Kitchen Organizing Challenge

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is the place that we gather to share our day. It is the place that we make healthy meals. It is where our kids sit and do homework. It is a gathering spot for papers and incoming mail. We want an organized kitchen and we just don’t know where to start. I started a kitchen organizing challenge based on my e-book that I wrote but have yet to publish (as I am a bit of a perfectionist.) So I have gathered a group on Facebook that are going through each day and sending me their pictures and leaving comments on what worked and what didn’t work. It is like my beta testing group!


Here is our day two challenge.


Cooking Utensils and knives: Really look at how many of your utensils you actually use.


1.       Gather all utensils in one place and begin the sorting process.


2.       Pull out any that are broken or damaged. Food particles and bacteria can hide in that cracked wooden spoon.


3.       Next put all like items together and take a look at the duplicates. Do you have 15 plastic spatulas but you only use 3? Get rid of the 12 and keep the ones that you use. Do you have 3 sets of measuring cups? Keep the one you use and get rid of the rest. I replaced my 3 sets of cheaper ones with one beautiful set. If I do a lot of baking in one day I quickly wash and dry and keep going, never missing the three mismatched sets I had before.  I now have one good set of knives and have gotten rid of all the others.


4.       Organize the ones that you have left with a drawer utensil organizer. I also keep my most often used utensils in a container next to my stove. Do I need to remind you to wash out the drawer too?


5.       For the knives: Are they sharp? If not sharpen them yourself or take to a professional to have them sharpened.


6.       Make sure you store in a central location as knives and cooking utensils are something that if we prepare food a lot, you tend to use a lot. You do not want to walk far from where you’re cutting and chopping the food. So look at where you chop, mix and cut and locate your knives and cooking utensils near that location.


Hot Tip: If you have plenty of counter space, think about putting your most often used utensils in a tool caddy or an old piece of pottery.  Stay away from one size fits everything crock to hold utensils. Select your four to six most used tools and find a free standing crock or holder to house them. If you get the one size fits all, you suddenly have a junk drawer on your counter top.


Start with an empty countertop caddy and as you cook throughout the week, fill it with the tools that you go back to time and time again. Once you get to 6, stop and reanalyze. If your kitchen counters are already cluttered, skip this step.


Do you have a knife block that is taking up precious counter space and you only use 2 knives in the block? Think about ditching the block and storing in a drawer or on a magnetic knife rack on the wall.


Extra Challenge: I tell clients to put all of their utensils in a box and put it in another room. Over the course of a month, add the knives and utensils back in as you use them. Whatever is left in the box….you don’t use and can be removed from the precious real estate in your kitchen.

I am doing the challenge along with everyone else. My husband and I are working on it together. Getting his input is important as he thinks different than me….much different. He wanted to get rid of the ice cream scoop that has to be hand washed as he is the one that does the hand washed dishes. I wanted to get rid of the meat mallet as I rarely use it and we could use a can of soup to pound something out if needed. We really need to look at things differently. We took the avenue of putting everything we didn’t use on a weekly basis in a box. In the next month as we need stuff we are going back to the box to pull it out. But before I go to the box I am asking myself if something else that I have out is going to work. For example, last night I needed my pastry brush to spread some sauce on a bun. I grabbed a spoon and used the back of the spoon instead.

Send me an email at if you would like to be added to our kitchen organizing group. You must have a Facebook account as that is where the group is located.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,



MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at


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