Assigning a home for all household items

Last week, we talked about the purging process.

Purging is the ruthless elimination phase of organizing. We are continuing our journey through SPACE (Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize and Edit) and this week we are going to assign a home for all of those items you are keeping.

Now if you have been with me since the beginning, you will know that we created various zones of activities in the kitchen, we have sorted everything from the cupboards into those zones and then we donated, recycled or threw out those items that we no longer need or use.

So far, so good!

Now we are going to “assign a home” for each of the zones and the items within the zone.

I’ve used the kitchen as our example because it’s one of the toughest areas to organize because of the many activities going on.

Food preparation zone – this is generally the longest counter between the sink and the fridge or the sink and the stove. So the cupboards above and below this counter will house all of the supplies you need to carry out the preparation of your food.

Cooking zone is generally next to the stove and or microwave, so your pots and pans and other items will go in those cupboards.

Dishwashing and storage zone –the best cupboard to house your everyday dishes is above and beside the dishwasher, and the tableware in a drawer beside the dishwasher. Now you may wish to house these items closer to your kitchen table to make it easier to set the table. The choice is yours.

Food storage zone – is often a pantry in newer homes. My home is older so I converted a broom closet into a pantry many years ago and it works like a charm

Household Information centre – many kitchens have a small counter where the telephone usually is. This is a great area to house your household information. Use the cupboards, above or below or both to be the home of your recipes, kids’ school papers, bills to pay, whatever it is that you keep in this zone.

Utility zone – is often the cupboard below the sink or perhaps a broom closet in the kitchen.

Assigning a home depends a lot on how your kitchen is designed and what you do in the kitchen. Some of you may be big time bakers and you may want a ”baking zone” where you would have all of your cookie sheets, bowls, measuring spoons and all of the foodstuffs associated with baking. Always remember this is your kitchen and what I’m telling you is a guideline.

A zone I have in my kitchen is the “beverage zone”. The cupboard that is above where my coffeemaker lives is home to my tea, coffee, hot chocolate, even my teapot and cream and sugar bowls. Everything is right there to make that cup of whatever I want!

And there is no rule that says everything has to stay in the place you put it forever.

Your kids grow up, life changes and it’s ok to revisit your zones and change them up if necessary. When you make the area you are working in a pleasurable space, it’s amazing how much more fun it is to complete those tasks.

Here are few other things to think about when assigning a home. Reserve upper cabinet space for lightweight items, lower cabinet space for heavier things. If you have small children, be sure to install a safety latch if you’re storing cleaning supplies, detergent, etc. in a lower cabinet.

And use high pantry shelves or cabinets over the fridge for items that are seldom used or for duplicates.

It’s been great talking with you; I’ll look forward to next time when we containerize! (Oh man, I bet you’re so excited you can’t stand it!)

Here’s my little quote for this week.

Kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life.

Lynne Ring is the founder of The Organizing Guru. She can be reached at 403-343-2201 or by email at organizingguru@shaw.ca. Also check out www.organizing.ca.

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