Organize Your Kitchen (Plus a Giveaway)

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I recently went through my kitchen with a fine-tooth comb, reorganizing it on-camera for our kitchen organizing workshop. I became reacquainted with all sorts of kitchen gadgets that I had collected over the years, like a pasta-measuring device (so I’m sure to cook just the right amount of spaghetti,) and an egg-yolk-separating device. If you’re like me and you enjoy cooking (and gadget collecting), then you may find yourself with a utensil drawer or gadget cupboard that’s bulging at the seams. If so, then it’s time to incubate and date!

Kitchen gadgets have a way of multiplying when we’re not looking, and often those items we simply had to have (the pineapple slicer, for example) rarely see the light of day, let alone regular kitchen use. In the heat of organizing, though, it can be hard to recognize what is truly useful and what is clutter. Instead of trying to decide on the fly, set up an incubation bin—a place to hold all the nifty-yet-rarely-used gadgets taking up valuable kitchen space. Be sure to date the bin, and set a reminder to reevaluate its contents in one month.

Place the bin in an out of the way spot such as in your basement, garage or a storage closet. If you find yourself needing something from your incubator over the next month, it’s only a few steps away. Retrieve the item, and place it back in your kitchen after you use it. (It’s just proven its worth to you!) The items still in the incubator after one month can now go straight to charity. No more fretting, just quick and simple decluttering!

Happy organizing!

Aby Garvey

Aby Garvey is the founder and co-owner of simplify 101. Her passion is helping people create real and lasting change in their lives by getting more organized. Aby believes organizing is a fun and enjoyable process, which is why she developed a whole new way to get organized—simplify 101′s online workshops. Get a taste of simplify 101—and the organized life—with their FREE, simple-to-follow guide How to Create a Command Central Binder. You’ll put together a home reference binder that will help you get organized, save time, and minimize paper clutter and the stress that comes along with it!

Simplify 101 is offering a free spot in their upcoming Organize Your Kitchen:  A Quick + Simple VIDEO Workshop. You won’t just learn how to organize your kitchen—you’ll see the process in action as Aby invites you into her own kitchen organizing project. Here are the ways to enter this giveaway (up to 3 chances to win!):

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling us why you need help organizing your kitchen.
  2. Subscribe to simplify 101’s blog. Come back and leave a comment letting us know you did.
  3. Sign up to receive the free Mini Guide for creating a command central binder, then leave a comment letting me know you did.

Only one lucky reader will win a spot in this workshop, but everyone can take advantage of this 15% discount! Simply enter the coupon code EMEALS during checkout. This coupon is good through April 5, 2012 and may not be combined with any other offers.

For more great organizing tips and information, connect with simplify 101 on the web, blog, facebook, or twitter. Giveaway ends 3/30 at 12 pm EST.

52 thoughts on “Organize Your Kitchen (Plus a Giveaway)

  1. Jordan

    I need help organizing my kitchen bc we have crap EVERYWHERE! i have so many miscellaneous drawers and can never find anything! i have a knife drawer with my silverware yet i have a knife block!!! I too love the kitchen gadgets but cant accommodate them all yet have millions of cupboards!! i have a utensil drawer but its stuffed full and i can never find things (ie the carrot peeler) yet my Avocado slicer i just HAD to have.. (bc a knife is so impractical LOL) i love my kitchen but i just doesnt make sense. I need help!! so pick me :)

  2. Tricia

    Oh! Sounds fun! We’re finally getting a much needed island in our kitchen and that means we’ll get a little more space – problem is, it also means I’ll need to reorganize and I am at a total loss! I have no idea what should go where now! Hopefully this will help!

  3. Cindy

    WONDERFUL idea! I am in desperate need of help in this area. I love to cook, and as such, have accumulated a bunch of gadgets myself. I chuckled as I was reading about the pineapple slicer – guilty! We are getting ready to downsize our home and in the process of packing everything up, I would love some great ideas on how to start out in our new home with an organized kitchen.

  4. Cindy

    Just signed up to receive the Command Center Binder information – another nugget of goodness as we enter this new phase in our lives here. :)

  5. Barb

    I think I just have too much stuff, but I don’t know how to know what to part with and what I will need the second I get rid of it! I have plasticware all in one cupboard but can’t find lids when I want them. I have two drawers of cooking utensils but can’t find what I need without going through both of them. What is that drawer under the oven for…cookie sheets? Or pans? Or just the broiler pan that came with the stove? How do I keep my hubby from piling everything on top of the fridge? I SO need help organizing my kitchen!!! I need a system that will easily STAY organized so when I get home from work and have 30 minutes to put the groceries away, feed the children, empty and reload the dishwasher before Scouts, piano lesson, or whatever activity is happening that night. Help!

  6. claudia

    I love to organize and simplify but need help.i have tried but still need final touches to make s/oother and simpler. I am hoping this resparks my interest in cooking.

  7. Gerri Barron

    Love the idea of the “incubator bin”. I am painting the walls to my kitchen after 26 years. There is not much “wall” to paint as the most wall is dark paneling. So what I can paint I am and I thought about culling my cabinets and drawer. I have things in both that I rarely if ever use. I only have 5 cabinets and 4 drawers, so it is real tough to organize plates, storage bowls, pots and pans all that.
    Thanks for the idea

  8. Angela Visconti

    I have a beautiful kitchen, I have drawers and closets and storage galore. I have big countertops and a wide floor plan. There is so much going for this kitchen. My problem I do not have organization. If you looked at my kitchen from the outside you would think, wow this is gorgeous. If you opened a closet or drawer you would say, “Oh maybe she is a secret hoarder”. This al started back in August when I moved in. I was so excited to finally have all the space in the world to put my dishes, china, pots and pans, and the rest of the arsenal I use to cook. The only thing I didn’t think of was HOW to put them away. So clearly this is the reason I need help. I want to have a system, a method to implement on a daily basis to keep the kitchen in order. I am asking for help because without it I might loose the beauty of my kitchen.

  9. Barbara Darden

    This is a great idea! We just downsized to a smaller home and I have spent the last few months trying to figure out what I REALLY need and don’t and this is a great idea! Going to do this today.

  10. Angela Visconti

    Ok, so promise this is the last post from me, I know everyone is looking at my picture going, “Hey what is that about?” but I swear that is from 5 years ago and I have no idea how to change it. So with that I am about to download my FREE copy of the Mini Guide to creating a command center (love that) and be on my merry way. Happy Tuesday everyone and I wish all of you the best of luck!

  11. Krista

    I need help organizing my spice cabinet. I spend a lot of time reorganizing it, since whatever I need always seems to be hidden. :-( I try to limit the options to keep it simpler, but between my semi-annual purges it gets a bit out of control.

  12. Lora Downie

    I’m in the process of redoing my kitchen and I’ve lost two big cabinets in the process! How do I get organized with limited storage space?!?

  13. Judi

    Would love help in reorganizing my kitchen..My husband and I live in a 825 square foot beach cottage along with 3 teenage boys and a beloved small dog. Our kitchen is small and has things hanging from everywhere! But we have fun and whether I ever get to that organizing project or not, I love to read your column and have signed up for the blog and the binder.

  14. Jen

    Subscribed to the blog because I need emergency help! Homeschool mom of 3 who loves to cook and decorate and I am always looking for creative ways to stay organized and keep my home looking like our home and not a schoolroom year round! Looking forward to following your advice and receiving your emails.

  15. Cathy

    I’m only sorry they are giving just one away, sounds like many of us are in need of organization. I’m in the middle of moving and my kitchen is in boxes. Oh, how I would love to have an organized kitchen once I settle the boxes in the new place. What a dream and oh, so necessary. Love the idea of putting less used utinsils out of the way for a month……this will help. I’m definitely in for the blog and the free Mini guide. Being prior military, a go to binder (SOP for military folks – Standard Operating Procedure) is a necessity. I hope to hear if I’ve won soon. Good luck everybody.

  16. Amy Miron

    Although I don’t feel I am, my husband has referred to me as a hoarder on several occasions. As we have three little girls and a smaller home I have been trying to de-clutter each room little by little. I have yet to touch the kitchen as it has dishes, utensils and gadgets stuffed EVERYWHERE! I would love to get some pointers on how to organize it so I could get the nerve to begin tackling it! Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. April Brown

    I really need help in Organizing my kitchen!!! Oh My!!! I was just laughing about this with my mother the other day! We recently moved into a new house and I am still getting things “where I want them” and my husband is going CRAZY becuase everything keeps moving on him…..he can never find what he is looking for becuase I am constantly moving them to find a better home for them!!! LOL!!! ALL HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!

  18. Brenda

    I moved into my house 3 1/2 years ago. First kitchen with lots of room! With this nice kitchen came an enjoyment of cooking, then followed the collecting of gadgets, then came the feeling of “this kitchen isn;t as big as I thought it was.” That is why I need help organizing it. :)

  19. jennie

    Aby, if it helps .. my German grandmother used a simple method to measure spaghetti servings. You take your index finger and curl it down to the base of your thumb, kind of in an A-OK sign. That is one serving. Then move your fingertip out along your thumb incrementally for more servings. Like halfway to your knuckle is 2, knuckle is three, halfway to top of thumb is four, top of thumb into a full “O” is six, I believe. I do mine by sight now since my family loves pasta and leftovers!

    Also, my closet and my time needed the most help, so I’ve signed up for those workshops, but I am sure my kitchen could use some help, too! I would love to win a spot.

  20. Chandra

    my kitchen has been exactly the same since my husband and i married 6 years ago and i moved in! I need some fresh ideas. we have had 2 kids since then and our “supplies” have grown in numerous amounts, but the space has not!! Please help!

  21. Charis Young

    I would love to win this! My house is very small & I do need help with organizing my kitchen!! I signed up to get the guide & also subscribed to their blog. Excited to get organized!!

  22. Amanda Jones

    We’ve moved around so many times since we were married 6 years ago that now that we are finally in a home and settled in, we have no idea where to begin. We’ve got too much stuff, not enough room and have NO idea what an organized kitchen looks like! The pots share a cubbard with the mixing bowls and my poor husband can’t find half the items in the kitchen…which his neat, uncluttered personality has a hard time with. It would help our sanity, our relationship, and it would give our life simplicity!

  23. jennie

    I didn’t realize I wasn’t subscribed to the blog since I get the newsletter, but I had noticed I didn’t always get notices that the blog was updated. Duh! Thanks for having that as part of the contest … I am subscribed now!

  24. Mandy Greenlee

    I need help organizing my kitchen because I am a full time teacher and a mother of 3 very active children under the age of 7. I need help organizing EVERYTHING! We have had a recent diagnosis of Celiac Disease within our family and we have all been transitioning to gluten free because we all show similar symptoms and now have even more stuff in my kitchen to accomodate this transition! HELP! I am buried under a mountain of STUFF!

  25. Ian Vissers

    I would love to have our kitchen organized for my wife. We are a military family so having an organized kitchen that moves with us would be awesome. With 3 small boys anything that makes her day easier, simpler, and more efficient would be a God-send. Thanks for the great ideas.

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