Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: Kitchen Organizing Tips

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can. That’s all well and good if you have an organized kitchen. But what if your drawers and cabinets are so stuffed you can’t roll it, or pat it and just forget about marking it with a B? Watch this video for some kitchen organizing tips.

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about kitchens. I have four or five little tips for you about kitchens that are based on lessons learned from Project Declutter. We’ve got Part 3 on the newsstands right now in the June 2013 issue of Woman’s Day. I did a four-part series. The first two were about closets and laundry and home offices and craft areas. And now we have the kitchens, which is so fun.

I want to share with you a couple of lessons from each of our participants. First, Linda, in Michigan. Hi, Linda. I want to show you the concept of undesignated space. So here’s her kitchen table and also this tray table she has with the rooster there that you can see. This is an example of a flat surface that doesn’t really have a purpose or the purpose is not enforced in the family. And it just collects things. So it just becomes a catch-all for things that haven’t been decided, which as we know is kind of the definition of “clutter.”

So what we did instead was we eliminated that tray table, because it really wasn’t serving a good purpose for them in the home. And we replaced that with some wicker drawers. This allowed us to have overflow storage from the kitchen, so that actually helped a problem that we were already having. And it eliminated that undesignated space, so there won’t be this clutter problem area for her anymore next to the kitchen.

So, let’s look at another undesignated space problem she had, which was her kitchen countertop. Now, I want to show you a lesson here about working with your habits. So, what we learn from analyzing what was sitting there, which is what you want to do, you want to go through and categorize everything and figure out why it’s there. What is this log jam? Why are these things ending up here? And what should be done with them instead? So she had a lot of papers here. Papers from the kids’ school, from their church activities, from other activities and doctor’s appointments that they are involved in. So, we figured out that that was happening, and she was actually sticking some of those papers into the cabinet trim pieces on the door as a makeshift bulletin board. And that wasn’t going to work for her long-term, and certainly didn’t solve the clutter problem on the counter. So what we did was work with her habits. She likes to have those pieces of paper right there, but what we did was put a cork board along the edge of the cabinet so she would have an actual bulletin board to use. We also put the cork on the inside of the cabinet door so she would have that option too. And this solved a problem for her. It also helped her focus on the papers that were there and understand that that was becoming a catch-all area. And so she was able to use that space more efficiently and have a clear counter.

Now, let’s look at Pam’s kitchen, in Illinois. Hi, Pam. So Pam, I wanted to show you the concept of having objectivity on your projects. So she had her son helping her a little bit before I arrived, and they had gone through this utensil drawer and they felt like they were done with it, and they had done a pretty good job. I was trying to go through and save as much space as possible, so I went through the drawer again and when I did I found these pairs of duplicate supplies, and I was able to show those to Pam. You can see the extra ice cream scoops there and the extra candy thermometers. So what we did was I had Pam choose her favorite of each of these pairs and we only kept the one and donated the other to Goodwill. So this saved some space in the drawer and it also – again, as a great example of objectivity – we’re always telling people to do your organizing projects with a friend or with a professional organizer or someone who can give you that fresh set of eyes, because you have been looking at this stuff too long. Let’s also look at another concept from Pam’s kitchen, and that is using the backs of cabinet doors for storage. We did this in Linda’s kitchen too. I put some cutting boards on the back of her cabinet doors. Here you see Pam with her cheese grater that I hung on the back with a piece of 3-M adhesive, one of their hooks. So this saved a ton of space in her utensil drawer and it made the cheese grater more accessible and easier to find. Also, we hung potholders on the backs of the cabinet doors near the stove and the oven to get them out of the drawers and up and away and save some space too.

I want to thank my friends over at Shelf Genie for retrofitting all of the cabinets in Linda and Pam’s kitchens and here you can see, from Linda’s kitchen, her pantry. What an impediment that was for her to functionally use those shelves in that pantry. They were so deep. She couldn’t see anything that was back there. Food was spoiling, being wasted. So now she can pull out every shelf and see exactly what’s back there, saving herself tons of money on food because she can actually see and use what she has. So Shelf Genie was awesome. They came in, and they put the pull-out shelves in almost all the cabinets in these kitchens, and you can see more of those pictures on the Woman’s Day website at And there are some good behind-the-scenes slideshows there. And you can also find out more about what we’re doing for the next issue if you want to subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll be announcing that when it comes out. And that’s at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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Great tips!! I really love the cork board idea. That could actually come in handy in more areas than just the kitchen.


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