19 September 2011

5-S Series, Humpday Edition

We are now in step 3 of the 5-S Series of Kitchen Reorganization, and I've got to say that if it had taken me as long to DO 5-S, as it has taken to write it, I would have disintegrated into a quivering pool of shattered nerves.  Thank goodness, it only took half a week.

Step 3 is Set in Order.  This had to be the hardest part of the process, making it a true humpday/midway kind of job.  First, I was tired of the whole thing by this time, and second, I had to really think about making a difficult kitchen more user-friends.

Setting in order entailed deciding where the very best place to put things was.  Some things were easy.  For instance, next to the stove, I have a built-in spice rack.  Spices go there.  Check.  In the cabinet next to the spice rack, there is a lazy susan, and I decided that cooking ingredients go there: things like olive oil, vinegar.  But the lazy susan can hold more than that, but not enough more to make it also hold baking items.  So do I keep all the baking items together?  Or do I split them up and put some with the cooking item?  I decided to keep all baking things together, even though the designated place for them, on the far side of the fridge, is not the ideal place, nor the handiest place.  But I cook more than I bake, so I'll just have to walk some extra steps when I need baking soda.  Not ideal, but it made sense to me.  You know, I can always change it at some later date.

The drawers also offered puzzlement.  Which is the very best drawer for silverware?  The one closest to the table seemed logical, and yet, that put it pretty far away from the heart of the kitchen, and I know that I need those spoons and forks and larger spoons for food prep, too.  I'm trying out a new system, which is to place all the untensils for eating in a caddy near the table, and keep the rest in a drawer near the stove.  Of course, moving the silverware there meant that the dishtowels and dishrags had to go somewhere else, so they took over the aluminum foil/saran wrap drawer, and then I had to find a new spot for those, which ended up being a rack that I installed under a cabinet.  You see why this is such a complicated step?

It takes living in a kitchen, deciding what are some problems that you would like to eliminate, and really thinking about your space to do it well.  For example, one thing that often caused problems in the past was that while I was flying around the stove area right before dinner, a boy would be trying to get silverware to set the table, and we would be in each other's way.  Moving the silverware to a caddy solved that problem.  If my priority is to get help while at the same time work efficiently, I had to identify what the problem was and try to solve it by rearrangement.

My challenge to you is whether or not you're reorganizing your kitchen, identify a problem and find a way to solve it by a little creative arranging.  And then let me know what you've come up with.  I may be able to use it!

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