Organize Your Kitchen in One Afternoon

 

Remember spending Saturday afternoons cleaning your bedroom as a teenager? It began as a chore and ended with a great sense of satisfaction and a new intimacy with your forgotten playlists. And going into the following week with that clean and organized room? The best. Bring that vintage feel into your kitchen in one afternoon. Get your 00’s playlist ready and let’s organize.

1. Organize by zones. Move the coffee supplies—filters, grinders, French press, coffee, tablespoon, etc—to the drawer or cabinet near where you actually make coffee. Move the spatulas and spoons and spices next to the stove. Think about how you actually use your kitchen, not how the internet thinks it’s being used, and rearrange to fit your needs. The goal is to have everything for one chore on hand, without moving.

2. Clear counters. Nothing makes a kitchen look more organized and peaceful than a cleared countertop. Anything that stays on your counters needs to be used daily—think coffee machines if you make coffee or toasters if you make toast. The only exception is that fancy stand mixer you got for your birthday, because it’s a kitchen statement piece.

3. Purge All the Things. Getting rid of possessions you don’t use but must maintain (even if to shove them aside to fit the stuff you do use inside the cupboard) can be so freeing. Now is the time to go through those wedding or housewarming gifts and decide if you’re really going to use that pasta maker or dehydrator. Don’t forget to look at the smaller things. How many measuring cups do you really need? How many mugs do you actually use? Be brutal.

4. Get creative. To organize pantry’s and inside cupboards, don’t be afraid to think beyond the kitchen. Office supplies and drawer organizers can do double duty in the kitchen. Just remember to measure your drawers before going shopping—nothing is worse than getting more stuff you don’t use.

5. Don’t forget the fridge. Even if it’s just cleaning out old condiments and wiping down the shelves and drawers, the fridge shouldn’t be forgotten—it’s a big part of a clean and organized kitchen.

The best part of a clean and organized kitchen? The results are bound to last longer than your teenage bedroom.

 

Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

Spring To-Do’s for a Year-Round Tidy Home

There’s something about that first warm day after spending all winter trudging through cold and ice and huddling on the couch in blankets. The tree frogs awaken, the birds arrive, and we throw open our windows and embrace everything fresh and renewed. It’s a good time to channel those spring cleaning urges into checking in with your home maintenance.

Outside:

  1. Raking in the spring is more important than the fall—any leaves left now can contribute to mold or bald patches in your lawn, so head out there with a blower or a rake and get the grass ready for spring green
  2. Mulch your flowerbeds
  3. Turn outside faucets back on
  4. Plan ahead for summer lawn care—either renew your lawn care service contract or make sure your mowers blades are sharpened and trimmers are running
  5. Assess the trees on your property—both potential for storm damage and for disease or rot that may spread. Consult with professionals if you have any questions
  6. Reseed your lawn
  7. Plant perennials
  8. Fertilize—once your grass is green
  9. Clear out any raised beds and plant spring vegetables and herbs
  10. Store winter supplies and drain the fuel from any snow-blowers
  11. Check the exterior of the home for loose shingles, cracks in the foundation or other repairs that may need to take place, including any places that may need paint
  12. Clean the gutters and check for any cracks or water flow issues
  13. Hose off your decks and siding—no need to powerwash
  14. Clean exterior windows and replace any missing or broken screens
  15. If you have a pool, prepare to open the pool and inspect the patio and pumps for any repairs that need to be addressed

Inside:

  1. Before the first hot day, check your HVAC to make sure everything is working. A cleaning and tune up with your local HVAC technician is something that can prevent future costly repairs.
  2. Check in with your plumbing to make sure there are no leaks.
  3. Spring brings rain—if you have a sump pump, ensure it is working before the storm hits.
  4. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide.