There are a number of reasons for the disarray, but who cares? It was a mess. That's all you need to know. I reached my disorganization limit when I tried to sweep under the china hutch and was reminded that I had recently reallocated that space - also known as The Floor - to store my roasting pan.
I am an organized woman, people. I do not keep things on the floor just because I'm too busy and/or lazy to clean out a drawer. And so I grabbed my adolescent kitchen by the ear and marched her off to military school. This was my process:
- Remove everything. Empty all cupboards, drawers, and floor-related storage areas.
- Sort items into piles in the dining room. One pile for must-have items, all of which would be returned to the kitchen. One pile for donations, because do I really need two vegetable peelers and four cheese graters? One pile for maybes. (The maybe pile, by the way, is possibly the greatest human concept ever. It allows you to admit that maybe you don't really need something, without committing to getting rid of it... yet. Once it spends a little time in the maybe pile, it is SO MUCH easier to move it to the Donate pile. Freakin' genius, I tell you.)
- Scrub the hell out of everything. This is especially important in my kitchen, which has upper cupboards that have been waiting seven years to have their doors painted and rehung. Things have gotten dusty in that special kind of greasy, sticky, kitchen dusty sort of way.
- Return the Must-Have pile to the kitchen with frequently used items in easily accessed areas, and like items stored together. Function over form, when I was forced to choose one over the other. The kitchen is no place to sacrifice function, in my humble opinion.
- Reassess the Maybe pile. Return to the kitchen the most beloved items for which there is actually room. Reassign items that are worth keeping, but don't necessarily need to live out their keeping in the kitchen. Move remaining items to the Donate pile.
- Put off scrubbing the floors and windows until next weekend.
Sigh. Home renovation blogs vs. single mommy blogs = "Check out my new bathroom!" vs. "I cleaned my kitchen!"