5 Things That Completely Kill Your Organizational Vibe

Organizing Tips from The Kitchn

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You can have all the drawer dividers and countertop utensil holders you want, but there are some things that no matter how hard you try will keep wrecking your organizational kitchen chi.

Identification and small solutions are the key to karate-chopping your way through the clutter and here's how.

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Problem #1: That One Weird Utensil

For some people it's a bulky garlic press; for others it's an oversized pizza wheel you were given for Christmas from a relative and you couldn't possibly give it away — what if your mother-in-law came for pizza night? We get it, but that doesn't mean it belongs in your drawer.

  • THE SOLUTION: If we said, "Don't keep it in your utensil drawer," would you throw something at us because of its obvious nature? Nominate a mixing bowl or colander in a different cabinet to hold your odd-shaped oddballs. It'll take a few weeks to get used to, but it will be the best thing you ever did for the rest of the things in your drawers! If your oddball item is an everyday item that should stay in the drawer or container with everything else, try corralling it like these whisks and their rubber bands.
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PROBLEM #2: Lack of Containment

You know the drawer we're talking about. The one you open just slightly, cram in the zester and close quickly so you don't have to acknowledge its disarray.

  • THE SOLUTION: The old saying: A place for everything and everything in its place, has never been more true. We don't care what you use, maybe it's an ice cube tray, a cheap plastic divider from IKEA, diagonal solutions or something custom made for your specific needs, but gosh darn it, give everything a home. In addition it will help keep you honest about what you're squirreling away.

PROBLEM #3: Lack of a Landing Strip

Although you hopefully have one of these important elements just inside your front door, we're convinced that your kitchen needs an additional one. There are so many lists, recipes, books, groceries, homework and so on, that makes its way into your space. So. Much. Stuff.

  • SOLUTION: Identify your clutter. Is it your mail? Is it kid's homework? Maybe it's just take out menus or recipes you print out swearing you'll make and never do. Determine if you need a box, tray, or a trash bag, in all honesty. A small box or tray won't do if you're catching more than your keys. By giving this sort of clutter a defined space of its own it will suddenly become something else besides clutter. Then once it's full it'll be easy to sort, discard and move on with everyday life.
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PROBLEM #4: Those Gosh Darn Pans

It doesn't matter how many organizational solutions you already have about. Pans are the hardest thing to organize in the kitchen. Why? Because we all have different pans and different spaces to store them! Most of us have silverware drawers, but we don't always have proper pan storage.

  • THE SOLUTION: Throw them all away and only order take-out from here on out. OK, obviously we're kidding, but some days it feels like this is a valid option. Instead, determine what type of storage will help. Hanging? Wall mounted? Vertical dividers? In a basket? Here's 15 of our favorite ways to get the task done. Pick one, commit and quit tossing them inside and running away before they all spill out onto the floor. Wait, that's just me that does that? Moving on.
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PROBLEM #5: Sucky Sink Stuff

The sink, man it's a burden. There's the dark hole of cleaning supplies beneath it; there are rags, sponges, and drain stoppers above it; there are bottle brushes and possibly plants. That area can spiral out of control quick and once it does, small tasks like doing the dishes and caring about daily maintenance become a real chore.

So take a step back and look long and hard at your kitchen. What's killing your organizational vibe? Do you have clutter issues? Containment issues? Harboring things you hate? Get started today to let the very best foodie vibes flow!

(Image credits: Faith Durand; Susie; BrightNest; Marthat Stewart; Cambria Bold)