Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Organized Home Challenge - Week 2 prep

This past week's focus was: Kitchen Organization: Countertops & Sink.

Step 1: Think About the Functions of Your Kitchen.
  • Cooking (and food preparation)
  • Food storage (both cold storage and pantry)
Step 2: Create Usable Counter Space and Clear Your Kitchen Table (mostly).

The counters have been cleared of all unnecessary items! (Although, in the photos, you will see a pan next to the stove. That was for my dinner set-up. I had the pan setting out there, with my dry ingredients in it so that it was ready to go when it was time to cook.)

I had planned to clear off my bar area instead of our dining room table, but this didn't happen this week. It's still better than it was, but it is not where it should be ideally. It is something that will get done, but has not gotten done yet.

Step 3: Consider These Kitchen Storage Solutions To Help Clear Counter Space.

I did not get a magnetic knife storage thing for the wall. It's just simply not in the budget right now and quite honestly, I'm not sure how it would look in my kitchen in the area I have for it.
I also did not get shelves for my spices, but instead I did a little bit of food storage rearranging so that I could put my spices into the cupboard instead of having them on my counter next to the stove.

Step 4: Create The Habit Of Keeping Your Sink Clear Of Dishes At Least Two Times Per Day.

I have done this faithfully every day since I got my cupboards cleared. And yesterday, when I started dinner, my sink was clear. I was able to fill up the sink, toss my dirty dishes into the sink as I used them and loaded them all into the dishwasher while the lasagna was in the oven. Then all I had to do was the lasagna pan, the spatula and our dinner dishes. It was so nice to not have any "extras".

And now for the pictures, because we all know that is what you are REALLY here for! :)

 Okay, in this picture, there are a GREAT number of things that I removed, including:
hot pads (I hung those up), hodgepodge pile of dishes that aren't used regularly and don't belong in here (moved to the dining room), boxed food goods (put away in cupboards, a spice tray (which you can't even see in this pic - moved to a cupboard), toaster, mixer and can opener (moved to small appliance cupboard - which needs clearing out in a major way!), coke cake (in the aluminum foil - we ate it), soda (I drank it), and yeah, that pretty well takes care of this pic. Oh - there is a chair. I moved that back to the dining room.

Okay, now we turn the camera to get the other side of the counter area in the kitchen and we find more food items needing to be put away (which they were), more dishes that needed to be moved to the dining room (which they were), dirty dishes in the sink, a miscellaneous mixture of items on the microwave (I went through every item up there and decluttered it in a major way) and more random items on the bar (some of which got cleared off, some of which didn't).

And then some pictures of the bar area. Actually, in the middle bar picture, you can see the top of the armoire, I also did that surface as part of this challenge, but didn't get an after shot of it because I didn't think of it. I might grab one yet this evening and add it in to this post. But here they are, feel free to click on them to look at them in full-size. I left them little because I don't have comparison pics for you to see anything afterward.

Stove and small area next to it all cleared off and ready for cooking to happen!

Counter all cleared off, save for the tomatoes and avocados and the evening's dinner prep.

Full -view into the kitchen (yes, there were a couple of things on the floor - they have been removed though!

Kitchen sink - CLEARED!

My microwave with my drink tray on top of it. I actually swapped out this tray and the one that was on the microwave because the previous one wasn't big enough to hold all the drink mixes, etc. Also, you see my coffee pot and my digital kitchen scale and what appears to be a to-go cup from a coffee shop. Well, that IS what it is, but it holds the beans that I got from that coffee shop.

Area next to my sink where my handwashed dishes dry. I hate this area. I think it always looks bad, even when it is all cleaned. I really want a different dish drainer or maybe just a larger mat to let the dishes dry on so that I can put it away and not have to look at this.

Just another view of my sink. Looks more inviting, doesn't it?

And now, to make this an incredibly long post, we find out what the challenge is for week 2.

Week #2: Kitchen Drawers & Kitchen Cabinet Organization

Step 1: Recall the Functions of Your Kitchen From Last Week

Step 2: Declutter Your Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers

Step 3: Sort What Is Left According to How Often You Use It

Step 4: Strategically Place Everything In Your Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers According to Their Zones

Step 5: Consider Kitchen Storage Solutions For Your Drawers and Cabinets to Maximize the Use of Your Available Space

So there you have it, week one complete and week two starting up.