Kitchen Design

My Kitchen Design Ideas This blog is loaded with kitchen design ideas, tips and articles to help you design the kitchen of your dreams.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Kitchen Design: Kitchen Design � Understanding the Work Triangle and Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen Design: Kitchen Design � Understanding the Work Triangle and Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen Design – Understanding the Work Triangle and Kitchen Layouts

by David Buster


Having a good layout for your kitchen is important, because the kitchen should be an efficient and pleasant area in which to prepare meals and do related tasks. Understanding the kitchen work triangle concept and the basic kitchen layouts is a valuable starting point for having a good kitchen design that you like.

The kitchen work triangle consists of the distance between the sink, refrigerator and range or cooktop. Each one of these areas becomes a focal point in the kitchen and forms the three points of a triangle with different distances between them. Done correctly, the kitchen work triangle provides the most efficient food preparation area layout in the kitchen.

Whether you’re remodeling an existing kitchen or building a new one, an efficient design means that your work triangle minimizes the number of steps the cook must take between the three areas during meal preparation and cleanup. The total distance from the sink to the stove to the refrigerator and back to the sink should be not less than 12 feet total nor more than 27 feet. Each triangle leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet in length. The kitchen isles should be at least 42 to 48 inches wide to allow people to move around easily and for appliances to be opened with ease.

When selecting the floor plan for your kitchen, here are basic kitchen layouts to consider:

* L-Shaped Kitchen - this is the most popular kitchen design. It consists of a long leg and a shorter one and this type of design can be used in small and large kitchens. The L-shaped kitchen gives you the possibility of having a center island depending on the space available. In general, this design will have 2 or 3 appliances on one wall. The usual arrangement is to have the refrigerator at one end, the range or cooktop at the other end with the sink located in the middle. This shape of kitchen generally provides good traffic flow.

* Double L-Shaped Kitchen - this kitchen design has a lot of cabinet space and plenty of counter space. This design is used in large kitchens with two cooks, and it has two or more entering areas, which can cause traffic flow problems. To avoid some of these problems, create two separate working areas on each L of the kitchen so that workflow does not get interrupted by human traffic.

* U-Shaped Kitchen - this kitchen design shape has three walls instead of two, and the sink usually is located in the middle wall section. The refrigerator and range or cooktop are usually on the side walls opposite each other. The U-shaped kitchen design gives room for ample countertop space, and you have three walls for cabinets and appliances. This kitchen layout tends to create a working triangle that is very efficient.

The only problem with this type of kitchen design is that sometimes the two U corners are not used appropriately. Make sure you buy the appropriate storage items for the corner cabinets created by the U shape design. The U shape design can also create dark kitchens because of the shape and the amount of cabinets. Using skylights, large windows, lots of under-cabinet task lighting and light colors will help keep the kitchen bright with sufficient light to see what you’re doing.

* G-Shaped Kitchen - this type of kitchen shape is becoming very popular, and it gives you a fourth wall to use. The G-shape can be used if you have more than one cook in the house. This fourth wall section can be used for a counter, island and storage space.

With this kitchen layout you can have two sinks, perhaps two cooktops or two ranges. You could have two working triangles -- one for sink, cook top or range and refrigerator and a second working triangle with another sink, built-in grill and cooktop. It allows two cooks to do different things at the same time and entertain large groups of people.

* Single-Wall Kitchen - if you do not have much space, you may only be able to have an I-shaped kitchen. No problem. Just be sure the sink is placed between the refrigerator and the stove. Locate the refrigerator so that the refrigerator door opens away from the kitchen sink. This is a very common arrangement for small kitchens in narrow spaces.

* Galley-Shaped Kitchen - this type of kitchen design is more common in apartments or in homes where space is limited -- it is often called the corridor style. The kitchen cabinets and the appliances can be located on opposite walls for better work flow -- place the range or cooktop on one side of the kitchen along one wall and the refrigerator and sink on the opposite wall.

To eliminate traffic issues in this type of kitchen design, one entry is often closed off. This type of layout should only be used by one cook. If you want to maintain both exits, place the refrigerator near the end of the galley kitchen for easy access -- this way, your family and friends can reach the refrigerator without interfering with the person who is cooking.

If you need extra storage in the galley kitchen, install tall kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. Wall storage is crucial -- buy a stepladder to use when you need to reach the upper shelf of the cabinets, and place the items you use less frequently on the upper shelves.

By understanding the kitchen work triangle concept and how you want your kitchen to function, you’ll be more likely to create the kind of kitchen you’ve always wanted. Today, kitchens are often viewed as the hub of the home as well as a social center for family and friends. Planning your kitchen can be a challenge, but the rewards you’ll receive are very much worth the time and effort.



About the Author
David Buster is Vice-President of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of http://www.yourdreamloghome.com - visit the website to learn more about home decorating and remodeling, kitchen and bathroom design and décor tips, log homes and log cabins, home plans, home storage, backyard living, fireplaces, log cabin rentals and more.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Kitchen Design: How a Simple Kitchen Timer Gave Me Back My Life!

Kitchen Design: How a Simple Kitchen Timer Gave Me Back My Life!

How a Simple Kitchen Timer Gave Me Back My Life!

All kinds of stuff was piling up—on my desk, in the
kitchen—in fact, in every room in the house. Then I
discovered the power of . . . the timer!

Now my motto is: Set it and forget it! (Where have
I heard that before?)

It really seemed too simple a solution to solve what
had become an overwhelming problem: how to fit
all the work I have to do, need to do, must do, and
wish to do into one twenty-four hour period and still
have any time left to do anything halfway resembling
"fun." (What's that, anyway?)

But the fact of the matter is that it IS just that SIMPLE!
First, I get all of the routine out of the way: shower,
exercise, grooming, prayer or meditation, breakfast, etc.

Finally at the computer, I set the timer—usually for half
an hour. When it "dings" I get up and maybe transfer
some laundry to the dryer. (I'm one of those rare and
lucky women who is married to an exceptional man
who usually at least starts the laundry, and on a daily
basis, so we never have laundry piled up.)

Just a little "mini" break from the computer, but it does
several things: (1) It allows me to tend to the little
mundane tasks that otherwise get put off. (2) It truly is
the "pause that refreshes," as doing so prevents me from
developing carpal tunnel or that horrible pain between
the shoulders that so many women suffer from. (3) It
gets the blood circulating in my legs and prevents the
varicose veins or phlebitis that sometimes develop in
those who sit a lot. (4) It helps rev up my metabolism,
just moving around a bit.

Another benefit of the mini-break is that it seems to
help clear my thinking and keeps me from getting
bogged down or developing writer's block. And it helps
me to stay focussed (believe it or not), as my mind isn't
as prone to wander as when I'm "at it" for hours on end.
And I don't get "burnt out" on any one thing this way.

I set the timer for various chunks of time throughout the
day—that's the beauty of it—it is SO flexible, and it gives
you that awesome feeling of being in control at all times.
If you plan your work, you can work your plan a whole lot
easier using a timer. You actually have a roadmap then
for the whole day, and the little "dings" are the mile
markers. You get a real feeling of accomplishment,
because you ARE, in fact, actually accomplishing things.

Try it—you'll love it!

Feel free to reprint the above article with this info intact:
Article penned by Mary Wilkey, publisher of 'elf Expressions
Ezine: http://elfexpressionsezine.com.
To subscribe, email subscribe@elfexpressionsezine.com





This article courtesy of kitchendesigninfosite.com.
You may freely reprint this article on your website or in
your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author
name and URL remain intact.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Kitchen Design: Choosing A New Floor

Kitchen Design: Choosing A New Floor

Choosing A New Floor

Is it time to give that tired kitchen floor a face lift? Are you looking for just the right finishing touch for your new living room? The floor you choose can brighten a dark room, make a small one appear larger, or set the mood and tone for the rest of your decorating. There are so many flooring options available on the market these days that you're biggest problem will be deciding which floor you like best! Here are a few suggestions to ease your decision process.




With all those choices available, how do you decide what type of floor fits your lifestyle and design sense the best? There are a number of factors to consider, including the mood you want to set, the style and colors of your furnishings, and what the room will be used for. The perfect floor for your work-in kitchen may be too dark for your bright and airy living room, and the floor that you love for your living room could be too formal or too delicate for your back patio. Rest assured though, that there is a perfect choice for every room in your home.




Things To Consider When Choosing a Floor




How much traffic will the floor get?




The amount and type of traffic that your room will see should be one of the largest deciding factors in the kind of floor that you choose. A family room floor with a ping-pong table and busy, active life needs a floor that will stand up to lots of foot traffic and the occasional spill. In addition, you want a floor that won't show wear, will be comfortable underfoot, and easy to care for. Vinyl floor tiles or linoleum might be your best choice there, though a good, durable wood laminate floor might do well, as well.




What's the moisture level? Is the floor likely to get wet or is the room naturally 'damp'?




Some floors just aren't suited for damp areas. A basement playroom with a high moisture content, or a bathroom are seldom candidates for a solid wood floor, though there are some choices in wood laminates that might work if finished properly. Instead, you might choose slate or ceramic tiles with area rugs for the bathroom for a dramatic look that wipes up well and keeps its gloss for years.




What's your personal style? What mood do you want in your room?




Want a luxurious feel? A thick pile rug over polished wood is a classic, elegant look that is pure luxury. A floor to accent a spare, modern style? Stone or slate, polished to a high sheen is a beautiful backdrop for leather and steel furniture and ascetic lines. A wooden parquet floor can be a dramatic focal point in an open foyer, or can lend a touch of Continental elegance to a formal living room. Wooden floors can hit any mood from rustic to royal, and the choices of color, pattern and style in vinyl or ceramic tiles can fit any active room in your home.




About the Author
Garry John has contributed articles to flooring sites like flooring and wood flooring.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Kitchen Design: Tuscan Style Decorating For The Kitchen by Lee Dobbins

Kitchen Design: Tuscan Style Decorating For The Kitchen by Lee Dobbins

Tuscan Style Decorating For The Kitchen by Lee Dobbins

A Tuscan decorating theme can put some old world charm into your kitchen and make it a warm homey room to gather in. The Tuscan style incorporates warm earth tones along with natural materials and architectural accents to create a time worn look. Although the look is of a centuries old kitchen you can achieve it without having to buy priceless antiques.

Color

The colors mimic those of the Tuscan landscape – rich golds, earthtones and even tones from the sea mingle together for this look of old Italy. Buy some majolica pottery (either new or old) and use those colors to influence your wall and floor choices. Using natural materials like stone, slate, granite or terra cotta for your flooring and countertops will help complete the look. Try some faux painting on your walls to give it the look of antique plaster.

Lighting

Think old world in your lighting and stay away from new or modern styles. Some nice antique looking wrought iron lights will be right in style. It’s OK to also have recessed lighting for your task lights, but choose your pendant lights or chandeliers carefully. Stay away from anything too shiny and stick with muted metals.

Accessories

You can buy accessories like those you might find in a Tuscan kitchen brand new today, or you can scour the antique shops to get real antiques. Look for old pottery bowls and pitchers as well as painted or antiqued wooden bowls. Majolica makes a nice addition to a Tuscan style kitchen and you can buy whole sets of this pottery new today and use it for everyday use. Use lots of decorative jars of oils with peppers and ropes of garlic, peppers and grape vines. Antique look signs with a wine motif can add to the wall decor as can wallpaper murals in the form of Italian frescos and niches. Soften it up with lots of greenery.

Furniture

You want your furniture to have an old world look. Chunky wood tables with chippy or distressed paint go nice. A distressed wooden cupboard (perhaps with chicken wire doors) can give you some extra storage and add to the look if you have the space. Display your majolica or old world pottery behind the chicken wire to authenticate the look.

Decorating a Tuscan kitchen can be a lot of fun. You can get the look with brand new accessories, or if you enjoy collecting antiques, you can scour the flea markets and antique malls for those perfect pieces. Either way, you will be creating a kitchen with charm and character.



About the Author
Lee Dobbins is owner of http://www.a-kitchen-decorating-idea.com where you can find lots of ideas for decorating your kitchen. Find more decorating themes at http://www.a-kitchen-decorating-idea.com/kitchen-decorating-themes.html

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Kitchen Design: Kitchen Design � Understanding the Work Triangle and Kitchen Layouts by David Buster

Kitchen Design: Kitchen Design � Understanding the Work Triangle and Kitchen Layouts by David Buster

Kitchen Design – Understanding the Work Triangle and Kitchen Layouts by David Buster

Having a good layout for your kitchen is important, because the kitchen should be an efficient and pleasant area in which to prepare meals and do related tasks. Understanding the kitchen work triangle concept and the basic kitchen layouts is a valuable starting point for having a good kitchen design that you like.

The kitchen work triangle consists of the distance between the sink, refrigerator and range or cooktop. Each one of these areas becomes a focal point in the kitchen and forms the three points of a triangle with different distances between them. Done correctly, the kitchen work triangle provides the most efficient food preparation area layout in the kitchen.

Whether you’re remodeling an existing kitchen or building a new one, an efficient design means that your work triangle minimizes the number of steps the cook must take between the three areas during meal preparation and cleanup. The total distance from the sink to the stove to the refrigerator and back to the sink should be not less than 12 feet total nor more than 27 feet. Each triangle leg should measure between 4 and 9 feet in length. The kitchen isles should be at least 42 to 48 inches wide to allow people to move around easily and for appliances to be opened with ease.

When selecting the floor plan for your kitchen, here are basic kitchen layouts to consider:

* L-Shaped Kitchen - this is the most popular kitchen design. It consists of a long leg and a shorter one and this type of design can be used in small and large kitchens. The L-shaped kitchen gives you the possibility of having a center island depending on the space available. In general, this design will have 2 or 3 appliances on one wall. The usual arrangement is to have the refrigerator at one end, the range or cooktop at the other end with the sink located in the middle. This shape of kitchen generally provides good traffic flow.

* Double L-Shaped Kitchen - this kitchen design has a lot of cabinet space and plenty of counter space. This design is used in large kitchens with two cooks, and it has two or more entering areas, which can cause traffic flow problems. To avoid some of these problems, create two separate working areas on each L of the kitchen so that workflow does not get interrupted by human traffic.

* U-Shaped Kitchen - this kitchen design shape has three walls instead of two, and the sink usually is located in the middle wall section. The refrigerator and range or cooktop are usually on the side walls opposite each other. The U-shaped kitchen design gives room for ample countertop space, and you have three walls for cabinets and appliances. This kitchen layout tends to create a working triangle that is very efficient.

The only problem with this type of kitchen design is that sometimes the two U corners are not used appropriately. Make sure you buy the appropriate storage items for the corner cabinets created by the U shape design. The U shape design can also create dark kitchens because of the shape and the amount of cabinets. Using skylights, large windows, lots of under-cabinet task lighting and light colors will help keep the kitchen bright with sufficient light to see what you’re doing.

* G-Shaped Kitchen - this type of kitchen shape is becoming very popular, and it gives you a fourth wall to use. The G-shape can be used if you have more than one cook in the house. This fourth wall section can be used for a counter, island and storage space.

With this kitchen layout you can have two sinks, perhaps two cooktops or two ranges. You could have two working triangles -- one for sink, cook top or range and refrigerator and a second working triangle with another sink, built-in grill and cooktop. It allows two cooks to do different things at the same time and entertain large groups of people.

* Single-Wall Kitchen - if you do not have much space, you may only be able to have an I-shaped kitchen. No problem. Just be sure the sink is placed between the refrigerator and the stove. Locate the refrigerator so that the refrigerator door opens away from the kitchen sink. This is a very common arrangement for small kitchens in narrow spaces.

* Galley-Shaped Kitchen - this type of kitchen design is more common in apartments or in homes where space is limited -- it is often called the corridor style. The kitchen cabinets and the appliances can be located on opposite walls for better work flow -- place the range or cooktop on one side of the kitchen along one wall and the refrigerator and sink on the opposite wall.

To eliminate traffic issues in this type of kitchen design, one entry is often closed off. This type of layout should only be used by one cook. If you want to maintain both exits, place the refrigerator near the end of the galley kitchen for easy access -- this way, your family and friends can reach the refrigerator without interfering with the person who is cooking.

If you need extra storage in the galley kitchen, install tall kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. Wall storage is crucial -- buy a stepladder to use when you need to reach the upper shelf of the cabinets, and place the items you use less frequently on the upper shelves.

By understanding the kitchen work triangle concept and how you want your kitchen to function, you’ll be more likely to create the kind of kitchen you’ve always wanted. Today, kitchens are often viewed as the hub of the home as well as a social center for family and friends. Planning your kitchen can be a challenge, but the rewards you’ll receive are very much worth the time and effort.



About the Author
David Buster is Vice-President of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of http://www.yourdreamloghome.com - visit the website to learn more about home decorating and remodeling, kitchen and bathroom design and décor tips, log homes and log cabins, home plans, home storage, backyard living, fireplaces, log cabin rentals and more.

How to Make Cleaning a Kitchen Easy

Kitchens are the centers of our lives. We cook, converse, and even eat in our kitchens. Perhaps that is why getting motivated to clean a kitchen is 99.9% of the battle...and elbow grease is the other 0.1%.

The reason for this is mostly because of all the rooms in a house, the kitchen alone has the position of having the most traffic, use, and just plain dirt!

To start yourself off, it can be extremely helpful to have a checklist handy of all the possible things you can do so that you can mark them off as you go. It also helps to have a distraction to make the time go by faster, such as your favorite music, book on tape, or TV show playing in the background.

When cleaning, always clean from the top of the room, and work your way down (which saves a lot of time), except in the case of washing walls, where you work from the bottom up to avoid streaking.

So let's start at the highest points. Each household is different in layout, so be sure to adjust these hints to specifically fit your particular dwelling. Begin with the tops of any cabinets, that top of the refrigerator that's been needing wiped down forever, and any "higher ups" that you see (except the walls...those are next to last)

Next lets get to the hardest parts. The mid-range, and mostly the places that are hardest to clean, such as the oven, dishes, sink, countertops, ect.

It is sometimes easiest to start in one corner and work your way around in a circle. For an example, we will start with the oven. It will make things go by easier and faster if you do the hardest things first, and save the easiest things for last. Using an all-purpose cleaner, clean off the top of the range, and if you have a gas stove, take the burner grates off, and soak them in a solution of water and oven cleaner, before rinsing and replacing. If you have a self-cleaning oven, now is the time to turn it on and clean itself while you skip to the next item. If you are not so lucky, then the best cleaner to use is either a commercial oven cleaner, or a paste of baking soda, borax, comet, and water. Rub this paste into the walls, and wipe clean with a damp rag. It may take a bit of elbow grease in places, but will be worth it in the end. Be sure to clean the window in the oven if you have one, and wipe down the outside with an all-purpose cleaner.

Next go to the refrigerator, and wipe down the sides and door first. Then take out everything inside..yes, EVERYTHING! Using an all-purpose cleaner, or a mixture of water and baking soda, wipe the sides, shelves, and clean out those veggie drawers! If you have a real mess in the drawers, or something caked on, the easiest way to clean them is to fill them with hot water, adding a capful of bleach, and set them aside for an hour or so while you clean, then empty out and wipe clean. Then replace everything in the fridge, and be sure to add a small dish with baking soda in it to capture all odors.

Now head over to the cabinets. A lot of people avoid cleaning out cabinets because they assume it to be difficult when in all reality, it isn't so hard. To keep your cabinets clean, it is very useful to purchase low-cost "non-slip" rolls of cabinet liners. They come in a lot of colors, and not only keep the shelves clean, but also extend the life of glasses, china, and fragile dishes. So to begin cleaning your cabinets, work on one at a time, and start by removing everything from the cabinet. Once you have everything out, wipe down the inside, and lay down your matting if you opted for that, or simply replace everything in an orderly manner.

If there are any dishes, tackle them next. Wash the smaller items first, then mid-sized and save the large and greasy items for last. If you have a double sink, fill one side with water and soap, and the other just fill with hot water as a "rinse" since, and just toss the washed dishes in there, then move them to the drainer. It saves a lot of time to do things this way instead of washing each dish separately. you may wish to look at my other articles for a more in-depth look at making cleaning dishes easier.

Clean the countertops, and everything on them separately. For kitchen countertops, an all-purpose cleaner with an added de-greaser is a plus. I personally recommend using diluted pine-sol in a spray bottle.

Clean a microwave as I have previously mentioned in an article by placing water in a microwave safe bowl, and bringing it to a boil in the microwave, and letting it sit for a 5-10 minutes, then taking it out and easily wiping the inside of the microwave clean.

After everything on mid-level is finished, then clean the walls by using a solution of 1/2 cup bleach (OR Mr. Clean) to 1 gallon of water. Using a sponge or rag, wipe the walls down by starting at the bottom, and wiping your way to the top. That way, if any water runs down, it won't leave those hard to remove streaks!

Lastly, clean the floors. If you have a wood floor, use your usual method. For vinyl flooring, I recommend using the Mop-and-Glo two step method. They sell two bottles for two steps. One cleans the floor, one waxes and shines it. If you wish to use a cheaper method, a great way to skip the first step is to mop the floor using a solution of 1 part ammonia to 2 parts water, and mopping with that to remove old wax and residue, then using a mop-n-glo type floor polisher.

See that wasn't too hard! As always, stay motivated, know that you can do it, and REWARD YOURSELF afterwards!!

Stephanie Davies is the author and webmaster of http://www.beendreaming.com - a site which focuses on organizing, cleaning, and other homemaking related topics





This article courtesy of kitchendesigninfosite.com.
You may freely reprint this article on your website or in
your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author
name and URL remain intact.

Friday, July 08, 2005

kitchendesign - Kitchen Rugs

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

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Kitchen Design: Frugal Kitchen Spruce Ups

Kitchen Design: Frugal Kitchen Spruce Ups

Frugal Kitchen Spruce Ups

By Kathleen Wilson

Most of us spend a good deal of time in our kitchens these days, and it's not just for cooking. More homes are being built with the kitchen as the hub of the home, and even if you're on a tight budget, that shouldn't stop you from making it a pleasant and personal place to be!

If your cabinets are in need of a total overhaul, consider painting them. Nothing changes the look of a kitchen faster! Visit the library for info on faux finishing, or go to www.paintedhouse.com or www.fauxlikeapro.com, and turn a simple paint job into a one of a kind kitchen.

If you don't want the hard work that goes into total repainting, consider removing a cupboard door to make a display cabinet. Paint the entire interior of the cabinet a light or bright accent color, and put your prettiest on display. Or have someone good with power tools cut out the center panels of the doors, then shirr fabric over the inside to hide the contents of the cupboard…secure with a staple gun or Velcro tape.

Pick up inexpensive plate hangers from the hardware store and hang the saucers from your good china around the backsplash, or as a border. Don't have any china? Visit garage sales and thrift stores this weekend to pick up a bunch of sweet little plates for a song. (No, they don't have to match, or be fancy!)

Hang tea towels on the diagonal over your curtain rod for a fresh summer valance, and save some extra to stitch up into potholders and placemats.

Make a floor cloth to perk up your tired floors from a piece of remnant vinyl flooring you get at a home improvement center for just a few dollars. Turn the piece over to the backside, and give it a coat or two of good primer, then a coat of any basecoat color. Then use masking tape, stencils, stamps, sponges or freehand painting to impart a design that fits your room. Be sure to seal it with a couple of coats of water based polyurethane, and it will wipe clean for years! This is a great way to customize your kitchen for little money…lets face it, rugs are expensive, impossible to keep clean in a kitchen, and are usually the same old boring thing. This is also a great way to cover an aging or damaged floor, as you can make the floorcloth to whatever size you need.

Save empty bottles and fill with colored water to set on the windowsills, or line up the bottles and fill with one flower each from your garden.

Grow plants from seed on your windowsills! Even grass seed has become very vogue. (Don't tell anyone, because I usually shy away from "vogue", but I really like the grass thing!J)

Above all, invoke your family into the place where you spend the most time. I've heard some designers say you should keep your refrigerator clear to prevent clutter, NO MAGNETS! But honestly, what would my kitchen be without my kids drawings stuck all over the door? It wouldn't be the place I want to spend most of my time. I even have a couple of framed photos of my kids, right on the kitchen counter! So make your kitchen YOUR home, and have fun doing it!

Copyright 2002 K. Wilson

Kathleen Wilson is the editor of a free ezine and website called The Budget Decorator. When she's not decorating or gardening she's caring for her 5 kids, 3 stepkids, and wonderful husband. You can get more info and free projects at her website http://www.thebudgetdecorator.com





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Kitchen Organizing 101:

Kitchen Organizing 101: a recipe for organizational success
There is no doubt that these days the hub of the home is the kitchen. It is the place we gather to spend time with family and friends. Many of us do our main entertaining in an open floor plan that has a kitchen/family-room combination. As a result, the kitchen has become the most difficult room in the house to keep clean. Our usual organizational challenges of overflowing cabinets and exploding junk drawers are compounded by mail, toys, clothes and all sorts of clutter. If your kitchen could use some help getting organized, try this recipe for organizational success.
1. Know Your Objectives
Start by creating an organizational plan. Establish stations within your kitchen just like a restaurant does: prep area, cooking, baking and cleaning. Organize your kitchen into these four quadrants by keeping related items together in the same area.
Break the job down into sections. Try to finish one section per day. Don't let the size of the job overwhelm you. Take it one small step at a time. Before you know it you will have finished. As the saying goes, "How do you eat an elephant? You eat it one bite at a time."
2. Inexpensive Storage Solutions
Your storage solutions don't have to be expensive. Check the dollar stores for plastic bins, baskets and containers. Check stores that carry overstocks, closeouts and slightly dented items for great deals on storage racks and freestanding units.
Find creative ways to reuse items you already own. Try this inexpensive storage solution for spice bottles: cover the bottom half of a shoebox with the same contact paper you used on your shelves. Fill the box with your spices and set it inside your cabinet for easy "pull-out retrieval". If you are short on cabinet space but have plenty of wall space, try using an old bureau to store canned goods, towels or extra dishes and cookware.
Don't forget to "nest" items inside one another. For example pots of graduating sizes can sometimes be fit one inside the other.
3. Toss out the Clutter
Get rid of what is old or that you don't use. Toss expired herbs, yeast and baking powder. If you can't remember the last time you used some of your cooking gadgets, why not send them off to a new home where they will be appreciated. Make a vow to not bring in any more small appliances, gadgets or knick knacks. Clear off the counters and decide what really needs to be out. If an item has no use in the kitchen it needs to be put somewhere else. Bag or box the items to be dumped, donated or given to a friend.
4. Clean It
Clean out one cabinet at a time. Wipe down the shelves. Clear and wipe down countertops. If you have tile, now is a good time to clean the grout with a degreasing solution. Replace tattered dishtowels. Replace torn or worn shelf paper. Clean out the inside and outside of the refrigerator. Clean the oven. Don't forget to clean the top of the range and the knobs. Dust the ceiling fan. Dust the top of your cabinets and refrigerator.
5. Home Sweet Home
Every item needs its own home. When items have a designated place they tend to get put away. If they don't have a home then they tend to get lost.
Utilize bins and baskets wherever possible to keep "like things" together and at easily accessible. Go vertical. The important concept here is that any time you use vertical space it will free up horizontal space. Utilize the empty vertical wall space in a nearby closet by installing shelves that can be used to store canned goods. Install hanging broom and mop holders. Employ hooks, pegboards, and Lazy Susans. If your counter space is at a premium, see if you can mount some of your small appliances under a cabinet.
6. Efficiency in design
Organize your kitchen for maximum efficiency. Place items near each other if they will be used together. For example: if your coffee maker sits on the counter, store the coffee cups, cream and sugar in the cabinet above it.
7. Never Let Clutter Back In
Once you have spent all that time organizing your kitchen, you'll want to make sure that the clutter stays out. Set some time aside once a month to check for clutter buildup. Also spend a few minutes each night putting away anything that doesn't belong in the kitchen. Nip that clutter in the bud before it takes root.
If you hadn't already noticed, the first letter of each rule spells out the word kitchen. It's a handy little way for you to remember each rule.
Happy organizing!
About the Author
Martha Matthews is the Editor of Christian-Homemaking.com, a web site with resources dedicated to Christian homemaking. In addition to her web site, she also has a popular free monthly newsletter for Christian wives called The Wives of Excellence Newsletter. To subscribe send a blank email to wivesofexcellence-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Or visit our web site at http://www.christian-homemaking.com/newsletter.htmlThis article courtesy of kitchendesigninfosite.com.You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.