Summary: When I talk about systematization or chunking actions into smaller steps, it’s so much easier to show my clients this article I wrote back after I had moved across the country, unpacked, realized I was in the wrong apartment, and moved again to unpack; all of which I did in 6 months.
People think of organizing tasks, creating systems, or making changes to their business as overwhelming and it is! However, when you spend the time to plan for the changes, to chunk the actions into smaller, more doable pieces, you’ll actually save time (all the time you’re THINKING about doing the task) in the long run!
Sometimes it helps to organize a room all at once. However, for home-business owners, spending another entire day in the house isn’t always a desirable thing. What may be more desirable is to spend 60-minutes each day working on a project. The steps below will assist you (as they have me) to reorganize your kitchen.
- if you don’t have a pad on your refrigerator, set aside a piece of paper somewhere in the kitchen for the next 10 days. Use the top part of the page for “things to buy” and the lower half for other notes.
- put a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor and assess what needs to be done. Make a list.
- start to pay attention to where you are placing things that are in the dishwasher. Take a mental note of what items are in cabinets that would be better off somewhere else.
- take your step ladder out, clean the light fixtures and change any bulbs that aren’t working.
- Question: What does an empty box, a step ladder, a telephone book, a cloth, a car and one hour have in common?
- Answer: They’re what you’ll need to clean the pantry or if you don’t have one, your food cupboards. Remove all items you haven’t used in the past year… or won’t use in the next few months. Make sure everything is packed properly for storage. Then you can put unused/unwanted food in the box, contact your local non-profit food pantry, and put the box in your car (for now).
- If you have a self-cleaning oven, turn it on when you wake up. If not, spray or clean the inside of the oven. Then later, rinse it off.
- Defrost the refrigerator. It’s good to put everything in coolers then clean when everything is defrosted. Even frost-free’s need cleaning every now and then.
- Put the stove burners, other stove and fan parts in the dishwasher. Clean the top of the range and fan.
- Clean the inside of the dishwasher and outside of all appliances. Add jet dry to the dishwasher.
- By now you should have a nice list of items you may want to purchase… such as new shelving paper, food or containers, cleaning supplies, etc. So go out, buy yourself lunch, go shopping, and bring the box of donated food to your local food pantry.
- If you don’t have a shopping pad on your refrigerator, consider adding “small pad and magnetic strip” to your shopping list. Then when you get home, glue the magnet to the back of the pad.
- Make your life easier in the kitchen. Purchase two inexpensive and dishwasher proof items – a bag of plastic clothes pins and a pair of scissors. Use the clothes pins to close bags of chips, cereals, pasta, etc. Scissors that stay in the kitchen come in handy for many things.
- Spend an hour cleaning the cabinets closest to the dishwasher. Reline them with new shelving paper, if necessary.
- Find covers for any pots, pans, Tupperware and the like. Put any object that doesn’t have a cover in a bag.
- Find a piece of paper and take everything out of the bag you’ve saved from day six.
- Write down the name of the product (Revereware, Farberware, Tupperware, Rubbermaid, etc.) and measurements (2 quarts, 8 inches, etc.). Or do what I prefer. Draw the outline of the pot, cover, or container on a piece of paper with the product’s name in the middle of the circle.
- Spend the rest of the hour cleaning and reorganizing the cabinets.
- Today is Kitchen Floor Day. ‘Nuff said
- Clean the windows. Take measurements for a second set of curtains.
- Make a trip to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or your favorite thrift store to find the covers (or bottoms) of pots, rubber goods, etc. You’ll be surprised what you can find for between 69c-$2.00!
- Look for a second set of curtains to use, too.
- Check out the Buy Nothing Project as a way to give stuff away.
- Celebrate. Buy yourself some flowers, a candle, or something to celebrate!
- Go home, place a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor, spend some time enjoying all you have accomplished!
(c) 2001, updated 2018 Elevating Your Business