I want to share an organizing experience I had last week. The goal of our session was to organize her kitchen. Let me paint the whole picture of the kitchen because the pictures I’m sharing with you only show part of it in the story. My client lives in a two-story townhome with her son and they are both very artistic. I mean, painting, knitting, crocheting, woodworking and even some ironwork. The portion of the kitchen that is intended as the “eat in” area is used for their artwork. Along with the that, the laundry area is also part of the kitchen, in a closet. The plus to that is that the shelf in the closet can be used as additional storage for kitchen items. As a result of the multi-purpose areas, the actual kitchen space is greatly reduced. In addition to their artwork, she loves to bake and cook with a variety of different flours, grains, beans and spices. The challenge she faced was that her items were stored here, there and everywhere.

My first goal was to group like things together. We sorted, gathered and consolidated like items. Once we had it all categorized, we took a step back and assessed how she uses each category. We put her various flours, grains and baking sugars together on the white shelf in the picture. Now, no matter what flour she is looking for (and there are so many more than I ever knew of!), she knows exactly where to go to find what she needs. We placed the spices near the oven. Dishes are all together now in just two cabinets. All like items were placed together so that there would not be a question about where to find something.

My biggest take away from this job is that when everything was all said and done, she had two bags full of donations. In relation to my past organizing jobs, two bags are not a lot. However, that was all the duplicate or unused items she needed to part with. By consolidating like things together we were able to embrace the space that their kitchen had to offer. My point is that you don’t always need to reduce on a grand scale in order to be organized. In fact, some people might have the impression that the after pictures aren’t that significant. However, I beg to differ. The client’s kitchen is now effective and organized in a way that works for her. It might not look like some of the beautiful pictures that you see on Pinterest or Instagram but it is real life.

My hope is that you are reading this and realizing that in order to be organized, you don’t have to minimalize your entire life. If something is broken, yes it should be discarded. If you don’t use something or have multiples of it, it should be donated so that someone else can get some use out of it. Organize the remaining items in an effort to use your space effectively.

If you have a project that you’ve been putting off because you fear that you will have to “get rid” of everything or don’t know where to start, please contact me so that we can chat about it and come up with a solution. I always enjoy a good conversation about organizing so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Contact Julie for help with your organizing needs or to schedule a speaking engagement.