Does your kitchen always seem to be a mess? Does it cause you anxiety? I want to share some thoughts on how to love your kitchen space.
My focus is on space because we tend to under-appreciate the role of space. Oh sure, most of us agree that it’s nice to have space. We look at it as what’s left over, after we have made room for all our stuff. We feel good about ourselves when we have purged items to make room for space. However, if you still don’t love your kitchen space, then perhaps it’s time to think about your space first. If space-first sounds familiar, there’s a good reason for that. I recently finished reading the popular Mike Michalowicz book, Profit First. It’s a really great book on managing your finances, that I recommend. My expertise however is not profit, but space. I have long held these thoughts on the value of space, but space first is new.
Here are some things to consider, to prioritize space first.
Space for processing
For years I have maintained that a work surface is your number one organizing tool. The key to maintaining a clear surface is to reserve its purpose for processing, not on storage. An open kitchen counter means that you can spread out ingredients and prepare a meal. An open dining table means that you can spread out the daily mail, sort it and distribute it. Then the dining table is open for the kids to spread out their homework and focus. When their homework returns to their backpack, the table is open again to process (eat) dinner. The moment the work surface is squandered on storage, is the moment you lose its value.
Space for finding
Space is an important element in storage areas, like the pantry. Sure, you can fit a lot of stuff in a pantry, but you must reserve floor space. Limited floor space makes it difficult to step in and see what you have. This can lead to multiple purchases and food expiring. When you have space for finding, you increase the odds of food circulating more reliably.
Space for accessing
To maintain space for accessing items, follow my showroom vs. stockroom model. This involves keeping a limited quantity handy and a larger quantity more remotely. This is particularly important for kitchen items that you only use seasonally.
Space for variety
I alluded to this in space for processing, but the kitchen must be versatile. It is often referred to as the heart of the home and for good reason. More activities happen here than in any other room. We prepare meals, clean up meals, sort mail, do homework, pay bills, and more.
Without space to circulate this variety, the kitchen is suffocated.
Space for welcoming
Another activity that happens in the kitchen is entertaining. We may not think of entertaining as a kitchen activity, but where do so many home parties end up? That’s right, in the kitchen. On a more regular basis, most of us like to invite company and it’s hard to hide the kitchen. It doesn’t feel very inviting if we have to clear the chair space for company to sit down.
Considering these reasons for space first, will make it easier to edit what tends to accumulate in the kitchen. Referencing Profit First again, Michalowicz cited something Suze Orman said. To better your finances “get as much pleasure out of saving as you do spending.” Love it! For organizing, I would say that you need to value you your space as much as you value your stuff. To give your space the value it deserves, give it a head start and consider space first. To love your kitchen space, don’t let space be an afterthought.
If you need help loving the space in your kitchen, we’d love to help. This month, for new clients we are featuring “The Kitchen Mission Special.” Contact us to get your kitchen organized today!