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  • Writer's pictureTina Mader

Why do I need to Organize my Kitchen

So what if my kitchen is unorganized, I can find everything!

Do you ever wonder why no one else in your home can find anything but you? Every five seconds I hear - “Mom! Where is [fill in whatever you’d like]” My response is always the same, In the basket! “Why do you always say that?” Because it’s always there!

Why is having an organized kitchen important? Is it so the neighbors will be jealous at how pretty your kitchen is?

Hehehe - nah, that’s just a bonus. Is it because we like to add extra work and stress in our lives? Not me - I’m as lazy as they come! I want to enjoy my family and free time. While my kiddos were growing up, I struggled to keep myself organized. I tried and tried. I felt as though everyone else's homes were spotless and functional and I was the only one who struggled. When someone came over I'd rush and throw things in a closet, slam it shut, and beg the kids not to open it. I swear my son would tease me the entire time people were over. He would stand by the impending avalanche of tossed belongings with this menacing grin. He knew he owned me! He could have all the ice cream he wanted. Through the years I have learned a few tricks and I learned that I have many different styles of organizers in one house. Having children on all sides of of the spectrum, ranging from autism to ADHD to gifted, (and each child is just as gifted as other!) really made keeping an orderly home a challenge and I was not up to the task. I had to put my big girl panties on and figure it out. Looking back, there was order in the chaos. Those few tricks I learned, that's why I am here! I want to pass that info along. Here is a big one - be ready for it - YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! Don't look at Karen's house. She only has 2 kids, her mom and sister are help her out too. Don't worry about it. I've been in many homes, trust me, all of us are hiding some kind of mess. Yes, I am too. Every space I clean out I swear two more pop up. We do the best we can with what we have. We don't need to buy the fancy new bins. Make bins out of cereal boxes if you need to! If you want inspiration, please ask me. I love crafts. I just cleaned my craft room, that means it's time to get it messy.

I love my kitchen! It has always been our families gathering place. We seem to hang out in this area this the most, and it has to serve many purposes. It is a homework space, art studio, bakery, hangout zone for both the teens and senior citizens, and finally, a place for family dinners. Oops, I nearly forgot, music practice! Yes, how could I forget violin lessons? Years and years of practice. That is a lot for one area. I had to make sure I had very specific zones where the supplies were for each activity, and with 7 of us, it was chaotic and I had to make sure the space was safe for all age groups.

The kids had a few areas around the kitchen. There is this closet - the closet of many colors - it served as mainly the craft area but also had school back/up supplies closet. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone through this closet and organized and it still went out of control. In full transparency, the Girl Scouts got boxes and boxes of supplies because I didn’t know what else to do with everything after everyone graduated. The closet was around for a long time - let’s not talk about it🤦🏻‍♀️.

I had another area for them, their baking section. It was so cute! When they were little they would sit on the counter and sing with me while we “experimented.” Science is so cool, we would learn how cookies would turn out when we did or didn’t us baking soda. Of course, I had to make sure the kitchen was safe, age appropriate items were in front of the correct child and so on. I always needed to be organized in order to have fun, it never felt like I was ‘organizing’ I was just making sure my family was safe.

Keeping our kitchen safe for our children makes sense, there are lots of books and gadgets on how to do that. Navigating life with an aging parent was not easy and I learned a lot. We had many ups and downs and I am happy to share with other families so they can avoid the pitfalls we had. The simple act of moving some dishes around would have eased so much tension, but I didn’t know and it never dawned on me. No one tells you these things. It sounds simple when you look into someone else’s home, but when it’s your own parent, you just don’t ever think they will need you you because it’s always been the other way around. All she wanted to do was help, but she couldn’t reach to put things away. It even took us a few tries to get the bathroom the right. Don't ever, and I mean ever, surprise a woman with anything in the bathroom. Even a support rail! That was a tough lesson to learn, the look she gave me is still making me laugh, like you doofus! I should have had a third party come in to assess the situation and see where we could have come together to make her more comfortable. It would have been better for both of us. I miss her every day! I never think, “Gosh, those cups were in the wrong spot.” I just wish for one more real conversation with my dear friend.

As you can see, a big reason for me to organize my kitchen is safety! Luckily my kids were older when their grandma came to stay with us. You may think, so what? I don't have a house full of kids or aging parents living with me - My kitchen doesn’t need to be organized. Well, was there ever a moment where you couldn't find the scissors, plastic wrap, or that bundt cake pan? How long did it take you to find them? And that's really the key - time. Being organized saves you so much time in the kitchen. Lately my husband and son have been doing all the cooking. The best part is that they have not been asking me where anything is! If they do, they know it's time to put it on the grocery list.

I have also been talking about being better with money. One question I keep getting is, “will I have to buy a lot of storage or organizers?” We will use what you have and stay within your budget. I may make suggestions for future purchases if it makes sense, but it will ultimately be up to you. Being organized and getting rid of the clutter helps you see what you have so you don’t go out and buy it again. Remember in one of my earlier posts, we had 5 opened and partially used bottles of cumin! Who needs that? And if you are organized you won't waste time hunting for scissors or plastic wrap.

The rest you already know. Being organized helps you reduce stress, stay focused, and results in less time spent cleaning! If you don’t know where to start, just remember, start at Square 1!


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