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Organize + Energize: What’s In Your Kitchen?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Did you know that you have 5 cans of the same expired food in your pantry? Looks like it's time to clean out the kitchen.

The holiday season is in full swing. Will you be entertaining and cooking? If so, think about getting your kitchen organized now. Having an organized food pantry will save you time, money, and stress. Knowing what you have and where everything is will help avoid buying duplicate items at the market. Everything is categorized and labeled, and you will be able to see everything clearly in the closet.

In the past month, I’ve organized a bunch of kitchens. I think people get nervous when the holidays roll around and some want to be as efficient as possible during this time. They truly understand the benefits of having an organized kitchen.

Instead of giving you tips like I normally do, I thought I would tell you what’s going on in people’s kitchens. See? It's not just you.

Plastic food containers.

I can already hear the moans and groans. So many people have a hard time with containers and lids. I just finished organizing a kitchen and found that once we emptied the cabinet, she had about 20 lids and 2 containers. Where did all the containers go? My favorite containers are Lock N Lock containers. They are stackable and durable.

Expired food.

In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least 4 garbage bags of expired food. You know what this means? You can’t see what you have in your food pantry and you forgot you had it, and you just threw money out the window!

Random items.

Do tennis balls really belong in the kitchen? How about hair elastics or staple guns? They should have a home in another area of the house, especially if you have a small kitchen.

Food placement.

Mostly everybody is guilty of this. Breakfast food mixed in with canned goods. Snacks mixed in with pasta. Rice on different shelves. I see you nodding your head.

Do you label?

I will tell you a story about what happened to me a few Christmases ago. I was making pizzelles and I grabbed what I thought was the sugar, (it wasn’t labeled) and I proceeded to mix it into the batter. When I went to place a dollop of batter on the machine, it caramelized on the machine. At that moment, I realized I put confectionary sugar instead of regular sugar into the batter. I ruined the machine and needless to say, nobody had pizzelles for dessert that year. I thought I was smart and didn’t need to label the containers. I still don’t have a label on the confectionary sugar, but...do as I say, not as I do.

Food on top of the refrigerator.

Do you do it? It’s an eyesore and the heat will wreak havoc on your food. I will guarantee that once you organize your kitchen, you will no longer need to store anything on top of it. Alternatively, decorative pieces look great on top of the fridge.

Box tops.

Do you struggle with a box top every time you try to get your favorite snack? Rip those tops right off the boxes so you can grab what you need quickly.

Half empty boxes.

One Crystal Lite packet, one oatmeal packet, two granola bars. Take these guys out of their boxes, condense, and store like items together.


Oh boy. How many cinnamon spices does one need? Take 5 minutes and make a clean sweep of the spice cabinet. You may be surprised at what you find.

If you have a disorganized kitchen, I know you can relate to all of the above. It’s time to get your kitchen organized so you can save time and money, have less stress and be more efficient and productive in your kitchen. What’s stopping you from getting your kitchen organized?


Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. On December 2, Kristin debuted her 1/2 hour weekly talk radio show, Organize, Energize with Kristin on www.talkstreamradio.com.

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