While springtime is often associated with cleaning, you may want to consider the fall season to set a new tradition to get organized. With a full academic year ahead, this is an opportune time for families to begin. Knowing what you have and where to find it will not only reduce stress but will save time and money! While this may feel daunting, you don’t have to tackle the entire household all at once. We suggest you utilize the reading and learning strategy known as “chunking”, where you break a larger section into manageable parts. If you are looking where to begin in your home, the kitchen is certainly a great starting point according to organization and design expert, Sarah Grant. Our community loves her tips on tidying, so she is back to give us advice on how to accomplish a simple kitchen reset this fall.
With our kids back at school, taking the time to reset our space and things can go a long way towards helping us ease into new routines. Unlike spring cleaning, when we incentivize ourselves to refresh our space in anticipation of sunny warmer days, organizing at this time of year can feel like it’s taking us away from soaking in every last drop of sunshine.
To find that balance and enjoy the freshness of the fall season, while starting the year off on the right foot, consider a kitchen reset with any one of these bite-sized projects that will help streamline weekday meal prep:
Four Simple Strategies for a Fall Kitchen Reset
1) Tupperware Taming: Gather all your reusable containers and make sure each base has a matching lid. Separate any broken or mismatched pieces that are no longer useful. Ensure what you keep fits in a designated space. Some of our favourite space saving tricks are stacking bases of similar shapes (round, rectangular or square) and storing stacks of lids upright alongside them. Drawer dividers or inserts can help keep lids in place. Store kids’ lunch containers in their own designated spot so they are easy to stash away and find again in a hurry.
2) Battle the Bottles: With water bottles/thermos for every occasion, and often ample freebies thrown into the mix, we frequently find this category of kitchen item overflowing. The start of the school year is a good time to check that each family member has a labelled bottle (or two) with all the parts intact and an accessible place to store it. Check your shelves for extra bottles and parts and make sure any back-up bottles or mugs aren’t taking up your valuable kitchen space. Donate what’s no longer being used, toss anything broken or mismatched, and relocate any special occasion bottles so prime space can go to your everyday sets.
3) A Useful Utility Drawer: Turn that junk drawer into a highly functioning utility drawer by making sure it stores the things you’re likely to need rather than actual junk. Group like items together and make sure each is contained (drawer inserts will help with maintenance and simplify future edits). Common utility drawer items may include pens, scissors, tape, rubber bands, batteries, extra keys, charging cables, and membership cards/coupons.
4) A Purposeful Pantry Purge: Depending on when you last edited your pantry, this may be one of the most time-consuming projects on this list. Chip away at pantry organization in small steps by taking it a category at a time. First eliminate excess packaging, then group foods by category, tossing or donating what you won’t eat. Doing this prior to a grocery shop can help inspire meals that use up what you already have before letting it go to waste. Here are the most essential categories for families to give adequate space to:
- Arrange cereals, nut butters, or other breakfast foods in an accessible place for the kids to help themselves each morning.
- Distinguish between healthy snacks and sweet or savoury treats, giving each type of food its rightful place. Take stock of the nutritious grab and go foods the kids will enjoy having on hand as you return to school routines.
- Group your non-perishable meal staples to inspire quick weekday meals: sauces, grains, canned veggies, or lean proteins (e.g., beans or fish).
While desks and closets may be top of mind for back-to-school re-stocking, an organized kitchen will go a long way to support your family’s meal planning and help simplify cooking, clean-up, and storage.
About Sarah Grant:
If you love these organizational tips, check out Sarah Grant’s previous guest blogs with us here. Sarah and her family are based in Kelowna, British Columbia and she frequents Toronto seasonally for projects. For more decluttering, decorating and design inspiration, follow Sarah on Instagram @sarahgrantinteriors
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