Wendy Reimer, the mother of 3 young girls, needed help. The kitchen in her spacious Upper West Side apartment was teeming with clutter. Although it boasted ample cabinet and drawer space, counters and cabinets were so stuffed that meal preparation had become difficult. In Sex and the City, Carrie stored her shoes in the oven; Wendy stored her dry goods in the microwave.
We took everything out of the pantry, cleared the countertops, and grouped like items together. When we looked at everything that we had removed, we realized that we had found the clown car of kitchens; it seemed impossible that it had all come out of one place. Since much of what was piled in the pantry had expired, we filled multiple garbage bags.
We added organizing products including drawer inserts, clear bins, and OXO canisters. We also added shelves, increasing our linear storage space by several feet.
Once we had placed all of the products, we were able to put all of the food away. In the cabinets, we were able to spread out dishes, glasses, and bowls across the newly added linear feet of storage. Putting fewer items in more space is always a winning combination.
Not only did we label everything, but we encouraged Wendy to apply the FIFI (first in, first out) system to food in her pantry. This reduces the risk of food expiring. Also, in my work with Curated Kitchen, nutritionist and registered dietician, Lara Metz, espouses advance meal planning to avoid waste and ensure meals are healthy and well balanced.