When one becomes a single dad and sets up house, organizing the home is often outside a dad's experience. Whether you are in an apartment by yourself or in someplace larger with the kids full-time, getting your kitchen ready for production can be a particular challenge. Here are the keys for organizing the kitchen and making it work for you and your kids, suggested by Marie Calder Ricks of the House of Order.
Time Required: About two hours
- Clear the counter clutter. Too many people let appliances and other things clutter the counter, which cuts down on work space. Put away anything you don't use frequently.
- Clean out the non-essential stuff. Kitchen drawers and cabinets often hold a lot more than kitchen needs. Find a new home for the pencils, note pads, and stuff that is not used in the kitchen.
- Know your ABC's. Marie recommends dividing your kitchen and your kitchen tools into three groups. Any part of the kitchen that you can reach without bending or stretching is an "A" location. If you have to reach or stoop to get to it, it's a "B" location. If you have to kneel, stand on a stool or stick your head into a cabinet, it's a "C" location. Mark each drawer or cabinet with an A, B, or C label for the next step.
- Divide up the equipment. Empty all of your "A" locations and put all the stuff on the table. Then put your most frequently used tools in the "A" locations. IF you aren't sure what is an "A", put everything into a box in another part of the house. If you retrieve it during the first week, it is an "A" item. If not, it is a "B" or "C". Then put the "B" and "C" equipment into their respective locations.
- Set limits. Only keep as many pans in an "A" location as you have burners on the stove. Unstack items so everything can be reached and used with one hand.
- For frequently used tools, like wooden spoons and measuring cups, try to have three of everything.
- Remember that your three main work centers are the stove, the sink and the mixing counter. The tools appropriate to these areas should be put near the respective area.
- Use stackable storage containers, so that when they are empty, they can be condensed down.
- If you are married or have a partner, don't try to reorganize "her" kithchen. You'll pay for that experience if you do.
What You Need
- Basic kitchen tools
- Storage containers
- Markers and labels