Organizing your kitchen can seem overwhelming. Even in small kitchens, there are usually multiple cabinets and shelves, and so many different potential areas for clutter: food, cleaning supplies, dishes, and so on. But creating a neater kitchen doesn’t have to be an onerous all-day project. You can really get a lot done in 30 minutes. Remember you’re not completely organizing the kitchen or cleaning everything in sight, just taking a few easy steps in a few minutes to help yourself maintain a neater kitchen in the future.
You can do this without any special tools, but you might want to keep a pen and paper near you for jotting down any thoughts you have about future organization. For example, while working, you might realize that drawer dividers would be a smart purchase, or that you’re running low on dish soap. Make a quick note about anything you discover so you’ll remember it later.
Start With The Junk Drawer(s)
Organizing the junk drawer is fast. First, take all the contents out. Then, throw away anything that you don’t need. Of the objects left, select the ones that are in no way kitchen-related and return them to their proper places throughout the house. Everything that remains either has a more likely place within your kitchen (if so, put it there now), or deserves to stay in the drawer. Arrange the true junk drawer items so they’re not a jumbled mess.
Tackle the Cabinet Under the Sink
Toss anything that’s leaking, empty or otherwise not worth saving, and quickly neaten everything else up.
You don’t have to be perfect about this, or any straightening you do in this half hour. Just line up your bottles of cleanser, boxes of tin foil and other supplies in rows so you can see–and access–what you have.
Quickly Scan Your Cupboards & Pantry
Is any of the food in there expired? Any dented cans or otherwise scary-looking packaging?
Throw all of those items away. Now arrange what’s left in sections (e.g. baking, canned food, tea) or at least make sure it’s all upright and visible.
Organize Your Fridge & Freezer
If these are in a really bad state, and haven’t been cleaned in forever, you may want to leave them for another time. But if they’re mostly fine, you can quickly go through them and check for anything that’s disgusting or ancient. There’s no need to remove everything from the fridge or freezer (unless, again, they are very dirty.) Simply check for anything that needs to be thrown away while you arrange your food so you can get to it.