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Is your kitchen in optimal condition? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably no. But if the thought of trying to declutter your refrigerator, cabinets, and counters sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. Today I’m bringing you six simple steps for optimizing your kitchen from a Huffington Post article written by my dear friend, Lynnie Wennerstrom.
Even though I’ve been in the health business for some time, every time I visit Lynnie’s home, I learn something new, exciting, and inspirational about how to set up my kitchen, and I’m excited to share her advice with you. Listen in to hear simple tricks you can use to get more organized and more in touch with what’s going on in your kitchen.
What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
- The important first step in cleaning, organizing, or decluttering your home.
- How to prevent getting overwhelmed by organization.
- The key to making sure your food doesn’t go to waste.
- How to decide if your appliances are valuable enough to take up space in your kitchen.
- Tips for taking the effort out of meal planning.
- The winning lifestyle habit that will alleviate stress first thing in the morning.
Ideas Worth Sharing:Things that you are not using that are taking up space—get rid of them. - @thedigestiondoc Click To Tweet If you have a blender that you love, great. You don’t need to upgrade to anything other that’s fancy. It’s just important that you use it. -@thedigestiondoc Click To Tweet Take some stress out of your meal planning and know what you need to be doing like clockwork. -@thedigestiondoc Click To Tweet
Resources In Today’s Episode:
- Dr. Christine Kaczmar: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
- Lynnie Wennerstrom: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
- “Crack The Kitchen Code – From Chaotic to Organized In 6 Easy Steps” by Lynnie Wennerstrom
- Omega Digestion Profile
- 14 Day Free Trial of The Scramble
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Read the full article below:
Who likes to work in a kitchen that’s disorganized and chaotic? As the heart and soul of your home, the kitchen should make you feel good about going in and preparing the foods you love.
That’s why it’s helpful to create a clean, decluttered, and organized space for yourself. You want to feel good about going in and doing your creative magic there (even if it’s nuking a hot dog). The key is surrounding yourself with what you actually use, tossing out what you don’t and keeping it clean and organized – and it’s not really all that difficult.
Check out these 6 simple suggestions to help you in organizing your kitchen, eliminating waste and stress, and creating a happy space for your busy creative self.
1. Reality Check
This step continually comes to my rescue in any cleaning, organizing, or decluttering exercise in my home.
Stand in your kitchen and look at it like you are seeing it for the first time. What do you see? What do you cherish, what do you always use, what needs to go, and what is missing? Do a complete scan from a stranger’s perspective and things that need your attention will start to pop out at you and become obvious.
2. Break your organizing efforts down into bite-size pieces
It can feel overwhelming to look at all the cupboards and drawers that need to be organized and can feel like an overwhelming time monster – a BIG job. But, it’s really not! Not when you do it in bite-size pieces that is!
Pots, Pans, Dishware – A wall or hanging pot rack to hang your pots and pans is especially helpful, and even necessary, if you need to free up space under your counters. If hanging your cookware is not like hanging a Picasso, go through all your cookware (and dishware) and recycle or donate the extra bits and pieces you’ve accumulated over the years (e.g. Goodwill, Arco, Good Samaritan) so you can free up space under the counter to organize the pots, pans, and dishware you decide to keep.
Cupboards and Drawers – Declutter and organize one cupboard or drawer every few days, or one a week, and you won’t feel that overwhelming pressure of such a large job that feels soo big you freeze and never even start. Unless you’re overly ambitious, put one hour on the calendar each week to clean out one kitchen cupboard or drawer (like your crazy spoon or junk drawer). Spill everything out onto a table and then go through each item and decide what you use and what you don’t. Be honest with yourself here. Then, either recycle or donate all the excess utensils you never use along with the ones you forgot were even in there. Don’t think about it, just donate, recycle, or toss it.
3. Kitchen Appliances 101 – Keep your kitchen stocked ONLY with appliances you use
These don’t have to be the latest or greatest. If you have a blender and you use it, it’s the perfect blender because, well, you use it. If you have a juicer and don’t use it and probably never will, give it away and declutter your counter. All it does sitting there is create stress because, a) it takes up space and, b) you may feel guilty about not using it. Who needs that? If you think you’ll use an appliance in the future, box it up and put a date 30 days from now in your calendar to revisit it and ask yourself, “is this something that I value enough to take space on my kitchen counter?”.
Keep kitchen appliances you use on the counter along with those that can do double duty. Donate appliances you never use, or know you will more than likely never use (e.g. a rice cooker can go as your slow cooker can do double duty), to someone (or an organization) who will.
4. Your fridge is your friend, don’t let it be your enemy
Putting your food where you can see it is key to making sure it doesn’t go to waste and you don’t have a fridge full of moldy food to clean. First, if you know you don’t use your crisper drawers or look in the back of your fridge regularly, don’t put your food there. Second, mark one day a week on your calendar to do a 5-minute fridge inventory. Take stock of what’s in your fridge, moving any food that’s nearing its expiration date front and center so you know to include it in your meal planning and you won’t have a pile of rotten, slimy cilantro hiding in the dark corner of your fridge three weeks later.
5. Stick to Spaghetti Squash Monday… or any other food you can commit to making one night a week
Just thinking of meal planning can overwhelm you, let alone actually doing it! While it may seem boring or uninventive, having the same thing for dinner once a week can really help clear your kitchen and mental clutter. Maybe every Monday is spaghetti squash Monday, or every Friday is pizza night! If you have a consistent meal base, you can mix it up each week for variety and make it fun for yourself and your family. But you’ll also know what meal prep you’ll need to do and can do it in advance, simplifying your schedule.
6. Clean as you go
Never leave dirty dishes in the sink. There’s nothing worse than starting your day off with dirty dishes in the sink, just thinking about it makes my shoulders tense. It’s easier said than done, but forcing yourself to make sure the dishes are done every night before you go to bed creates a winning lifestyle habit that will alleviate stress first thing in the morning, will create space in your life, and definitely decreases kitchen clutter. To take it a step further, clean as you go in the kitchen.
You can do this!
Organizing yourself and your kitchen for success does not have to be difficult when you break everything down into bite-sized steps! It becomes very doable and achievable. You just have to be diligent about your goals and do one thing at a time. Inviting a friend or two to join you in your organizing and decluttering efforts can be fun and very helpful (can you say wine night!) as they won’t let you keep things you might otherwise hang onto – then you can return the favor!
Have fun with this! You’ll see how organizing and decluttering your physical space can free up and literally declutter your mind as well and eliminate chaos. You’ve cracked the kitchen code!
Make it easy on yourself today! Take the Go Raw Challenge at GiveMeMyChallenge.com and have next to NO cleanup!
If this article is helpful, please share it with your friends! We all need to begin to create winning lifestyle habits that make our days and our lives less stressful and more fun!
Lynnie Wennerstrom is an author and a Common Sense Health Expert. She is the creator of GiveMeMyChallenge.com, the only, and most unique, health and lifestyle challenge site on the internet, designed exclusively for women who want to create winning lifestyle habits, and push themselves out of their comfort zone to live fully and fearlessly! After her own narrow escape from death due to several illnesses, Lynnie’s passion is helping women reach their full potential so they can live a more fulfilling and healthier lifestyle
Find her online: @LynnieMotivates, and in her free community on Facebook, The Comfort Zone Challengers.