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How much you use your kitchen? Is it organized, or need some 5S?

Years ago, my grandma was the queen of the kitchen.  She reigned supreme on that space, and nobody dares to interrupt her while she was on the zone.  I know this situation was similar for many families.  Over time, these changes and now families gathered around the kitchen to participate in food preparation and cooking.  

Even children participate, mixing and preparing things.  During friends and family meetings, everybody is in the kitchen while the meal is being prepared.  For many, this is the place to plan parties and other family activities. The kitchen is then the heart and soul of the house.

With everything happening there, it is easy to find some clutter.  That is also the reason to keep it clean and organized at all times.  Remember the 5S?  The five steps cleaning and organization program is effective in the kitchen also.  You can read about the method and ideas for 5S in the house, in either one of these previous posts.  What is 5S? How can I keep my pets stuff organized? How can you organize your garage? or How can I organize my books?  Either one of those articles will help you to understand the 5S process.  

Plan your Kitchen 5S.  You have no idea how much stuff you have stored on those cabinets and drawers until you empty them.  Yes, you will have to empty every one of them and also the pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Engage the family in this activity.  If everybody participates, chances are, they will also help to keep it organized!

  • Designate areas to place items to keep, move out, and trash.
  • Think ahead of time how you want to organize the kitchen.  Items that you use more frequently should go closer to the area where you are going to use them.  For example, spices where you prepare the food and dishes, glassware, and silverware close to the dishwasher.
  • Have readily available the cleaning utensils and detergents you are going to use.
  • Go one cabinet at a time, including the drawers.
  • After the cabinets, take care of the pantry.
  • Check the fridge and freezer.
  • If you have a small desk or office area, include it as part of the project.

The following are things that you should be looking for while sorting. 

  • Things that we collect thinking that we can use them later, but never use.
    • Plastic silverware and condiment packets from take-out orders.
    • Utensils and kitchen tools from which you have double, or triple.
    • Small appliances like waffle maker or rice cooker.
    • Take-out menus
  • Expired items
    • Spices lose flavor over time, while flour and sugar do not perform as well as fresh ingredients.
    • Expired coupons, old shoppers
    • Medicines
  • Broken or damaged things
    • Warped food storage containers
    • Mismatched containers and lids
    • Old towels
  • Items that do not belong to the kitchen
    • Old bills and receipts, last year calendar
    • Power cords with no equipment, old cell phones, and TV remote controls
    • Greetings cards, crafting supplies
    • The user manual or warranty papers for appliances that you don’t have any more or are way beyond warranty

It will take quite some time to finish all this, but in the end, your kitchen will be ready for the next party.  Enjoy!