Kitchen Purge 2019: Days 22-28 “Putting it All Together”

Kitchen Purge 2019: Days 22-28 “Putting it All Together”

January 26, 2019 Off By practicalperfection

Don’t start here! Check out my introduction and Weeks 1-3 before you work on this post!


Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

When I started this 28-Day Challenge I thought it would be easy, but it has been very challenging for me to work through a room I can’t actually see. So, I’d love any feedback you have to give me on what was helpful and what I missed that you felt you needed help with. This week is particularly difficult to do via blog post, so I will try to give as many suggestions as I think might be of assistance!

I would like to start by saying that your assignments this week are like putting together a puzzle. Sometimes, you might try something in several different places before figuring out where you want it to be. Also, don’t assume that you’re totally done cleaning things out. At the organizing stage of a purge I always find a few more things I don’t need. Don’t get discouraged!

Day 22: Countertops

In my opinion, the best kitchen designs are those that include the most counter space. Counters hold dirty dishes, clean dishes, yet-to-be-unpacked grocery bags, water filters, often-used appliances, fruit bowls, décor, and the list goes on!

Regardless of your kitchen size, you need a workspace devoted to food prep. This space will not store anything, not even salt and pepper shakers. Ideally, it is located next to your oven. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be easy to access and easy to clean if you want to be efficient. My workspace is about two feet long, to the left of my stove. It’s not that we never use other counters for food prep, it’s just that this one is always available. Since I don’t store anything there cleaning up is super-quick. Just grab a rag and wipe it off!

So, today, choose your workspace and clear it off totally.

Day 23: Countertops

Okay, now it’s time for you to think of ways to best utilize the counter space in your kitchen. I’ve heard it said counters are not for storage. I disagree with strict adherence to this rule; some storage is okay as long as you have carefully chosen the items you want to store and assign a space to them.

I have a utensil crock holding my cutting boards against the fridge. I use these items all day long and want them to be easy to grab. Salt and pepper shakers sit out next to my oven. I also have a water filter and several produce bowls. If I had a pantry closet, then I would probably keep my produce there, but the counter works best in this kitchen. Although it’s sometimes clear, the space to the right of my sink is where clean-but-not-yet-dry pots and pans are stored until I put them away. Many times, I have items that sit out temporarily: medicine or full water bottles for a hike. But, these things don’t stay, they have another permanent home.

Most of us keep way too many appliances on our counters. Even if you use something once a day, you can pull it out of a cabinet. If I put everything on my counters that I use once a day, they would be very full! Definitely my two favorite frying pans, a couple lids, some food storage, our silverware, several potholders, knives, cutting boards, a stack of plates and bowls, snack cups, napkins, and lots of cups. You can quickly see how this line of thinking takes you in a direction you don’t want to go! Instead, think of the things that you want readily accessible numerous times a day and commit to finding cabinet space for everything else.

Knife blocks are really bulky and difficult to find a place for in a lot of kitchens. Those wall-mounted magnetic knife strips are an awesome option, or you could put your knives in a drawer like I do.

Do you keep your juicer on the counter, hoping that its presence will remind you to use it? Honestly, it probably won’t. Write yourself a sticky note if you need a reminder, or just admit that you don’t like making juice and donate the juicer!

Day 24: Drawers

I love drawers! I wish kitchens had more of them and less cabinet space. If I had the drawer space, I would keep all my kitchen linens, silverware, bags, spices, food storage lids, misc. utensils, and plastic tableware in drawers. I don’t have the space for that, and you probably don’t either. Keep in mind that when you’re done with your drawers they should all be easy to open and close!

When I move into a new kitchen the first thing I do is choose a silverware drawer. Most people have a silverware tray to work with, so it needs to fit well. Your silverware drawer should also be sturdy as it will be frequently used and carries the heaviest load.

Next, think about the drawers by your oven. What do you want easily accessible when you are cooking? I keep potholders on one side and miscellaneous utensils on the other. If you have a deeper drawer near your oven you might also consider sticking spices in there.

I like to keep all my food storage lids in a drawer or two, depending on the size of drawers. I love keeping linens in a deep drawer, but don’t have one in my current kitchen.

Day 25: Upper Cabinets

I would recommend that you take everything out of your upper cabinets and start with a fresh slate. When you’re organizing you often have to make a mess before you get things how you want them!

So, you are now looking around at a messy kitchen and wondering where to start. Look at the items on your countertops and think through the items you use most often. Make those things easy to access by putting them on lower shelves. Now, just work your way up, ending with the things you use least on upper shelves.

Glasses, mugs, pitchers, mason jars, breakable dishes, small appliances, light-weight items, and spices are all good upper cabinet candidates.

Day 26: Upper Cabinets

Easy day! Now that you’ve slept on it, take a look at yesterday’s work and decide if you want to make any tweaks.

Day 27: Lower Cabinets

I would recommend that you take everything out of your lower cabinets and start with a fresh slate.

While organizing lower cabinets, remember that just because you can stuff a lot into them doesn’t mean you should. You want to be able to get out your favorite mixing bowl without moving ten things.

Heavy items like pots and pans, large items like salad bowls, and kid’s items are all good candidates for lower cabinet storage.

It’s not really a great idea to store a lot under your sink as it doesn’t give any water that leaks under there a chance to dry. If you do store things under your sink, make sure it can’t be damaged by water. So, no paper towels!

Also, this is not exactly a cabinet, but most people don’t use the drawer under their oven and that can be a great place to stick a few flat-ish items.

The best way to store pan lids is on their pan. If you have to stack your pans, then turn the lid upside down in the pan and put another pan on top of that. (This works unless your pans are enameled, then the lid might get scratched. You could put a towel between the lid and pan, or try to figure out a way that you don’t need to stack.)

Day 28: Lower Cabinets

Easy day! Now that you’ve slept on it, take a look at yesterday’s work and decide if you want to make any tweaks.

CONGRATULATIONS!! I hope you now feel good about your kitchen and can spend the rest of 2019 appreciating the work you put into it!

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