Since the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions hit earlier this year, most of us have spent far more time in our homes than we usually do. In this time, you may have noticed that your home is not as well-organised as it can be—or, perhaps, it has since become disorganised, owing to the fact that you and your family are using your shared spaces more.
Recently, PG Bison, in collaboration with Candice Prins, organisation fundi and founder of curated home-organisation service The Labb, hosted a helpful webinar on organising your kitchen, for many of us perhaps the most daunting home space to tackle. If you missed it, we’ve summarised the key advice here, or you can scroll to the end of the post to watch the webinar recording.
Candice immediately assured webinar attendees that this need not be the case though; home organisation in general, and kitchen organisation in particular, does not have to be a mammoth, tedious, anxiety-inducing undertaking.
Physical clutter is mental clutter
Organisation can be quite a therapeutic activity, if approached calmly and correctly. And the end result will not only be a better home space but a better mind space too. “Physical clutter is mental clutter,” says Candice. “Unorganised spaces have been shown to negatively impact our state of mind and stress levels.” Having a comfortable, clean, clutter-free home, especially in the chaotic world in which we currently live, may immensely improve your wellbeing.
Practically, two key benefits of a more organised kitchen space include not frequently wasting time looking for items and not having items end up where they ought not, such as a pair of scissors being in a drawer that’s reachable by little ones.
Tip-top kitchen and home organisation tips
Where do you even get started? Candice’s top tips for organising your kitchen (which can be extended to the rest of your home as well!) include:
- Tackle one area or cupboard at a time or per day—do not pull everything out of your cupboards into a big, unmanageable pile. And confront the most difficult space, which you’re least looking forward to sorting through (perhaps, that under-sink cupboard?), first. After that, all other spaces will seem easier.
- Create piles: ‘Keep’, ‘Gift’, ‘Donate’, and ‘Trash’ (or, preferably, ‘Recycle’) and be honest with yourself about how often you use each item and on which pile it should end up. This is the perfect time to take stock of what you really need. “Loosen your attachment to excess,” advises Candice. Why do we need so many mugs?
- Use drawer and cupboard organisers, separators, and containers. The Labb has several stylish, durable organisation aids on their ‘Shop’ page.
- And, of course, if you are really struggling or simply do not have the time, you can get a professional, like Candice, in to tackle the task for you.
In the Q&A session at the end of the webinar, Candice gave advice on some of the most notoriously difficult spaces to keep neat and tidy: the spice drawer, the pantry, and the Tupperware cupboard.
- If you have many spices, she recommends sorting and storing your spices in portable separators with handles—grouping, for example, everyday spices, baking spices, and braai spices, respectively, into separate containers. Then, when you need to use those spices, you can easily cart the whole spice container to the stove or fireside.
- For the pantry, she recommends decanting your high-use foodstuffs—like rice, pasta, and flour—into counter-top or easily-accessible containers, with the rest remaining stowed in the pantry.
Lastly, for the Tupperware cupboard, her advice is to use a drawer with special separators, and to store containers and lids separately.
Keeping everything tidy
Asked by PG Bison’s Jason Wells how one keeps everything from descending into disorganised chaos again, Candice’s advice is simple: De-clutter, compartmentalise/‘containerise’, and label. And, importantly, involve the entire family in the organisation task—then, they’ll all have an interest in keeping everything tidy.