Cutting the Kitchen Clutter

Tanya Ward Goodman

By:  Tanya Ward Goodman

I’ve been writing a fair amount here about organizing. It’s an ongoing process, but like that old saying, “sleep begets sleep,” I have to say, “order begets order.”

Take for example, my kitchen drawers. Opening these drawers is usually a three-part process. There is the first tug, the inevitable snag, and then the prolonged rattle, which usually loosens whatever useless kitchen tool is jammed inside. My own useless kitchen tools include lobster claw crackers, multiple liquor jiggers, a cherry pitter, and a tool used only for retrieving olives from the bottom of a jar.

One night, not so long ago, I set my son up with the ingredients for crab cakes and while he mixed, I dumped out all the drawers, scrubbed out the crumbs and sticky corners and then replaced only the things I use on a daily basis. I grouped these things into families according to use and then I even went so far as to get out the P-Touch labeler and give each item a proper address so that my husband and our dear friends who are kind enough to do the dishes after a dinner party will know just where everything goes. Once I’d done this, I took a long look at the seemingly useless pile. I tossed things like solo chopsticks and wine stoppers that had lost their stop. I added a few battered wooded spoons to our camping box. I put the icing spreader in the drawer with the measuring cups and the cake tester and I consigned the lobster cracker, the olive picker (a irresistible feat of engineering) and a few other items to the far back of the drawer where they can be retrieved for service, but don’t have to be in the way when they aren’t needed.

All of this took about twenty minutes and has given me pleasure every single day since.

The crab cakes, by the way, were delicious. My boy is well on his way to being a fine chef and when he cooks, it’ll be in an organized kitchen.

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