Weeks Challenge! Today we’re going to walk you through decluttering and organizing your kitchen.
(New to Paisley + Sparrow? Check out my original Decluttering and Organizing Challenge post for all the details.)
Your kitchen can be super overwhelming to organize but taking it one area at a time can help remove the stress. We have this week broken out into 6 areas – drawers, pantry, fridge/freezer, serving + dishware, appliances and misc (china leftover containers, etc).
*Be sure to check out Arin’s post for organizing all your kid stuff!
How to Organize Your Kitchen
I pretty much always start out the exact same way when I’m organizing an area. Here’s the process:
- First remove everything from the area.
- Second clean out the freshly cleared out space.
- Third, go through each item to see if it fits into the keep, donate/sell, fix or throw away category.
- Fourth, put everything back in an organized way (more on this below).
Let’s talk through each area.
My number one tip for drawers are to use drawer organizers! They’re not just for silverware. 😉 When you’re organizing your drawers using organizers, don’t worry as much about putting like items together if they don’t fit the area.
For example, if you have 2 spatulas but one is big and the other is is short you can split them up. (This always messes with my OCD because I want everything together but it is a much better way of organizing!)
Here’s a few of my favorite drawer organizers.
- Bamboo drawer extender from the Container Store
- Mix and match plastic organizers from Amazon
- Mix and match bamboo organizers from Bath and Body Works
- Silver mesh organizer from the Container Store
- OXO expandable organizer from Amazon
- 21 piece organizer set from Wayfair
I have a full post with 7 ways to organize your kitchen pantry that you definitely should check out. Some of the key takeaways for your pantry is to decant whenever possible and use labels! One thing I’ve learned is if I’m going to decant pasta (or anything else that needs to be cooked) I write the cooking instructions on the container using a white board marker. That way you’ll never have mushy pasta (been there, done that!) and you can easily wipe it off when you put something new in there.
One of the best things I have in my pantry are these containers from Amazon for all areas of my house but I love them for things like pouches and snacks for the kids. I keep snacks that I don’t mind that the kids can reach at their level (things like pouches, apple sauce, prunes, mango, etc.).
Fridge + Freezer
The best thing to do here is to organize like with like. Have part of your fridge for drinks. Use a shelf on the door for condiments. The more you can put like with like the easier it will be to find things!
In my fridge I have a shelf for drinks, a shelf for dinner ingredients, one for snacks, one for leftovers. My drawers in my fridge are for vegetables, fruits, meat and cheese. Everyone has different fridges and freezers so try different things until you find a system that works best for you.
I also use these containers from Amazon for things like yogurt and small travel hummus containers that the kids take to school.
Serving + Dishware
Do you have dishes that are chipped, cracked or broken? Are there serving items that you just never use? Unless there’s sentimental value that your kids would appreciate, don’t keep it just to keep it.
One thing to note is that sometimes an area doesn’t look like a total “pinterest worthy” picture at the end. One example of this is our “coffee cabinet” as I like to call this. It is definitely WAY more organized and less cluttered than it was to start but isn’t exactly picture perfect. I purged about 15 coffee cups and organized it to have coffee mugs we use weekly and coffee filters on the bottom two, also the most accessible, shelves. The 3rd shelf is travel cups and other coffee related items like our Chemex and creamer server and the top shelf is for coffeemaker cleaners and some extra mugs we don’t use weekly. Here’s the before and after:
This is where you need to get really honest with yourself. Do you have a juicer that you haven’t used in 5 years? Do you have 3 waffle makers, just in case one dies? Take inventory of what you have, what you use and the space you have.
If you have plenty of spare space to keep an appliance you use once every 3 years then go ahead and keep it if you want! And I think it’s totally reasonable to keep backups of things you use daily (we have a back up coffeemaker and coffee grinder just in case). But don’t hold on to things that you don’t actually need, use or want!
Misc (China, Leftover Containers, etc)
When you’re going through these items make sure you have all the pieces. Every leftover container has a coordinating top, etc.
If you have fine china, do you use it? If no, why not? I’m a believer in using what you have and not waiting for a rainy day to do so!
You may have other areas in your kitchen that need organizing so tackle those areas on this day as well! We have a drawer for all of my husband’s grill supplies, a cupboard of vases and also all of our kid and baby items (bibs, burp cloths, etc.).
There you go! Now you know how to organize your kitchen! There’s always a bit of upkeep when it comes to your kitchen because you’re constantly using up items in containers, buying more food, etc. so just know that this area will be one you’re frequently going through. The upside is you’re starting with a clean and organized area so the upkeep won’t be hard at all! It’s just a matter of refilling containers, and putting new items in the correct place. Be sure to check out Arin’s post for even more kitchen organization tips!
One final tip is to put your kid dishes in a drawer! I keep all of the kids plates, cups, bowls, etc in a bottom drawer in our kitchen. This helps the kids begin to help out with things like setting the table but it also helps them be more independent! If the want a bowl of dried mango they’re able to go get a bowl and fill it up with mango for a snack. They both have also started helping unloading their items the dishwasher! Kids like to feel helpful so make it easy for them to do so!
Now on to the fun part! Our giveaway sponsors this week are Branch Basics and Style and Dwell.
Branch Basics is an amazing home cleaning supply company. They have one concentrate that cleans everything! Their multi-purpose concentrate saves you money since you’re able to mix your own cleaning solutions, saves you space since all you need is the concentrate (if you’re like me you have extra of everything – soap, cleaner, etc – in case you run out) and it really works! They’ll be sending one lucky winner a Starter Kit (and be sure to complete the entire challenge because they’re also giving our grand prize winner a trial kit!).
Style and Dwell shares all things organizing on their Instagram and blog and create amazing boards to help you stay organized when it comes to your shopping list, meal planning and more! They’ll be donating one of their boards to one person this week!
Who’s the guest blogger?
This week we’re so excited to introduce you to Lex from Restoring Radiance! Lex is one of the best food bloggers we know and since we’re tackling our kitchen this week it’s only fitting that we have a food blogger involved! Lex is a mama to 1 and pregnant with her 2nd. She’s as sweet as can be and we know you’ll love her! Be sure to check out her Instagram for tons of ideas for meals and her blog for amazing recipes!
Lex has also shared an amazing recipe for healthy peanut butter cups on my blog so be sure to try those out!
How do I win?
Arin and I will both be sharing posts on Instagram today reminding everyone about the focus for this week. When you’ve completed every area for the week, head to either post and comment “done”. You’ll also need to follow Branch Basics, Style and Dwell and Lex from Restoring Radiance to be entered to win.(Direct tags to each of these accounts will be on our post!)
You can get a BONUS entry each time you share your progress and tag both @arinsolange and @paisleyandsparrow with the hashtag #6bagsfor6weeks on your stories!
Another way to get a BONUS entry is to tag a friend on our posts to encourage them to get involved!
Be sure to check in next week for all of my tips on going through your clothes! One great thing about next week is you can make some money through all of the items you decide to not keep (check out this post for all the places to sell your clothes – some of these you can use for things like appliances or kitchen items as well!)