Have you ever been intimidated by a new kitchen? All those empty cupboards, shelves, and drawers…now what?!?I love helping clients plan where everything will go, and I recently got to do it again. A new kitchen is like a blank slate — time to start fresh, an opportunity to put things in handy spots and get rid of gadgets you never use! My current client’s kitchen is brand new, in a newly-built home, but these tricks will work for anyone moving into any home or apartment, or remodeling their kitchen. I suppose you could also unpack all your kitchen cupboards and start over from scratch, but you probably don’t need to go that far.
A little planning goes a long way. If possible, I suggest you start this process a few days before you actually move in, or at least before you’ve unpacked all the kitchen boxes and put everything away.
Arm yourself with a pack of Extra Sticky Post-It Notes and a black Sharpie. (The Post-It and Sharpie companies don’t pay me to say that, but they really should!) Go around the kitchen together (me + you, or you + family member, if any) thinking and talking about where you want to put what, and why. Create logical zones for dish storage, baking supplies, cooking gear, food storage, cleaning supplies, dish towels, etc. Do you need a coffee station? A spot for cookbooks? A drawer for bill paying supplies? Do you have school age children who do their homework in or near the kitchen? If so, reserve a cupboard or drawer that they can reach for school and art supplies, and another for snacks they are allowed to access.
Label everything with the sticky notes– upper and lower cabinets, drawers, shelves, even counter-top locations for appliances that you use daily. (If you use them less often, consider stowing them away.) Pay attention to how high, how low, and how far back you’ll need to reach to access your things. Your most frequently-used items should be the easiest to reach. Measure the cabinets, if there’s a question about what will fit where.
Hopefully you can do all the planning and labeling before you move in. If you’ve already moved, try to refrain from unpacking all the kitchen boxes for a few days. You can unpack the coffee maker and a few dishes and some food so you can live your life, but don’t unpack everything. This gives you a chance to use the kitchen and realize you prefer to put the glasses in that other cupboard instead…before you’ve filled it up with canned goods and have to move ALL the glasses AND the canned goods. Simply rearrange the sticky notes as necessary.
After a few days, when you are satisfied with your plan, unpack and put everything away in its predetermined home. This is so much easier when the decisions are made in advance.
TRICK #3: LEAVE THE STICKY NOTES UP
Leave the sticky notes in place, but only for another week or so, until everyone in the household gets used to where everything is now. Then take them down and enjoy your new kitchen!
Do you think this strategy would work for you?
What tips do you have for moving into a new kitchen?
Please let us know in the comments!
Copyright 2014 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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