Clear Out Kitchen Clutter
Kitchens have two common hotspots of clutter: drawers and the area behind or around the sink. Here is where your take-out menus, rubber bands, plastic utensils, crayons, wooden spoons, and baby wipes probably find temporary homes. "The kitchen is the center of our house, so it becomes the dumping ground for everything," says Marilyn Paul, author of It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys.
Here's what you'll need to create order:
1. What you need: Time
Why: First things first, "You have to mentally make time to move things out of the kitchen," says Paul, who spends Friday mornings clearing kitchen clutter. "Designate a chunk of time so that you're creating harmony in your kitchen," she says.
2. What you need: Wall calendar
Why: If you still haven't bought a wall calendar (see Week 2), you're missing out on an integral step in organizing. Note birthdays, invitations, work-related events, information on flyers, doctor's appointments, and when the babysitter is comingâ€"then toss any related paper so it doesn't end up in a pile on your countertop.
3. What you need: Soap caddy and sponge tray
Why: Sponges need a clean place to dry to fully rid of germs. A simple over-the-sink (or beside-the-sink) shelf, or spot to put your dish detergent, hand soap, and sponge will make your sink area more tidy.
4. What you need: Clear containers with lids
Why: Now that you have a baby, or a baby on the way, you'll learn the fine art of collecting every size battery known to humanity. Containerize them! Also, use containers for pens, rubber bands, take-out menus. Bigger containers can hold out-of-control spices, or collections of straws and sippy-cup inserts. You need not always buy these containers; so many products come packaged in stiff clear plastic today (look for recyclable number 1, or PETE) that you should find an array of containers in all sizes if you merely buy greens, berries, baked goods, nuts, or prepared foods from the deli!
5. What you need: Counter-top utensil holder
Why: Move wooden spoons and spatulas from drawers and put them in a pitcher or upright container next to the stove. Not only will your favorite stirrers be in-reach, but you'll make more room for other items in drawers.