To me, of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is the heart of the home and reflects the overall spirit of the place. Morning coffee while the house is still dark, quiet & the chaos of a new day hasn’t begun is something I appreciate. The kitchen is where we gather to nourish, share events of the day & entertain, so it makes sense that this room must be well managed and function to the best of its ability. Here are a few organization ideas to keep your space running in tip top shape. 1) Keep equipment, utensils and ingredients as close to where you’ll use them as possible. Flour and sugar near your mixer/baking counter; ladles and spatulas near the stove. 2) Eliminate freezer burnt/forgotten about items by keeping a running inventory of contents on the side of the appliance. Cross out and add new items as needed. 3) When buying larger packs of meat to rewrap & freeze, snip the label off the original wrapper and add it to the freezer bag – you’ll know when it was bought. 4) Keep a pantry inventory. When you use your last item of something, add it to your grocery list. 5) Make the most of shelf space by storing lids to your leftover containers in a bin of their own. Keeping bottoms in nested stacks. 6) Double your cupboard space by adding expandable wire racks (Ikea has numerous options). 7) Dishcloths need to be disinfected on a regular basis. The easiest way is to toss them into the dishwasher. Use safety pins to hang it clothesline style from the upper rack. Soaking in a diluted bleach solution works wonders as well. 8) Countertops can be magnets for items that don’t belong. Once a month, remove everything & clean them. Putting back only things that belong. 9) When it’s time to take out the garbage, check your fridge & freezer for stale or spoiled items that should be tossed. Now, if you’re anything like me, it’s time to prepare your well-deserved cup of joe. Stay tuned next week for Part II of Kitchen Wisdom.