We are into week two of our online study of A Life That Says Welcome. This week we will tackle some practical tasks for getting our homes company-ready and strategies for cooking. (Chapters 4-7)
Today, my ministry partner, clever friend and fellow-author of an organizing book Glynnis Whitwer is here to help us get our acts together in the kitchen.
Remember, you can comment on all posts until the end of the study. Winners announced the day after Easter. So, be sure to catch up on the posts from over the weekend. They were fabulous. I am learning a ton from our guests and from you all too!
Now, for today’s guest:
Glynnis Whitwer is on staff with Proverbs 31 Ministries as the Senior Editor of the P31 Woman magazine. She is one of the writers of Encouragement for Today, the Proverbs 31 e-mail devotions, with over 500,000 daily readers. Her newest book, I Used to be So Organized, was released last fall. Glynnis, her husband Tod, and their five children live in Glendale, Arizona. Visit www.GlynnisWhitwer.com for more information.
I’ve discovered many of life’s blessings happen in my kitchen. This room unites the values I hold dear: home, family and sharing life with others. This is why keeping it organized and clutter-free is a top priority for me. It’s not so I can boast of my alphabetized spices or labeled storage containers. An organized kitchen helps keep me focused on what’s important, instead of mentally drained by a mess.
Here’s the problem with a disorganized kitchen as I see it. When there’s no clear counter space, I’m discouraged from starting anything. Instead of making an affordable and healthy dinner, I am tempted to pick something up. I can’t even imagine reaching out to anyone when I can’t even take care of my own family.
All my lovely ideas for hospitality evaporate as clutter drains me of creative energy. Years ago I realized a well-managed life, one where I minister to my family and others, started in my kitchen.
So, in order to bring in more beauty, peace and order into my life and into the lives of those I love, I have declared a war on kitchen clutter. If that appeals to you, here are some suggestions for how to de-cluttering the kitchen.
1) Sort through and remove all clutter from on top of your counters.
Put away, recycle, toss and file those items you know what to do with. If you don’t know where to start, pick a spot and work your way clockwise. If you need to make decisions on other items, put those in a large box for later decision-making. Wash and put away dishes. Clean your counters and sink. Now stand back and survey your accomplishment with joy! (clap, clap, clap … that’s from me).
2) Move many of your everyday kitchen appliances out of sight (toaster, bread maker, waffle iron, etc).
Clear counters will refresh you, and give you a clean palate for creativity. You might need to work on step 3 at the same time so you have room to store these items.
Start with one cabinet or shelf and completely remove every item. If you don’t use it, set it aside to give away, sell or toss. Be honest and ruthless. I know this will be hard, because many of us are well intentioned. I really intended to make fondue for my family … someday. But I had to be honest with myself.
Clean the shelves with warm soapy water and return the items you want to keep, including those items that were previously stored on your counter.
4) Store seldom-used appliances elsewhere.
Can you store larger items outside your kitchen? If you are holding out hope that you will start to use your waffle iron, then consider a shelf in an outside storage cabinet, extra bedroom or linen closet. I have a shelf in my garage for larger items I don’t often use.
Another option is to purchase extra kitchen storage, like a free-standing cottage-style pantry or rolling island. Consider buying something with doors to reduce visual clutter.
Great ideas, Glynnis!
Now, to be entered to win a copy of Glynnis’ book I Used to Be So Organized, tell us either your greatest kitchen organization dilemma or one tip you have when it comes to the kitchen.
REMEMBER: We are also interacting over at Karen Ehman’s Book Studies on Facebook. Click here to “like” the page & join us.
And, for this coming Friday’s idea swap and share, be thinking of your best decorating idea, tip, centerpiece or DIY project.