Professional organiser Steph Knight of Less Mess tells how to tackle the kitchen and garage. lessmess.co.nz
Take everything out of cupboards and drawers – not all at once or you won’t be able to move. Assess each item, and have a rubbish bag handy, plus a bag or box for items to donate.
Start with the cutlery and utensil drawers then move on to the cupboards. Be realistic about what you use – if you don’t use it get rid of it; and if it doesn’t belong in the kitchen, find its rightful place.
Wipe cupboards and drawers, and add non-slip liners in drawers to reduce rummaging. If you have dead space which you could use, add a rack or second shelf from your local storage store. Make sure everyday items are easy to access – if you use it most, store it close.
Store cutlery and tableware in cupboards near the dishwasher so it’s easier to empty. Keep pots and pans near the oven or cooktop. Store items that are seldom used in cupboard corners – but first, think about whether you really need them.
Clear your bench and table (because you’ll need the space), and take everything out of your pantry. Throw away expired products and anything you know you won’t use.
Wipe down surfaces, then consider layout. In the pantry, store items higher or lower depending on how often you use them. Storing like-with-like is key to everyone in the household finding what they’re looking for, and putting it away again. Group together items such as baking goods, canned food, pasta and rice, sauces and oils, spices and snack foods.
Use stackable, airtight containers to save space. Label the containers so ingredients are easy to find, and it’s easier to see what you’re low on come grocery shopping time.
Repeat steps above with your fridge. Use clear containers for leftovers – you’re more likely to use food you can actually see.
The kitchen bench is a common dumping ground for handbags, paperwork or toys – not ideal for a food prep area. being organised in other areas of your home will help you change your habits, and keep your bench clear. Re-home anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen, and dedicate a specific place for miscellaneous items.
Compiled by: Shelley Ferguson. Photography by: Tony Amos & Maree Homer/bauersyndication.com.au.