For a sneak peak inside my kitchen to see how this system works, check out my Facebook Live on this topic!
Okay, perhaps this topic doesn’t seem incredibly important, but I firmly believe that when you have systems in place to manage stressors like this, you’re a calmer parent and better able to focus on tasks like cooking, feeding or even just being present with your kids.
I love cooking and I don’t want my kitchen to be a source of stress, so after our recent move, I resolved to do something about all the child feeding gear cluttering up my kitchen! Before I put this system into place, I would really dread unloading the dishwasher. Every time I opened it there were all these….things and hardly anywhere to put them. Honestly I couldn’t believe how much gear I’d managed to accumulate in just two short years of parenting. Surely my children don’t need ALL of this stuff??
I developed a system that works for me and I hope you can gain some pointers from it too. Here’s what I did. Check out my Facebook Live on this topic for even more tips!
1. Get everything into one place
Pull ALL of the gear out of the cabinets and wherever else you keep it. Include your food storage containers if those are part of the problem, too. Put it all in a giant pile just like if you were going through your wardrobe to decide what to donate. Maybe stack it on the kitchen island, or if you don’t have space in the kitchen, consider the living room floor!
2. Figure out what you actually need in your kitchen
I sorted out what my kids actually use on a weekly basis: plates, sippy cups, bottles, etc. It turned out that I was stashing a ton of items they don’t use, such as bottles and sippy cups that they just don’t prefer, teething items that are no longer needed, etc. Also think about the number of each item you need. I had about 10 toddler plates but we really only need 3-4 on hand before we run the dishwasher again.
If food storage containers are a problem too, pick the ones you use most often, stack “like with like” and ditch the rest! If you’re like me you’ve accumulated some random pieces over the years and it just doesn’t all stack well. You’re probably missing some lids, too! So pick a few shapes that you use the most and either recycle the rest or store them elsewhere. I ditched much of the random stuff and decided to keep a few larger containers I use for meal prepping sessions in storage (read: not cluttering up my cabinets!)
3. Sort the gear into categories and invest in storage baskets
I ended up with “water/milk cups,” “plates and bowls,” “bottles and pump parts” and a “miscellaneous” section, plus two baskets for food storage containers.
I’m using these baskets from the Container Store and I love them! They just $2.99 each so I bought at least a dozen and am using them for various needs throughout my kitchen.
4. Designate specific spots for each item
At some point, I realized that I was trying to cram a bunch of baby gear into my pre-baby kitchen. If you have limited cabinet space, figure out which of your “adult” items are rarely used and can be stored elsewhere (margarita glasses, perhaps?) Then designate spots for each of the categories you created in step 4. Use a label maker if you must (I did!) I am not an organization freak, but “a place for everything and everything in its place” has really served me well here.
5. Use your baskets to speed up unloading the dishwasher
I didn’t actually purchase the baskets with this technique in mind but I’m loving this mom “hack” now that I have it! When you’re unloading the dishwasher, pull all the baskets down and place them on the counter below their location. Plop, plop, plop as you unload and then stash everything back where it goes!
As I will mention in the Facebook Live, I’m also loving this Dishwasher Net from Boon (affiliate link). No more flipped over bottles and cups!Those are my tips…what do you do to keep your kitchen organized?