Let’s talk systems

The past few columns, we focused on a few hot spots, namely underneath the kitchen sink, the fridge and the pantry. Today, I want to address household management, starting with your kitchen. So, it’s time to get your ’50s era apron and pearls ala June Cleaver on ladies! SCREEEEEEEECH! FULL STOP. Let’s stop that bovine scatology (BS for short) right there.

Decluttering and committing to bringing less into your home is the first key. The next vital key is having systems in place to manage your home. Without household management, clutter will continue to be a whack-a-mole game in your house.

I like to discuss the kitchen first because, uh, well, that’s where we make coffee. And coffee is important. Very important.

The kitchen is the nerve center of the home for most people. Unless you don’t drink coffee. Or prepare food. Depending on the layout of your home, your kitchen table may be the place where you pay bills or the kids do homework. Because there is so much activity in this room, it’s especially important to have order and work flow

First, take stock of what takes place in your kitchen. I already mentioned bill paying or kids doing homework. Is this where you catch up on Facebook? A lot of meditation can take place in kitchens as well, such as the Open the Fridge Door and Wonder What’s There to Eat meditation.  (Hopefully this meditation goes better since you’ve sorted out the fridge.)

What are your cooking habits? Are you a food prepper? (I’ll try not to hold it against you for making the rest of us look bad.) Do you bake regularly? Or are you a Trader Joe’s heat and eat sort of cook?

Next, depending on your activities, it’s time to set up “centers.” What do I mean by that?  If you take care of administrative tasks such as making appointments, bill payments, kids’ schedules, etc, set up a command center.  It may be something as simple as a file, pens, Post It pads and your calendar.  (Yes, I know I am old school; I keep a paper calendar still in addition to Google.) If you do these tasks at the kitchen table, I suggest using a basket to corral those items for easy retrieval.

Ditto for the kids.  Keep their items in a basket as well.  And speaking of baskets, you can use the simple dishwashing basins at the Dollar Store to serve this purpose.  Easy squeasy and inexpensive!

If you are a baker, like I was for many years, you’ve got your baking center on part of the counter.  Is there a spot for food prep?  If not, I suggest setting up your cutting board by the sink. Do you make a daily smoothie like one of my organizing clients?  Have a basket to hold your powders and mixes together, all parked by the blender.

By establishing systems and routines, your kitchen will run smoother.  More importantly, it will help provide a peaceful environment for you and your loved ones to gather together and focus on what’s most important: relationships.

Theresa Winn Lode obsesses over finding more efficient ways to do things.  Her doctor refers to it as Generalized Anxiety Disorder but she’s okay with it. Find her at www.theresalode.com or on her YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC65sWi2styjgXH61HlB1Phg

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