Home & Family

Three Kitchen Don’ts!

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Most professional organizers (POs) will offer suggestions to make your life easier. While most provide excellent advice, there are a few that may have you go overboard to get things in order. Not only might this cause additional stress, but it can also make organizing more complex. Here are three examples of pantry no-nos that they might suggest!

Don’t #1 – Removing contents in the pantry from their original packaging. Ever glance through a magazine or search Pinterest for organizing ideas? Often, photos show food items displayed on pantry shelves in pretty glass containers. If your organizer suggests you do this for the items in your pantry, it’s okay to say no. Not only does it take a lot of time to remove products from the original packing, but new containers can add up to a big expense. Discarding the original packaging can also confuse contents. Is it salt or sugar? Flour or powdered sugar? In addition, one may lose valuable storage and preparation instructions, recipe ideas, expiration dates, calorie counts, and UPC codes, etc., that are typically part of the packaging. Thus, it creates a need for extensive labeling. Save your time and money. Instead, neatly store pantry items in original packaging and group like items together for easy retrieval.

Don’t #2 – Placing frequently used things in hard-to-reach spaces. Most organizers understand that there is a hierarchy of storage. Yes, there is a pecking order. The things you need and use most should be placed in the most easily accessible cabinets or drawers. Don’t let an inexperienced organizer tell you to put your mother’s favorite casserole in a hard-to-reach upper cabinet where it could break when taking it down. Instead, speak up and say no! If you use it often, keep it in a handy and in an easy-to-reach place. Additionally, glasses and other frequently used items like plates may be stored closer to the dishwasher for easier unloading. Another consideration is the weight of items. Don’t place a very heavy item you use, such as a cast-iron pan, on a top shelf where you may be injured taking it down. Also, make the most of vertical storage. Use dividers to store things like baking sheets side-by-side.

Don’t #3 – Buying more storage. We are often tricked into thinking that we need to buy more furniture in which to store things. POs might suggest this so that everything has a place to go. While sometimes extra storage is needed, you can often find better ways to deal with storing things rather than spending money. The first is to purge clutter – the things that you don’t need, use, or want. Do not keep things that do not have value or make you happy. Our kitchens tend to be full of gadgets that we don’t use that simply take up space. One must evaluate how often items are used and donate what’s in good condition to a deserving organization. Second, think outside the box. Sometimes something as simple as adding a hook for aprons, as an example, can free up kitchen drawer space. Third, open shelving is a great option for storage, but beware not to overfill shelves as items stored in open spaces often require dusting or washing before use.

While it’s often quite helpful to procure a professional organizer’s services, it’s important that they help you get your kitchen in order while remembering that the design needs to benefit you. A great PO will encourage clients and help them regain control of their space so that their homes may run effectively and efficiently with minimal loss of time and less stress.

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