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Organizing Your Home: The Kitchen
by: Terry Lowery
Arguably, the kitchen is the heart of the home. We cook there, eat there (hopefully as a family), entertain there, chat at the table, do homework, and any number of other family-related things. A disorganized kitchen discourages us from doing the above; we donít want to cook and eating will likely then take place in front of the TV. We donít want to entertain others or sit and chat because the clutter distracts us and makes us feel ashamed of not keeping things in better order. So letís get to it!

Please understand that this room CANNOT be done in one day or in one chunk of time. Iím willing to bet it took more than one day for your kitchen to look the way it doesóso it will take more than one day to un-do it. Be patient and attack these different tasks in small chunks of timeósmall steps! Youíll find that as each one is done that youíll be motivated to do another and another. And then when itís all done, youíll not want to mess it up, and so be motivated to keep it organized! Oh happy day!

1) Unload your dishwasher. If your dishwasher is full of clean dishes and not put away, you wonít have a place to put your dirty dishes as you clean up. If you donít have a dishwasher, take a look at your sink. If youíve got clean dishes in your dish rack, put them away now. Then move your dish rack to the counter and put an empty dishpan under the sink. Youíll see why as we keep going.

2) Take a look at your countertops. Are they piled high with papers, dishes (dirty), and appliances (some you havenít used in weeks or months)? Are they stained (underneath the stuff on them)? Letís clear off one countertop at a time. Pick your smallest one and clear everything off. Put it on a table or other surface where you can go through the things. Put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (or dishpan under your sink), go through the papers (junk mail = trash can, bills go to the study, etc.). Put the other miscellaneous things youíve found in separate piles to be schlepped to the appropriate rooms where they belong. Then look at the naked countertop. Take a cleaner of your choice (I love the Lysol disinfecting wipes, but you could use a spray cleaner, a bleach cleaner, or simple window cleaner) and a rag and start wiping from back to front. Sweep the crumbs in to the garbage can. Now put only the things which are *necessary* back on the counter. That means no excess paperwork, no hairbows, etc. If you need space for a coffee maker or other small appliance, you now have it!

3) Move to the next counter and repeat the same steps as above.

In Part Two of Organizing Your Kitchen, weíll take a look at the next round of steps to create a kitchen youíre proud of!

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